Archive for the ‘John’ 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!”

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

ARE YOU DRAWN TO EXTREMES?

June 26, 2015

“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:25-26, NIV)

extreme

Many of us are drawn to extremes. In some instances, pushing our limits can be a positive, uplifting thing. In most situations, however, especially in today’s society it can be a dangerous practice. We live in a world that tells us to “work longer hours”, “sleep less”, “quit wasting time”, “spend more money”, “obtain a better lifestyle”. Our tendency is to follow those directions because everyone else is doing it and we feel like they are all getting farther ahead in life than us. We don’t want to be left behind, do we?

Hold on a minute. Where does the bible tell us to live toward those extremes? Those messages we hear from the world aren’t from God. He didn’t design us to live with extreme calendars, extreme finances, or extreme work ethic. He designed us to be in relationships with one another (John 13:34-35, NIV). He designed us to work as if we were working for the Lord, not for other people or ourselves (Colossians 3:23, NIV). He designed us for rest – rest from work and rest in Him (Hebrews 4:10, NIV).

We can try to convince ourselves that our extreme lifestyles are designed to please God, but be very careful in the way you are thinking. It’s not a sin to have a great job, or lots of money, or the desire to take care of your family. Just make sure you get your priorities straight. God is first! Everything else will fall into place when you live your life for Him! He is calling us to a life of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV) It seems to me that a life filled with these things would be much more attractive than one which is fast-paced, filled with greed, and totally out of control. 

If you’re driven toward extremes, turn to Christ! Live extremely for Him!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

HAVE YOU BECOME A “WATCHER?”

March 27, 2015

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4, NIV)

Take Action

When you are working, are you working for Christ or are you working for someone or something else? Are you a bystander, simply watching the way things unfold around you, never getting involved, or do you take action and represent Jesus Christ in your daily life?

Personally, I realize I’ve spent way too much time watching and not enough time working. I get caught up in the events of the day and completely forget to work on those things that God created me for, specifically those things mandated by the two great commandments:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)

I’ve watched too many sermons about the Gospel, but have not “lived out” the Gospel. I’ve watched too many movies and read too many books about other people’s adventures, but I have ignored the adventures that God has placed directly in front of me. I’ve watched too much basketball, golf, and soccer – watching others face their fears, face great odds, and push themselves to their supposed limits, but have not done those things myself. Don’t misunderstand me, sermons, movies, books, and sports are all good things. There is nothing wrong with inspiration … but it’s got to be inspiration for something.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love... (Ephesians 1:4, NIV)

When God dreamt about us long ago, did He dream of us watching others live out their great stories or did He have a plan for us to live out our story, too? I may have slipped over the past few weeks and months, but God has called out to me to share His love and to continue writing the story He has created especially for me. Pray that He will lead you into your story, too.

Don’t stand by and be a “watcher”. Stand tall and be a worker, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

ANOTHER SETBACK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

January 26, 2015

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)

frustration

Really? I’m supposed to be happy when trials come my way? What about if I lose my job, my career, my financial stability, or my marriage? How are any of these things supposed to bring me joy?

Each of those things has happened to me. Every time, my first instinct was to blame God. During the process of blaming Him, I found myself opening His Word and searching for answers. I began to realize that these “burdens” were actually bringing me closer to Him. My burdens were helping to create a new “me”. I realized that they were not random incidents at all, but were all parts and pieces to a puzzle that was designed to make me more mature, more focused, more rugged, and more fruitful. I began to realize what Jesus was teaching when He said: He (God) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2, NIV)

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not fully enjoyed the struggle, the hardship, and the pain of my past, but I am beginning to “like” the person that I’ve become as a result. I definitely prefer my post-burden self to the person I was before.

It’s still difficult when trials come my way, but I have a new understanding of what they mean to me. I have learned to welcome them into my life as a way to get closer to my Lord and Savior! There is no more blame – only love for the One who has saved me.

If you are going through a tough time right now, recognize the pain. Talk about it with those you trust. Don’t try to escape it. Let it do its work. And, trust that it will not last forever. Trust that, after a while, it will go away and you will emerge with a better vision of yourself. Turn your trials and hardships over to the Lord. He has orchestrated these things to bring you closer to Him! Really!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

GET TOGETHER!

October 27, 2014

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20, NIV)

together

We often find it hard to get together with other Christians – or anyone else for that matter. We’re just way too busy. Our calendars are always full: “I just don’t have time for anything else.” Our pride takes control: “I’m good. I’m doing just fine on my own.” Our aversion to vulnerability is strong: Oh, man. I’m just no good at opening up.” As followers of Jesus Christ, though, we must gather – not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV).

But … why? Why is it so important for us to get together with other Christians? There are a couple of really good reasons. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us that “two are better than one”. We are stronger, less vulnerable, together. If one strays, the other is there to help get him back on course.

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10, NIV).

More importantly, Jesus tells us that He is present when we gather in His name (Matthew 18:20, NIV). You see, the Holy Spirit dwells within each follower of Jesus (John 14:17, NIV). When we gather in His name, the power of the Holy Spirit fills the room. Confessions are made, sins are repented, love and compassion are expressed, hearts are healed, encouragement is given, lives are transformed. We are lifted up – up out of sin and rebellion – into a new life, a new identity, and a new calling. The work of the Lord is done that just cannot be done in isolation.

Don’t ever allow yourself to believe that you are too busy to get together with other Christians. There are probably others in your workplace or in your customer base that would enjoy an opportunity to share the Lord and their faith with someone else. Take the time, and the initiative, to seek them out. Don’t let your calendar, pride, or fear get in the way of your relationship with our Savior!

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! … For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3 NIV)

 Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

COME TO THE WELL!

June 25, 2014

“Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” (John 4:4-6, NIV)

Samaritan Woman

Everyone in town knew her. She had grown up right before their eyes. Five husbands had come and gone. Now she was alone, minding her own business. But one day, as she was drawing water from the well, she met another man. He was different from the rest. He looked worn – as if from a long journey. But he seemed friendly. There was no official introduction. He simply asked her for a drink.

“Why are you asking me for a drink?” she said, surprised he would even bother to talk to her. After all, he was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. But he replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am. You would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

This wasn’t the answer she expected. What was He up to? If she had known who He was, her response might have been entirely different. This was no ordinary man. He was the One whose coming had been prophesied for centuries. The One whom angels proclaimed. The One whose hands healed the sick.  The One whose voice raised the dead. The One whose life brought hope to the hopeless.

This was the Messiah. Yet she did not recognize Him. And she asked, “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket, and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water?”

Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away their thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t ever have to come back here again.”

The woman’s excitement was understandable. She thought the stranger before her offered some sort of magical water to prevent her from ever thirsting again. In fact, what He offered was something far greater. He was offering the gift of eternal life – a gift she could receive by drinking living water.

What is living water? It’s not actually a beverage, but a being. Living water is a symbol for the Messiah. To drink of the living water is to enter into a refreshing relationship with God that can heal hurts, mend hearts, and satisfy souls. In answer to the woman’s deepest needs the Messiah offered Himself.  And the woman accepted. She accepted the gift no other man had given her before – a real relationship founded on unending love. No more broken promises or abandoned commitments. Here, at last, was the love for which she longed.

Turning from the well, she ran straight into town and started shouting to everyone in earshot, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

So people came. They talked to Him. They listened to Him. They believed in Him. And they, too, accepted the Living Water.

Everywhere you look today there are disenchanted people looking for something more than this world offers. They’ve tried it all. They’ve tried drinking from the well of wealth, the spring of success, the pond of power, the fountain of fame, the pool of possessions, and the ocean of pleasure. But none of these offer lasting satisfaction. They offer only temporary relief to a permanent problem.

The Messiah is the solution. He is the Living Water. Only He can satisfy the soul. His forgiveness is cleansing. His grace is refreshing. His presence is purifying. And His love is invigorating.

What about you?  Have you tried the waters of this world and found them disappointing? Has your soul been longing for a sip of something more satisfying? If you try to quench the thirsting of your soul at the wells of this world, you will be thirsty again. But if you seek satisfaction in the living water of Christ and His love, then you will find fulfillment.

To each and every heart the Messiah makes the same offer. “If you will but ask, I will give you living water.” And when you have living water, you have life.  So today, if you are thirsty for something more, why not accept the offer of the stranger by the well?

Come to Christ. Drink deeply. And be satisfied.

Living Water

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!


%d bloggers like this: