SERMON

SEEING WHAT GOD SEES

When I was a pastor, I felt very strongly that everywhere a person goes, lives or works can be considered a place for ministry. I made it a point in my own personal ministry to get involved in people’s everyday lives and to visit them at their homes and

work, challenging them to live a life of ministry. This didn’t mean that they

had to become a pastor, but living a life of ministry through their personal

careers was important.



God has called every physician, nurse, janitor, teacher, businessman, engineer and person to be His ambassador in their lives.

One day when I was

visiting my church members, I went to see Owen. Owen was a physician who owned

his own clinic and had two other doctors who worked for him. I asked him to

show me his clinic and tell me about the things that go on over there. After

about 45 minutes of visiting, I asked him if we could dedicate the place to the

glory of God. He agreed. After the prayer, I said, “Owen you are a Christian

physician. God has called you to minister to people’s needs spiritually as well

as their physical needs. Other doctors deal with people’s health only, but you

also can deal with their eternal salvation. I challenge you to pray for your

patients, minister to them, share your faith with them and if possible invite

them to church or a Bible study or any other function you deem appropriate.”

Owen looked shocked and stated that he had been a Christian all his life and

was the son of a pastor and had never thought about it that way before.



When I saw how Owen

reacted, I realized that this is often something that people don’t understand

or realize that they can do. He later shared exciting stories with me on his

interactions with his patients and how he got to pray with them, talk about

God’s power to heal, bring them to church with him and more. He had begun to see

his work in a different light. It not only became the stability he needed for

his family financially, or a degree, or a title; but he had a deeper purpose

involved in his every day work. The change was obvious to the people around him

and he became a minister to people’s needs on more than one level.



God has called every physician, nurse, janitor,

teacher, businessman, engineer and person to be His ambassador in their lives.

God doesn’t say that the workplace is off limits to ministry. On the contrary,

God challenges His believers to reach beyond the bounds of the titles of our

profession, to minister wherever we are.



How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders, His kingdom is an eternal kingdom, His dominion endures from generation to generation."

Daniel 4:3

DARE TO BE DANIEL

Daniel in the Bible

is a great example of living ones ministry. He worked hard and did a good job,

but the story focuses more on the reaction of his co-workers. We read in Daniel

4:3, “How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders, His kingdom is an

eternal kingdom, His dominion endures from generation to generation.” This is

what King Nebuchadnezzar was saying about his understanding of Daniel’s God.

One must remember that Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian with many gods. Due to

the fact that Daniel ‘lived and breathed’ his relationship with God on a second-by-second

basis, people reacted to him and saw God in him through all he did. By doing

this, Daniel had a tendency to leave people in awe of God.



DO IT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

1 Corinthians

10:31 says, “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the

glory of God.” This is a verse that reminds us that we are called to live for

God in everything that we do. This is not limited to our community outreach

hours that we do every month or the hours we put in at church. God calls us to

consistently do all things for His glory. When looking at this, we realized

that our work is no different. It doesn’t need to be a verbal explanation of

why we do what we do, or a scripture quoting competition, but rather a presence

that radiates the love of God that is in us. Whatever field we go into, or

whatever field we have been in, work is not only a place for receiving a

paycheck but also for living out the love that God has blessed us with.

Philippians 1:27

says, “In whatever happens, conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel

of Christ.” The gospel is alive and it seems that there should be a joy that

goes with understanding what Christ has done for us, and this should be

something we desire naturally to share.



















SEEING PEOPLE THROUGH GOD'S EYES

Once an individual

realizes that their life is a ministry in whatever they do, their perspective

changes. We are then challenged to see people through the eyes of our Father in

Heaven. This then begs the question, what do we see when we view the world around

us? What do we see when we observe people who come to our place of work? Are we

concerned about business and profit or are we concerned about the lives of

people? Do we see people who are in need of a Savior?



Some years ago, I

was talking to the elders of a conference about workplace evangelism. In the

evening, we had some time for testimonies. One of the elders stood up and said,

“I am a very successful businessman. I own a big car dealership all over my

state. But today for the first time I asked myself the question, ‘What is the

difference between me and any other successful businessmen? I want a fair

profit and so do they. I want to treat my employees fairly and so do they. I

want to treat my customers well

and so do they. I want to get new customers and so do they. Today I discovered

that the difference is that I  

need   to be

concerned first and foremost about their eternal salvation. I want God to

change my perspective and so that I’ll think of them as candidates for the

kingdom of God rather than just customers and employees. I need to pray for

them, minister to them and find creative ways to share Jesus with them. My

preoccupation should be people and their salvation, not business or profit. I

need to see them as Jesus sees them, as His children. He died for them because

He is so much in love with them.



Ministry is not limited to a person who gets a paycheck for it, but rather it is a command for all believers to live out.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

So how do we invest

our life into this? When we have invested our lives in another; learning their

hurts, sorrowing in their sorrows, feeling their inadequacies as our own, then

we are able to meet people where they are. Only when we've experienced the tug

of war of life with them to the point where we call them by name and offer them

comfort, then witnessing is possible. As Christians we are challenged to be

different. We are called to let our light shine among others (Matt. 5:16).

Ministry is not limited to a person who gets a paycheck for it, but rather it

is a command for all believers to live out.



SENSITIVITY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Nothing we do will

be of lasting effect unless it is bathed in and empowered by the Holy Spirit of

God. We will not be able to live such lives before our fellow workers and

neighbors that they will see God and glorify Him, without an intense

sensitivity to the Spirit's leading. Our workplace lifestyle should demonstrate

our passion to reach people, a desire to do good, respect for all, and an

appropriate fear of and reverence for God. Investing in a day-to-day, long-term

passion for developing a positive, Spirit-led, Christ-centered life, will ultimately

have the best impact in the sphere of our personal workplace.

S. Joseph Kidder
Dr. Kidder is Professor of

Christian Ministry at Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological

Seminary. He is a well recognized authority in the area of leadership and

church growth. He has invested his

life in the equipping and training of pastors and the laity. He has written

many articles and books on the subject of discipleship, worship, spiritual

growth, leadership and church growth. Dr. Kidder has been teaching at the

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary for the last ten years. Prior to that, he had over 20 years of

successful pastoral work. He has

helped many people come to the Lord and grow in their spiritual walk. Dr. Kidder was born in Nineveh, Iraq.

He converted to the Adventist faith and later immigrated to the United States.

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