Posted tagged ‘christianity’

COME WITH ME AND GET SOME REST!

December 9, 2016

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31, NIV)

rest

Jesus was familiar with fatigue and quiet getaway places. He often traveled toward the hills of Judea, to places off the beaten path, in order to spend some time alone with his Father. We, too, are familiar with fatigue. It’s a deep weariness framed with a longing for something to soothe the portions of our heart that echo with an emptiness we often fail to admit.

But we’re less acquainted with quiet, getaway places. Jesus understands this. He wants us to hear his invitation loud and clear. To get our attention, however, he may whisper in a soft, loving voice, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Our lives are crazy! Words such as quiet, alone, and undistracted are not really part of our daily routines. But, when we find a way to slow down and relax, God makes himself known to us through his creation and by calling our names with a quiet, still voice.

We live in a fast-paced world of cell phones, social media, instant news, music on demand, and ever changing technology. We rarely find time just for ourselves. And when we do slow down a bit, it’s difficult to share that time with anyone – including our Savior!

We need to stop and reset our thinking! When he was alone, Moses heard God call his name through a burning bush. And alone, Samuel responded to the voice of God. And, Mary said yes to the career changing announcement of all time when she was alone!

We are so addicted to our lives of chaos and confusion, it is difficult to hear the voice of our Savior. Our Lord can make himself known to anyone, anytime and through any means, but we need to slow down and listen for His voice. He is here right now, waiting for us to find Him. There’s no better time than this Christmas season to re-focus our lives on the One who can bring us peace and comfort.

Come with me to a quiet place!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work 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!”

A NEW YEAR RESOLUTION!

December 26, 2013

“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3, NIV)

Distorted Worship

How do you view your work? Do you worship God through your work, or do you simply worship your work? I am convinced work can become an idol in our lives. The most destructive and dangerous idols we worship are seldom made of wood or stone, but rather the idols that lurk within human hearts. But Scripture is clear. God will not share His glory with anyone or anything. God will not allow any rivals. Our ultimate allegiance, the greatest love of our hearts, is to be God and God alone!

One of the ways we make work an idol is to become a workaholic. This form of idolatry is rampant today and often points to a deeper issue in our lives. Work idolatry is often driven by our pursuit of the American dream, of material comforts, of financial security, or by our attempts to prop up a certain image of success about ourselves. Sometimes we can hide this type of idolatry from ourselves by believing that we are working toward loyalty and commitment within our workplace in order to receive promotions and advancement. Workplace idolatry can also be driven by overextended living, materialistic greed, and even rebellion against God. Regardless of the form it takes, excessive devotion to work inevitably crowds out our relationship with God and sets work up as the ultimate reality in our lives. When this happens, we realize that we no longer view our work as a way to worship the Lord, but we have learned to worship our work and place the Lord somewhere beneath it in our quest for success.

In a few days we will be starting a new year. Many of us will be putting together a list of resolutions that will define our priorities as this new year begins to unfold. My prayer for each of us is to consider using our work as a way to worship our Savior and not to worship our work in a way that will destroy our relationship with Him. I pray, too, that this blog will become an avenue for those in the workplace to seek Him first in everything we do.

New Year Resolutions

God bless you and enjoy the New Year, “Working for Christ!”

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!”

MYSTERY!

November 6, 2013

“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:9, NIV)

index

Human beings always want to know “why?” and “why not?” It’s precisely because we are human that we cannot know. That’s why mystery is so important to understand. The entire book of Job is all about the “why” of suffering and in the end God invites Job to see a bigger picture than even his own suffering.

Creation is a mistake if all you see is suffering. But if you lift your eyes wider and look at the entire universe with God, you can also see that creation is filled with beauty and grace.

We are to value mystery because it enables us to feel God’s love – love that was fully revealed in Christ.

Sometimes, as a benefit of growing older, we get to experience some of the “whys?” and “why nots?” Most often, however, we are left to “wonder” simply because we are the players of life, not the playwright.

Christine Mallouhi in her excellent book, Waging Peace on Islam, makes this significant conclusion:

“The victorious and triumphant Christian life does not conjure up pictures of suffering and death and feelings of abandonment. But this was all part of God’s victory in Christ. If this was the path the Master trod why should it be any different for the servants? Jesus cried out “why?” and “where are you?” to God when circumstances were crushing him. God is always greater than our understanding of him and there will always be mystery about him that causes us to fall down in awe and worship. This mystery, which we want to tidily categorize, keeps causing struggles in our life. Every time we get God tidied up like a ball of rubber bands, another end bursts out and the struggle begins over again, until we learn to live in faith with untidy ends. If everything is clear then faith is irrelevant. We are not called to solve the mystery, but enter it.[1]”

So value the mysteries of life and use them to come closer to God. Understand that suffering will always be a part of life. But there is also a part that is filled with beautiful sunsets, majestic mountains, gorgeous butterflies, the love of our friends and family, and the peace and comfort of our Lord and Savior!

Peace of Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

1. Christine Mallouhi, Waging Peace on Islam (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2000), p.52.

GO, MAKE DISCIPLES!

November 5, 2013

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV)

Moving Van

Are we supposed to drop everything we’re doing, sell all of our possessions, and run off to some remote area of the world so that we can spread the Word to those who’ve never heard it? There are a lot of people who receive that “call” from God. He speaks to them and they are convinced He wants them to do just that. And, that’s exactly what Jesus and His disciples did to spread Christianity two thousand years ago. To those who receive that call, I’ve been told there is nothing more fulfilling or satisfying.

I’ve never received that particular call from our Father. I’ve prayed about it, asked for His direction, and have been waiting. Maybe I need to wait a little longer. I’ll wait as long as it takes. In the meantime, I see a tremendous need right where I am – where we work, where we go to school, where we shop, where we play, and even where we go to church. In my mind our workplaces, the mall, the elementary, middle, and high schools, the local college or university, and our churches are all “nations”, many of which live separately from Christ. Just as Christ wants us to plant a church in Somalia or the Dominican Republic, He also needs our help right where we are. It’s our job to bring Christ into the places where we spend our time every single day. To me, that’s what God is asking each of us to do until the “big call” finally arrives.

So go out today, and next week, and next month, and next year, and make disciples of all nations – wherever you may be. Live a life that reflects Jesus Christ and show others what “love” really looks like.

Share God

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

CALLING IN SICK!

October 24, 2013

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24, NIV)

Reflection

A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal published a survey conducted by the Princeton Religion Research Center which measured a range of moral and ethical behaviors in the workplace. The questions addressed subjects such as calling in sick when not sick, cheating on taxes, and taking office supplies home for personal use. The results were disappointing.

What researchers found most startling was that there was no significant difference between those who attend church and those who don’t when it comes to their ethics and values on the job. In other words, despite the fact that more and more people attend churches, churches seem to be having less of an impact on the moral fiber of their people, at least in the workplace.

Most of the professionals I know, and especially most men, hold a mild skepticism toward their faith. They feel that something as abstract as faith could never stand up to the harshness on the streets. They attend church on the weekend, but religion is a sort of “hobby”, like golf or fishing. When Monday arrives it’s time to get back to the “real world.”

My point is this – just because you attend church, it doesn’t mean you live according to Christian values! Christians, by definition, are those who follow Christ. To follow Him, we first must study His life and become familiar with His teachings. Ultimately, our goal should be to become more like Him in everything we do – that includes our work! Jesus would not call in sick unless He was sick. He would not cheat on His taxes. And, Jesus would not steal office supplies for His personal use.

Today is a great day to change our attitudes – to make a new commitment. Let’s all take a second to close our eyes, bow our heads, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power so that our Christian values pour out into our daily lives, and especially into our workplace.

beingspiritfilled_GMS

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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