New Testament verses with commentary relating to your job and career. All verses are in the New International Version.
Matthew 6:11: “Give us today our daily bread.”
Regardless of our level of wealth or career success, God wants us to continue to trust in Him for our “daily bread.”
The word “bread” refers to the necessities of life, such as, food, shelter and clothing. Petitioning God for your “daily bread” demonstrates your ongoing faith in Him. By doing this you are recognizing that the work you do and the fruits of that work are rooted in His grace. Whether you actually grow the food, build the shelter, or make the clothes – or your labor provides the income to buy these things – God is the Giver of the work talents and resources needed to acquire your “daily bread.” Your Daily Bread
Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
The Greek root of the word “worry” means to strangle. To worry is to be strangled by life’s uncertainties. Worried people are choking themselves with a foreboding sense of misfortune. Worrying holds you back and gets you nowhere.
Any number of thoughts can cross your mind throughout the work day, but you control which ones are invited in to take root. Replace your worries with God’s promises. Philippines 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. No More Toxic Thinking
Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
All of us in the workplace make frequent judgment calls about co-workers, customers, and situations. For the believer and unbeliever alike, making judgment calls is part of the job. It is the everyday norm, not the exception. The issue for the believer is to judge others in ways and with motives consistent with God’s Word.
In the context of this verse when Jesus says “Do not judge…” He is telling us to not condemn others with habitual criticism. To paraphrase Matthew 7:1, “Do not be a self-righteous and habitual critic of others.”
No one, including God, likes a self-righteous condemner.
Evaluating facts, considering options, and distinguishing between right and wrong are constructive and sensible actions. But, the persistent condemnation of those around you, e.g. your co-workers, is to be avoided. How to Judge Others
Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
We refer to this verse as the “Golden Rule” because of its great value. There is probably no better principle for guiding your workplace relationships than to treat others as you would like to be treated.
In this verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is saying that following the Golden Rule begins with us. We take the initiative – we “do” it first.
We “do” our part in “everything”according to God’s Word, and then He takes care of the rest. Golden Rule Relationships
Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’“
As a Christian in the workplace you are uniquely equipped to affirm the value of the work of others. All honorable work and the workers who do it deserve our respect.
Take the lead in recognizing the good work of others at your place of employment. Do this to “the least of these”without regard to a person’s position, pay, or prestige. The Worker’s Dignity
Mark 6:3: “‘Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.”
Jesus was a carpenter by trade. He picked up tools and made things. Jesus could have worked in another occupation, such as a physician, priest, scholar, fisherman or shepherd or even an earthly king.
But, why did Jesus choose to be a carpenter? He did so because carpenters make things of utility and value. The carpenter does the work, and the object in his hand yields to his design. Carpenters have a plan. They take what is common and make it special.
Carpenters are builders, and this is what God wants Christians to understand – Jesus Christ is a builder. Jesus builds in both the natural and the supernatural. He is the Master Carpenter, and you are His project. When you show up to work – He shows up to work. Why Was Jesus a Carpenter?
Mark 10:42-44: “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.’”
Note that Jesus does not rebuke his disciples for wanting “to become great.” The word “great” here in the Greek refers to persons who are eminent for their ability or authority. In today’s culture this is synonymous with influence.
The word “great”has the same root as the English prefix “mega.” As a Christian you can develop mega-abilities, exercise mega-authority and become a person of mega-influence. It’s all okay with God so long as your work-life honors Him. You can be an influential business owner, team leader, manager, subject matter expert etc., but let God use you along the way to advance His purposes. The Servant Leader
Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
This verse speaks to Jesus’ life as a young man before beginning His public ministry and it was during these formative years that He “grew in wisdom and stature.” Jesus “grew” according to His Father’s will and some of that growth occurred while He was on-the-job as a carpenter. While working at His trade, Jesus submitted to His Father and in return His Father shaped and blessed Him.
What better way to experience Christianity in action than through your everyday work-life experiences. The fact is most of the on-the-job issues we face are the basic issues of life, such as success or failure, pride or humility, peace or turmoil, forgiveness or resentment, faith or fear etc.
God can touch you just as powerfully from Monday through Friday at work as He can on Sunday morning in church. Bringing God to Work
Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
These verses record the story of Jesus’ return to his hometown of Nazareth where He announced the purpose of His ministry. Note the words Jesus uses: “good news … proclaim freedom … recovery … release … favor.” Jesus evangelized Nazareth with good news, and not condemnation.
“To preach good news” is translated from the Greek word euaggelizo, which is the root of the English word, evangelize. To evangelize is to announce the Messiah. The NKJV translates the same word in Luke 8:1 as “bringing the glad tidings.”
Your ministry in the workplace is not to condemn others, but to bring them the “good news” and “glad tidings”of Jesus Christ. Bringing Good News to Work
Luke 6:45: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Jesus Christ changes every aspect of your life for the better and this includes the way you speak. Being articulate and insightful concerning your job responsibilities is one thing, but honoring Jesus in every workplace conversation is an altogether more powerful attribute.
Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I be a better witness in the workplace?” Start by aligning your words with the character of Jesus Christ. How to Speak to Others
John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.”
Jesus Christ is the most influential person who ever lived. Two thousand years ago He changed the world, and today over two billion people are still following His teachings. This verse reveals one key to Jesus’ greatness, and that is He only did “the will of Him who sent me.”
Jesus always obeyed His Father – in everything. Jesus was perfect because He was perfectly obedient.
As a consequence of His obedience, Jesus completed all the work He was sent to do. He heard and followed His Father’s voice despite the world’s distractions. Jesus was focused, secure, and decisive. He never wavered, wasn’t wishy-washy, and always made the right choices.
What worked for Jesus, i.e. unshakable obedience to the Father, will work for you too. The Yielded Life
John 12:42-43: “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
Why do we remain silent about God at those times when our spirit is telling us to speak? This verse gives us two reasons.
The first reason is fear: “… they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue ….” The “they” in this verse are believers who feared rejection by their peer group – their fear of rejection stifled their speech.
The second reason is that we love “praise from men more than praise from God.” Being too needy for the world’s approval can cause us to compromise our Christian values. In the context of this passage, seeking the “approval of men”is spiritual submission to the wrong master. The Silent Christian
Acts 9:1-4: “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’”
Paul (“Saul” was his Jewish name.) was at his worst when he accepted Christ – he was “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” No sinner, no matter how bad, is beyond the reach of Jesus Christ. Like Paul, the most anti-Christian person you work with may be the very one who is closest to accepting Jesus.
Also, note that Paul accepted Christ on a roadside and not in a church. People can receive Jesus Christ anywhere, anytime, and in any circumstance including the place where they work.
What Jesus did for Paul yesterday, He is still doing for other seekers today. Lessons from Paul’s Conversion
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Trials are inevitable. They will never stop as long as you live on this side of heaven. God promises to work “good” out of “all things” and this includes every career trial you will ever experience.
You may not foresee how any good can possibly come from a particular trial, but this verse guarantees that God will bring good from it – somehow, somewhere, sometime. This is God’s promise to every Christian, i.e. “those who love him.” Proverbs 11:23 declares “The desire of the righteous ends only in good ….” God and Your Workplace Trials
Romans 14:19: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Christians are endowed with the gift of “edification.” We edify people, i.e. build them up, rather than tear them down. Most of your co-workers are doing a good job, working hard, and planning for a bright future. When you edify them you are affirming their worth and the value of their efforts.
Galatians 6:10 says “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people ….” Your edification will help to bring out the best in your co-workers. It fosters teamwork and a higher level of personal performance. The Spirit of Edification
1 Corinthians 10:3: “… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
How can you evaluate the success of your life if you don’t know the purpose of your life?
Success in the workplace is one thing, but what about success across the full spectrum of life including family, friends, and community – your well-being, values, and relationship with God? Is someone still successful if they are excelling at work yet failing God, family, or others? What’s the standard?
The fact is God defines what is or is not a successful way to live your life. He is giving us the standard in this verse when He writes: “… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The truly successful person is the one who glorifies God in every aspect of life. The Purpose of Life
2 Corinthians 1:8-9: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God ….”
Paul is writing about the “great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure” that he and his companions experienced in their Christian walk. They experienced “hardships” and “despaired even of life” and “felt the sentence of death.” The fact is God allows Christians – even “good” Christians like Paul – to experience suffering, stress, and adversity – but, how we address these hardships sets us apart from the rest of the world.
All of us will experience situations that we will not be able to handle on your own. At these times – and this is the point of the passage – we are to “not rely on ourselves but on God.”With God’s help you can handle every trial that will ever come your way. Dealing with Extreme Stress
2 Corinthians 9:6: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
The law of sowing and reaping is like the law of gravity in that it works the same way for everyone, every time.
God promises that your giving will always come back to you. For example, if you give affirmation, support, and opportunity to your co-workers – you will receive affirmation, support, and opportunity from your co-workers. There may be a season of time between the sowing and the reaping, but your harvest will come for surer.
Our flesh tells us: if we give something away we will not have enough left over for ourselves. But, Jesus Christ says the opposite. In fact, He says the more we “sow,” the more we will “reap.” Working to Give
Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We don’t do good works to get saved – we do good works because we are saved. A good work is a free and voluntary act of service for another person. Doing good works for others is the fruit of your salvation in Jesus Christ.
Why did God save us? Keeping within the context of this verse, God saved us to “do good works.” The “to do” here in the NIV is translated as “walk in them”in the KJV. Good works are a part of your new way of life. As a Christian, you walk a different walk than before. Your lifestyle is now populated with free acts of service to others, and these works are a part of your Christian witness in the workplace. Good Works in the Workplace
Philippians 4:11-12: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Paul came to know that with God’s help he could be completely satisfied “whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” He “learned” to be content – it took time and didn’t happen quickly; his learning was experiential and not intellectual.
Paul’s learning took root on the streets of real life. His life of faith led the way to his discovering “the secret of being content.” The fact is he was in chains in a Roman prison when he wrote these verses in Philippines 4.
The “secret” is not a possession, a program, or a philosophy. The “secret”is to trust every circumstance to Jesus Christ – to know His ways and to trust in His sovereignty in every circumstance. Circumstances change, but God never does. The Secret of Being Content
Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
The word “do” used here means to make, produce, or construct. Begin to see your daily labor as though you are “working for the Lord, not men.” “Do” great work with no regard for who is watching. Honor God by delivering superior results and glorify Him with your on-the-job integrity. Use all the talents and gifts God has given.
Your work excellent ethic and demeanor are a witness to your co-workers. Serving God with Your Work
1 Timothy 6:17-18: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
These verses are God’s instructions to “those who are rich.” When your season of material abundance arrives, if it hasn’t already, God is telling you to do the following:
First, enjoy your success while resisting the temptation to become “arrogant.”
Second, don’t put your “hope in wealth, which is so uncertain.” A good job or business, and its steady earnings can be here today and gone tomorrow.
Proverbs 23:5 says, “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Third, be “generous and willing to share.” Your wealth starts with God who is infinitely rich – He shares His riches with you, and then you to share those same riches with others – “do good” and “be rich in good deeds.” Generosity toward others is the key to enjoying wealth. Instructions for the Rich
Titus 2:9-10: “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”
In its historical context, this passage speaks of “slaves” and the work they do for their “masters.” “Slaves” is translated “bondservants” in the NKJV and “servants” in the KJV. These servants, whether voluntary or involuntary, comprised a large part of the labor force when Paul wrote this verse circa 70 A.D. Some of these servants held high-ranking positions in their masters’ households, and many were born-again Christians and local church members.
In today’s culture, the words “slave and master” can be loosely replaced with “employee and employer.”
Do the job you were hired to do, and do it well. Do it willingly even if your boss or circumstances are difficult. Satisfy your job requirements while being agreeable and kind. Do not speak maliciously against your employer and don’t steal your employer’s property or time. In short, Christian workers should be the best workers.
Do these things “So that in every way [you] will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” Your exemplary job performance makes Jesus Christ “attractive”to your boss, co-workers, and customers. Your Work is Your Witness
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