HAVE YOU BECOME A “WATCHER?”

Posted March 27, 2015 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Ephesians, John, Matthew, New Testament

Tags: , , , , , ,

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4, NIV)

Take Action

When you are working, are you working for Christ or are you working for someone or something else? Are you a bystander, simply watching the way things unfold around you, never getting involved, or do you take action and represent Jesus Christ in your daily life?

Personally, I realize I’ve spent way too much time watching and not enough time working. I get caught up in the events of the day and completely forget to work on those things that God created me for, specifically those things mandated by the two great commandments:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)

I’ve watched too many sermons about the Gospel, but have not “lived out” the Gospel. I’ve watched too many movies and read too many books about other people’s adventures, but I have ignored the adventures that God has placed directly in front of me. I’ve watched too much basketball, golf, and soccer – watching others face their fears, face great odds, and push themselves to their supposed limits, but have not done those things myself. Don’t misunderstand me, sermons, movies, books, and sports are all good things. There is nothing wrong with inspiration … but it’s got to be inspiration for something.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love... (Ephesians 1:4, NIV)

When God dreamt about us long ago, did He dream of us watching others live out their great stories or did He have a plan for us to live out our story, too? I may have slipped over the past few weeks and months, but God has called out to me to share His love and to continue writing the story He has created especially for me. Pray that He will lead you into your story, too.

Don’t stand by and be a “watcher”. Stand tall and be a worker, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

CONFESSION ISN’T ENOUGH!

Posted February 13, 2015 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Acts, Ezekiel, Luke

Tags: , , , , ,

But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. (Ezekiel 18:21, NIV)

Change Ahead

Each of us has secrets. Even after we confess our sins, there are still certain parts of our lives that we keep hidden away. Perhaps we are hiding these little secrets from our spouse, or maybe our children, or even a co-worker. One thing is for sure – we can’t hide anything from God! He knows everything we have done and is aware of everything we are going to do in the future. Since we are already aware of that, what do we do? In many instances, we simply turn away from Him and continue down our own paths of destruction. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

There is another solution; one that will bring peace and joy to your life. It’s called repentance. It’s often difficult to confess our sins, but nearly impossible to repent for all the many sins we have “hidden” away. Repentance involves turning: turning away from our sins; turning our back on our old selves, and turning toward our Lord and Savior. Repentance is a willingness and commitment to become new men and women, to become loyal followers of Jesus Christ. Confession is critical, but it’s only the first step. Repentance is the greatest step!

Ironically, confession requires great courage to clean out everything hidden away in your life. Repentance, however, requires a soft, willing heart. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus taught that it’s not sin itself that imperils us, but rather a hard, stubborn heart, an unwillingness to turn, an unwillingness to repent. The younger son lived a life with ostensibly more sin. The older brother simply harbored resentment and jealousy. The younger brother repented for his sins; the older brother did not. Their father welcomed the younger brother and celebrated his return: this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32, NIV) The father pleaded with his older son to join in the celebration, to soften his heart. But the older son refused.

Without repentance, we continue in our sin. Without repentance, we continue down our own path … one that leads to death. Jesus said: But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3, NIV)

Take a close look inside yourself. The stuff you need to confess, do it now! And repent! Turn your back on the person you once were; the one who kept those little secrets to himself. Take a deep cleansing breath. Listen to God. Astonishingly, he’ll always give you a fresh start. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out … (Acts 3:19, NIV)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

ANOTHER SETBACK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Posted January 26, 2015 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: James, John, New Testament

Tags: , , , , , ,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)

frustration

Really? I’m supposed to be happy when trials come my way? What about if I lose my job, my career, my financial stability, or my marriage? How are any of these things supposed to bring me joy?

Each of those things has happened to me. Every time, my first instinct was to blame God. During the process of blaming Him, I found myself opening His Word and searching for answers. I began to realize that these “burdens” were actually bringing me closer to Him. My burdens were helping to create a new “me”. I realized that they were not random incidents at all, but were all parts and pieces to a puzzle that was designed to make me more mature, more focused, more rugged, and more fruitful. I began to realize what Jesus was teaching when He said: He (God) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2, NIV)

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not fully enjoyed the struggle, the hardship, and the pain of my past, but I am beginning to “like” the person that I’ve become as a result. I definitely prefer my post-burden self to the person I was before.

It’s still difficult when trials come my way, but I have a new understanding of what they mean to me. I have learned to welcome them into my life as a way to get closer to my Lord and Savior! There is no more blame – only love for the One who has saved me.

If you are going through a tough time right now, recognize the pain. Talk about it with those you trust. Don’t try to escape it. Let it do its work. And, trust that it will not last forever. Trust that, after a while, it will go away and you will emerge with a better vision of yourself. Turn your trials and hardships over to the Lord. He has orchestrated these things to bring you closer to Him! Really!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

COME DOWN FROM YOUR PEDESTAL!

Posted January 18, 2015 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus … he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8, NIV)

Philippoians 2_5

Humility is a trait that most of us don’t possess. People “at the top” are reminded daily about their success by the materialistic things around them and by the praises they receive from their peers, co-workers, family, and friends. This constant exaltation leads to an inflated self-esteem, arrogance, and narcissism. Unfortunately, the world has a tendency to elevate people based on their talents, prestige, and wealth. Contrary to its allure, this type of success is often short-lived and produces vanity and self-deceit.

Society tells us that we are special until someone more special comes along! When this occurs, we return to being a “nobody” and often choose stress as a way to maintain our upward mobility. That is not the way God intended us to live!

In the scripture, Paul is writing to the people of Philippi, encouraging them and giving them words of wisdom. He tells them to remain humble – just as Jesus was. He instructed them to be like Jesus. And, yes, Jesus was the Son of God and had all the rights and privileges to the Kingdom of Heaven. He could have arrived in a golden chariot, lived in a mansion, and put to death all those who opposed Him. He could have refused to be put to death on a cross. He could have separated Himself from the poor and sick, and He could have adorned Himself with the finest robes and jewels. But He didn’t. He chose to remain humble and to live a simple life of servant-hood. He chose to live like a man and work in a troubled world. He chose a life like ours.

How many of us, because we are the son or daughter of someone important, think we should have the best of everything? How many of us, because we own our own business or are the manager of a certain company, think we are “all that?” How many of us are motivated by owning the flashiest car, the largest house, or the most expensive jewelry? Do these things really make us important? Do they make us better than anyone else?

There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but most often the motives behind why we purchase these things are wrong. When we adorn ourselves with materialistic things to look important, to impress others, or to flaunt our success, we are not living in the spirit Christ intended. Showing off is “selfish ambition and vain conceit.”

Jesus chose to be humble. He subjected Himself to death on the cross. Consequently, God elevated Him to the highest position in the kingdom.

As business owners and leaders, we can lead and still remain humble. When we maintain a spirit of meekness, and care for the needs of our employees, co-workers, consumers, and community, God will lift us up, too! God does not put us on a pedestal like the world does. When God lifts us up, it may last a lifetime, not just a moment. When He blesses us, He will take care of us!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

SPEND A DAY IN HIS COURT!

Posted January 5, 2015 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalm

Tags: , , , , , ,

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” – (Psalm 84:10, NIV)

Psalm 84

What have you done lately that requires faith?

Many of us have never experienced a “lack” of anything. Compared to others around the world, we live in luxury and comfort. We have jobs, money, beautiful homes, cars, and plenty of food on the table every single day. Because of this abundance, we often take life for granted. We take Christ for granted. For this reason, we often choose our own lifestyle over a lifestyle that places Christ above everything else.

Jesus understands that we need to be disciplined in the way we think and behave. In order to choose Him above our worldly comfort we need to strip away predictability and self-sufficiency and intentionally move into situations that we can’t handle by ourselves. Jesus sent His disciples into such situations: “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:3, NIV) He instructed them to travel light and resist anything that could provide comfort, predictability, self-sufficiency – money, extra clothing, other people: “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” (Luke 10:4, NIV) They had to rely on Him for everything. Because they put their faith in Him, “… they returned with joy.” (Luke 10:17, NIV) Because they were willing to move in faith, into risk and discomfort, they were able to spend precious days with our God. Jesus told them: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23-24, NIV)

These guys did not “see” beautiful luxury homes on the beach, or drive exotic sports cars, or eat at the finest restaurants in the world. No! They simply spent a little time with our maker. They allowed Him to fill their senses and treat them to the most satisfying lifestyle that is humanly possible. They were able to see beyond their own way of life into a way that leads to an eternity with God Almighty.

We have that very same opportunity to spend our time with the Lord. We need to abandon the idea that our lives revolve around our jobs and around the luxuries that our money can buy. We need to look for opportunities to serve others instead of ourselves. We need to reach out to someone who needs help. Perhaps we should spend a little time with someone who just needs to talk. It’s important for each of us to make a commitment to a service project in our communities. Most importantly we need to talk to a friend or co-worker who doesn’t know our Savior and offer them the very same comfort and love that the Lord has shown us.

It’s time for us to step out of our comfort zones and place our faith in the One who can bring life to our souls!

Enjoy today, “Working for Christ!”

WHO DO YOU REALLY WORK FOR?

Posted October 30, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, New Testament, Philippians, Romans

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10, NIV)

Community

In order to live our lives to the fullest, we need to be in community with other believers. The “Church” can never truly be the church if we aren’t connected to one another – and to Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that the “Church” is not a building or any particular denomination, but it is the people gathered together in the name of God – the Holy Spirit – to follow Christ and His teachings. There are many ways in which the church is supposed to reach out, but one very important way is through our various communities – one of those is our place of employment.

The Apostle Paul gave us a framework. He wrote that we must be devoted to one another. We must make other people a priority in our busy lives, setting them above and ahead of other things, honoring them above ourselves. In Philippians 2:3-4, NIV, Paul drives home that same point again: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Paul also wrote that we must commit to honesty and transparency (Ephesians 4:25, NIV; 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV) and accountability (Galatians 6:1-2, NIV). Community doesn’t work without these important ingredients. It just doesn’t! And we must not presume we know how to “fix” each other, but rather we need to trust the Holy Spirit to do everything that needs to be done (Romans 12:3, NIV). When we offer to “fix” someone else, we can do damage – spiritual and relational – without meaning to. It’s so much better to listen and ask open, non-judgmental questions. Most important, we need to pray something else the Bible says we must do together – a lot!

We must encourage one another to live boldly and confidently in our faith, supporting each other along the way. We must stand with one another, helping each other through hardship, so that no one falls away when things get tough (Romans 22:12, NIV, Galatians 6:2, NIV).

What does all this mean in today’s workplace? It simply means that, although we may be working for a human boss, we are ultimately working for our Lord and Savior. We need to support one another in everything we do. And we need to view our workplace as one of God’s venues to bring others closer to Him.

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

GET TOGETHER!

Posted October 27, 2014 by "Working for Christ"
Categories: Ecclesiastes, Hebrews, John, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalm

Tags: , , , ,

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20, NIV)

together

We often find it hard to get together with other Christians – or anyone else for that matter. We’re just way too busy. Our calendars are always full: “I just don’t have time for anything else.” Our pride takes control: “I’m good. I’m doing just fine on my own.” Our aversion to vulnerability is strong: Oh, man. I’m just no good at opening up.” As followers of Jesus Christ, though, we must gather – not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV).

But … why? Why is it so important for us to get together with other Christians? There are a couple of really good reasons. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us that “two are better than one”. We are stronger, less vulnerable, together. If one strays, the other is there to help get him back on course.

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10, NIV).

More importantly, Jesus tells us that He is present when we gather in His name (Matthew 18:20, NIV). You see, the Holy Spirit dwells within each follower of Jesus (John 14:17, NIV). When we gather in His name, the power of the Holy Spirit fills the room. Confessions are made, sins are repented, love and compassion are expressed, hearts are healed, encouragement is given, lives are transformed. We are lifted up – up out of sin and rebellion – into a new life, a new identity, and a new calling. The work of the Lord is done that just cannot be done in isolation.

Don’t ever allow yourself to believe that you are too busy to get together with other Christians. There are probably others in your workplace or in your customer base that would enjoy an opportunity to share the Lord and their faith with someone else. Take the time, and the initiative, to seek them out. Don’t let your calendar, pride, or fear get in the way of your relationship with our Savior!

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! … For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3 NIV)

 Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,636 other followers

%d bloggers like this: