Archive for the ‘New Testament’ category

HELP WANTED!

May 8, 2017

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV)

As each year passes I look back and am disappointed that I have thrown away so much of my life searching for things that only gratify me, things that are meaningless to everyone but me. Yet, I’ve been extremely blessed. I have always had a roof over my head, food on the table, and family and friends that have loved and supported me along the way. I’ve had a great education and wonderful spiritual leaders. I’ve had success in business and with love. Looking from the outside, my life appears to be perfect.

So why am I so disappointed?

After years of searching for success in business and finally attaining certain financial goals, I have come to realize life is not about me! Real success doesn’t come from working 60 hour work weeks or walking over other people to move up the corporate ladder. A good job and six figure income don’t truly define success. Too often money causes more problems than it solves. And working hour after hour as if nothing else matters is a sure way to tear a family apart. When we sacrifice our lives for our jobs, what have we really gained?

How do we meet success in life?

It sounds simple, but real success comes from following Jesus! Real success starts each morning and ends every evening with a prayer of gratitude. True and honest success includes Jesus in our conversations throughout the day. Success is looking for ways to love one another (John 13:34-35, NIV). Success is living our lives with joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

Success is not about our status at work or the amount of money we bring home at the end of the week! Success is all about living our lives for Jesus! And, more importantly, it’s about living our lives with Jesus!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

IT’S OFF TO WORK I GO!

April 24, 2017

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV) 

We have been told hundreds of times that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has taken away all of our sins. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven and find eternal life with our Father. It isn’t up to us. It just takes faith in God, in His grace. The work has been done by Jesus! Our salvation is a gift from God. That’s it. The end. There’s nothing left for us to do, right?

I suppose that’s true if we plan to meet our maker today. But if we intend to live a little longer, there is plenty for us to do. As it clearly states in Ephesians 2:10, we were created by God to do good works. Our job in the workplace, in our neighborhoods and communities, and wherever we go is to look for ways to bring others a little closer to our Savior (Matthew 28:19). It’s our job to love one another (John 13:34-35). We are to feed the hungry, welcome strangers into our lives, clothe the homeless, care for the sick, and love those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46). We are to do whatever it takes to bring glory to the one who saved us from death.

Each of us has received certain gifts and talents from our Father. Our salvation isn’t determined by how much we do to for Him or by how much we do for others. Our salvation is determined by our faith and by His grace. The very least we can do is to give our lives, talents, and thanks back to Him!

Enjoy your day, Working for Christ.”

A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN TO YOU!

December 21, 2016

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord”. (Luke 2:11, NIV)

manger-scene

He was just a little baby. He thought like a baby. He cried like a baby. He giggled like a baby. He learned to crawl before he could walk. He made baby sounds before he could talk. He cried when his teeth started to come in and he cried when he was hungry.

Yes, he was a baby – just like we were once babies. But he grew into the man who would become our Savior. He spent his time on earth teaching those he met how to love and to live in this crazy, mixed up world. The times were different, but the problems were unmistakably similar to the problems we experience today – the world was full of hatred, jealousy, war, terrorism, cheating, stealing, adultery, murder, and so on! This young man, named Jesus, was not afraid to make a stand for his Father to show the world a better way. He refused to give in to the political pressures of the time. He did not allow anything to stand in the way of his purpose. He was willing to die for his beliefs!

Am I willing to give my life for my beliefs? Most of the time I’m not even sure what my beliefs really are. I struggle every day, wondering “what is my purpose here on earth?” I live and work in a different world than Jesus. My job takes up 50% of my day; sleep takes up another 30%. That only leaves 20% of my day to eat, relax, and enjoy my family. There’s not much time left to give to the Lord! What am I supposed to do?

Believe it or not, many of us go through life with that kind of thinking. I did it for years. I did it until I began to realize that my beginnings were very much like Jesus’ beginnings. We were both helpless little babies, waiting to be led by the hand into a huge world of unknowns. It took me a long time to realize that the very same Spirit that lived in Jesus lives in me – right now! The same spirit that allowed Jesus to arise from the grave, gives me the power to lead others to Christ during my working hours and throughout the rest of the day. My job is a blessing, a gift from God. It’s a place for me to share God’s love with those who may have doubts. My entire life is a blessing. My wife, kids, and grandchildren are all beautiful gifts from our Savior – gifts from that little baby that was born 2,000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem.

What is my purpose here on earth? My purpose is to share the love of Jesus with anyone who has ears to listen! Today, a Savior has been born to YOU!!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

luke-2_11

COME WITH ME AND GET SOME REST!

December 9, 2016

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31, NIV)

rest

Jesus was familiar with fatigue and quiet getaway places. He often traveled toward the hills of Judea, to places off the beaten path, in order to spend some time alone with his Father. We, too, are familiar with fatigue. It’s a deep weariness framed with a longing for something to soothe the portions of our heart that echo with an emptiness we often fail to admit.

But we’re less acquainted with quiet, getaway places. Jesus understands this. He wants us to hear his invitation loud and clear. To get our attention, however, he may whisper in a soft, loving voice, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Our lives are crazy! Words such as quiet, alone, and undistracted are not really part of our daily routines. But, when we find a way to slow down and relax, God makes himself known to us through his creation and by calling our names with a quiet, still voice.

We live in a fast-paced world of cell phones, social media, instant news, music on demand, and ever changing technology. We rarely find time just for ourselves. And when we do slow down a bit, it’s difficult to share that time with anyone – including our Savior!

We need to stop and reset our thinking! When he was alone, Moses heard God call his name through a burning bush. And alone, Samuel responded to the voice of God. And, Mary said yes to the career changing announcement of all time when she was alone!

We are so addicted to our lives of chaos and confusion, it is difficult to hear the voice of our Savior. Our Lord can make himself known to anyone, anytime and through any means, but we need to slow down and listen for His voice. He is here right now, waiting for us to find Him. There’s no better time than this Christmas season to re-focus our lives on the One who can bring us peace and comfort.

Come with me to a quiet place!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

 

 

HOW TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS!

August 22, 2016

“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” (John 15:4, NIV)

Success

Oftentimes, inspiration comes to me in a “vision” – even in a dream – of what God is planning for me. When I have difficulty visualizing His plan, I find myself lacking attentiveness and motivation. As much as I want to do God’s will, it’s very difficult for me to move forward with purpose and passion. I need to know where I’m going. I need to know where God is leading me!

When I started my business a few years ago, I did so with the understanding that I would dedicate my work, and my life, to the Lord. As I sought His guidance, I hadn’t fully received a clear picture as to where I should focus my efforts. As a result, I was “out of sync” every day and had difficulty maintaining my enthusiasm.

After stumbling around on my own for some time, I decided to turn to prayer. It was during this quiet time that I realized the Holy Spirit has always been with me and that He has directed my every move. He has never made demands on my time, but has always waited patiently for me to look for Him. And, yes, I found Him – right where He’s always been – waiting for me to open my eyes.

When I spend time with Him, I am in His will and He guides every step I take. Proverbs 3:6 teaches, “In all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths.” As long as I follow His advice, I know where to find purpose and clarity.

You may not hear God’s voice the same way I do, but He is patiently waiting to hear from you. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you each day and to guide your actions and decisions. Good things happen when you spend time with the Lord! I now have the confidence and motivation that comes from knowing that I am on God’s designated path and that He will guide every step I take. He is the overwhelming focus of my life!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

Work for Christ

I’VE BEEN TRYING TOO HARD!

November 9, 2015

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)

Faith

Growing up, I was taught that I had to please God to earn my way into heaven. I was taught that I needed to spend more time in church, that I needed to go on mission trips, that I needed to place more money in the collection plate, that I needed to quit sinning, that I needed to become perfect! I always felt I had to do more. For six decades, I have tried to become a better person to please our Father, and for six decades I have fallen flat on my face. I am still the same sinner that I was thirty years ago. So if I believe what I was taught as a child, I’m never going to make it into heaven. I’m never going to meet the One who sent His Son to die for me. How in the world am I ever going to be good enough, to please God enough to spend eternity with Him?

I have finally come to realize that I will never be good enough. I am a sinner, and no matter how hard I try, I will always be a sinner! So does that mean I should just give up? Should I just live for myself and forget about pleasing God?

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6, NIV)

Maybe it’s time to look at my faith instead my behavior. Perhaps God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Maybe He made me imperfect for a reason. Maybe He made me the way I am so I would have to trust Him, to allow Him to be present in my life, to give Him the authority to direct my path. Perhaps He doesn’t need me to please Him. Maybe He needs me to trust Him, to have faith in him. Even by trusting Him, I will still be a sinner, but because I belong to Him I will start to love others the way Jesus loves me. No, I will never be good enough, but that really doesn’t matter. God will never love me more than He loves me right this minute – no matter what I do or how hard I try to please Him. My salvation and His love for me have absolutely nothing to do with trying harder! It’s all about FAITH! I simply need to surrender my life to Him and trust that His way is the right way to live my life.

Perhaps you, too, should take a closer look at your faith today!

Have a blessed day, “Working for Christ!”

OPINIONS – WE ALL HAVE THEM!

September 22, 2015

Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7, NIV)

Romans 15_7

Opinions. We all have them. Unfortunately, nobody on this side of heaven has it 100% right. There are hundreds of different variations of Christianity each with a different interpretation of the bible. To name just a few, we live among Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, etc.  In addition to Christianity, our society includes Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i Faith, Confucianism, etc. We also live among the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender communities. We all come from different backgrounds. We come from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Every culture is completely different from the others. Each has its own identity and beliefs.

As Christians, we claim to follow Christ, to model our lives after Him. I realize that is an impossible task, but there is one simple little thing we can do to show that Christ lives in us. We can accept each and every human being that we come into contact with throughout our day. And, even though I say it is simple, it is often extremely difficult. God has given each of us free will and not every person lives according to the principle of “accepting” one another. Many people are confrontational and judgmental (including myself much of the time). But that’s when we need to let our light shine. We need to step above our will and choose God’s will. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to direct our paths and place our trust in Christ.

God did not send His Son to die a painful, excruciating death so He could save only the Baptists, or the Catholics, or the Methodists. He sent Jesus to this earth to save all people – Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, lesbians, Africans, and Australians. We are all precious in His sight!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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