Posted tagged ‘daily devotional’

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.”

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

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

 

I’VE BEEN TRYING TOO HARD!

November 9, 2015

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)

Faith

Growing up, I was taught that I had to please God to earn my way into heaven. I was taught that I needed to spend more time in church, that I needed to go on mission trips, that I needed to place more money in the collection plate, that I needed to quit sinning, that I needed to become perfect! I always felt I had to do more. For six decades, I have tried to become a better person to please our Father, and for six decades I have fallen flat on my face. I am still the same sinner that I was thirty years ago. So if I believe what I was taught as a child, I’m never going to make it into heaven. I’m never going to meet the One who sent His Son to die for me. How in the world am I ever going to be good enough, to please God enough to spend eternity with Him?

I have finally come to realize that I will never be good enough. I am a sinner, and no matter how hard I try, I will always be a sinner! So does that mean I should just give up? Should I just live for myself and forget about pleasing God?

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6, NIV)

Maybe it’s time to look at my faith instead my behavior. Perhaps God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Maybe He made me imperfect for a reason. Maybe He made me the way I am so I would have to trust Him, to allow Him to be present in my life, to give Him the authority to direct my path. Perhaps He doesn’t need me to please Him. Maybe He needs me to trust Him, to have faith in him. Even by trusting Him, I will still be a sinner, but because I belong to Him I will start to love others the way Jesus loves me. No, I will never be good enough, but that really doesn’t matter. God will never love me more than He loves me right this minute – no matter what I do or how hard I try to please Him. My salvation and His love for me have absolutely nothing to do with trying harder! It’s all about FAITH! I simply need to surrender my life to Him and trust that His way is the right way to live my life.

Perhaps you, too, should take a closer look at your faith today!

Have a blessed day, “Working 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

NOW THAT’S A “SELFIE!”

September 11, 2015

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36, NIV)

We would like to believe that life is all about us. It’s about pleasing ourselves. It’s about isolating ourselves from those who are different from us. It’s about doing whatever it takes to get ahead in life, no matter who it may hurt. It’s all about living in the “selfie” generation. It’s about living a life through social media where we can create the kind of person we want the world to see, but not necessarily the person we have actually become.

The truth is: life isn’t about us. It isn’t about pleasing ourselves. or separating ourselves from others. It’s not about “selfies”. It’s about sharing the love of Jesus, focusing the lens on Him, not on ourselves. Our joy comes from Him. Our peace comes through Him, and our lives are to be lived for Him and for His glory.

So the next time you take a “selfie” look into your own eyes. Do you see Jesus in that picture? If He’s not there, delete that photo, re-focus your life, and try again. Keep trying until everyone who looks at you, sees our Father looking back at them. Now that’s a “Selfie”!

Enjoy your day “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ


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