I am My Work – Lies of the Enemy #19– Purity 1031
Purity 1031 05/01/2023 Purity 1031 Podcast
Purity 1031 on YouTube: Coming Soon!
Today’s photo of Arthur Parton’s oil on canvas painting “Scene on the Housatonic River” comes to us from yours truly as I captured this work of art on film while visiting the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield Massachusetts on Saturday. While the weather was rainy on and off all weekend, my wife and I decided to seize the day on Saturday and “do something” so we enjoyed each other’s company while exploring the modest exhibits that highlighted man’s innovative and artistic spirit but that was also tempered by the harsh reality of our physical impermanence.
While we can appreciate the beauty of Arthur Parton’s painting, the artist departed this mortal coil over 100 years ago, dying in 1914. Similarly while we could appreciate the unchanging beauty of an impressive display of rocks and minerals at the Berkshire, the collection of stuffed or mummified remains of the what used to be living and breathing animals or people reminded us that although preserved, the flesh didn’t fare so well over time, or after death. Some of the displays were positively creepy but paradoxically they made me thankful for my faith in Christ, because regardless what happens to my physical remains after I die, I know that although I may die, because I believe in Jesus, I shall live. (John 11:25).
Well, it’s Monday again, so its back to work for most of us but even though most of us have to make the ends meet and will spend a good deal of our lives at work, today our current series will challenge the common belief that our work defines who we are.
While there is a fair amount of truth that our work lives will say a lot about us as people, we are here to contest the lie that “I am My Work.” Although we could preserve some of our handiwork in a museum like Arthur Parton’s “Scene on the Housatonic River”, the thing that will endure forever is not the work of our hands or imaginations. And ironically, there is no amount of work we can do to secure our place in eternity.
As a reminder we are currently “working on” a continuing series, the Lies of the Enemy, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.
Today’s big lie is:
Lie #19: I am My Work.
While our work can be a large part of our identity here on earth, we are not our work. Many a retiree discovers just how valuable their hard work is after they are no longer doing it. After they retire, they discover just how disposable they were as the next generation comes in to take their place. Similarly shifts in economic and business trends over the passage of time has shown us how entire industries that once defined the “way of the world”, fade away as new technological innovations or new companies make the “big and mighty”, small and obsolete.
This was highlighted to me more than once during our visit to the Berkshire Museum as the antiquities on display testified to the things that once were but that are now no longer. There was a display on Children’s Literature and I marveled over how “Little Golden Books” which began in the 1940s was such a huge and impactful industry affecting the lives of generations of children in the decades since then and how are now, while they are still available, are not the cultural force they used to be. While “everybody” had those books when I was little, they are not as prevalent today as things have changed.
While Golden books is still out there, other industries have gone the way of the dodo all together and I am sure there are retired people who are still alive today that can tell you all about how their jobs are “no longer”. What used to define their working lives and a big part of who they were is now “gone with the wind.”
I don’t mean to depress by the fact that we are not our jobs but only seek to encourage us to seek our identity according to the One who made us: God.
All those displays at the museum testified to the fact that things don’t last, so in order to have peace we need to seek our meaning and purpose in the One who will last forever: God.
While various cultures have different ideas about what happens when you die, the museum had a mummy on display to testify of this, the Lord sought to give us the Truth about life and death, meaning and purpose, by sending Jesus to tell us like it is and to show us that He is God incarnate by defeating death and the grave.
And amazingly, Jesus came to tell us that we could be part of His eternal kingdom and we don’t even have to “work for it”. In
11:25-26 (NKJV) Jesus said to Martha, all of us:
25 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
While we could disagree with someone who just “said” things like this, Jesus proved He was the resurrection and the life – by rising from the dead, ascending to heaven, and giving new spiritual lives to those who put their faith in Him.
And Jesus’ words tell us that we receive this new life by just believing in Him! The Apostle Paul seeks to make the way to life everlasting clear in:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
It’s not our work that will save us. Its by faith alone, in Christ alone that we will receive and enjoy eternal life.
As faith in Christ in our society is becoming increasingly rare and disparaged, people increasingly seek to find their identity and purpose in their work. I’m including a couple of links to articles on the blog today to testify to the failure of the “gospel of workism” to save us (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/religion-workism-making-americans-miserable/583441/ ) , and even modern psychology’s assurance that we are not our jobs ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/201903/you-are-not-your-work ) but no matter what insights or assertions those articles share about “buying free time” or “identifying your own personal purpose” I want to encourage you to look beyond yourself and to seek the Lord and His wisdom to discover who you are, what really matters, and what God’s purpose is for your life.
So as we go into another week of work, do a good job and get those ends met and do your best to meet your professional goals but remember that you are not your work. You are a piece of God’s creative work and He made you for a purpose in His kingdom and in Christ you will never find yourself “out of a job” or declared to be “obsolete” as He has future and a hope for all who trust in Him and decide to follow where He is leading.
For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses :
Isaiah 60:18, 22 (NLT2)
18 Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there.
…. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.”
Today’s verse assures us of the future and the hope that we have in Christ as Isaiah prophesied about life beyond the millennial kingdom as God will some day make a new heaven and a new earth.
Yeah this passage of scripture is looking at the end times because although it sounds like these verses just point to the end of war – the intervening verses of 19,20, and 21 talk about cosmic changes as the Lord will somehow replace the sun and moon and become our “everlasting light”. This verbiage is reiterated by
Revelation 21:23 (NLT2)
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
So, when God brings “peace on earth” – He will be the light that shines upon us and illuminates our meaning and purpose, taking away all that is warped, evil, or broken. We won’t have to work to know who we are or to be accepted as the Lord will show us what to do and how to live in the new heaven and new earth and our praise of Him will never leave our lips.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we begin sharing from “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).
Satan, Demons & Satanism
A Sinister Reality
by June Hunt
B. What Is Satanism?
Satanism is not just a hodgepodge of occultic activity, but a religion that demands worship and allegiance to Satan. Devotion to the devil and his legion of demons can take the form of worshiping Satan himself, or it can be participation in various occultic activities that open doors to the demonic. Operating in this world since the Garden of Eden, Satan deceives and demands compliance with his desires. His ultimate goal is to replace God.
“The devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” ’ ”
• Satanism is a religion that worships and declares allegiance to Satan.
— Ritualistic ceremonies promote a relationship with Satan and call on his power.
— Secret rituals may involve sacrificial killings, black magic and the black mass.
— It is illegal and underground.
• Satanism is also a religion based on the exaltation of evil with no belief in a personal devil.
— It consists of complete indulgence in orgies and other sexual obscenities.
— Rituals include the use of magic to achieve personal desires.
— It is legal and tax-exempt.
Q “If God is so powerful, why doesn’t He destroy Satan and Satanism?”
He will. The day will come when Satan is cast forever into the lake of fire. To face annihilation? No—that would be too tame! The destiny of the devil is never ending torment … eternal punishment … “day and night for ever and ever.”
“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 3–4.