Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ category

LIGHT UP YOUR WORKPLACE!

October 23, 2014

“You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)

prayer

Are you in the right job, following the proper career path, living in the right city? How can you be certain that God has you where he wants you? The strongest evidence is simply that we’re there. He knows where we are. He sees us (Luke 12:6-7). He is always with us (1 Corinthians 3:16). He has a plan for each of us. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  So where we are now – no matter where that may be – is no accident. Until we hear differently, we’ve got to assume that where we are is where He wants us to be – for His reasons, and for His purposes.

One of those purposes, if not the main one, is to bring “light” into our regions of influence and impact (Matthew 5:14). Jesus tells us not to hide the light that radiates from us when we follow Him.let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our light begins to dim when we get too comfortable with the places where we work and live. Our light is extinguished when we succumb and begin to follow our worldly desires instead of those ordained by Christ. We need to resist the worldly beliefs and values that so many of us tend to follow. We need to remember who we are – as Christians.

We follow Christ! Our values are His values! We believe in Him! That is the belief we live by!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WE ARE ALL FOLLOWERS!

February 11, 2014

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God …”. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34, NIV)

Sin

The people we associate with (professionally and socially) have a tremendous influence on our character. It’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted by our peers. Consequently, many of of us fall into the trap of becoming followers instead of leaders. When we imitate others we often follow them into sin or destructive behavior just to feel accepted. When we turn to sin and destructive behavior we become followers of Satan.

There is a better choice!

To live in this world as a follower of Christ it is important to choose our friends and associates wisely. If we are to follow Christ’s example and live as He lived, we need to stop that sinful and destructive behavior. We need to take the “lead” so others follow us toward a meaningful life with Christ. We need to lead others toward Christ by following His example! It is up to us to display a positive example by the way we live. It is our job to gently and lovingly bring others to our Savior!

You may never know who is following you!

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

FLIP THE SWITCH!

October 22, 2013

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)

COLOSSIANS 3_23

Many of us believe that work isn’t a spiritual activity. Somewhere along the way we were taught – or we simply believed – that there is no connection between God and our work (unless of course we become pastors). Nothing could be further from the truth. When we dismiss work as something non-spiritual, we forget that God is the Lord over everything, including work – no matter what we do to make a living.

Some of us, too, are under the impression that we are on our own – we have to do everything by ourselves. We operate with a self-sufficient, got-to-do-it-myself attitude. Again, God promises that we are never alone. We know that He will never abandon us, no matter how high or how low we feel, no matter how difficult things may become, and no matter how self-sufficient we think we are. He is always here for us, with us, and ready to work through us. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)

Finally, there are some of us who feel that our work is just a waste. We sometimes believe that the tasks of our daily work may be meaningless in the eyes of the Lord. We think that our jobs are too small or too pointless or otherwise too empty to be meaningful. The truth of the matter is this: God delights in everything we do. He designed us uniquely, and He enjoys our work like a father delights in a child. If a human father feels delight in his children, imagine how much more God delights in His. While we may often feel that our work is unimportant, He fully supports our efforts as a reflection of His glory in His creation. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31, NIV)

Don’t lose sight of these simple, basic truths. It’s so easy to get off track without even realizing it. Instead of turning God’s light off when you go to work, flip the switch. Allow God’s light to shine in whatever you do – especially throughout your workplace.

Flip the Switch

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHERE IS THE PASSION?

August 16, 2013

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NIV)

Broken Marriage

Imagine a marriage in which the husband earns a living to pay his family’s bills, takes care of the house and cars, and sees that his family has the food and clothing they need every day. Yet he has lost all tenderness and passion for his wife. Is this a healthy marital relationship?

Just as the partners in a marriage can lose their passion for one another and continue on, a similar situation can occur in relationships between Christians and God. In fact, the church of Ephesus had fallen into this very trap. Jesus noted that this church had “persevered and … endured hardships for my name” (Revelation 2:3). But, he pointedly added, “you have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4).

What about you? When you compare your current relationship with Christ to what it was when you first began following Him, are you just as passionate about knowing Him, being with Him, and worshiping Him as you were then? Or do you find yourself busy serving Him without bothering to cultivate your relationship with Him?

Sadly, like a marriage without passion, our relationship with God can go through a period during which spiritual passion falters. We often serve the Lord more out of habit or duty than out of a desire to know Him more deeply.

Consider this: God might occasionally want us to stop doing for Him so that we can concentrate on being with Him and recovering the love we once had. Many passionless marriages have been renewed. Our relationship with the Lord can experience renewed passion and vigor as well. Put your relationship with Christ first, then let your service for Him follow as a natural response.

Christ First

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

WE ARE ALL MISSIONARIES!

August 14, 2013

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

Work for Jesus

When the apostle Paul tells us to fully work unto the Lord, he does not mean we must be working as missionaries in “full-time Christian effort.” He understands that all of life is holy and sacred to God. If our motive is to serve God where we are, then our labor “in the Lord is not in vain.”

As you begin your work today, ask God if you are working with the primary motive of reflecting His life and character through your work on this day. Let nothing move you from this motive being central to your activity. The Lord will reflect His power and leading in and through your life when this becomes your primary motive.

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)

IS AMBITION SINFUL?

June 4, 2013

“… You are not your own. You were bought with a price. …” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

bought with a price

Christians often see salvation as a business transaction with God. They accept His Son as their Savior, then He’s supposed to do things for them – bring promotions, raises, and success.

Salvation isn’t a “transaction” at all. It’s a gift. Once we receive it, there is nothing we can do to make us more or less worthy of it. Our opportunity to be in fellowship with God is solely based on the righteousness of Christ. God owes us nothing. He simply offers us a place throughout eternity with Him – not just after we die, but starting the day we accept Him as our Savior.

As I said, God owes us nothing, but that’s not true for us. We owe Him everything, and it’s a debt we start paying the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. When we are saved, we surrender to the Kingdom of God. We surrender our jobs, careers, wants, and desires. We are no longer able to pursue selfish goals or possessions; now we must pursue the things that bring glory to God and accomplish His will.

How will a promotion help me serve others or glorify God? How will changing jobs affect my relationship with Him? How will I use the extra money I receive if I get that raise?

Being ambitious for the Kingdom teaches us how God has gifted us and how He wants to use us. God isn’t satisfied with a half-hearted, laid back effort. Avoiding selfish ambition doesn’t mean we are to be lazy. It doesn’t mean doing things without energy. It doesn’t mean not doing our very best. Paul stresses that whatever we are doing, we should be doing it “as if we are doing it for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23-24). That is our righteous ambition.

We are to glorify God and enjoy Him. We feel His pleasure most when we strive for excellence – but for His pleasure and glory, not ours. For His service and the service of others, not for our own gratification.

Is ambition sinful? According to the way the world defines it, yes. But when we apply enthusiasm to our efforts and offer them to Him as a testimony of our love and devotion to Him, then ambition becomes eminently praiseworthy!

colossians 323

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!


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