On Sunday, November 9th, I had an opportunity to preach at the evening service at Christ Church Cambridge. We are working through a series on the wisdom of the book of Proverbs, and I was assigned the task of preaching on the issue of work.
Most of the proverbs about work are in a sense negatively construed: don’t be lazy, don’t be foolish, don’t be lazy…and don’t be lazy. So it was a challenge to prepare this sermon. Rather than stitching together a variety of individual proverbs, I decided to focus on a single text, Proverbs 24:30–34:
30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
The proposition I developed was as follows: Our identity in Christ enables us to work with a heart for advancing the kingdom of God.
(1) Work and our identity
— Worldly misconception: “My job is my identity”
(2) Work and our heart
— Worldly misconception: “My heart state has no impact on my job performance”
(3) Work and our calling
— Worldly misconception: “It is only a job. It does not really matter all that much to God.”