FIND YOUR “NEW” SELF!

Posted April 3, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Colossians, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs

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“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:8-10, NIV)

Colossians 3-8

Generally speaking, when problems occur, we react. Most of the time we react instinctively, not rationally. We react according to our human nature, not according to our spiritual nature.

Recently one of my clients called me to inform me that I had made a mistake. My first thought was one of denial. “That’s impossible. I don’t make mistakes,” I thought. But after I had taken time to think rationally about the situation I realized that I do make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s human nature; none of us are perfect.

As I look back on how I used to react to these types of situations, the “old me” would have become angry, thrown out a few choice four-letter words, and even made up a little white lie to place the blame somewhere else. But my “new self” is aware of the changes the Lord has made within me. The Lord has given me a sense of control - an ability to be more understanding, more patient, and less angry.  He has blessed me with the presence of Jesus in my life – a role model in whom to follow as problems occur throughout my day. Unlike Jesus, however, the “new me” will never be perfect. I will always struggle, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am learning to control my human nature and to express my spiritual nature. I am humbled and honored to believe that I am slowly being transformed into someone who looks a little more like Jesus every day.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2:6-8,NIV)

The Lord provides a way for each of us to gain understanding and knowledge. When we live for Christ, He becomes our shield and protects us when things get out of control. When problems arise – and believe me, they will – we have someone to turn to, someone who understands human nature just as well as He understands spiritual nature. When problems arise, d0n’t return to your “old self”. Turn toward Christ. Allow Him to help you find your “new self”.

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Posted April 2, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Matthew, New Testament

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“… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV)

Focus

At some point in our spiritual journey, we may become convinced that we should be shifting our focus from seeking success in the physical world to gaining significance in the spiritual world.

As Christians, becoming significant in the spiritual world is an important part of our lives. But when the reason we’re doing it is to feel good about ourselves, we cease to serve and we do it only for self-gratification. We need to serve with humility, always guarding against claiming credit for the work God is doing through us.

God doesn’t need us in order to accomplish His will. He gives us the opportunity to be in a relationship with Him as we work where He’s working. We are significant because He made us significant; we are never significant because of what we do for Him.

Don’t be fooled into thinking God can’t use you as you go about your daily business. God is just as much at work in our offices as He is in the sanctuary. He’s as interested in being in relationship with you during your daily work routine as He is in hearing from you in your quiet time. Service in the kingdom only has rank in our eyes, from our perspective. Every action, every moment surrendered to Him out of gratitude and obedience, is an opportunity for Him to work through us, and into those around us, even if we never see the result of that work.

The Westminster Catechism declares “man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.” We glorify and enjoy Him best when our thoughts, our actions, and our sacrifices are focused on Him, and not on how they make us feel about ourselves.

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

Posted April 1, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Ephesians, New Testament

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“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

paycheck

The things that matter most in a Christian’s work life are not the same things that matter to the rest of the world. It’s not the dollar amount of their paychecks, the impressiveness of their business cards, the prestige they have earned within their trade, or the position they hold within their company. It’s not even about their productivity or the quality of their work – although hard work is certainly an honorable pursuit. Instead, when it comes to their jobs, what matters most is the extent to which they model themselves after Christ from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

When we attend church on the weekend, we are taught to become more like Christ in the way we live. The problem we encounter is that our intentions are good, but our minds become altered somewhere between Sunday and Monday. The realities of work often keep us from becoming Christ-like at our jobs. Some of these realities are work related, some are simply human nature, but all of them force God out of the forefront and onto the back burner. By Tuesday or Wednesday, our thoughts of God and living for Christ may have completely faded away.

From my experience, that’s a source of frustration for many Christians. We struggle with it. We feel guilty about it. We may even recommit to do things differently, but somehow we manage to backslide and  leave Christ out of our lives – just when we need Him the most!

Perhaps you too have had personal experience with this. Maybe you’ve made some effort to apply your faith in the workplace, only to be discouraged by the results. Perhaps you’ve even reached the point of concluding that real, enduring change is hopeless. It’s not. It’s just a matter of seeing things more clearly – maybe for the first time in your life. And then it’s simply a matter of cooperating with God to defeat the things standing between you and our Savior.

What’s keeping you from being more Christ-like in your job and in your career? What are the barriers that stand in your way? Ask God to give you the strength you need to become more like Christ in your workplace! Your job is an important mission field. Keep Christ “alive” twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO SAY YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN!

Posted March 31, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: 1 Peter, New Testament

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“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” (1 Peter4:1-4, NIV)

Busy

We spend all week in the “world” – playing, working, and just trying to survive. Many of us are so busy we rarely take the time to stop and “smell the roses” – to acknowledge the fact that the Lord is in complete control of all things, both heavenly and worldly. Other than on Sunday we rarely take the time to close our eyes and thank the Lord for the many, many blessings that He has so generously showered upon us. We spend six days and twenty-three hours each week living for ourselves, doing the things that make us happy, yet we rarely take the time to include the Lord in our daily activities. We justify that by saying that we are Christians. We go to church for an hour on Sunday. We follow Christ. Really?

It’s easy to say you are a Christian. You simply open your mouth, engage your brain, and say the words. It’s something completely different for someone to notice that you are a Christian. When you follow Christ, you treat people with respect, you don’t judge them, you control your tongue, you show patience and love to those around you, and you take the time each and every day to acknowledge the presence of the Lord in your life. Your “light” (Christ’s light) shines wherever you go. The most important part of your day is when you wake up and say “good morning” to your Heavenly Father! Then, you invite Him to spend the day with you and you enjoy His company no matter where you go, what you do, or what you say. He is with you always – throughout the entire day, week, month, and year. The two of you become One!

You should never have to say you are a Christian. It should be evident by the way you live your life!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ.”

 

YOU MAY FEEL LONELY, BUT YOU’RE NEVER ALONE!

Posted March 17, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: John, Matthew, New Testament

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Jesus said, “My Father is always at His work to this very day” (John 5:17, NIV) and “we must do the works of Him who sent me…while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5, NIV)

Lonely

Have you ever felt alone? Maybe you’re self-employed, or perhaps you travel every week, or you work the late night shift. Maybe you’re the only Christian in your office and opportunities for sharing common beliefs are scarce. You may feel alone wondering if your work really makes a difference. Will the work you do today really count tomorrow, next week, or next month?

Jesus recognizes these concerns. At one point in His ministry He said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head”. (Matthew 8:20, NIV) Another time, nearly all His followers abandoned Him when His teaching became a little too tough for them to handle (John 6). And finally, at the end of His life, one of Jesus’ friends betrayed Him. Yes, Jesus knows what it’s like to be alone!

In spite of all this, nothing could keep Jesus from doing what really pleased Him – doing the work of His Heavenly Father. He knew that those followers who stayed with Him would eventually experience the “big plan” He had for them. And, even the ultimate betrayal couldn’t prevent the successful completion of His work.

Jesus willingly did His Father’s work because He delighted in, and believed in, advancing His Father’s cause. No matter what type of work you are involved in, you too, have an opportunity to make a difference. Simply share your faith and love for Jesus with those around you! You will never be alone. Christ Jesus will always be by your side!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

IS OUR GOD YOUR GOD?

Posted March 7, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Mark, New Testament

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Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:34-36, NIV)

Follow

If our main priority in life is to get a prestigious job, or to make a lot of money, or to have the most or best of everything, Christ is no longer our God. We may feel like we have it all, but it’s only going to last a short time. I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my life and I’ve never seen a Hearst pulling a U-Haul – I’m sorry, but we just can’t take any of it with us!

I don’t believe that Jesus is asking us to give up our jobs, our homes, or our savings accounts to prove that we are Christ’s true followers. What this verse is saying to me is that our main goal in life should be to follow Christ above all things. Christ should come first – before our jobs, before our possessions, and before any other relationships we may have!  We should be willing to give up all other “gods” in order to build a stronger and more meaningful relationship with our Savior. In other words, if we give up our past lives of sin to follow Him, we will honor Him and our souls will become His!

Re-evaluate your priorities this weekend. Don’t lose your soul today by making poor decisions about tomorrow!

Work for Christ

Have a wonderful day, “Working for Christ”!

COMFORT A FRIEND!

Posted February 24, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: 2 Corinthians, James, New Testament

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“Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:7, NIV)

comfort

I’ve noticed through the years that those who have suffered are quick to comfort others who may be hurting. When a young couple suffers the loss of a child, another couple who also lost a child asks if they can help. If a couple loses their main income, almost immediately another couple steps forward to offer their aid, remembering their own journey through foreclosure years earlier.

Again and again we see people supporting and encouraging one another. They have learned that they can use the trials they’ve been through to reach out to others going through similar difficulties.

Have you been sick? Lost a loved one? Been imprisoned? Unfairly treated? In all of our trials, God promises to bring something good out of even our darkest moments (James 1:2-4). One way this takes place is when we share the comfort He offered us with those who are now going through trials.

As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, we are comforted by a Savior who knows our suffering, and we honor Him when we share His comfort with others.

Take a look around your workplace today. Do you know anyone who is suffering or in pain? Imagine yourself in their shoes. If we know the path another person is experiencing, God will help us guide that person into His presence. He comforts us so that we may bring comfort to others.

Be a little more like Jesus today. Comfort someone you know with the love of our Savior.

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!


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