Archive for February 2013

FAIR COMPENSATION!

February 25, 2013

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV)

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(photo credit – ubdavid.org)

Dictionary.com defines compensation as “something given or received as an equivalent for services, debt, loss, injury, suffering, lack, etc.; indemnity.” It is the key to performance in most businesses. Pay too little and employees leave or under-perform. Pay too much and the business suffers. What is the right mixture of motivation and incentive? Sometimes the question is so complicated we have to turn to the experts to sort it out. Above all, we try to be fair – fair to the employee and fair to the business.

God is interested in compensation too. Jesus Christ is the ultimate judge of proper compensation for our behavior. Our entire lives will be revealed, made plain before the Judge. That thought makes me uneasy. There are many things in my life that I don’t want revealed. I’m guilty of countless selfish acts. Someday I will stand before Jesus and be asked to give an account for those things. When God asks me to account for what’s fair, I am going to come up short.

What could save us from the punishment we deserve as we stand before God and His judgment? There is no way to balance the scales in our favor. God expects perfection. “Be holy as I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16, NIV) We just don’t measure up. There is only one hope – Jesus!

The day we stand before Him and give our account, we must have the faith and confidence that, even though we do not deserve mercy, mercy will be given. Why? Because we have turned our lives over to His reign. We belong to Him. On that day He will say, “Yes, this one is mine. I have paid the price for him (her).”

God knows that compensation counts. We are to always keep that in mind. Our compensation is not about earning His good will. It is about thanking Him for granting us His mercy.

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Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

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GROWING FRUIT!

February 22, 2013

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

Galatians 5

Just because you’re a Christian, doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically get along with everyone in your office. It’s going to take real effort on your part. Even the disciples had problems with each other.

In Acts 15:36-41, we learn that Paul and Barnabas had an argument about another “coworker,” John (who was also called Mark). It seems that Paul didn’t want to take Mark along on a ministry journey because Mark had previously abandoned them in Pamphylia. But Barnabas insisted he come along. So Paul and Barnabas parted ways. Paul took Silas to Syria and Cilicia, while Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus. Interesting, isn’t it? Both Paul and Barnabas were godly men. They were committed to doing God’s work. They were part of the chosen group, yet they had strongly differing opinions at times.

Conflict happens. Maybe it’s happening at your workplace. If so, don’t join in the “strife-fest.” Instead, simply walk away. Turn to God and ask Him to help you be the peacemaker of the group. See these conflict-filled times as a chance to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. God will use this time to take you to a higher place with Him.

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Enjoy your Friday, “Working for Christ”!

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This “Working for Christ” article was written by Michelle Medlock Adams, a former award-winning newspaper journalist, who now writes magazine articles, devotionals, and children’s picture books. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Content edited and distributed by “Working for Christ” for non-profit educational purposes.

LET’S BRING BACK PERSONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE!

February 21, 2013

“While they were going out a man, who was demon-possessed and could not talk, was brought to Jesus.”  (Matthew 9:32, NIV)

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(photo credit – the60sofficialsite.com)

My grandfather was a milkman. He delivered milk directly to his customer’s doors. When I was a boy, our family doctor made house calls. And, not too long ago when you made a call to a company to discuss a problem, you actually spoke to a human being.

The days of personal customer service are gone, and if we are not careful, we will follow the same trend in the way we share the gospel. Our pastors encourage us to bring people to church. Yet, we see no examples of where Jesus actually brought people into the synagogue to save or heal them. Jesus’ miracles happened in the workplace because that was where He spent most of His time. Jesus had less response and more resistance in the synagogue than in the workplace. He took the gospel to the people. That’s where the power of God was revealed. This isn’t to say we should never bring people to church, only that our priority should be to bring the Church to the people – wherever they are.

Paul understood this when he said, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, NIV)

Paul understood that it wasn’t words that affected people; it was the power of God revealed through his teaching.

When was the last time someone saw God working in your life? As this begins to happen, you will be bringing the Church to the people, not the people to the church. Pray that God makes you a vessel of His power, and not simply a vessel of your own words.

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Enjoy your Thursday, “Working for Christ”!

BE A WINNER!

February 20, 2013

“Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” (Matthew 5:1-2, NIV)

VICTORY

(photo credit – reclaimingvictory.com)

The thrill of victory can be intoxicating. In business, winning is pretty straightforward: You generate profit, get promoted, and make more money.

What does winning actually mean for our families? The measure of success in business is identified by riches, power and fame, but our family’s success demands generosity, service, and humility. Winning in our home means turning the other cheek and loving others as we love ourselves.

If winning as a believer means growing in relationship with God and drawing others into relationship with Him, then we need to continually check whether our actions reflect that goal. Failing to put our family first, treating subordinates and/or coworkers as inferiors, and being political or divisive lead to failure. As Americans, we are conditioned to believe that recognition and reward follow performance, but our faith requires the pursuit of excellence without personal ambition.

The clearest definition of winning that Christ provides to us is found in His Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus highlighted qualities such as meekness, peace making, purity of heart and thirsting after righteousness as those that indicate a “winner” in God’s kingdom.

As believers in the workplace we face a challenge – to embrace the character of Christ in an environment where success is defined more simply and the yardstick of money, power and fame is visible to all.

As we go about our work, we need to remember that we are to fulfill God’s purpose every minute of every day – and to understand that while we are in the world, we are not to be of it.

not of the world

(photo credit – latterdays.blogspot)

Enjoy your Wednesday, “Working for Christ”!

INSPECT YOUR FOUNDATION!

February 19, 2013

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  (Psalm 127:1, NIV)

Foundation

(photo credit – albanyanalytical.com)

Imagine building a new home with the very best materials and craftsmanship. It is a work of art, exactly what you and your spouse were dreaming of. When the day arrives to move in, a building inspector walks up to you and hands you a notice condemning your new home because it doesn’t meet code.

Many people in the workplace who invest years in their careers will one day stand before the Lord only to realize they were building up their own house – not the Lord. Before we do anything, we must ask: why? Why are we doing what we are doing? Has God called us to this task? Or is the real motive purely financial? Or control? Or prestige?

“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”  (1 Corinthians 3:12-13, NIV)

David learned this principle by the end of his life. Throughout his life he had learned that God always tested him to find out what was in his heart, and what his motive was in his actions. David instructed his son to, “… acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.” (1 Chronicles 28:9, NIV)

This is a good day to stop and take a look at your “foundation”. Make sure it is strong enough to hold up through all kinds of diversity. Our foundation is with Christ and nothing else. Ask the Lord to strengthen your foundation by filling you with His Spirit this Tuesday.

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(photo credit – stablefoundations.com)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

February 16, 2013

Morning Story and Dilbert

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you…

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BECOME A FOOL!

February 15, 2013

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”  (1 Corinthians 3:18-19, NIV)

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We graduate from high school, go to college, and study to become knowledgeable and skillful so we can get decent jobs. We use our minds to think and to make decisions. Eventually, we end up in the workforce striving to become valuable members of society.

There is a fundamental difference between “wisdom” as set out in these Bible verses, and the knowledge and application of the type of wisdom needed for work. The Apostle Paul was a well-educated man who used his knowledge in his ministry. He didn’t discard his intelligence when he became a servant of Christ. He ministered in the world. He had to talk intelligently and convincingly to major leaders – top religious officials, a Roman governor, and a king. Likewise, Christians at work today need to conduct themselves in a similar way – knowledgeably, intelligently and credibly.

Paul appeals to each of us, “Don’t be puffed up and think you know better than others. Be humble in front of God. Admit you don’t know everything. Have the mind of Christ – let Christ govern how you think, so the results of your thoughts, decisions, and actions produce results that spread the love of God.” (1 Corinthians 4)

So we need to be wise in God’s way, not in the worldly way. It’s important to avoid the false, prideful, God-empty “wisdom” that infiltrates many work environments. God has placed us in our workplaces, yet our homes are elsewhere – in the kingdom of God where humility is our strength.

Stay humble this Friday. Remember, you are “Working for Christ”!

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