Posted tagged ‘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 DOWN FROM YOUR PEDESTAL!

January 18, 2015

 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus … he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant … he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8, NIV)

Philippoians 2_5

Humility is a trait that most of us don’t possess. People “at the top” are reminded daily about their success by the materialistic things around them and by the praises they receive from their peers, co-workers, family, and friends. This constant exaltation leads to an inflated self-esteem, arrogance, and narcissism. Unfortunately, the world has a tendency to elevate people based on their talents, prestige, and wealth. Contrary to its allure, this type of success is often short-lived and produces vanity and self-deceit.

Society tells us that we are special until someone more special comes along! When this occurs, we return to being a “nobody” and often choose stress as a way to maintain our upward mobility. That is not the way God intended us to live!

In the scripture, Paul is writing to the people of Philippi, encouraging them and giving them words of wisdom. He tells them to remain humble – just as Jesus was. He instructed them to be like Jesus. And, yes, Jesus was the Son of God and had all the rights and privileges to the Kingdom of Heaven. He could have arrived in a golden chariot, lived in a mansion, and put to death all those who opposed Him. He could have refused to be put to death on a cross. He could have separated Himself from the poor and sick, and He could have adorned Himself with the finest robes and jewels. But He didn’t. He chose to remain humble and to live a simple life of servant-hood. He chose to live like a man and work in a troubled world. He chose a life like ours.

How many of us, because we are the son or daughter of someone important, think we should have the best of everything? How many of us, because we own our own business or are the manager of a certain company, think we are “all that?” How many of us are motivated by owning the flashiest car, the largest house, or the most expensive jewelry? Do these things really make us important? Do they make us better than anyone else?

There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but most often the motives behind why we purchase these things are wrong. When we adorn ourselves with materialistic things to look important, to impress others, or to flaunt our success, we are not living in the spirit Christ intended. Showing off is “selfish ambition and vain conceit.”

Jesus chose to be humble. He subjected Himself to death on the cross. Consequently, God elevated Him to the highest position in the kingdom.

As business owners and leaders, we can lead and still remain humble. When we maintain a spirit of meekness, and care for the needs of our employees, co-workers, consumers, and community, God will lift us up, too! God does not put us on a pedestal like the world does. When God lifts us up, it may last a lifetime, not just a moment. When He blesses us, He will take care of us!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WORK OR WORSHIP?

December 30, 2013

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (Matthew 10:29, NIV)

Worship

So often we think of worship as something we do on the weekend and work as something we do the rest of the week. This is not what God intended nor what He desires for our lives. God designed work to have both a vertical and a horizontal dimension. We are to work for the glory of God and for the common good of mankind. Our work has been designed by God to be an act of worship – unfortunately this truth is often missed in the frenzied pace of our everyday lives.

If God is aware and cares for every sparrow that falls, then we know that our loving heavenly father watches over us wherever we are and whatever we are doing. Nothing we think, say, or do ever escapes God’s loving, caring, watchful eye. Everything we do, then, should become an act of worship – even the work we do on Monday through Friday from eight to five.

Though our work may be difficult and at times exasperating, we do not have to hate our jobs or merely live for the weekends. We need to re-examine how we think about work. When we begin to embrace how work should be, then we begin to see it as an integral part of our worship to God. If we understand that God designed us to contribute to His creation, we will take seriously how and where we are called to make our important contributions in the world.

You may have been placed in this world to affect millions of lives and bring them to Christ or perhaps you have been strategically placed by God to affect just one or two, or maybe a handful, of people who would be lost without getting to know you. God knows what He is doing. He has placed you where He can use you to His glory.

Yes, it is right to worship Him on the weekend, but remember to worship Him the rest of the week, also! He is worthy of all of our worship – every minute, every hour, and every day!

Time

Enjoy today, “Working for Christ!”

ARE YOU RICH (Toward God, That Is)?

December 27, 2013

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15, NIV)

Seeing Dollars

And He (Jesus) told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.” He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21, NIV)

Jesus warns us about the peril of a life lived without God – one that worships self, work, and personal comfort. This parable is a damning indictment of a man who lived as if God did not exist, who thought that he had it all, but at the end of the day he found his way of life was a destructive force that really didn’t accomplish what he had intended.

The sin of a hurried, harried, and preoccupied life is rampant in this fast paced, competitive world. To survive, we need someone to lead the way – someone who has seen what’s on the other side and someone who can teach us right from wrong. We don’t need just anyone. We need Jesus.

Jesus teaches, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

Keep these words close to your heart as you begin each new day in this upcoming year. Remember, nothing can get accomplished unless it is the will of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Be prosperous in the New Year – prosperous toward God, that is!

Treasure

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 24, 2013

May God shower you with His blessings this Christmas and in the coming new year!

Nativity

Enjoy the season. I look forward to “seeing” you all in the new year!

Blessings, Dave

IS GRACE A “FREE” GIFT?

December 12, 2013

“My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30, NIV)

Grace3

We are taught early in our relationship with Christ that grace is given freely – that Christ died to free us from our sins. His grace has set us free. And His grace is free.

Am I to understand that since Jesus did it all, we don’t need to do a thing – other than to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior? But doesn’t that mean we can keep on living the way we always have? We can continue to sin and not worry about the consequences? Some people would say that’s the way it is. They accept Christ so they’re on their way to live with Him in eternity! Nothing in their lives needs to change – other than the fact that they now believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior!

But wait! What about confessing your sins? What about living a “transformed” life – one that mimics the way Christ lived? What about giving up your old way of life and living (and dying) for Christ? In my mind, there is a price we must pay to receive the grace that Christ gives us so freely!

True grace has a cost. It’s found when people go and sell everything they have in order to develop their relationship with Christ. It’s found in Christ’s sovereignty, when we are willing to tear out an eye if it causes us to stumble. It’s found in the call of Jesus Christ which causes a person to leave his “net” and follow Him.

Yes, true grace has a cost. It’s found in the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock.

It’s costly because it calls us to discipleship; it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs people their lives; it is grace because it thereby makes them live a transformed life. It is costly because it condemns sin; it is grace because it justifies the sinner. Grace is costly because it was costly to God – because it cost God the life of His own Son and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God. Above all, it is grace because the life of God’s Son was not too costly for God to give in order to bring us to everlasting life!

So the next time you consider the gift of grace, consider the cost – it really isn’t free. But when we accept it, and we live under His “yoke”, we become free – free to love like never before!

Free to Love

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


%d bloggers like this: