A PRAYER FOR THE WORKPLACE!

Posted September 23, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Uncategorized

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Dear Heavenly Father -
As I begin my day, I want to thank you for the skills and abilities that you have given me in preparation for my job. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I pray that you will teach me to speak with Your voice, to treat my co-workers, customers, and suppliers with Your grace, and to be Your witness no matter what I say or do. I ask for Your blessing over all that I say, think, decide, and accomplish today. Bless my creativity, my ideas, and my energy so that everything I do may bring honor and glory to You. Father, when I am confused, guide me; when I’m tired, energize me; and when I’m totally burned out, strengthen me with the light of Your Holy Spirit. May everything I do today bring hope, life, and encouragement to everyone around me. And Lord, even in this day’s most stressful moments, help me to find rest in You! In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Amen!
Work for Christ
Have a blessed day, “Working for Christ!”
 

IS CHRIST ALIVE IN YOUR WORKPLACE?

Posted September 10, 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!

christ is alive

Enjoy your Wednesday, “Working for Christ!”

NO TURN ON RED – IT’S THE LAW!

Posted July 16, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Leviticus, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans

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But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-24, NIV)

No Stop on Red

Red light cameras are becoming more and more popular here in the Orlando area. The other day, I was sitting at a red light in the right lane when an emergency vehicle pulled up behind me with its lights flashing. Although my intention was to go straight (once the light changed to green), I decided to get out of the way and make a right turn – while the light was still red. I thought I did the right thing. A couple of days later, I received a letter in the mail with a ticket for $268.00 for turning right on red when there was clearly a sign that indicated “NO TURN ON RED”. What was missing in the photograph? Right! THE EMERGENCY VEHICLE. I called the number on the ticket and was told that I could either pay the fine or take it to court. Either way, I lose. I’m frustrated because a penalty will have to be paid even though my infraction was unintentional and truly non-existent.

For the ancient Jews, a violation of God’s laws committed even in ignorance was taken very seriously. The Old Testament recognized and provided for unintentional sins through appropriate sacrifices: “If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments . . . let him offer to the Lord . . . a young bull without blemish as a sin offering” (Leviticus 4:2-3, NIV).

Old Testament sacrifices were more than a reminder that accidental wrongs have consequences. They were given in anticipation that God, in His grace, would provide atonement even for wrongs we didn’t realize we were doing.

Then came Jesus. His life, and ultimate death, meant that we no longer had to bring sacrifices to the altar. Christ sacrificed Himself for us! God’s grace is far greater than we could ever imagine! Grace is getting what we do not deserve. Because Jesus bore our sins on the cross, He has made us righteous in God’s eyes. This righteousness comes through faith in Jesus; it is given to us by God’s grace; and, best of all, it is free to all who believe.

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

GIVE GOD YOUR LOVE!

Posted July 11, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: 2 Corinthians, Deuteronomy, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament

Tags: , , , , ,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)

Love God

Deuteronomy charges us to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Then along came Jesus. He added the word mind. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, NIV). In those words, Jesus summed up what God most desires from us.

 We should love God with everything we have and everything we are … Everything!

That helps us change our perspective about the way we live. As we learn to love God with everything, we begin to see our difficulties as Paul described them - “light and momentary troubles” that will help bring us “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV)

When we love God with our entire soul, doubts and struggles don’t necessarily disappear, but their effect on us diminishes. Our trials and questions recede as we learn to trust in His ultimate goodness.

The most treasured gift we can give to God is one that He can never force us to give – our love.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHO IS THIS GUY?

Posted July 9, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Matthew, New Testament

Tags: , , , , ,

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54, NIV)

 Son of God

A researcher in Boston visited Harvard Square to ask college students what they thought of Jesus. Although often respectful of Him many people really didn’t understand who He was. One said He was “a person who took care of people.” Another said, “He sounds like a cool guy.” Another, “he was a Jewish carpenter.” Others rejected Him completely: “He was just a guy, a man. I don’t think He was the Savior.” And “I do not accept any faith system that says, ‘I am the only way to God.’”

Two thousand years ago, people questioned who He was, too. As Jesus faced death many people mocked the idea that He was anyone special. “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.” (Matthew 27:37). And there were those who said, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:40). The religious people of the time even said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matthew 27:42).

In His death, Jesus may have seemed powerless. But when we read the whole story, we see that He gave His life willingly. He proved Himself to be the Son of God with limitless power as He walked out of that tomb. Take a minute to reflect on the value of His death and behold the power of His resurrection. He’s not just some regular guy like you or me. He is the Savior of the world!

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!” – Lowry

He is the reason we wake up every morning. He’s the reason we go to work every day. Our work, and our lives, are meaningless if we are just living for ourselves. Don’t live just for today, to please yourself. Start living for eternity today – with someone special, Jesus Christ! Your day will be blessed!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

THE PEACE OF GOD COMES FROM THE GOD OF PEACE!

Posted July 8, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: 1 Peter, Matthew, New Testament, Philippians

Tags: , , , , , ,

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, NIV)

Peace (2)

During the economic downturn of 2008, many people lost their jobs. Sadly, many of them also lost their faith in Christ. However, it doesn’t necessarily take a recession or the loss of employment to turn us away from our Savior. Losing a sale, a reprimand from our boss, or an unsettled relationship with our spouse may trigger doubt and cause us to fall away.

Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we know that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and to give us peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” writes the apostle Paul, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of our daily trials and challenges.

Jesus taught us not to worry, because we can entrust our needs to our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us (Matthew 6:25-34; 7:9-11; 1 Peter 5:7). In Philippians 4, Paul follows Jesus’ example and encourages us to replace our anxieties with trust and prayer. The “peace of God” is not a psychological state of mind but an inner calm or tranquility. This peace comes from trusting in God who answers our prayers. It comes when we develop a disciplined spiritual perspective, and when we deliberately practice our Christian virtues.
Those who entrust themselves to God will not only experience the peace of God, but the “God of Peace” will be with them.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

COME TO THE WELL!

Posted June 25, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: John, New Testament

Tags: , , , , ,

“Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” (John 4:4-6, NIV)

Samaritan Woman

Everyone in town knew her. She had grown up right before their eyes. Five husbands had come and gone. Now she was alone, minding her own business. But one day, as she was drawing water from the well, she met another man. He was different from the rest. He looked worn – as if from a long journey. But he seemed friendly. There was no official introduction. He simply asked her for a drink.

“Why are you asking me for a drink?” she said, surprised he would even bother to talk to her. After all, he was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. But he replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am. You would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

This wasn’t the answer she expected. What was He up to? If she had known who He was, her response might have been entirely different. This was no ordinary man. He was the One whose coming had been prophesied for centuries. The One whom angels proclaimed. The One whose hands healed the sick.  The One whose voice raised the dead. The One whose life brought hope to the hopeless.

This was the Messiah. Yet she did not recognize Him. And she asked, “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket, and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water?”

Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away their thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t ever have to come back here again.”

The woman’s excitement was understandable. She thought the stranger before her offered some sort of magical water to prevent her from ever thirsting again. In fact, what He offered was something far greater. He was offering the gift of eternal life – a gift she could receive by drinking living water.

What is living water? It’s not actually a beverage, but a being. Living water is a symbol for the Messiah. To drink of the living water is to enter into a refreshing relationship with God that can heal hurts, mend hearts, and satisfy souls. In answer to the woman’s deepest needs the Messiah offered Himself.  And the woman accepted. She accepted the gift no other man had given her before – a real relationship founded on unending love. No more broken promises or abandoned commitments. Here, at last, was the love for which she longed.

Turning from the well, she ran straight into town and started shouting to everyone in earshot, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

So people came. They talked to Him. They listened to Him. They believed in Him. And they, too, accepted the Living Water.

Everywhere you look today there are disenchanted people looking for something more than this world offers. They’ve tried it all. They’ve tried drinking from the well of wealth, the spring of success, the pond of power, the fountain of fame, the pool of possessions, and the ocean of pleasure. But none of these offer lasting satisfaction. They offer only temporary relief to a permanent problem.

The Messiah is the solution. He is the Living Water. Only He can satisfy the soul. His forgiveness is cleansing. His grace is refreshing. His presence is purifying. And His love is invigorating.

What about you?  Have you tried the waters of this world and found them disappointing? Has your soul been longing for a sip of something more satisfying? If you try to quench the thirsting of your soul at the wells of this world, you will be thirsty again. But if you seek satisfaction in the living water of Christ and His love, then you will find fulfillment.

To each and every heart the Messiah makes the same offer. “If you will but ask, I will give you living water.” And when you have living water, you have life.  So today, if you are thirsty for something more, why not accept the offer of the stranger by the well?

Come to Christ. Drink deeply. And be satisfied.

Living Water

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!


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