Calvin & Blogs

Article by Tullian Tchividjian who is a PCA pastor in Florida. Excellent article DOES GRACE MAKE YOU LAZY?

The gospel doxologically declares that because of Christ’s finished work for you, you already have all of the justification, approval, security, love, worth, meaning, and rescue you long for and look for in a thousand different people and places smaller than Jesus.
The gospel announces that God doesn’t relate to us based on our feats for Jesus but Jesus’ feats for us.
Because Jesus came to secure for us what we could never secure for ourselves, life doesn’t have to be a tireless effort to establish ourselves, justify ourselves, validate ourselves.
He came to rescue us from the slavish need to be right, rewarded, regarded, and respected. He came to relieve us of the burden we inherently feel “to get it done.”
The gospel announces that it’s not on me to ensure that the ultimate verdict on my life is pass and not fail.
This means you don’t have to transform the world to matter, you don’t have to get good grades to secure your own worth, you don’t have to be a success to justify your existence.
Because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; Because Jesus was Someone, you’re free to be no one; Because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary; Because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail. Because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose.
But hold on…wait a minute…
Doesn’t this unconditional declaration generate apathy–an “I don’t care” posture toward life?
If it’s true that Jesus paid it all, that it is finished, that my value, worth, security, freedom, justification, and so on is forever fixed, than why do anything? Doesn’t grace undercut ambition? Doesn’t the gospel weaken effort?
Understandable question.
But the truth is, gospel grace actually empowers risk-taking effort and neighbor-embracing love.
You see, the thing that prevents us from taking great risks is the fear that if we don’t succeed, we’ll lose out on something we need in order to be happy and so we live life playing our cards close to the chest…relationally, vocationally, spiritually.
We measure our investments carefully because we need a return–we’re afraid to give because it might not work out and we need it to work out.
But, because everything we need in Christ we already possess, we can take great risks, push harder, go farther, and leave it all on the field without fear. We can invest with reckless abandon because we don’t need to ensure a return of success, love, meaning, validation, and approval. We can invest freely and forcefully because we’ve been freely and forcefully invested in.
The fear of not knowing whether I’ll get a return is replaced by the freedom of knowing we already have everything: because everything I need, in Christ I already possess, I’m now free to do everything for you without needing you to do anything for me.
I can now actively spend my life giving instead of taking, going to the back instead of getting to the front, sacrificing myself for others instead of sacrificing others for myself.
The gospel alone liberates you to live a life of scandalous generosity, unrestrained sacrifice, uncommon valor, and unbounded courage.
When you don’t have anything to lose, you discover something wonderful: you’re free to take great risks without fear or reservation.
This is the difference between approaching all of life from salvation and approaching all of life for salvation; it’s the difference between approaching life from our acceptance, and not for our acceptance; from love not for love.
So, what are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anyth
- See more at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2013/02/27/does-grace-make-you-lazy/#sthash.7npB7Swj.dpuf

Calvin & Blogs

The Hazard of the Negative People In Your Life
from Pastor Pete Hurst

I’ve read and heard advice about dealing with negative people. The usual advice is to avoid them. As Christians, this isn’t so easy, because they are in the Church with us, we marry them, we have them as parents. These are people and relationships that can’t be discarded or ignored. So what are we to do? I’ll suggest three things.

Negative people—they’re like the liquid from some vegetable that creeps across your plate and ruins the experience of a great hamburger because your bun is now a soggy mess. When the sun is shining in life, they’re always reminding you of the clouds. They live and think in the realm of fear and worry. They think in terms of what can go wrong, not what good might come. Martin Seligman, in his book, Learned Optimism, describes the pessimist as one who has “the knack for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.”

Being negative, a pessimist, a cynic, is not God’s will for a Christian. Some of us are recovering pessimists; others of us need to be in negativity rehab. Of all the people on the face of God’s good earth, the Christian should be the most positive. How can a Christian be negative, when he knows he is created in the image of God and has been reborn as a child of God and adopted into God’s family? How can he be negative, when he wears the sign of God’s people in baptism and is privileged to come to the exclusive family fellowship meal with God in the Supper? How can a Christian be negative, when he knows that all his sins are forgiven, that the perfect obedience of Christ counts for him, that God’s Spirit indwells him, that God is working out everything for his welfare, even the bad stuff; that God will never leave him or forsake him, that He will supply all he needs in this life and the next, and that he doesn’t need to worry about dying? I could go on and on; but you tell me, who better has a reason to be positive and should not be wallowing in the negative?

So how does this happen? How is it that Christians can have so much going for them and have lives that are characterized as being negative? I believe there are two causes that develop this negative spirit in some Christians.

1) Their environment – Of course our sin comes from within; but there are various outside influences that will encourage and feed a negative spirit; one example would be the family. Many negative Christians have been raised in families where either one or both parents were of a negative mindset. They were governed by fear, worry, distrust, envy and other things that bred this mentality. Children were never encouraged to take risks; instead, they were always to play it safe; they were never encouraged to reach for the stars, because they would only get burned. They were never to try anything new, because they might fail; and failure was to be avoided at all costs. Change was always the enemy; doing anything different could not be tolerated. Some negative people got that way because they learned it at home (Parents, what is the environment of your home?).

2) Their loss of perspective – Christians with a good understanding of Christian truth can drift into a negative personality without too much difficulty. It happens without our realizing it. We live in a fallen world. Things aren’t pretty sometimes. We know God’s truth and see a world that ignores it, and we get discouraged. We try to bring positive change, and it doesn’t happen. We become pessimistic and cynical about things going on around us. We confess the truths that a Christian is supposed to believe, that are reasons for being positive, but we don’t apply them to the mess of life; so we end up being the soggy bun everyone has to live with.

I’ve read and heard advice about dealing with negative people. The usual advice is to avoid them. As Christians, this isn’t so easy, because they are in the Church with us, we marry them, we have them as parents. These are people and relationships that can’t be discarded or ignored. So what are we to do? I’ll suggest three things.

1) We must ignore their negativity and not let them tear us down. Don’t engage them in conversations that will trigger their cynicism. Don’t look to them for encouragement; look elsewhere. Fill your thinking with God’s truth. Remember, Christ was laughed at. He was not respected by his family and hometown. His disciples wrongly cautioned and corrected Him, and could only see the worst at times, in what He said and did.

2) We must pray for them. Job prayed for his negative friends (Job 42:8,10). This is God’s will. Instead of anger toward negative people around us, we can pray for God to forgive them and change them.

3) We must point them to God’s truth. This is where we must tell them to go. They need to go to God’s Word, because His truth is not governing their thinking, conversation, and conduct. Some will justify themselves as being discerning, prudent, cautious, etc.; but it is all a cover up for their sin. When they do this, leave them alone and move on. This is not being negative toward them on your part; this is being like Jesus; maybe they will get it later, but they aren’t now, and you’ve got more profitable things to do for Christ than to waste time on the self righteous.

Pete Hurst is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America

Calvin & Blogs

“I notice that you are very religious people” What do atheists worship? Here is an article by Carl Laferton from the UK about a new church for those who do not believe God is there.

Britain has its first atheist church.

It’s in north London, drew over 300, erm, worshippers last Sunday, and offers the chance to sing songs like Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.
And the “Sunday Assembly” has its own mantra, too: “Live better, help often, wonder more”.
Here are four thoughts, and then over to you for yours in the Comments section:
1. Everyone is religious. We long to belong to a community of fellow believers, with a code for living, and a purpose for our lives. Romans 1 v 25 tells us that humans are wired to worship something—it will either be the Creator, or created things, but it will be something.
2. It’s interesting that the theme for the meeting was “wonder”, and included a two minute silent reflection on the miracle of life. Presumably, no one reflected on the reality of death, the tragedy of abortion, the millions who live in abject poverty every day of their short lives, or the brokenness that sooner or later enters all our lives. Without God in the picture, we either have to ignore the reality of the brokenness of the world, or despair at it. We cannot hold both the beauty and the brokenness together. Only the Bible, with its explanation of creation and fallenness, does this.
3. We’re often told that people quite like Jesus, but just don’t do church. Here are 300 people who do do church, and don’t like Jesus! Perhaps it’s that people like their version of Jesus (teacher, healer, nice guy, loving and affirming, non-existent, take your pick); the reason they don’t like church is because church challenges their comfortable Christ.
4. Non-Christians often accuse Christians of being hypocrites. The observation is frequently well made—we are saved but we are sinners, and so we will find ourselves doing what we say is wrong, know is wrong, and wish we didn’t do (Romans 7 v 18-19). But perhaps it’s time to gently start pointing out to atheists that they need to be consistent with their beliefs, too.
Live better? How do I do that (your guess is as good as mine)? And why ought I to do that? What if I don’t want to?
Help often? Help who (why should it be anyone more than myself)? When, and how much? How do I know how to help someone who is hurting, who is desperate, who is despairing?
Wonder more. What at? This is all just random atoms, constantly reassembling. There’s no wonder here, just the pitiless operation of impersonal laws. Since beauty is a value judgment which cannot be scientifically proven, I will fall foul of Richard Dawkins if I stop to marvel at beauty (although Richard Dawkins falls foul of Richard Dawkins here, too).
Moral imperatives; the notion of beauty and rightness; the idea of purpose; all these require there to be God. So when atheists talk of these things, they are like someone who argues there is no air while breathing it in. An atheist gathering that was being consistent with its beliefs would say: Live how you want… help yourself… there’s nothing to wonder at (unless you find pointlessness wonderful).
Of course, none of us want to live like that. We want to live in God’s world, believing in the notion of beauty, relying on the reality of right and wrong, wondering at the complexity of creation and the miracle of life. It’s just that, by nature, we want to be able to do all this while rejecting God’s existence and worshipping something else. It’s called “suppressing the truth” about God while enjoying its benefits (Romans 1 v 18).
I’d love to sing Don’t Stop Me Now with 300 other people. But, since one day I will come to a stop, I’d rather choose to gather on Sunday with people who live, will die, and will live again by the mantra: “Live eternally, be helped by Jesus, wonder at His glory all your days”

Calvin & Blogs

This article builds on the one by John Piper — Don’t Waste Your Cancer. Marvin Olasky points out that every event in life is designed for our good and God’s glory. God calls to us in each moment and through each event.

DON’T WASTE YOUR MEDICAL MISTAKES — Marvin Olasky

I’m pretty good about the little things. If I start to slip or trip but then right myself, I’ll say or think, “Thank you, Lord.” But I recently had an opportunity to be thankful about a big thing, and blew it utterly.

The situation was this: Because I had a double bypass five years ago and my blood pressure is on the borderline for medication, a doctor prescribed for me a beta blocker that could bring with it nasty side effects like insomnia and anxiety. Never having had pill problems, I ignored those warnings.

Then a routine medical lab test indicated, maybe, one of the worst kinds of cancer. The score was so bad it looked like a lab mistake, and retesting would come the next day, but instead of calmness I had clamminess, and instead of saying to God, “Your will be done,” I railed at the prospect that my will would be thwarted.

Did the anxiety come naturally or was it medicinally induced? Whatever the cause, my thoughts and words flung heavenward were disrespectful: I have so much to do. … I love my wife so much. … I need to tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there store all my goods (Luke 12:18).

Happily, the next day’s lab retest gave me a healthy score—but the error illuminated my own pride. God showed me that I may indeed have a Christian worldview when it comes to the issues we typically deal with in WORLD, and may indeed have a sense of His sovereignty throughout the day—but when it comes to the most important questions, I was not above an unhappy “Ides of March” failure.

Feb. 14 is famous as Valentine’s Day, of course, but a month later comes the day when fear outweighs romantic hope. The ancient Romans saw March 15—the Ides of March—as a day bringing chaos. It was the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 B.C., with conspirators stabbing him 23 times in the Roman Senate. I could put Psalm 23 up against 23 stabs, but that lab error and beta blocker forced me to admit that thankfulness for green pastures yielded to unsteadiness when I peered into the valley of the shadow of death.

I’m nervous about admitting all this, but (1) it’s sadly true, (2) it’s proof that I don’t belong on any pedestal, and (3) my position may not be all that unusual among Christians. As J.I. Packer writes in Knowing Christianity: “Normal people do not look forward to dying, and there is good reason for that. We cannot expect the process to be pleasant; the prospect of going to give an account of oneself to God is awesome; and Christians know that physical death is the outward sign of that eternal separation from God which is the Creator’s judgment on sin.”

Want some empirical evidence? Researchers several years ago asked 345 advanced cancer patients at seven hospital and cancer centers around the United States whether they wanted life-prolonging measures such as ventilators and resuscitation during their last days. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009, the religious (mostly Christian) patients were almost three times as likely as the non-religious to seek and receive life-prolonging care.

Of course, that result may have been a measure of faith rather than fear—do not assume the end is near—but I suspect some patients were learning the difference between an intellectual acceptance of eventual death and an emotional response to imminence. Yes, we should sing hymns with lines like, “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!”—but also ask ourselves the hard question: At crunch time, do I stake my life on that love?

I’ve now halved the beta blocker dosage, and anxiety is gone—but this whole experience leaves me suspicious of myself and determined to grow my faith rather than assume I already have what I need. Growing it means spending more time with the Bible and in prayer. Growing it means asking God to show me more and more that my only comfort in life and death is not fatalistic stoicism but the assurance of eternal life that only Christ provides.

© Copyright 2013 World News Service – used with permission

Calvin & Blogs: Misuse of the Bible

I read so many good things I want to pass some of them on to you in this space. I am going to place some of the best of the thoughts I read where you can have them too. Pastor Timothy Hammons has good thoughts on the abuse and misuse of the Bible.

He comments on 5 misunderstood and misused verses

John 8:31-32 says “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Only in it’s abuse, those using it only quote verse 32, without the first part of the conditional clause.

A conditional clause means that there is a condition to knowing the truth. Knowing the truth means that we are His disciples. Being His disciples mean that we follow Him and His word. Yet countless people use the old King James Version, Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, in a manner to indicate that the truth is just floating about for anyone to find it. It is not, for truth to be know, we must know it in the light of Christ.

I’m reminded of my childhood growing up in the cult of Christian Science and see that portion of the passage on the inside cover to Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Please note: she has no keys to Scripture. Her book is filled with senseless drivel. She doesn’t know Christ, God or the truth). The passage is used in such a way that it suggests that objective truth is just floating about and all we need to do is look for it. It’s not. The only true way to know real Truth is to know Christ and be known by Him (Matthew 7:21ff). Truth is not disconnected from Christ.

We also see this passage on the building of countless universities across the land. There too, it’s put forth as if truth is out there for anyone looking for it apart from Christ. I know the arch-rival of my own university, Texas university, has the scripture emblazoned on one of the buildings. However I don’t think that school, or any other state-run school that has the passage emblazoned on campus is advocating their students become disciples and followers of Christ.

The point is that when Christ uttered those words, He was in a heated debate with the Jews about His identity and their need to be freed from sin. He wasn’t throwing up the idea that truth was to be known apart from Him. Knowing the truth means we must be “in Christ,” and by being “in Christ” we will know truth about who He is and who we are. We are sinners in need of a Savior, and the Truth is that He is that Savior. Being in Him means we are freed from one of our greatest foes: sin. We cannot be truly free unless sin is dealt with, and only through Christ is that sin dealt with. Otherwise we will die in our sins, as Jesus warned the Jews (John 8:21).

This is why this verse makes my Top 5 list of the most abused passages in history. People have abused it in an attempt to make themselves seem erudite in the pursuit of truth. Yet, truth pursued apart from Christ does us no good at all.

4. Number 4 on the list is Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. The reason this one makes the list is that far too many people use it as a quick fix to someone else’s problems. Your cousin just died in a car wreck? Romans 8:28. You have cancer? Romans 8:28. You just lost your home to foreclosure? Romans 8:28. Your cat had puppies? Romans 8:28.

It is abused because of the way that it is used in Christian circles. People use it in an attempt to belittle the struggles of others and this is unconscionable. It is thoughtless, and mean. Paul writes that we are to weep with those who weep in Romans 12:15, not throw Romans 8:28 in their faces.

To abuse this passage is to ignore the fact that Christians have been called to suffer just as Christ suffered. I know, suffering is one of those things that polite Christians do not talk about. But it is a reality of the Christian life. To deny it, is to deny the calling every Christian has in life. So when someone suffers, don’t throw up a quick passage so you can sooth your conscience and be on your way. Sit down with them, and be with them and weep with them.

3. Number 3 on the list is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This verse is abused because it is ripped out of context. The context is that Paul is saying he has learned to be content whether he has plenty or he is abased, both to abound and suffer need. He does not say that he can conquer the world because he has Philippians 4:13.

This verse should not be the foundation of every motivational speaker to come down the pike. That is not what Paul is saying. In fact, he would probably be aghast at the idea that so many are using this passage in such a manner, given that Jesus Christ conquers the world and our worlds, we do not. We are mere servants, not tiny gods out to conquer all that is before us.

2. Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” This passage is abused among the haters of Christianity. It’s not used to teach us to guard against being hypocritical, as Jesus intended it to be used, but used to silence anyone who would espouse any godly standard above that of being a dog. Jesus isn’t giving a blanket statement for not judging, but given a lesson on how to judge rightly.

I like what Paul Washer is reported to have said concerning this verse: “People always tell me, ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’ I reply, ‘Twist not Scripture, lest ye be like Satan.’”

1. John 3:16 For God so loved the world… You know my hatred of the abuse of this passage. Far too many use it to justify their ungodly behavior and lack of holiness because of God’s love. In other words, “For God so love the world, I can live and believe as I please, and Jesus is there to take care of everything for me.”

This passage is also the foundation of so much bad theology that I think we should stop quoting it, and quote all of John 3 to bring it back into light. Anything less than this is to abuse the fulness of what Christ was saying in John 3.

Calvin & Blogs — Bearing the Reproach Well

This article from Kevin DeYoung who is a pastor in Michigan. He is commenting on the way Christians are being pushed to the margins of culture because we refuse to sign off on the current rebellions against God.

On Thursday we learned that an evangelical pastor cannot say a benediction at the Presidential Inauguration because 15 years ago he affirmed the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual behavior. It was a sad day for evangelical Christians. A hard day. A frustrating day.

But let it also be our Independence Day.

Let us be free from the false hope that heroic deeds and quiet agreeableness can atone for the sin of orthodox conviction.

Let us be free from the wishful thinking that good works and good manners can appease the Great God Tolerance.

Let us be free from the misplaced assumption that faithfulness to God can go hand in hand with worldly congratulation.

If it is “anti-gay” to believe that the normativity of male-female sexual union is taught by nature and nature’s God then let us wear a Scarlet Letter around our necks. Christ bore much worse.

If the culture of free love is going to hate those who believe marriage was made with God-given limits then let the opprobrium fall on us. We will despise the shame.

If henceforth we shall be considered the scum of the earth for believing what the Church has taught for 2000 years then let us be the scent of death to some. We shall be the aroma of life to others.

And lest anyone think this is a call to arms or a manifesto of malediction, it is not. If we are reviled, we shall not revile in return. If we are hated we shall pray to God for more love. If we are excluded from polite society, we will still include all Christ-exalting, Bible-believing, broken hearted sinners in the fellowship of the redeemed. And if we are esteemed by some as better off dead, we will not cease to offer the words of life.

We will not stop serving where we can. We will not stop repenting when we sin. We will not stop speaking the truth about our Lord and about his law.

There are likely far bigger disappointments to come than the one that dropped last Thursday. We did not choose this culture war and it is not about to leave us alone. The media, the academy, the government, the libertine elite–they may sully our reputation and shame our convictions, but they cannot steal our joy. We can pray more, sing more, and smile more than any of the party-goers making mud pies in the slums. We do not have to fit in down here so long as we fit in up there. We do not need a president’s approval if we have the affection of our King. Our hearts and our Bibles are wide open. Our salvation is firm. Let freedom ring.

CALVIN & BLOGS WWW theology and teaching

In 1559 in the city of Geneva it was possible to attend church and hear a sermon by John Calvin or go to another location on the same day to hear John Knox preach. But having said that there has never been a day when more good Biblical teaching was at our cyber fingertips. I know many of you have discovered
www.monergism.com and thegospelcoalition.org and the almost limitless messages by John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, Mark Dever and other gifted men God has given to his church. I want to point to a collection of sermons that I believe are the best available by a man whose name is not as well known – Edmund P. Clowney. Dr. Clowney was the president of Westminster Seminary and taught a generation of church leaders about ministry and about preaching. Skip Ryan, Tim Keller and Joe Novenson are just some of those who tell of the shaping influence Dr. Clowney had on them. There is a web site dedicated to making available to a new generation the rich Christ centered preaching and teaching that marked his life.
What is the whole Bible about? How do we see Christ in the Psalms? How do we see Christ in the OT history? How do we know Christ in our suffering? No one does a better job with these topics. There is a richness and depth that cause these messages to stand out even in a day such as ours when there seems to be so much great teaching. If you listen to two messages a week you can cover the current collection.

The location is http://www.edmundclowney.com/.

We cannot return to 16th century Geneva but we can so easily access a wealth of ministry only dreamed of even 20 years ago.
Bill Douglas

Calvin & Blogs Pray for Our Nation

This handout will be in our bulletin and available generally around the church this fall. I call on us as God’s people to call on him to remember us and have mercy on us. Is this upcoming election the most important one in our lifetime? It is hard to answer that because only from a perspective of centuries can we see the flow and shape of history and the moments that became pivot points that were critical. But like football coaches who say the next game is always the most important one we can say that this November’s choices are the ones before us now and the most important ones for us in this hour. I know that God’s people will vote and will seek to be informed and we will certainly talk and comment (and over stress) about the unfolding of events. We must certainly pray because we are commanded to by the sovereign God who saves and governs. The Westminster Shorter Catechism explains that God’s provident hand (Providence with acapital “P”) is “his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions.” So we need to pray for God’s exercise of this providential intervention to glorify his Son and bless his people and his church in America.

PRAYERS FOR OUR NATION –
In this period where we as a nation will elect leaders I want to ask our church to be in prayer about this matter. We will have time every week in our service to pray together for our nation, our leaders and the advance of God’s kingdom among us.
1) Spiritual renewal in our nation. In ACTS 2:17-21 we are told that with the coming of Messiah Jesus God is fulfilling his covenant promise to send his gospel into the nations and cover the earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Pray for God to open eyes and bring many to salvation. Pray for the hearts of believers and for all of God’s people to give themselves to him for his purposes and for the advance of his gracious kingdom.

2) Our present leaders and those who will be chosen in November. In I TIMOTHY 2:1-4 we are commanded to pray for those who are in government so that the people of God may lead their lives in godliness and dignity. Pray that the American people will choose wisely and that the men and women who will guard the liberties and legacy of our nation will succeed to office. Pray for servant/leaders who see their office as a stewardship and who will be honorable and just.

3) The peace, welfare and prosperity of America. In JEREMIAH 29:7 the people of Israel are told to seek the welfare of Babylon where they temporarily reside. In like way we are to pray for and seek the blessedness and welfare of the nation that is our home in our stay on the earth. Pray for peace and the cessation of world hostility, for prosperity in business and civic life and for our children and grandchildren and the nation that they inherit.

Bill

Calvin & Blogs : Work Under The Sun Part 2

There is no separation into categories of Christian wok and secular work. The Latin word voccare means calling and is where we get the word “vocation”. What ever work you are doing is your calling – your voccare – from God. The man who teaches the Bible as the way he earns his pay – as I do – and the man who sells cars or programs computers or is a gardener are on equal footing in terms of the spirituality of his work. We are each doing the thing our Creator and Savior asks of us. Christian work is the work you as a Christian do that is assigned to you by God.
A testimony I remember from years ago was a man who was explaining how he had been had been called away from his former job to join the staff of a para-church ministry and work as a missionary. His point was he wanted not to just give God what he called his “tired” hours. He saw that evangelism and teaching the Bible and leading a group were acts of service to God but sitting at his desk in his former situation was just waiting till 5 pm and he could again serve God. I have no problem with his new call but I do have a problem with the poor way he saw his former call.

George Herbert in his poem The Elixer states it properly.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine:
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th’ action fine.

Calvin and Blogs Work Under The Sun

Summer is over – I am always glad to see it arrive but ready to move on when it is September and Labor Day. We probably have moved far from the intent for which Labor Day was established but it is a good time to think again about what God says about our Labor (and rest) “under the sun”.
Work is given to us in the Garden before the fall and not after. There is certainly an element of futility (Romans 8 20) in our work and the results of our work now are under the weight of the fall but work itself is not a curse. God is a worker and we who bear his image are also workers.
All work has dignity because it comes from God. Because our culture is only Christian in it’s symbols and history we have taken on the poor values of a passing world in regard to work. The world values work because it pays money – and the more money the more value it has. It values work because it gives fame and status. But the Bible tells us all work that comes from God has value that he assigns to it. Paul tells the Colossians to do their work as unto God and to do everything to the glory of God. If you are waiting on the world around you to give you value and meaning you will chase the wind. But the Bible points us to lasting and solid understanding about our daily tasks. The work Adam and Eve were given in the garden was not just busy work. Their work mattered because God had made the garden and God had made them. The man who sits at the chairman’s desk and the man who cleans offices at night each have the same opportunity to serve God and have dignity in their work because they are doing what their Creator has assigned to them. Remember this in how you think about all of your tasks and in how you speak to and treat those with whom you share your work day.