I want to weave several strands of thinking together for you, the result of which I hope will give you pleasure.
Here’s the first one. Have you ever made a unique contribution to a work project such that it becomes completely obvious that only you could have done it?
Everyone else recognizes your skill and gives you thanks, credit and respect. If you’ve been there and done that you will know how deeply pleasurable it is when that occurs.
Add another strand. Suppose your unique contribution came because you were doing what you do best, love to do and, in a sense, are designed to do.
You now have a triple pleasure of making a contribution along with producing it from your core skills as well as being recognized for it.
Another thinking strand is this. Suppose the contribution you make comes at a time when the situation seems utterly hopeless. Everyone has run out of ideas, no one knows what to do and all seems lost. Your solution is daring, unique, surprising and perfectly timed.
If we could add to that the thought that what you did changed or saved lives then your satisfaction levels would be sky high and the feeling glorious.
These are real work scenarios and perhaps you have tasted some of this heady mixture. I hope so.
Perhaps, however, you feel that such dream experiences are all too rare, only existing infrequently and then in the so-called “ideal world”.
But the ideal world is what the Son of Man came to introduce to your struggling world.
Let me try to weave his strands into yours by observing his work-style as he handles the death of his friend Lazarus.
As you saw in the last edition, he delays. This deliberate action means that what he eventually does would be a unique contribution that only he can do.
The result will be one which everyone recognizes can only be because of the skill and power of the Son of Man himself.
As you know from John’s 11th chapter, the raising of Lazarus came at a time when everyone thought the situation was hopeless. Dead for four days and the pungent aroma from his corpse meant that everyone thought all was lost.
The Son of Man’s actions literally saved one life but changes countless others (including his own).
So I am going to suggest that this is the way the Son of Man works. It gives us an ideal of work he wants to show you, do for you, in you and through you. It’s a multi-dimensional model (at least five) which will produce immense satisfaction.
But there is a final thread which needs to run through everything. Jesus reveals a core motivation in his actions. In fact his actions also reveal his core motivation.
The action is resurrection. It comes from his core because he says “I Am resurrection”.
His whole story and indeed the model is bathed in an old fashioned word. Glory. Jesus wants himself and his Father to be glorified. Resurrection is the ultimate mechanism.
Now you have your tapestry and it’s glorious. It contains complex woven strands of unique contributions, recognition by all, working out of core skills, exquisite timing and saving life. But the heart of it is God’s glory.
So this week you can ask questions around all these issues, which we will soon, but here’s the big one; “Does God get the glory”?
Can you see it? It’s not a self-absorbed, insecure god who needs our compliments. The glory of God arrives when you make unique contributions recognized by all, working out of your core skills with perfect timing resulting in changed lives.
This is what a resurrected work-life looks like. This is what the glory of God looks like. Next week we will see what the glory of God on earth looks like in more detail.
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
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