Leong Tien Fock
Mission with joy
Leong Tien Fock
The actions of government will always create unintended consequences eg the announcement of MCO to restrict movement ended up causing too much movement: panic buying and balik kampung.
Likewise Joseph's life was marked by unintended consequences. If the brothers did not sell Joseph to Egypt, Joseph would not have saved Israel.
Something that seems to have setbacks can bring us hope. Unintended consequences can give us joy.
Big idea: God's purpose cannot be stopped. Any effort to stop God's purpose will promote it.
In Philippians, Paul was in prison, but that led the gospel to be shared to palace guards.
"And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ."
Actually, in Greek, Paul was imprisoned "in" Christ. Not for Christ. What does that mean?
Paul was in Christ because the gospel changed his life. The gospel is now in him. The preaching caused him to be imprisoned. And the prison guards heard how a persecutor like Paul could be changed by Christ. So the gospel advances.
How does the gospel advance?
Words + Life
How does the gospel appear to be held back?
Envy + rivalry (rooted in selfish ambition)
But nevertheless the Gospel still advances. It has its own power, even when people preach out of selfish ambition.
This is how we find joy in mission.
Richard Nelson bolles, who pivoted from preacher to job counselor, has written the book: what colour is your parachute.
In the appendix, he writes from the Christian perspective. The job hunt gives us the chance to reflect on the subsoil of our soul. We want to do something unique: we want to know what our Mission is.
Our whole Life is a Mission. Regardless of paid work, our life can advance the gospel.
Key question: How can we advance the gospel through our life, regardless of paid work?
Case study: business
Business is about making profit. How do we advance the gospel in making money? (If we can answer this, we can extrapolate this for any other field)
How do we make profit?
- Serve.Do we serve our customer through quality products and services? All good business offers endless opportunity to serve.
- motive. Do we serve just to make money or do we do this out of joy? Business is necessary. So we have an extraordinary opportunity to meet the needs of people.
- working with love. Ultimately we love neighbor by making competitive products for human flourishing. Profit becomes the byproduct of working with love.
In this way, we experience double joy. Our good life and work testimony show how the gospel lives in us.
If it is possible through business, it is possible in any other kind of work. If the goal is just to make money, we have missed joy. Rather we are called to...
Motive to love neighbor
Work with love
What hinders us from serving with joy:
Envy and rivalry (rooted in selfish ambition)!
If we work to make money, we will envy.
Universal research on envy: people prefer less, as long as it's more than other people.
We prefer to earn less but more than other people.
We prefer to be praised more than other people.
We prefer to have lower IQ but that's better than others.
We find great joy in our life when the gospel roots out envy in our life. Our identity does not come from how we compare our performance with others. For we are in Christ.