LessonGFW: God, Family, Work

I think a lot about the importance of studying God’s word, because of the impact it can have in our lives and the lives of those around us. And this week I once again realize it’s not always easy living the Christian life.

Life itself can bring with it struggles, pain, hurt, and loss all of which distract us from its real purpose. Perhaps just as important, blessings, success, joy, and a good life can also do the same. Having a job you enjoy, a hobby or friends, a close family – all good in and of themselves can distract us from our walk with Christ as easily as painful times sometimes do.

This week, I thought it would be good for us to reflect on our walk. What struggles, pain, joy, and blessings are you experiencing and are they distracting you from your walk with Christ?

I find that to outline, study, and prepare a lesson each week takes between six and twelve hours. Some shorter, some longer, but a few good evenings of study and preparation are needed each week. Load this on top of a desire to have some quiet time with the Lord, a daily reading perhaps, and some time for prayer; and suddenly things can get overwhelming pretty quickly.

Compounding my desire to have a strong walk with Christ is my desire to be a good dad, a good husband, a good friend, and now a good granddad. Then, there’s the work I enjoy and my desire to excel at it, as I try to do with everything in my life. Squeezed in there somewhere are also hobbies – I really enjoy photography and golf, and a need to have some rest….and oh yes, there’s the hour and a half drive to work each day -- and the same or longer coming home.

Man, I’m exhausted just thinking about it … and then I remember … wait a minute…there’s that church committee meeting, Sunday School meeting, or ministry activity at church that also needs attention, and the lesson from the preacher that we’ll be judged on our works as Christians. Boy, I’ll be so exhausted I might doze off on Judgment Day! – Sorry, bad humor; but you get my point.

So this week has been no different, and as I headed in to the office earlier in the week, I saw a common bumper sticker that we see here in the Washington DC area: a white oval with the bold black letters “OBX” on it -- which stands for a popular east coast vacation spot in North Carolina called the Outer Banks. It reminded me a of Promise Keepers sticker I had purchased years ago with three black bold letters on it – GFW. Perhaps you remember it, or even have one.


The GFW stands for God, Family, Work – and they’re meant to show the priority of our life’s activities – God first, followed by Family, followed by Work. It’s a good one for getting our thinking and our priorities refocused.

So for this week let’s give some thought to the verses below and do the following analysis.

  1. Read Genesis Chapter 2. Where exactly did God place Man when He created him?
  2. What was God’s purpose for placing Man in the Garden of Eden?
  3. What was God’s intent for Man and Woman?
  4. Based on your reading, would you agree that GFW was God’s intended priority list for Mankind?
  5. Take the GFW letters and assuming this order represents the ideal reorder them in every possible combination. Then jot down some thoughts about what each of these would represent in a person if that order represented their life:
    1. GWF
    2. WGF
    3. WFG
    4. FWG
    5. FGW
  6. The one assumption in looking at the GFW sticker is that God matters in one’s life, if the letters were only WF or FW it would represent a lost person. What observations can we make about lives with these two combinations?
    1. WF
    2. FW
  7. There is one more possible scenario for a lost world and that is simply a single letter W. What can we observe about this life?

Where are you this week? Where are your priorities, and what excuses are you using to justify that combination if it’s not GFW?

Take this week and consider the GFW priorities in your life.

I pray that all of you are having a blessing filled week, but I know that some are not and I pray for you as well. Holidays don’t stop pain, suffering, illness and even loss – but Christ is our great comforter in all of these things. May he greatly comfort you this week.

In Christ,


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