Archive for November 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 28, 2013

I’m thankful for each and every one of you, your blogs, your encouragement, and your love of the Lord!

Thanksgiving

Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. You were there as I fought through my cancer and you’ve reminded me where my strength comes from. You keep me focused on the priorities in my life and you keep me pointing upward!

God bless you! Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones – and especially with our Lord – the Giver of all things!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

FREEDOM FROM WORRY!

November 18, 2013

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34, NIV)

worrying

Our jobs, homes, cars, bank accounts and investments, among other “things” deceive us into believing that we have security and freedom from worry. In truth, they are exactly the things that cause anxiety and worry. When we put our hope and faith in “earthly goods” we receive with them with a burden – more worry. When we worry, we think we need to obtain more earthly goods so we can feel more secure. Unfortunately, all we receive is more worry. We try to secure our lives with earthly goods; we expect these things to make us worry-free, but the truth is just the opposite. The things which bind us to our earthly goods – the clutches which hold these goods tight – are themselves more worries.

Worry is always directed toward tomorrow. Earthly goods are intended to bring hope and security today. When we attempt to obtain things for  a more secure tomorrow we become more insecure today. Isn’t it enough that “each day has enough trouble of its own?” Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hands, and receive fully today what they need for their lives, are really secure.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9

Receiving God’s love today liberates us from worry tomorrow. Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

START YOUR DAY RIGHT!

November 15, 2013

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV)

Jesus Praying

As Christians, it is our goal to model ourselves after our Savior. There are obvious reasons why Jesus prayed the very first thing in the morning. Since Christ is our number one priority, what better way to honor Him than to make Him the focus of our day. By starting our day with prayer we are showing commitment to the Lord and disciplining ourselves for the day that is about to begin.

Before we head off to work, it is important to invite the Holy Spirit into our day to intercede for us as things begin to get a little crazy. Without the help of the Holy Spirit we are just humans – weak, indecisive, and vulnerable to the world around us. We waste time, we succumb to temptation, and we lack order and discipline in our thinking and in our dealings with other people. We’re often judgmental and consequently, we treat people unfairly. These things are often caused because we don’t take the time for morning prayer.

Prayer sets the stage for the entire day. When we pray and when we finally are able to defeat those little demons, our lives are transformed. The things we do all day, the people we meet, and the temptations that arise are no match for our Lord and Savior. The simple act of having a morning conversation with Jesus is the key to our peace and contentment throughout the day. Jesus is our friend, our advocate. Why wouldn’t we start our day with prayer?

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:1-3, NIV)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WE NEED A LITTLE MORE JESUS!

November 14, 2013

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18, NIV)

Work

Why do we get up every morning at 6:00 a. m. so we can get to work by eight? Why do we spend all day in our offices, classrooms, cubicles, and other places eight hours a day, five days a week doing things we truly dislike? Is it simply so we can make enough money to pay for the things we need to survive, or is there more to it?

I talk to very few people who really love their jobs. Occasionally I’ll find a teacher who’s doing it for the kids or a doctor who is really trying to make the world a better place for the rest of us, but generally speaking most of the people I talk to are working just to pay the bills – because they have to. They don’t like their jobs. As a result their attitudes suffer.

When we dislike things, we tend to complain. We’re quick to “strike out” at someone for no reason at all. When someone hurts us, we feel the need to get back at them. We lose our compassion. We have no desire to “love” those around us. We develop “road rage” – not just on the road, but in our lives in general. All we want is for this day, this week, this month, and this job to be over! It’s extremely difficult to see any “good” in the things and the situations around us.

Peter tells us to chill out! We are to model ourselves after Christ. Take a look at all the things Christ endured, especially the cruel death He accepted so that we could “find” Him. Of course, Christ wants us to love our jobs – whatever we do – but it is much more important to “die” to those things that are bringing us down and to “live” for those things that bring us closer to the Lord! We will never truly be happy until we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives and turn away from those things that cause us grief.

Here’s what the Psalmist has to say:

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.

They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (Psalm 34:12-16, NIV)

We don’t need to change careers or jobs to find happiness or contentment. We just need a little more Jesus!

Holy Spirit

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

REST FOR OUR SOULS!

November 13, 2013

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)

Rest in Him (2)

Jesus commands us to love each other (John 15:12). If we accept this commandment as Jesus’ “yoke”, He promises to teach us to be more like Him. He promises that we will become more gentle and humble. He tells us that we will find rest in Him.

Those who follow Jesus’ commandment entirely, who let Jesus’ yoke rest on them without resistance, will find the burden they must bear to be light. In the gentle pressure of this yoke they will receive the strength to walk the right path without becoming tired. Where will the call to discipleship lead those who follow it? What decisions and painful separations will it entail? We must take this question to Him who alone knows the answer. Only Jesus Christ, who asks us to follow him, knows where the path will lead. But we know that it will be a path full of mercy beyond measure. Discipleship is pure joy.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long. Psalm 25:4–5

To become a disciple is not just to believe in Jesus, it is also to follow Him – not just while we’re at church on the weekend, but everyday, in everything we do. At work, at play, at home – no matter where we are, we need to live as if Jesus was standing right next to us. When we accept the “yoke” of loving each other, we invite Christ to live not beside us, but within us! That truly becomes rest for our souls!

Jesus

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

CAN I GET A WITNESS?

November 7, 2013

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV)

Car Accident

A few years ago, I witnessed an automobile accident. It was an experience I will never forget. As the only witness to the incident, I spent the next two or three months telling lawyers and insurance adjusters exactly what I had seen. I wasn’t expected to explain the physics of the wreck or the details of the medical trauma. I was simply asked to recall only what I had actually seen.

As followers of Christ, we are called to be witnesses to what Jesus has done in us and for us. To point people to Christ, we don’t need to be able to explain every theological issue or answer every question. We just need to explain what we have witnessed in our own lives through our relationship with our Savior. Most importantly, we don’t have to rely on ourselves alone to do this. Jesus said, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV)

When we accept the Spirit’s power, we can point those who are hurting toward our Savior. With His help, we can witness to the life-changing power of His presence in our lives!

Our testimony is the witness of what God has done for us.

testimony

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

MYSTERY!

November 6, 2013

“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:9, NIV)

index

Human beings always want to know “why?” and “why not?” It’s precisely because we are human that we cannot know. That’s why mystery is so important to understand. The entire book of Job is all about the “why” of suffering and in the end God invites Job to see a bigger picture than even his own suffering.

Creation is a mistake if all you see is suffering. But if you lift your eyes wider and look at the entire universe with God, you can also see that creation is filled with beauty and grace.

We are to value mystery because it enables us to feel God’s love – love that was fully revealed in Christ.

Sometimes, as a benefit of growing older, we get to experience some of the “whys?” and “why nots?” Most often, however, we are left to “wonder” simply because we are the players of life, not the playwright.

Christine Mallouhi in her excellent book, Waging Peace on Islam, makes this significant conclusion:

“The victorious and triumphant Christian life does not conjure up pictures of suffering and death and feelings of abandonment. But this was all part of God’s victory in Christ. If this was the path the Master trod why should it be any different for the servants? Jesus cried out “why?” and “where are you?” to God when circumstances were crushing him. God is always greater than our understanding of him and there will always be mystery about him that causes us to fall down in awe and worship. This mystery, which we want to tidily categorize, keeps causing struggles in our life. Every time we get God tidied up like a ball of rubber bands, another end bursts out and the struggle begins over again, until we learn to live in faith with untidy ends. If everything is clear then faith is irrelevant. We are not called to solve the mystery, but enter it.[1]”

So value the mysteries of life and use them to come closer to God. Understand that suffering will always be a part of life. But there is also a part that is filled with beautiful sunsets, majestic mountains, gorgeous butterflies, the love of our friends and family, and the peace and comfort of our Lord and Savior!

Peace of Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

1. Christine Mallouhi, Waging Peace on Islam (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2000), p.52.


%d bloggers like this: