Marketplace Devotion 2016/06/26

Lambs with a mission

Luke 10:3

“On your way! But be careful—this is hazardous work. You’re like lambs in a wolf pack.
(Luke 10:3, the Message)

A brother recently remarked: “It always takes cunning to succeed in business. So how can Christians survive in the business world?”

Well, it’s grossly unfair to use that label on businesspeople. On the other hand, the marketplace is a highly complex arena full of pitfalls, and Christians need to take these seriously.

When Jesus sent out seventy followers to bless communities with the gospel (Luke 10: 1-6) he compared them to “lambs in a wolf pack.” We usually read this passage through the lens of missions, forgetting that every believer is actually on mission every day. The only difference is that they’re not sent to some remote village or closed country, but to our daily marketplaces. Many Christians in the corporate world have seen their fair share of corruption, greed, competition, bitterness and exploitation – all results of sin that no legal system can eradicate. So they simply grin and bear it, accepting work as a necessary evil that keeps their families fed. They soon forget their appointment as representatives (ambassadors) of Christ.

Since Jesus knows the dangers of the marketplace, isn’t he sending us to our demise? Of course not. He used the picture of lambs among wolves to wake us up, lest we dream of a world without temptations and traps. He wants to commission us as his representatives, proclaiming and living out the gospel to the wolves, so that they too may have a chance to repent. He demands our complete trust (v.4) as we go and bless all the people we encounter (v.5). This is a lifelong commitment and prayer. It’s our basic responsibility. We may not get a chance to verbally share a gospel tract, and we may not see anyone receiving Jesus. But we need to believe that Jesus gave these instructions for a reason. In Luke’s account, the seventy returned triumphantly to report, “Master, even the demons danced to your tune (v.17)!” Today, the name of Jesus still reigns supreme, and he is changing the spiritual climate of the marketplace through his followers!

Let’s take stock of our marketplaces. If all is calm, give thanks and bless everyone you meet. If it’s less than ideal, possibly full of challenges, remember the words of Jesus. Hold your ground as lambs and bless the wolves.

Remember: the One who sends you to work has promised to be with you always.

Practice:

  1. What challenges, difficulties, temptations or attacks are you facing at work?
  2. Don’t demonize your coworkers, partners, managers, customers or even competitors. You’re not their judge! God is. Your job is to bless them in the name of Jesus, praying for them one by one.
  3. Keep a record of your prayers and any progress made.

Prayer:

“Father, strengthen me. Do not let me run away. I want to receive your commission as a representative of Christ, and proclaim his blessing everywhere in the marketplace. Amen.”