Archive for the ‘Matthew’ 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.”

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

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!”

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!”

WHO IS THIS GUY?

July 9, 2014

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54, NIV)

 Son of God

A researcher in Boston visited Harvard Square to ask college students what they thought of Jesus. Although often respectful of Him many people really didn’t understand who He was. One said He was “a person who took care of people.” Another said, “He sounds like a cool guy.” Another, “he was a Jewish carpenter.” Others rejected Him completely: “He was just a guy, a man. I don’t think He was the Savior.” And “I do not accept any faith system that says, ‘I am the only way to God.’”

Two thousand years ago, people questioned who He was, too. As Jesus faced death many people mocked the idea that He was anyone special. “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.” (Matthew 27:37). And there were those who said, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:40). The religious people of the time even said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matthew 27:42).

In His death, Jesus may have seemed powerless. But when we read the whole story, we see that He gave His life willingly. He proved Himself to be the Son of God with limitless power as He walked out of that tomb. Take a minute to reflect on the value of His death and behold the power of His resurrection. He’s not just some regular guy like you or me. He is the Savior of the world!

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!” – Lowry

He is the reason we wake up every morning. He’s the reason we go to work every day. Our work, and our lives, are meaningless if we are just living for ourselves. Don’t live just for today, to please yourself. Start living for eternity today – with someone special, Jesus Christ! Your day will be blessed!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

THE PEACE OF GOD COMES FROM THE GOD OF PEACE!

July 8, 2014

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, NIV)

Peace (2)

During the economic downturn of 2008, many people lost their jobs. Sadly, many of them also lost their faith in Christ. However, it doesn’t necessarily take a recession or the loss of employment to turn us away from our Savior. Losing a sale, a reprimand from our boss, or an unsettled relationship with our spouse may trigger doubt and cause us to fall away.

Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we know that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and to give us peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” writes the apostle Paul, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of our daily trials and challenges.

Jesus taught us not to worry, because we can entrust our needs to our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us (Matthew 6:25-34; 7:9-11; 1 Peter 5:7). In Philippians 4, Paul follows Jesus’ example and encourages us to replace our anxieties with trust and prayer. The “peace of God” is not a psychological state of mind but an inner calm or tranquility. This peace comes from trusting in God who answers our prayers. It comes when we develop a disciplined spiritual perspective, and when we deliberately practice our Christian virtues.
Those who entrust themselves to God will not only experience the peace of God, but the “God of Peace” will be with them.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

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