Archive for October 2012

PUT ON YOUR “NEW SELF”!

October 31, 2012

“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)

I don’t know what kind of business you are in, but chances are pretty good that neither your boss nor your co-workers pay much attention to the fact that the Word of God – the bible – contains many of the answers to solve our every day problems. Generally speaking, when problems occur, we react. Most of the time we react instinctively and not rationally. We react according to our human nature, not according to our spiritual nature.

For instance, when one of my clients calls me and indicates that I have made a mistake, my first thought is to defend myself: “That’s impossible. I don’t make mistakes.” But when I take a minute to think rationally about the situation I realize that I do make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s human nature; none of us are perfect.

My “old self” had a tendency to get angry, to possibly use a few choice four-letter words, and to even make up a little white lie, placing the blame somewhere else. But my “new self” is aware of the wisdom that the Lord has placed within me.

“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)

The Bible provides knowledge and understanding. When we focus our lives on Christ, He becomes our Shield. He guards us and protects us when things get out of control.

The next time you encounter a problem at work, don’t return to your “old self”. Turn to Christ and let everyone see your “new self”!

Enjoy your Wednesday, “Working for Christ”!

WHERE DOES YOUR SUCCESS COME FROM?

October 30, 2012

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18, NIV)

Many of us have a tendency to take credit for our successes and to blame others for our failures. Sometimes people even blame God for their shortcomings. It’s true that God allows us to fail at times, but He uses those failures to bring us closer to Him.

“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)

We can do nothing on our own. It is our Heavenly Father who gives us our gifts and talents – our ability to produce wealth. When we leave God out of that equation, we start to believe more in our own abilities than we do in the One who gave them to us. When that happens, we forget about the Lord and we rely on the “world” and on “things” to bring us peace and happiness. Before long, the “things” in our lives replace the King of our lives.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul”? (Matthew 16:26, NIV)

If we lose our souls, we lose everything.

“If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 8:19, NIV)

We need to remember the Lord in everything we do. We need to keep Him close. He is the One responsible for our success.

“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to Him – then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23, NIV)

Walk in obedience to Him this Tuesday. Hold fast to Him! Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS!

October 29, 2012

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:22, NIV“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV)

At one time, I worked for a large corporation. There were all types of people employed there. There was this one guy in particular that really stands out in my mind. I’ll call him, Tom. Tom was always late for work. He was never ready for meetings. He constantly missed deadlines. His lunch hour rarely was an hour (it was more like two). And, almost every day, there was an emergency that caused Tom to leave work early. Yet for some strange reason, my boss thought the world of him! Although we held the same “title”, Tom made more money than me, and he received his promotion three months before I received mine. Perhaps I was just jealous of Tom. For sure this whole situation made me angry! Tom made me angry because of the way he was treating his job. He made me angry because of the way he was treating our boss. And he made me angry because he didn’t show any respect for anyone who was trying to do things the “right” way!

It took some time for me to realize that this whole situation really wasn’t my concern. As aggravating as it might have seemed at the time, I shouldn’t have allowed any other person to affect me that way. God wants us to take our eyes off of others and place them directly on Him. Any anger we feel toward others only hurts ourselves. When we allow these things to bother us, we are getting in the way of our own relationship with Christ. My anger toward Tom was not allowing me to grow spiritually. In fact, it was hindering me and causing me to distance myself from the Lord. It was giving the devil a foothold on my life!

Here’s what the Bible says:

… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus …” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)

When we fix our eyes on Jesus, they won’t be fixed on the guy in the office who is getting us so upset. They won’t be fixed on anything that will hinder our relationship with our Savior or allow the devil to get a foothold on our lives.

Fix your eyes on Jesus this Monday. Give Him your anger and, in return, He will give you His love, peace, joy, and so much more!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

A BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS!

October 26, 2012

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)

I am a semi-retired, self-employed, free-lance construction estimator. Very simply, that means I read an architect’s specifications and blueprints to decide how much material and labor is required to build a building – or some part of that building. Without a complete set of contract documents, I would be totally lost. The specifications are the architect’s “bible”. They name which products the architect intends to use. The blueprints clearly depict the way the building is to be constructed. Without a set of blueprints, it would be impossible to determine the quantities of those products.

Whatever business you are in, you have a set of protocols that you need to follow to do your work and to do it according to the wishes of your boss. Without these protocols, our jobs would become disorganized and the results would be chaotic.

It’s not hard to figure out where I’m going with this, is it?

God has provided a way for us to “be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. The Scripture, in its entirety, is “God-breathed”. It is our blueprint for success – “for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”. It is the protocol for every single aspect of our lives. But it doesn’t do any good if it just sits on a shelf in our homes.

Take some time this weekend to allow God to “breathe” His Word into your heart. Teach you children how to get a little closer to Christ. Spend a little time reading God’s blueprint for your life.

Enjoy your weekend, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

 

LOST IN SUCCESS!

October 25, 2012

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2, NIV)

Some of us grew up according to the following logic: “You need to do well in school so you can go to college and become a professional. Then when you become successful, you will earn a lot of money, you’ll meet your future wife, and you won’t have any more worries. Life will be perfect; just as you had planned.”

I actually bought into that line of thinking. I became a successful business person and earned a lot of money. Unfortunately life wasn’t perfect. I had more problems than I could count. My life was not the one I had planned. I really wasn’t as successful as I thought. In fact, I was “lost” in my success.

It was years later that I finally began to understand: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 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 3:5-10, NIV)

I began to change my way of thinking. I started to focus on Christ and on the Word of God. I wasn’t lost any more. I had a new life. I began to clothe myself “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. (Colossians 3:12, NIV)

I have learned to “forgive as the Lord forgave”. (Colossians 3:13, NIV)

And, I have learned the true meaning of “love, which binds all of these virtues together.” (Colossians 3:14, NIV)

I don’t have a big, beautiful home, an expensive car, or a huge bank account. Yet I am extremely successful! I have found the Lord! He lives in me!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

FOLLOW HIM!

October 24, 2012

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”  (John 21:22, NIV)

This was the third time Jesus had shown Himself to the disciples after His resurrection. Jesus and Peter had just had a very important encounter – one of the last meetings the two would have. This is the famous dialogue between Jesus and Peter where Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Jesus followed by commanding, “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, and feed my sheep”. Then, Jesus went on to foretell Peter’s death. As John, Peter, and Jesus were walking together, Peter asked Jesus about John and whether he would also die. Jesus reacted sharply to Peter, telling him not to worry about John’s role or his purpose in life. “What is that to you?” Jesus asked. In other words, don’t worry about John’s future; you need to worry about fulfilling your own purpose in life.

As human beings, we tend to measure our success by our accomplishments and whether we have achieved a certain place or stature in life. Even as Christians, the temptation to believe that someone is blessed if they have achieved prominence is always confronting us. In His discussion with Peter, Jesus was getting at the very heart of a person’s calling. Peter was worried about his friend, John, and whether he was going to receive the same lot in life as he was. Jesus told him it shouldn’t be his concern. He was to concern himself with only one thing: his own calling before God.

Are you tempted to compare yourself with others and with their position in life? Are you dissatisfied with where God has placed you right now? Don’t be discouraged – “be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV)

Everybody has been placed on this earth with certain gift and talents. Success can be defined in a number of ways. We really shouldn’t concern ourselves with the accomplishments or achievements of anyone other than ourselves. Christ alone determines our success. The most important thing for us is to “Follow Him”!

Enjoy your Wednesday, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

THE CHOICE IS UP TO YOU!

October 23, 2012

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16-17, NIV)

These passages have been repeated and studied thousands of times. I hope you don’t mind if I take just one more look at them as they pertain to our jobs.

Take a look around your workplace this morning. Acts of the “flesh” are obvious – sexual immorality, corruption, hatred, disagreement, jealousy, selfish ambition, dissension, conflicts, envy, idolatry, drunkenness, etc. In Galatians 5:21, Paul warned, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Perhaps there are those in your workplace that are living by the fruit of the Spirit. You’ll notice them because of their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NIV) They no longer “give in” to the desires of the flesh. The Holy Spirit lives within them and they call upon Him to make the right choices as they go about their day.

Paul concludes this teaching by saying, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:25-26, NIV)

We are to stay humble. We shouldn’t have to announce that we are living according to the Spirit. It should be obvious to those around us, just as it is obvious when we live according to the desires of the flesh.

When we wake up each morning we have an opportunity to start a fresh, new day. We are presented with various choices as the day unfolds. There is no greater choice than to choose how we are going to spend our day – according to the flesh or according to the Holy Spirit.

That choice is totally up to you!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”


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