Archive for April 2014

FIND YOUR “NEW” SELF!

April 3, 2014

“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)

Colossians 3-8

Generally speaking, when problems occur, we react. Most of the time we react instinctively, not rationally. We react according to our human nature, not according to our spiritual nature.

Recently one of my clients called me to inform me that I had made a mistake. My first thought was one of denial. “That’s impossible. I don’t make mistakes,” I thought. But after I had taken time to think rationally about the situation I realized that I do make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s human nature; none of us are perfect.

As I look back on how I used to react to these types of situations, the “old me” would have become angry, thrown out a few choice four-letter words, and even made up a little white lie to place the blame somewhere else. But my “new self” is aware of the changes the Lord has made within me. The Lord has given me a sense of control – an ability to be more understanding, more patient, and less angry.  He has blessed me with the presence of Jesus in my life – a role model in whom to follow as problems occur throughout my day. Unlike Jesus, however, the “new me” will never be perfect. I will always struggle, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I am learning to control my human nature and to express my spiritual nature. I am humbled and honored to believe that I am slowly being transformed into someone who looks a little more like Jesus every day.

“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)

The Lord provides a way for each of us to gain understanding and knowledge. When we live for Christ, He becomes our shield and protects us when things get out of control. When problems arise – and believe me, they will – we have someone to turn to, someone who understands human nature just as well as He understands spiritual nature. When problems arise, d0n’t return to your “old self”. Turn toward Christ. Allow Him to help you find your “new self”.

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

April 2, 2014

“… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV)

Focus

At some point in our spiritual journey, we may become convinced that we should be shifting our focus from seeking success in the physical world to gaining significance in the spiritual world.

As Christians, becoming significant in the spiritual world is an important part of our lives. But when the reason we’re doing it is to feel good about ourselves, we cease to serve and we do it only for self-gratification. We need to serve with humility, always guarding against claiming credit for the work God is doing through us.

God doesn’t need us in order to accomplish His will. He gives us the opportunity to be in a relationship with Him as we work where He’s working. We are significant because He made us significant; we are never significant because of what we do for Him.

Don’t be fooled into thinking God can’t use you as you go about your daily business. God is just as much at work in our offices as He is in the sanctuary. He’s as interested in being in relationship with you during your daily work routine as He is in hearing from you in your quiet time. Service in the kingdom only has rank in our eyes, from our perspective. Every action, every moment surrendered to Him out of gratitude and obedience, is an opportunity for Him to work through us, and into those around us, even if we never see the result of that work.

The Westminster Catechism declares “man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.” We glorify and enjoy Him best when our thoughts, our actions, and our sacrifices are focused on Him, and not on how they make us feel about ourselves.

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

April 1, 2014

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

paycheck

The things that matter most in a Christian’s work life are not the same things that matter to the rest of the world. It’s not the dollar amount of their paychecks, the impressiveness of their business cards, the prestige they have earned within their trade, or the position they hold within their company. It’s not even about their productivity or the quality of their work – although hard work is certainly an honorable pursuit. Instead, when it comes to their jobs, what matters most is the extent to which they model themselves after Christ from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

When we attend church on the weekend, we are taught to become more like Christ in the way we live. The problem we encounter is that our intentions are good, but our minds become altered somewhere between Sunday and Monday. The realities of work often keep us from becoming Christ-like at our jobs. Some of these realities are work related, some are simply human nature, but all of them force God out of the forefront and onto the back burner. By Tuesday or Wednesday, our thoughts of God and living for Christ may have completely faded away.

From my experience, that’s a source of frustration for many Christians. We struggle with it. We feel guilty about it. We may even recommit to do things differently, but somehow we manage to backslide and  leave Christ out of our lives – just when we need Him the most!

Perhaps you too have had personal experience with this. Maybe you’ve made some effort to apply your faith in the workplace, only to be discouraged by the results. Perhaps you’ve even reached the point of concluding that real, enduring change is hopeless. It’s not. It’s just a matter of seeing things more clearly – maybe for the first time in your life. And then it’s simply a matter of cooperating with God to defeat the things standing between you and our Savior.

What’s keeping you from being more Christ-like in your job and in your career? What are the barriers that stand in your way? Ask God to give you the strength you need to become more like Christ in your workplace! Your job is an important mission field. Keep Christ “alive” twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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