1. We can make much of God in our secular job through the fellowship that we enjoy with him throughout the day in all our work.
In this way we fellowship with God, listening to him through his Word and thanking him and praising him and calling on him for all we need. It is an honor to God if you stay in your secular job ‘with God’ in this way. This is not a wasted life. God delights in being trusted and enjoyed. It shows his value.
2. We make much of Christ in our secular work by the joyful, trusting, God-exalting design of our creativity and industry.
The essence of our work as humans must be that it is done in conscious reliance on God’s power, and in conscious quest of God’s pattern of excellence, and in deliberate aim to reflect God’s glory.
3. We make much of Christ in our secular work when it confirms and enhances the portrait of Christ’s glory that people hear in the spoken Gospel.
This is by having such high standards of excellence and such integrity and such manifest goodwill that we put no obstacles in the way of the Gospel but rather call attention to the all-satisfying beauty of Christ. When we adorn the Gospel with our work, we are not wasting our lives.
4. We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning money to keep us from depending on others, while focusing on the helpfulness of our work rather than financial rewards.
Christ has lifted the curse of work. He has replaced anxious toil with trust in God’s promise to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) and has thus awakened in us a different passion in our work. We turn with joy to the call of Jesus: Seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness, and the food that perishes will be added to you. So don’t labor for the food that perishes. Labor to love people and honor God. Think of new ways that your work can bless people. Stop thinking mainly of profitability, and think mainly of how helpful your product or service can become.
Jesus calls us to be aliens and exiles in the world. Not by taking us out of the world, but by changing, at the root, how we view the world and how we do our work in it. If we simply work to earn a living-if we labor for the bread that perishes-we will waste our lives. But if we labor with the sweet assurance that God will supply all our needs-that Christ died to purchase every undeserved blessing-then all our labor will be a labor of love and a boasting only in the cross.
We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning money with the desire to use our money to make others glad in God.
Our secular work can become a great God-exalting blessing to the world if we aim to take the earnings we don’t need for ourselves (and we need far less than we think) and meet the needs of others in the name of Jesus.
6. We make much of Christ in our secular work by treating the web of relationships it creates as a gift of God to be loved by sharing the Gospel and by practical deeds of help.
God has woven you into the fabric of others’ lives so that you will tell them the Gospel. Without this, all our adorning behavior may lack the one thing that could make it live-giving. The Christian’s calling includes making his or her mouth a fountain of life. ‘The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life’ (Proverbs 10:11). The link with eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ. No nice feelings about you as a good employee will save anyone. People must know the Gospel, which is the power of God unto eternal life (Romans 1:16).
If you work like the world, you will waste your life, no matter how rich you get. But if your work creates a web of redemptive relationships and becomes an adornment for the Gospel of the glory of Christ, your satisfaction will last forever and God will be exalted in your joy.