Archive for the ‘Old Testament’ category

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

WHICH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DO YOU TRUST?

March 4, 2016

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, NIV)

Debate

I must be crazy. I can’t get enough of the 2016 presidential debates. This election season has become a circus and reminds me of a poorly produced reality TV show. I look at this great country of ours and find it hard to believe that those on the debate stages, both Democrat and Republican, are the best qualified people to serve as president. The name-calling, bullying, backstabbing, demeaning, and vulgarity simply do not represent the best qualities of leadership that I admire or want for this country or for the rest of the world. I am truly concerned for the future of our grandchildren. What kind of leadership are we teaching them? Is there a place for Christianity in politics?

I’m not going to rant and rave about any particular candidate. I simply want each of us to take a step back and think about our future. What kind of leader would you like to see in the White House? Who do you trust with the lives of your children and grandchildren?

Perhaps you’re just looking for free college, lower taxes, higher wages, or inexpensive healthcare? Sorry folks; everything comes at a price! All of the candidates on the debate stage make promises that are difficult, if not impossible, to keep.

Not one of the presidential candidates has the ability to bring the peace and security to our families that they promise. None of those candidates can keep us safe from the attacks of Satan or save us from our sinful selves. None of them can offer us eternal life!

It really doesn’t matter who is elected president of this country. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will still be in charge of all things. Our Almighty Father will be with us no matter who is president of this country.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Yes, we’re going to choose one these men or women as the next president of the United States of America. It’s extremely important to understand we are simply electing a new president. We are not electing a new Savior! We must never replace Christ’s values with their values. We should always, always keep Christ first – from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we close our eyes at night.

There is no debate – Jesus Christ is, and will always be, in control!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

October 14, 2015

A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (Job 14:5, NIV)

Job 14_5

We are limited to twenty-four hours a day, every day. As much as we would like, we don’t have the luxury to extend the amount of time which is available to us.  And, not only are we limited to the number of hours available in the day, we are also limited as to the number of days we have here on earth. Unfortunately, none of us can be certain as to how many days, weeks, months, or years we may live. Only God knows for sure. We often act, though, as if we are going to live forever – as if we are invincible and can do whatever we please for as long as we please.

Our time is scarce. It’s extremely valuable. The way we spend every minute of every day is important, not only to us, but also to God. If we’re not careful and intentional, external factors will govern the allocation of our time. Things that are most urgent, not necessarily the most important, will claim top priority and we will begin to lose control of our time.

I can’t tell you how many times I commit myself to spending at least a half hour every morning in worship. My intentions are good, but when I sit down at my computer, the first thing I do is to check my email. What a mistake! There is always something that needs a reply or my attention in some way. Before I realize it, I’m caught up in the daily grind. All of a sudden, I’m too busy to spend a few minutes with the Lord. Or, just as I get started with my quiet, worship time, the phone rings. I can’t let it go. I’ve got to answer it. I have to take care of whatever or whoever needs me. I’m important, you know. I must be or they wouldn’t have called me. And, again, the Lord is on the back burner.

It’s hard to stay focused when we are so busy. I started this “post” this past Saturday while my wife was shopping at the mall. I sat down in the food court with a cup of Starbucks coffee and my computer and started writing. I got to the previous paragraph (where “the Lord is on the back burner”) and guess what? I placed the Lord on the back burner …. again! Here it is Wednesday and I’m finally going to finish this.

I don’t know about you, but I need the Lord in my life. I need Him daily! I need Him when things are going well and I need Him when things aren’t going the way I’d like. I need Him because He is a friend. He’s someone who can fill me with love, forgiveness, gentleness, peace, and happiness. I need to do better! I need to keep Him first in everything I do!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE TODAY!

August 31, 2015

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if only you would hear His voice … (Psalm 95:6-7, NIV)

PRAYER-SERIES

Father, today is a new day.  A day that presents important choices for each one of us.  A day that marks a new beginning. Please hear our prayer.  We are not perfect.  We have made so many mistakes.  We don’t deserve your love or mercy.  But we come to you today, asking forgiveness for our past sins, asking forgiveness for making foolish choices with our lives, and asking forgiveness for following the ways of the world instead of following the ways of the Lord, the way that leads to eternal life.

When you created us, you gave each of us the ability to make our own decisions.  Left on our own, we have made a number of poor choices. We have chosen to please ourselves instead of pleasing you.  In many cases our decisions have been based on how others view us, on ways in which to get ahead in our careers, on ways in which to accumulate more wealth, or on ways in which to satisfy our own flesh.  On our own, we have failed.  We need your presence in our lives. We need your guidance in our decision-making.  Fill us with your Holy Spirit today, right now, so that we can make better choices.  Give us the strength to turn away from worldly desires, from our own selfishness, and help us turn toward you, our Lord and our Savior. Nothing – absolutely nothing – will ever be more important.  Amen.

May God bless you today and every day as you continue “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

GET CONNECTED!

April 29, 2015

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42, NIV)

GET CONNECTED

My last post sounded a bit desperate. Social media and technology have been making this world smaller and smaller. We hear about things now that would have taken weeks, if not months, to hear about just twenty years ago. And, in many cases things used to go on in this world that we never heard about at all.

The whole idea behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites is to stay connected with our families, friends, social groups, old classmates, and so on. Unfortunately some of those websites and apps connect us to some pretty dark places. It’s up to us to know when to draw the line and back away.

There is one place, however, that we can all go to stay current; where we can get connected and stay connected to those people that can help lead us out of the dark and into the light. As you guessed, that place is the Holy Bible. For more than two thousand years, the Bible has taught us to stay connected to each other – with no mention of computers or Smartphones:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 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. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV)

It was the connection of those who responded to my last post that helped me realize that I shouldn’t even try to get through troubles and challenges by myself. When Jesus Christ is the focal point of your life and you are connected to other Christians, you are never alone. When we experience pain and loss, our connections are there to comfort us. When we are overcome by fear and anxiety, our connections give us perspective; they help us see things in ways we may have overlooked. When we need truth, they can teach us. They help us discover and understand the things we hadn’t been able to grasp on our own. When we get stuck, they set us free. They speak the truth and push us forward. When we face complicated questions and are confused, our connections listen and counsel us. When we mess up or make mistakes, they are there to correct us and to offer mercy. They remind us that we are loved, despite all of our flaws and failures. Our connections through Christ remind us of the One who gave His life so we could enjoy eternal life. Our connections through Christ will be with us for eternity – long after Facebook and Twitter have departed from the social scene.

Get connected and stay connected! The Bible and those who strive to become like Jesus are the most powerful social media tools you will ever need.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

Work for Christ

CONFESSION ISN’T ENOUGH!

February 13, 2015

But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. (Ezekiel 18:21, NIV)

Change Ahead

Each of us has secrets. Even after we confess our sins, there are still certain parts of our lives that we keep hidden away. Perhaps we are hiding these little secrets from our spouse, or maybe our children, or even a co-worker. One thing is for sure – we can’t hide anything from God! He knows everything we have done and is aware of everything we are going to do in the future. Since we are already aware of that, what do we do? In many instances, we simply turn away from Him and continue down our own paths of destruction. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

There is another solution; one that will bring peace and joy to your life. It’s called repentance. It’s often difficult to confess our sins, but nearly impossible to repent for all the many sins we have “hidden” away. Repentance involves turning: turning away from our sins; turning our back on our old selves, and turning toward our Lord and Savior. Repentance is a willingness and commitment to become new men and women, to become loyal followers of Jesus Christ. Confession is critical, but it’s only the first step. Repentance is the greatest step!

Ironically, confession requires great courage to clean out everything hidden away in your life. Repentance, however, requires a soft, willing heart. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus taught that it’s not sin itself that imperils us, but rather a hard, stubborn heart, an unwillingness to turn, an unwillingness to repent. The younger son lived a life with ostensibly more sin. The older brother simply harbored resentment and jealousy. The younger brother repented for his sins; the older brother did not. Their father welcomed the younger brother and celebrated his return: this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32, NIV) The father pleaded with his older son to join in the celebration, to soften his heart. But the older son refused.

Without repentance, we continue in our sin. Without repentance, we continue down our own path … one that leads to death. Jesus said: But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3, NIV)

Take a close look inside yourself. The stuff you need to confess, do it now! And repent! Turn your back on the person you once were; the one who kept those little secrets to himself. Take a deep cleansing breath. Listen to God. Astonishingly, he’ll always give you a fresh start. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out … (Acts 3:19, NIV)

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ


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