Week 4: Receive Jesus’ Kingdom: REVIVAL and TRANSFORMATION of Marketplace Life
By Emeritus Professor Ian Harper, Melbourne, Victoria
Spheres of Influence: Trade & Finance
Intention: God Redeems Our Worldly Endeavours for His Kingdom Purposes.
Biblical promise: Luke 16:9 (NIV) – “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
Receive God’s Promises for Marketplace Life:
Christians who are engaged in secular occupations often worry that their work is somehow unacceptable to God. At best, they see their jobs as a tiresome distraction from their true vocation. At worst, they may fear that their work is actually opposed to God’s purposes, that is, ‘wicked’, to use an old word. Yet Jesus assures us that He redeems our work for His eternal purposes. Indeed, we are commanded to use our worldly wealth to make friends for ourselves for eternity. What can this mean if not that He wants us to use the resources at our disposal, including our time, talents and money, to advance His Kingdom purposes in this world? Just think how much good can be done in the world by Christians who use their entrepreneurial talents to build businesses on Kingdom principles. Or Christian employees who model Christ in their workplaces. Or retired Christians who give their time and money to invest into their local communities. Of course, we cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16:13) but there’s plenty of opportunity to serve God with money. In doing so we help to build the Kingdom here on earth that one day He will bring to fruition when He returns in glory.
Pray for REVIVAL and TRANSFORMATION:
• Lord Jesus, help me to see how my work in the world can be used for your glory and to build your Kingdom here on earth.
• Please show me how I can gain eternal friends for myself by giving of the time, talents and money You have graciously gifted to me.
• I know You will welcome me into eternal dwellings not because of anything I have done or will do but only because of your sacrifice on the cross.
• Yet You command me to do your will on earth and I pray that You guide me and direct my path as I seek to fulfil Your command in all aspects of my life, including my life at work.
Activate God’s Promises in Marketplace Life:
• Ask a group of fellow Christians who work in secular occupations to meet with you regularly to encourage and challenge one another. How can you “use worldly wealth to gain friends” for yourself? What does this mean in your work context?
• Invite your pastor to meet with the group and then to meet your work colleagues. Help your pastor to understand more of your work context and workplace culture. Seek his or her counsel and feedback on the attitudes and circumstances you face at work. How can you model Christ to your workmates?
Partner in Deloitte Access Economics, a firm of consulting economists.
Professor Emeritus of The University of Melbourne, Australia.