Archive for July 2013

A VISIT TO THE DUMP!

July 29, 2013

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34, NIV)

Trash

A dump! That’s what it felt like my life had become – a dumping ground for all my problems and troubles. I had questions without answers. A future without direction. All heaped together in one huge pile of doubt and uncertainty.

I needed to get away – to find a quiet place to ponder my problems, pray, and find peace. So I took a drive into the country and found a beautiful state park with acres and acres of wooded trails ideal for walking, thinking, and praying.

So I began to walk. I thought about my life. And I began to look for a quiet place to pray. After about an hour I came upon a small clearing at the edge of the woods. I stepped off of the path and walked about a quarter of a mile into the forest hoping to find a serene spot for quiet meditation. To my surprise I found myself directly in front of a large pile of trash – perhaps twenty feet tall – consisting mainly of junk – nasty, filthy junk.

The junk pile contained worn-out furniture, splintered doors, rusted appliances, and old, beat up toys. There were also broken tree branches and chopped up trunks of fallen trees. As I began to walk away, I noticed a large log resting next to the trash heap. Surprisingly, I decided this might just be the place where God would like me to pray.

As I sat down on the log, it occurred to me how much my life felt like this trash heap – piled high with rubbish. I didn’t know how to deal with it.

I never expected to find myself staring at a pile of trash when I awoke that morning, but that’s exactly where God led me. I told Him my trials, troubles, and tribulations. He listened carefully to everything I said. I declared my doubts, fears, and discouragements. He heard me. I poured out my confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity. He understood.

Did He solve all of my problems as I sat on that trash heap? Of course not! But something miraculous did occur. I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew I had a hand to guide me and a heart to love me. Somehow God calmed my inner chaos and turned my uncertainty into trust – trust in a faithful Father who will never leave me no matter how much trash accumulates in my life.

We are never alone. There will be good days and bad days, days filled with love and days filled with distress. We will always struggle to keep the trash out. Sometimes we will succeed and other times we will fail. The most important thing we can do is to find the one friend who can help us get through it all. His name is Jesus!

Jesus Friend

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

Live and Work

July 25, 2013

Live and Work.

WORK SHOULD NOT BE A CURSE!

July 19, 2013

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'” (Galatians 3:13, NIV)

Redeemed

Work is a gift from God and should bring contentment, fulfillment, enjoyment, and all those wonderful things we expect. Unfortunately, work fell under the curse when Adam and Eve sinned. As a result, our work has been corrupted, too. That corruption has caused many of us to have an unhealthy attitude toward work. With Jesus in our lives, however, we can realize the original purpose of work and we can be set free from the corruption that has made work a dirty word for so many.

In order to do that, we must first have a personal relationship with Jesus. Then, we must make sure that the work we are doing is God’s assignment and not our own. God has specific jobs for each of us to do, and when He assigns our work, it is sacred. Don’t pay any attention to people’s opinion of what is sacred work and what isn’t. Work is sacred when God gives it to you, because He designed it.

Adam was given a divine job assignment, and as long as he was willing to obey, he was allowed to live in paradise. Work was wonderful, everything was sweet. But he was also given the freedom to make choices and to rebel against God’s plan. Unfortunately, that’s what he chose to do. You and I have that very same freedom – to rebel against God’s plans, but when we do, we pay the price.

You can choose your sin but you can’t choose its consequences.

If going to work is tiring and drudgery and difficult for you, it may be that you’re living in rebellion to God’s rules. Make no mistake; He has allowed you to do that and you are paying the price for it. You see, the Bible teaches, “This is love for God; to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3, NIV).

If you want to transform your work day into something meaningful and worthwhile, stop living in rebellion and do the work God has given you. You will no longer be under the curse of work. That curse was lifted on Calvary!

Work Happy

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN!

July 17, 2013

“The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.”  (Acts 5:12-14, NIV)

Grace
Every day in thousands of workplaces around the world, Christians testify to God’s grace in their lives in some way. Sometimes it comes through the performance of their duties with a smile and peace that non-believers simply don’t understand. In other cases, there might be more visible, unexplained examples of God’s work (like those found in the early Church) where signs and wonders could not be humanly understood.

I’ve seen non-believers acknowledge their respect for Christian workplace believers, but were afraid to accept Christ for fear of the unknown. It’s up to each of us to bridge that gap and show our non-believing friends, co-workers, customers, and clients that there is nothing to fear. In fact, it’s up to us to live in such a way that they understand the peace and love that lives within each of us.

Look at the people God has placed in your life. Is there anyone who could use a Savior? The Lord wants us all to be saved. He doesn’t want anyone left behind. As you enter your workplace today, ask the Lord for a divine appointment that might be the turning point for a lost soul. There’s no prayer the Lord would rather hear.

Divine Appointment (2)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

July 16, 2013

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

Practice

Very few things in life come easily. Work, of course, is no exception. The same is true of our Christianity. Life, work, and our walk with God all become easier the more we practice.

To be good at our jobs, we first need to learn the details of the job and then make an effort to apply what we learn. A good work environment also depends on good relationships, so they, too, require effort.

Similarly, we practice maintaining our relationship with God as we learn the details about Christ and spend our time focusing on His example. If you don’t have a regular time in which you give God all your attention (praying, reading the Bible, listening to God, making a journal of your thoughts), you need to start one. This is the key to developing your relationship with God. To maintain our focus on God all the time, we must start by having our focus on Him some of the time.

Unlike practicing the piano, or football, or soccer, or some types of work, practicing our focus on God doesn’t have to be drudgery. In fact, if you stay with it, this will become the highlight of your day. But like football practice or learning our work skills, our time of focus is preparing us for something else. It’s preparing us for living the rest of the day with God. It’s preparing us for when our working hours and all our other hours are equally part of our time with God.

Practice spending your time with God this Tuesday and every day. Practice may not make you perfect, but it will put you on a much better path!

Right Path

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

SKILLS OR FAITH?

July 5, 2013

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10, NIV)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three of the most dangerous occupations in the United States are those of a logger, an airline pilot, and a fisherman.

Logging

Of course, a logger deals with the tremendous weight and unpredictable nature of falling trees. A pilot faces the danger of working tens of thousands of feet above the ground. And a commercial fisherman constantly runs the risk of drowning.

In the ancient world the job of messenger might have topped this list. Like most people, ancient rulers hated getting bad news. However, unlike most other people, they had the power to do something about it, and they did – by executing the person who delivered the news! When the Roman emperor Tiberius received an astrological prediction he didn’t like, he hurled the messenger off a cliff.

So who can blame Moses for being reluctant to deliver the news to Pharaoh that the Israelites, his slave laborers, were hitting the road? God gave Moses an assignment no one would envy. And like most unenthusiastic recruits, Moses tried to talk his way out of the job. He pointed out that Pharaoh probably wouldn’t listen to him. And Moses reminded God that public speaking wasn’t his forte. (Exodus 6:1–13, NIV)

Moses didn’t realize that the success of his mission didn’t depend on his skills; it depended on his faithfulness. God could have sent anyone to deliver the message to Pharaoh – even one of Moses’ sheep. But God picked Moses instead. And he gave Moses the strength and skills he needed to complete the assignment.

That’s important to remember when it comes to the things God calls us to do. Just as it was for Moses, it’s easy for us to reason and argue with God. “But God, I don’t have the skills to be a leader at church.” Or, “God, why don’t you send someone else? No one will listen to what I have to say.”

Yet what we see as our own weaknesses shouldn’t stop us from carrying out our God-given assignments, because with our marching orders come God’s strength and help. Remember, the success of our mission doesn’t depend on our skills. It depends on our faithfulness.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

Faithfulness (2)

SHARE YOUR DAY WITH THE LORD!

July 3, 2013

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)

The Power of Prayer

The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The gospel of peace. The shield of faith. The helmet of salvation. The sword of the Spirit. These all make up the armor of God! (Ephesians 6:10-20)

The last thing Paul mentions in connection with the armor of God is “prayer”. What a mistake to enter the workplace all decked out in spiritual armor and not have a clue what you plan to do next. Paul is simply saying that we need to present ourselves to the Lord each morning, and ask Him to dispatch us where He would like us to go. As the day progresses, ask Him to show us which battles to fight and which battles to walk away from.

The same is true in the workplace. Ask the Father to show you where you should spend your time and to identify those areas which will waste your time. Throughout the day, you need God’s wisdom to know when to yield and when to stand firm. It’s a lot harder to figure out during the heat the battle.

That is where prayer – all kinds of prayer – comes in. It isn’t enough to pray just at the start of your day. Pray all through the day. God wants to be involved with all aspects of your life. Give Him the opportunity to impart wisdom and direction during each part of your day – to protect you from evil and to bring you success. Share your entire day with Him!

Share Christ

Enjoy your Wednesday, “Working for Christ”!


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