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6/10/12 Title: “Young Adults 1: Thinking About a Career” Mark 6:2-3
A. New series directly toward youth and young adults: Career, adult relationships with parents, finding a spouse
B. The Bible says a lot of things which are important in thinking about career.
1. The Christian young person needs to listen to God’s word as he goes through the process of thinking about career.
C. Read Mark 6:2-3 – The word translated carpenter: means builder, often with wood, but also with stone. The buildings in this part of the world were made with stone. There are very few trees around and stones are everywhere. So, pretty much everything was made of stone. It was the only thing affordable.
a. There are the ruins of buildings in this area which were built at this time. Some of them may have been built by Jesus and/or his father.
II. The example of Jesus
A. Careers are as old as mankind. The first people born on earth were Cain and Abel. And already there was specialization to the point that Cain was a herdsman and Abel was a crop-growing farmer.
B. According to Mark 6, before beginning his messianic ministry, Jesus was a builder.
1. Apparently his father Joseph had died and Jesus had taken over the business.
2. As the oldest child, he probably worked to provide for his large family.
3. Perhaps this was one of the reasons Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until age 30. By then, some of his younger brothers were old enough to provide for the family.
4. Jesus was not above working with His hands.
a. He was in construction: Carrying rocks, mixing mortar, getting dirty, smashing fingers
b. What work is below you? Ones that get you dirty? Ones that make you sweat? Ones that don’t use all your intellectual capabilities?
5. He was not above following in his father’s footsteps and being his father’s apprentice.
6. Obviously, God had a higher calling for Him, and He knew it.
a. But He was willing to do the little things in preparation for the big things.
III. The two primary things the Bible says about one’s work, which need to be kept in mind when you’re thinking about deciding on a career direction.
A. Work is a vocation not just an occupation.
1. It’s more about who you’re working for than what you do.
2. And ultimately it is the Lord you are serving, not a boss, not yourself, not your family. (Though providing for oneself and one’s family is a Christian duty. – 1Tim.5:8)
3. “Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:22-25)
4. Careers don’t fulfill
5. And you are ultimately seeking heavenly reward, not earthly.
6. Connection with the Caller, desire to listen
B. Work is all about loving your neighbor, not benefitting yourself.
1. Most people work ultimately for themselves, many times to get ahead of one’s neighber.
a. ECC 4:4 I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
2. But Jesus has called us to be servants of our neighbors, to do our work to benefit them.
3. These two principles are simply the application of the greatest commandment to the issue of the workplace. What is the greatest commandment? To love the Lord. And there’s a second like it: to love your neighbor as yourself. What is the greatest commandment in choosing a career?
4. A second like it: To love your neighbor as yourself
a. How is God leading you to serve Him in this needy world?
b. Eph.4:28 “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”
c. Immoral careers: doing good? Meeting human needs?
IV. How do you decide what God wants you to do?
A. Confucius quote: find something you're passionate about and you’ll never work a day in your life.
1. There is a good point here. You want to do what God made you to do, and that often means doing something you enjoy. But Gen.3:17-19 work was cursed
B. What you're good at
1. Gifts given to serve the body
2. Not just spiritual gifts to serve the body of Christ, but talents, skills and abilities to serve the body of mankind.
C. What you feel called to
D. Your personality
E. What you think is needed
1. God directs us through our consciences and convictions
F. These are the kinds of things that often get mentioned in helping people choose a career, but there are other things we need to consider.
1. It is not as though the ultimate purpose of God in history is to make human society function well, with each piece doing its part in the proper way.
2. This is a good goal to strive for, but there are many other goals as well, some of which are more important.
G. God is sovereign over careers.
1. He made you the way you are.
2. Open and closed doors
3. God may not lead you to find a career that fits you well. And even if He does, it might not be easy.
a. If work is cursed with toil, then finding it might also be toilsome.
b. Sometimes these dots all line up and it’s pretty obvious what career you should pursue.
c. Other times it is unclear, and some go most or all of their lives without a sense of vocation.
H. God is all about dealing with the state of our hearts. His ultimate purposes for us are heavenly ones, not earthly ones.
V. Factors which shouldn’t play a part.
A. Money, greed, the danger of unholy motivations
1. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1Timothy 6:10)
B. Easy: Laziness: the sluggard – Wanting the prize without running the race.
1. Pr.28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
A. God wants us to work. And He wants us to work hard. And He wants us to enjoy our work.
B. But there’s something He wants even more. He wants us to know that He works for us. He wants us to enjoy His work for us. He worked to make us. He worked to make this world for us. He works to engineer everything in the world to work together for good. And He sent His Son into our world to work for our salvation. Ultimately Jesus walked away from building with physical stones and began a grand project of building a massive temple for Him to live in, made of living, human stones.