Working 9 to 5 Helping People Excel in the Marketplace by Pastor Jim Herring

Working 9 to 5
Helping People Excel in the Marketplace
by Pastor Jim Herring

Rev. Jim Herring is gifted Bible teacher who ministers God’s Word in a passionate, powerful, and practical way.  The focus of Jim’s ministry is to help believer’s overcome the trials of life, walk by faith, and reach their full potential in life.

Jim graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma specializing in Pastoral ministry.  He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Ministry from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas.

Jim and his lovely wife, Samantha, are the founders and senior Pastors of Abundant Life Family Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  They lead a vibrant, thriving, and multi-cultural church in the heart of Texas.  Jim and Samantha are also the proud parents of two children, Annabel and Andrew.

Do you remember this song?

“Workin’ nine to five
What a way to make a livin’
Barely gettin’ by
It’s all takin’ and no givin’
They just use your mind
And they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

Nine to five, for service and devotion
You would think that I
Would deserve a fair promotion
Want to move ahead
But the boss won’t seem to let me
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me.”

If you said, 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton, you are correct!  More importantly, her words express the frustration, anxiety, and disappointment that many people feel on the job.  In a recent survey I ran across in Rev. Magazine, only a small percentage of people felt they received anything at church that helped them on the job.  In other words, our eloquent, impressive, and deeply theologically messages are having little impact upon people professionally.  As a result of this sobering statistic, I began to research what God’s Word has to say about work.  I knew God’s Word spoke about it, but I was shocked to find out how much.

Even though there are variations of use, the words “work, works, working, and worked” are used 714 times in the New King James Version.  The word “labor” is used 172 times.  I found out that God has a lot to say about work even if we have been surprisingly silent.

According to statistics based on research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work and work-related activities consume about 60% of our time.*  Since this is such and important part of our life, God has given lots of instruction.  Here are a few important points to remember.

1. God is a Worker!

In the very beginning of the Bible we discover that God is a worker.

Genesis 1:1
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The word “created” denotes work.  It is significant that the first reference to God mentions His work.  In addition, the Bible also tells us that God finished His work.

Genesis 2:1-2
1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Notice, God ended all His work and He rested from all His work!  God is a WORKER!

2. God created people to work!

We were created in the image of God to manifest His character and nature in the earth.  The Bible also says we are to imitate our Heavenly Father (Eph 5:1).  In what ways should we imitate Him?  In His love? Of, course.  In His compassion?  Of, course.  What about His work and work ethic?  Yes, that too! 

According to Genesis chapter one, the first thing that God gave man was His image.  The second thing God gave man was work.

Genesis 1:26-28
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The word “dominion” means rulership.  God created us to rule the earth on His behalf.  In addition, God planted a garden in Eden and gave Adam more work.

Genesis 2:15
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

It is important that we understand God gave man a purpose and a job before He gave Adam a woman.  Can I have an Amen?  Love is wonderful, but in the words of a hungry wife, “It don’t pay the bills!”

In addition, God has established consequences for those who refuse to work.  Notice, I said “refuse” to work.  There are times when people lose their job or suffer unfortunate circumstances and it affects their income.  In those cases, we should help people get back on their financial feet.  However, there are people who “mooch” and do not work.  What does the Bible say about those folks?

2 Thessalonians 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Notice, what the Apostle Paul said, “If anyone will not work”.  There is a difference between losing your job, or trying to find a job, and defiantly refusing to work.

What should happen if people “will not work”?  According to the Bible, “they should not eat.” In other words, being hungry was a God ordained consequence for refusing to work.

3. Your work matters to God!

God is a worker, He created you to work, and your work matters to God.

Colossians 3:23, NLT
23 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

People need to be aware that what they do from 9 to 5 matters to God.  It represents a huge portion of their life and it is a part of their divine calling.

It is easy for the church to make people who work in a “secular” profession feel inferior.  Let me give you an example.  When we give testimonies at church, we often celebrate someone who leaves the “secular” field to answer the call to ministry.  Conversely, we often fail to celebrate those who are called to be a light for the Lord in the “secular” world (Mat 5:16)!  Yes, we should celebrate those who answer the call to “ministry”.  However, we should also celebrate those who are influencing the secular world with the Gospel while serving and being a blessing in their local church. 

In conclusion, let me share a few ways our work helps accomplish God’s work.

1. Through my work I am able to serve people!

Galatians 5:13
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

God has called us to serve one another.  Work is one of the main ways that we can fulfill the command of God to serve one another!

2. Through my work I am able to meet my needs and the needs of my family.

1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The Bible tells us to provide for our family.  Work is one of the main ways we can obey His Word and provide for our family.

3. Through my work I am able to earn money to give.

Ephesians 4:28
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

God wants His people to be generous.  How can we be generous financially without having any money?  Work enables us to have something to give.

4. Through my work I can love God.

Are we commanded to serve one another?  Yes.
Are we commanded to provide for our family?  Yes.
Are we commanded be generous and give?  Yes.

When I do these things, am I obeying the commands of God?  Yes!

Notice what God says about those who obey His commands.

John 14:21
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.

Through our work we can serve others, provide for our family, and be generous.
Through our work we can obey God’s commands.
Through our work we can love God – which, my friend, is the greatest commandment of all!

*Statistics taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor at  Stats were based on an employed person between the ages of 25-54 with children under the age of 18 (subtracting time spent eating, drinking, and sleeping).