Posted tagged ‘daily devotions’

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

OPINIONS – WE ALL HAVE THEM!

September 22, 2015

Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7, NIV)

Romans 15_7

Opinions. We all have them. Unfortunately, nobody on this side of heaven has it 100% right. There are hundreds of different variations of Christianity each with a different interpretation of the bible. To name just a few, we live among Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, etc.  In addition to Christianity, our society includes Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i Faith, Confucianism, etc. We also live among the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender communities. We all come from different backgrounds. We come from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Every culture is completely different from the others. Each has its own identity and beliefs.

As Christians, we claim to follow Christ, to model our lives after Him. I realize that is an impossible task, but there is one simple little thing we can do to show that Christ lives in us. We can accept each and every human being that we come into contact with throughout our day. And, even though I say it is simple, it is often extremely difficult. God has given each of us free will and not every person lives according to the principle of “accepting” one another. Many people are confrontational and judgmental (including myself much of the time). But that’s when we need to let our light shine. We need to step above our will and choose God’s will. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to direct our paths and place our trust in Christ.

God did not send His Son to die a painful, excruciating death so He could save only the Baptists, or the Catholics, or the Methodists. He sent Jesus to this earth to save all people – Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, lesbians, Africans, and Australians. We are all precious in His sight!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

SHARE THE LOVE OF THE LORD!

January 3, 2014

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV)

Let Your Light Shine

One of the ways that we are salt and light and act as redemptive agents in this broken world is to live out a faithful presence in the workplace. Woody Allen once observed that 90% of life is simply showing up. As followers of Christ, we are called to a mission of engagement in, not withdrawal from, the broader world. To faithfully engage the world means we must be fully present within it.

A large part of our calling in the workplace is faithfully showing up every day and demonstrating to others the good found in and through our work. Living out a faithful presence in our workplace means that we embody the gospel by doing our best work and by being exemplary workers. It means that we extend common grace to our coworkers and our customers and seek their good. As image-bearers of God, we must remember that our work has intrinsic value in itself and is to be an act of worship. We must also grasp that our work has instrumental value in that it provides for our economic needs, allows us to care for the needs of others, and creates a sphere of influence for the gospel to be lived out and shared.

As we begin this new year, I pray that each of us accepts the challenge that our workplaces are places of ministry and that we consider them gifts from God. We don’t necessarily have to become “fire and brimstone” preachers, but we must understand that we are working for a purpose. That purpose is to glorify our Father and to bring others closer to Christ! What a perfect venue to share the love of the Lord!

Share_Logo

Happy New Year!

“Working for Christ”!

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

October 16, 2012

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:18, NIV)

It is not mere coincidence that the biggest homes, the most expensive cars, and the most costly toys belong to the most affluent group of Americans. Many well-known Christians in the business world openly state that if you aren’t one of the affluent you probably missed God’s bus. Is it wrong, then, to be wealthy? Absolutely not. God wants us to succeed. He just wants us to do it in a way that honors Him.

So, are Christians living in 1,500-square-foot homes and driving four-year-old cars being deprived of God’s best? Many must obviously think so, because they will buy a bigger, more expensive home and a new car just as soon as they can afford it (or just as soon as they can finance it). That isn’t necessarily honoring God either.

In today’s economy, I would like to propose a radical idea from God’s Word. Determine God’s best for your life and be satisfied with it, even if it means moving down in lifestyle. In Luke, Jesus said, “Whoever has will be given more; and whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them”. And He promised, “Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life. (Luke 18:29-30, NIV)

God obviously has a different plan for each of us. He has also provided each of us with different lifestyles that will bring us the greatest freedom to serve Him. Some Christians may well need a 5,000-square-foot home to accomplish what God calls them to do in their community. But many Christians have never honestly applied their faith to the question: How much is enough?

Ask yourself that question this Tuesday. You might just be surprised at your own answer.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

SPEND A LITTLE TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS!

September 24, 2012

“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.” (Matthew 17:1, NIV)

Have you ever wondered what Christ did when He wasn’t working? Christ’s life – from the time He was thirty years old – was His ministry. It was all about teaching, preaching, healing, and feeding. But a close examination of the Gospels show that Christ often took time alone to recharge.

When He got away from the crowds, His disciples, and other followers, He almost always went to the mountains. Some of the most profound parts of Christ’s ministry occurred in or immediately after He retired to high places – the Sermon on the Mount, the transfiguration, His betrayal, His crucifixion.

Our work, whatever it is, creates layers of concern that come between God and us. The “mountains” – those places we get away to spend time alone with God – allow the Lord to peel away those layers to get to the core of who we are. That process is both essential to our life with God and essential to being faithful people of God when we get back to work.

Petty disagreements with co-workers, bad presentations, figuring out which emails to send a reply, etc. don’t need to dominate the way we work. Our relationship with God should be the focus of our workday.

We need to trust God with “climbing the mountain”. The size of our problems doesn’t matter to Him. What matters to Him is that we fully rely on His power and His strength to get us through the day.

Psalm 46:10 says it best – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Take a little time in the mountains this Monday. Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

WHAT’S ON YOUR RESUME?

September 13, 2012

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

How many jobs have you had in the past ten years? Why have you changed jobs so often? What do you do for fun? What types of community service have you performed? Describe your weaknesses. Tell me about your strengths. What makes you think you would be the best candidate for this position?

If you were interviewing yourself for a job, would you hire yourself? I’m not sure I would last five minutes in that type of interview. Many people have become “professional” job seekers. As such, they’ve mastered the interviewing process and the art of making a good first impression. Even so, some still doubt themselves and question whether they are the right “fit” for the job.

We often seem to forget an important biblical truth – God’s plan is always better than our plan. He’s more concerned about where we are going than where we have been. God has provided each of us with unique experiences, and He’s allowed us to develop specific skills that have prepared us for where we are today and where we are going in the future. God clearly knows what He is doing!

As disciples of Christ, the command we have been given is quite simple: “Follow Me” (Mark 10:21). In order to follow His lead, it may be helpful to focus on His goodness, His faithfulness, His promise to complete that which He has begun in each of us, and His gracious invitation to include us in His work.

Try not to be discouraged about a “weak” resume. If you are following Christ’s plan for your life, it doesn’t matter what’s written in it – it only matters what’s written on your heart. You are exactly where God wants you to be at precisely the right time. You can count on His promises to “prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. After all, He is ultimately the best “employer” you could ever have!

Enjoy your Thursday, “Working for Christ”!

 

Remain In Me!

September 10, 2012

“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)

For me, inspiration often comes as a vision – sometimes even in a dream – of what God is planning for me. When I can’t visualize His plan for me, I find myself lacking attentiveness and motivation. This is especially true when I’m undertaking a new venture. As much as I want to do God’s will, it’s very difficult for me to move forward with purpose and passion when I’m not sure where He’s 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 from God as to where I should focus my efforts. As a result, I was “out of sync” every day and had difficulty maintaining my enthusiasm.

In order to find clarity and purpose, I spent a lot of time in prayer. It was during this quiet time that I realized the Holy Spirit has been with me my entire life and that He has directed my every move. He doesn’t make demands of my time, but He waits patiently for me to seek Him. When I spend time with Him every morning, I am in His will and He guides every step I take.

Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths.” As long as I follow this advice, I know where to find purpose and clarity. I have now come to identify those “visions” as the Holy Spirit living within me.

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

You may not hear God in 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 the 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 Friday, “Working for Christ”!


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