Archive for May 2014

TODAY ISN’T OVER YET!

May 28, 2014

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40, NIV)

Calming the Storm

Our days are filled with stress. Most of us wake up at about six o’clock in the morning so we can be to our jobs by eight. Not only do we have to get up and be ready to go, we need to make sure our spouse and kids are up and ready to go, too. It seems that when we are rushing around, trying to get ready, nobody in the house wants to cooperate.  “I want cereal,” the youngest screams out.” “I want scrambled eggs,” replies the middle one. “I don’t want to eat today. I’m too fat,” says the oldest. “I’m making pancakes and everyone is going to eat them,” commands mom! Then, the cries and arguments begin. It’s only seven o’clock and my day has just begun.

After dropping my third grader off at school, I sit back in my car and take a deep breath. Ahhh! Finally I can relax. I put on some nice, relaxing blues and get ready to make the rest of my drive to the office. As I get ready to enter the freeway, I notice that the traffic is moving, but at a snail’s pace. It looks as if my forty-five minute commute may take a little longer than expected. Cars in front of me are stopping and starting as if they’d never been in a traffic jam before. Cars behind me are honking, and those around me are cutting in and out of traffic trying to gain an advantage any way they can. There really isn’t any apparent reason for the delay. Nobody can handle it. Horns are honking, fingers are raised and flying at each other, and words are being said that would embarrass even the nastiest of drunken sailors.

Traffic Jam

Finally, at eight thirty, I make it to my office. I’m exhausted. I haven’t even grabbed a cup of coffee before my secretary says, “There’s a call on the line. They’ve been holding for ten minutes, and they really sound upset.” Are you kidding me? I can’t take any more! How am I supposed to show others that I am living for Christ if I can’t get a handle on anything that’s going on around me? What am I supposed to do?

Perhaps when I woke up at six o’clock and made sure my wife and kids were awake, I should have taken a few minutes to “wake” Jesus, too! Maybe I should have invited Him to breakfast with us. I’m sure He would have enjoyed my wife’s blueberry pancakes, and I know He enjoys having breakfast with the kids. I could have even asked Him to sit next to me on the freeway and to protect me and those around me. Before getting out of my car at work, I could have asked Him to bless my day and to show me ways in which to glorify Him as I meet the various challenges that I will be facing today.

I could have and I should have, but I didn’t. Lucky for you (and for me), today isn’t over yet. It’s not too late to “wake” Jesus up and invite Him into your day. It only takes a few minutes. When your storms are raging and you think Jesus is asleep, He’s not! He’s just waiting for you to come to Him! There is no need to worry. He’s got your back!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?

May 27, 2014

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24, NIV)

 It's About Jesus

How do you make a living? Or perhaps it would be better to ask, “What do you do to earn a paycheck?” What do you do with the money you earn? What goals have you set for yourself? What plans do you have for your future? Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten? Twenty? Fifty years from now?

No matter what you do to earn a living, or how you spend your money, or what goals you’ve set for yourself, you have limited time on this earth. If you’re lucky (some may say “unlucky”) you just might live to be eighty or ninety or possible even one hundred years old. However long you may live really isn’t important. The important thing is this: sometime between now and the time you leave this world I pray that we can all find a way to “finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us (me) – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

That “task” does not require you to become a doctor , a lawyer, a missionary, or a preacher! It doesn’t require you to make a lot of money or to give everything you own to the church or to some  charity.  It only requires an obedient heart – one that loves the Lord and is willing to live in a way that honors Christ Jesus. That heart could be yours whether you mop up dirty floors at the corner McDonald’s or you are the president of Chase Bank.

We are all the same! Where Christ is concerned, no one is less that anyone else. No one is greater than anyone else either. We were all placed on this earth strategically by our Father in Heaven, to do His will, not ours. He placed some of us in lowly positions, not because we are lowly, but because He knew we could do the most good in those places. And, He has elevated others so they can use their position to elevate even more people and to bring them closer to Christ. Unfortunately, where human nature is involved, some people fall back on their own free will and use their positions to better themselves instead of our Savior.

We live in a broken world. It’s not so broken that it can’t be fixed, however. It takes just one person at a time. Like Paul suggests, our lives aren’t worth anything unless we use them in a way that brings glory to our Savior! Where do you see yourself five years from now? I pray that you can honestly answer, “I see myself a little closer to our Lord!”

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE?

May 23, 2014

 

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 5:5-6, NIV)

Pay the Price

We’ve all been there. Just before mealtime we raid the cupboard or the refrigerator. We need something to hold us over until dinner time. We need satisfaction. And, we need it now.

Food is just the beginning. When the new iPhone is released this summer, how many of us will sell or trade our old phones so we can get the new and improved version? We feel as if we’re nobody if we don’t have the latest and greatest – especially when it comes to our phones. Or, when the odometer in our car turns a certain number of miles we feel as if we need to upgrade to a newer model even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the car we’re driving.

We see an alluring woman (or man) and lust takes over. We go a little closer. Our desire overrules our self-control. If we proceed, there is a price that will be paid.

There’s no doubt, while we’re in this body we’re consumed with a gnawing sense that we have this hole in our lives that needs to be filled. We long to fill that hole with any number of material things and experiences, both good and bad. But no matter how much money we make or what kinds of pursuits we chase after, that hunger for more still eats away at us.

Instead of going to God’s Word for direction when we are tempted, or instead of using the brain He gave us, oftentimes we go with our gut. Or worse, we fly on autopilot, not giving a second thought to the consequences of our actions.

Like Esau giving up his birthright for some bread and stew, we sometimes exchange true joy for a temporary thrill, a blessed future for immediate fulfillment. We carelessly toss aside our imperishable spiritual birthright for a consumable – and fleeting – fantasy.

The rewards of obedience to God’s will are flushed away every day by such hasty choices. We give up our financial security or our own sexual purity for a rush that lasts only seconds. The regret, however, may last for years.

So before giving in to your earthly desires, stop and pray. Take some time. Then take another look at what God has to offer. It’s priceless!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

STEP IT UP!

May 20, 2014

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6, NIV)

Reality Check

What kind of attitude does Christ Jesus have for me? How does this apply to my job? How can I glorify God in my workplace?

In John 13, Jesus commanded, “Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another. Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” In Romans 12, Paul reminds us, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Galatians 5:13, tells us to “serve one another humbly in love.” Paul instructs us in Ephesians 4:2 to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” And 1 Peter 3:8 teaches us all to “be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” I could go on and on.

All you have to do is listen to the evening news to see what’s wrong with this world. No matter where you turn, there seems to be a lack of love and compassion for one another. Observe the people around you at work. How many are actually there to serve one another? How many view their jobs as a place to share the love of Christ Jesus? Pay attention to attitudes. Do you “see” Christ in your boss? Can you put aside the differences you have with your co-workers long enough to express an encouraging, loving attitude that resembles the attitude of Christ?

Most importantly, do others look at you and see Jesus Christ? Do you have the love, patience, gentleness, and compassion to bring others a little closer to our Savior? That’s exactly why God has placed you in the job you have today. He wants you to be His voice in the workplace. He needs you to encourage others to develop that same positive, loving attitude that glorifies the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He needs you to step up your game and become a little more like Christ!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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