Posted tagged ‘Daily Devotions for the Workplace’

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

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

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

ANOTHER SETBACK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

January 26, 2015

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)

frustration

Really? I’m supposed to be happy when trials come my way? What about if I lose my job, my career, my financial stability, or my marriage? How are any of these things supposed to bring me joy?

Each of those things has happened to me. Every time, my first instinct was to blame God. During the process of blaming Him, I found myself opening His Word and searching for answers. I began to realize that these “burdens” were actually bringing me closer to Him. My burdens were helping to create a new “me”. I realized that they were not random incidents at all, but were all parts and pieces to a puzzle that was designed to make me more mature, more focused, more rugged, and more fruitful. I began to realize what Jesus was teaching when He said: He (God) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2, NIV)

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not fully enjoyed the struggle, the hardship, and the pain of my past, but I am beginning to “like” the person that I’ve become as a result. I definitely prefer my post-burden self to the person I was before.

It’s still difficult when trials come my way, but I have a new understanding of what they mean to me. I have learned to welcome them into my life as a way to get closer to my Lord and Savior! There is no more blame – only love for the One who has saved me.

If you are going through a tough time right now, recognize the pain. Talk about it with those you trust. Don’t try to escape it. Let it do its work. And, trust that it will not last forever. Trust that, after a while, it will go away and you will emerge with a better vision of yourself. Turn your trials and hardships over to the Lord. He has orchestrated these things to bring you closer to Him! Really!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

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!”

SPEND A DAY IN HIS COURT!

January 5, 2015

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” – (Psalm 84:10, NIV)

Psalm 84

What have you done lately that requires faith?

Many of us have never experienced a “lack” of anything. Compared to others around the world, we live in luxury and comfort. We have jobs, money, beautiful homes, cars, and plenty of food on the table every single day. Because of this abundance, we often take life for granted. We take Christ for granted. For this reason, we often choose our own lifestyle over a lifestyle that places Christ above everything else.

Jesus understands that we need to be disciplined in the way we think and behave. In order to choose Him above our worldly comfort we need to strip away predictability and self-sufficiency and intentionally move into situations that we can’t handle by ourselves. Jesus sent His disciples into such situations: “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:3, NIV) He instructed them to travel light and resist anything that could provide comfort, predictability, self-sufficiency – money, extra clothing, other people: “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” (Luke 10:4, NIV) They had to rely on Him for everything. Because they put their faith in Him, “… they returned with joy.” (Luke 10:17, NIV) Because they were willing to move in faith, into risk and discomfort, they were able to spend precious days with our God. Jesus told them: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23-24, NIV)

These guys did not “see” beautiful luxury homes on the beach, or drive exotic sports cars, or eat at the finest restaurants in the world. No! They simply spent a little time with our maker. They allowed Him to fill their senses and treat them to the most satisfying lifestyle that is humanly possible. They were able to see beyond their own way of life into a way that leads to an eternity with God Almighty.

We have that very same opportunity to spend our time with the Lord. We need to abandon the idea that our lives revolve around our jobs and around the luxuries that our money can buy. We need to look for opportunities to serve others instead of ourselves. We need to reach out to someone who needs help. Perhaps we should spend a little time with someone who just needs to talk. It’s important for each of us to make a commitment to a service project in our communities. Most importantly we need to talk to a friend or co-worker who doesn’t know our Savior and offer them the very same comfort and love that the Lord has shown us.

It’s time for us to step out of our comfort zones and place our faith in the One who can bring life to our souls!

Enjoy today, “Working for Christ!”


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