[November 19, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Work Isn’t Everything

By Lisa Zulke

I LOVE to work. I love the work I get to do. I love the outcomes of the work I have found. I am not my work. That last one is hard to say with confidence. For more of my working years than not, I have been tangled up in hustle and productivity and the thrill of seeing the difference that what I have contributed makes. Work has a way of tying us in knots so that we don’t notice how we got there, or have the energy to untangle the knots and stand outside our work.

As we heard today, work is not bad. But work outside of God, or work without God, can be. It can lead us to an imbalance where our identity is confused with our productivity and impact. And then I become a tool toward that end…someone who is useful.

Over the past few years, God has been walking with me to understand who he created me to be and how remarkably enough I am in his eyes. No matter what. No matter that the work of the week isn’t finished. (There is always more. And next. And what about…)

God created me (and you). He gave us gifts, interests, skills, and experiences that make up the DNA of our identity as children of the living God. And yet, he did not give us those gifts, interests, skills, and experiences so that we would go and be useful. Or even so that we would make an impact. I have come to trust and believe that God created me just as I am because he saw a place for me in the world, and HE wanted to spend time with me.

It’s a head-tilt truth. A flip-the-script kind of truth. God created us so that HE could be with someone like us and join us as we move into the world with him. So that we would find the posture of being a child of God as one of traveling alongside someone. Of talking with them about our day, our work, and what our tiredness feels like. God wants you and I to invite him into every moment of every day, in work and in rest, as a partner, a guide, a father, and a friend.

What would my days look like if I moved in that posture, in partnership with God? What would that do to my thought patterns? To the rise and fall of my emotions? To my words or my actions? To my presence and availability to those around me?

May you let the goodness of Jesus catch up with you on this week of thanksgiving. And in that space, may you and Jesus find a rhythm of rest and presence.

"Sabbath is an invitation to stop and remember that God is good and you have been given a good life. It is an invitation to celebrate the good gifts you have been given. It is a liberation from the need to be finished."

–Justin McRoberts


[Monday, November 20]

Exodus 20:8-11

As you read Justin’s definition of Sabbath above, and read the passage in Exodus, what do you learn about the idea of Sabbath? What is helpful about considering Sabbath as a practice? What would it look like for you to set aside to for a rest practice (sabbath practice)? Consider starting where you are…if that is 30 minutes, one hour, half a day…that is enough. Invite God to join you in that time and see what he does with your invitation.


[Tuesday, November 21]

Genesis 2:1-3

You and I did not create the world. But we likely do alot at our workplace. That might be at home, an office, a business, a store. Whatever work you have right now consider…is it ever finished? How would a pause to truly rest, and rest "with" God change your view toward work and the people you work with?


[Wednesday, November 22]

Matthew 3:13-17

The first time you read this passage, hear and experience through Jesus’ eyes. Now, read it again and consider the words and actions as if they were happening directly to you. Write out God’s words toward you, his child and tuck them in a place you’ll see them regularly. Invite God to speak these words to you daily, when you are at work or at rest. Pay attention to how this impacts your thoughts, feelings and actions.


[Thursday, November 23]

Galatians 5:1-15

This passage speaks of how Jesus has set us free. Paul is imploring the followers of Jesus in Galatia to not carry the burden of the old ways, because those old ways were fulfilled and made null by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They were tangled in knots. How do you get tangled in the messages of work, worth, identity and rest? What messages might you be carrying that are not from God? In verses 7-9: "You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!" How can you reset your race toward God?


[Friday, November 24]

Galatians 5:16-26

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" If the Holy Spirit were guiding our lives, how would they look different? How would they feel different? Invite God to meet you in any gap between where you are living your life and where his Spirit would draw you to live differently.



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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