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Handling Money, Success and Hardship (Grace at Work 4/5)

Healthy plants have deep roots and strong pillars have solid foundations. If we are to be Christians who are deeply rooted in Christ and built on the solid Rock, then we need more than mere sound bites. One means that the Lord has used throughout church history to strengthen His people’s faith and witness is reading good books. This book review series is identifying books that can serve as shovels that help you dig deeper in your Christian life.

Book: GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell. 


Very practical is the chapter dealing with “Money.” The author points out that one quarter of all the parables of Jesus are about money, because He knows that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also (Matt. 6:21). The apostle Paul “identifies three good purposes of money” -- the church, family, and ministry (1 Tim 5:8-18). He also teaches us how to use it in the right way by being stewardly. In a chapter entitled “Success,” Chapell shows that success is not to be measured by worldly standards. He gives examples that show that so-called successful people find out at some point that worldly success is fleeting. It’s “not fat paychecks or professional accolades but using God’s resources in God’s opportunities for God’s design,” that “blesses the Lord and his people” (p. 100).

”Humility” is another helpful chapter and is based on Jesus’ example working in small-town Nazareth as a carpenter and riding a donkey to enter Jerusalem rather than on a war horse. But there is “Glory” (chapter 7) in humility -- not from a sinful perspective -- but “God intends to give us zeal for our work — whether it be dirty, difficult, or mere drudgery — because it brings glory to him” (p. 121).  How? We do so when we look back to the work mandate of Genesis 2 as the goal for expressing this character in our work. “Often the glory of God is most on display where his people are most dedicated in displaying his goodness and grace in difficult and demeaning contexts” (p. 124).

“Because we are image bearers of our Lord, our Lord brings God to our workplace and sends his blessing into the world touched by our work. Christ is present in us as we work, he is present with us as we work, and he is made present to others by our work…” (p. 132). “Also, by our labors, our communities thrive, lives are vitalized, earth’s resources are stewarded for good, families are blessed, cultures advance, and faith is made possible and available for all whose lives flourish through the touch of God’s grace dispensed by those working ‘as for the Lord and not for men’ (Col. 3:3)” (pp. 142-3).

What encouragement and direction do you find from the fact that Christ is present in His people, present with His people, and presented to others through our work?


GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell.  Published by Crossway, 1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, Illinois, 60187, 2022. Softcover, 233 pages.

Buy this book by clicking here.

-       This is adapted from Mrs. Ricky (Frederika) Pronk’s book reviews in The Messenger. She is a member of Grace Free Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario and, together with her husband Rev. C. Pronk, is involved in Reformed Book Services


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