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The Practice of Occupation and Vocation and MONEY!

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Last week I taught the first priority that makes ‘fishing people’ for God’s Kingdom a daily practice: learning to live our Kingdom vocation (calling) through our daily occupation (work). This obviously does not mean that we use the work place to talk about Jesus all the time! You have to BE the good news to win respect, so that when you SPEAK the good news – invited by your friends and colleagues – they are ready to listen and receive.

Work is what ‘occupies’ our daily time, energy, gifts and skills (training), in a formal or informal job. But work is also about money. Human resources = time, energy & money. We put our time and energy (labour) to work, in order to earn and generate money for our living (food, home, etc), so that we’re not dependent on others as Paul says (1 Thess 4:11). But money is also for our life and work with God in the world – it’s all from him in the first place! Jesus taught on work and money; e.g. God gives various talents (gifts, money) to each of us, to be used to “occupy till I come” (Lk 19:13, read 12-27). Jesus will call us to account for how we used (worked), or did not use, the resources God gives us. We will be rewarded accordingly, either given more, or loose what we had. So, our relationship to money is our stewardship of resources as a God-given means of ‘fishing the world’ for him.

How should we view money (resources)?

 Many people think that money ‘is the root of all evil.’ Not true! It is a misquote of Paul – he said, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Money is ‘neutral’. The issue is our relationship to money. It’s not what’s in your hand but what’s in our heart that counts. It’s what we do with money that is right or wrong. Money and possessions have no value in itself; it only has the value we give to it by our attitude to it, how we use it, what we spend it on. Some wrong attitudes to money: Continue reading The Practice of Occupation and Vocation and MONEY!

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Following Jesus by Practicing Worship Part 4: Isaiah’s Three Movements of Worship

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Intro: Isaiah’s worship in the midst of political crisis

I’ve been teaching on the practice of Kingdom worship to live our highest value of following Jesus (developing intimate relationship with God): In worship, God’s Kingship in heaven and the age to come, breaks into our midst… or as we worship we enter God’s throne room and worship with all the angels and redeemed from all tribes, languages, nations (Hebrews 12:22-24, Revelation 7:9-17). Worship is the means of regular power-encounter with God, especially since Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. But even in the Old Covenant there were such breakthroughs of Kingdom worship – seen in Isaiah 6:1f.

Isaiah was a priest doing his duty of worship when the veil between heaven and earth momentarily lifted, and he saw The Lord. In the routine of regular worship God surprises us with his presence and power – often in the midst of deep instability (“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…”) – to restore our perspective on reality. We live in a context of international political turmoil, with war and death stalking the nations. Horrendous atrocities have recently taken place locally and internationally, leaving one very vulnerable, even fearful. Who will save us? Who’s in charge? Is there anyone we can trust? “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (read Psalm 11). Look up, see God, he’s on his throne, he’s still in charge! If so, why doesn’t he intervene? The answer… Continue reading Following Jesus by Practicing Worship Part 4: Isaiah’s Three Movements of Worship