Posted tagged ‘faith’

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.”

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

 

 

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”!

EXERCISE YOUR FAITH!

August 19, 2013

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26, NIV)

Steven Covey Book

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends the following mental exercise: Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral – a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community. What would each one honestly say about your life?

While it’s not easy to imagine others testifying to the effectiveness of our lives in the context of a funeral, this exercise does offer some much-needed perspective. There’s nothing like the end of a life to get others to consider the course of their days. Take a few minutes to seriously think about what these people might say about you to a gathered crowd.

Now take a few moments to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does He think about your faith? What does He think about your accomplishments for His kingdom? Would He describe you as someone growing closer to Him each day?

Jesus told a story about three servants to illustrate that God expects each of us to be faithful with what he has given us. Of course, any number of fears might hinder us from using the gifts God gives us – fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of God’s disapproval, to name a few. Failure to invest represents the most serious potential shortfall of all. Only when we use our faith does it stand a chance of growing. If we don’t exercise it, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. Can you think of anyone whose faith looks like that?

Let’s look ahead ten years and repeat the mental exercise. If you spend the next ten years investing your faith and wholeheartedly using the gifts God gives you to serve Him, what would a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community be likely to say at your funeral? What would Jesus say?

What would Jesus Say

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

OBEDIENCE!

June 3, 2013

The Lord said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail” – so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand.  (Exodus 4: 2-4, NIV)

MOSES

This story is an example of how the Lord will use anything to turn our attention toward Him. God wanted Moses to get completely in line with His plans for the people of Israel. That required Moses to understand once and for all that God calls the shots. God needed Moses to put his life into God’s hands for God to use as He wanted. And, God wanted Moses to use his “gifting” with confidence because it belonged to God.

Moses’ staff was standard equipment for a shepherd – his work before God gave him his new assignment. The action of throwing it on the ground was obedience. Running from the unexpected and unwelcome snake was simply common sense. But picking up the snake? That was obedience and courage, followed by relief as it became his staff again.

Over time, and with experiences like this one, God trained Moses to become a tremendous leader. As Moses learned through practice and obedience, he became the man God wanted him to become. The staff-serpent would be used several times to work miracles as God broke the power of Egyptian rule over Israel.

How does this relate to us? In our work situations, the staff can symbolize the roles and gifts God has given us. Throwing the staff down symbolizes our surrender to Christ as part of our daily walk with Him. Picking up the serpent, then changing it back to the staff, symbolize the reality that once we give our life to Christ, it becomes His. Although the staff may look the same afterward, it really isn’t. We may carry it, but Christ owns it!

Give your heart and staff to Christ this week as you go about your business. Surrender your life to Him and allow Him to call the shots. He knows what is best for you in every situation!

surrender

Have a blessed day, “Working for Christ”!

JUST SAY “NO” (TO SIN)!

April 1, 2013

“When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:10-11, NLT)

dead to sin

He lives, and so do we! Because of Christ’s sacrifice, sin no longer controls us. We now have the power to “just say no” to sin.

“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:12-14, NLT)

That’s what the resurrection is all about! We have been redeemed! We have new lives! We are no longer controlled by the temptations of this world.

As believers, let’s join together and begin living like we belong to Jesus Christ and not to this sinful world. Let’s treat others with love and respect, with dignity, forgiveness, and grace – just as Christ Jesus treated those around Him.

This doesn’t just apply on the weekend when we attend church, but it also applies every day of the week when we are at work, school, or wherever we may find ourselves. It’s not our place to judge anyone. We don’t need to force Jesus Christ down anyone’s throat – not everyone is open or willing to accept Him. It’s not our job to “convert” those who won’t listen, but it is our job to live our lives as Jesus did so others may find Him through our words and actions.

Just as the Holy Spirit was Jesus’ strength, He is our strength, too. Pray that He will guide you from this day forward. He is the only Power we will ever need to defeat the many sins that continue to tempt us each and every day. Never forget, we now “live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

alive in christ

Stay faithful, live for Him! Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!

March 25, 2013

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10, NIV)

feeding cattle

There is a pecking order that emerges when ranchers feed cattle in the middle of winter. As they pull hay from a stack and spread it on the snow-covered fields, the strongest animals grab the first bites. The timid or weaker cows get pushed aside. Only if there’s enough hay, or if the rancher intervenes, do the weaker cows get their fill. It is the way things work in the animal kingdom – a realization that the natural order of things is not generous to the weak or the meek.

“Survival of the fittest” may be natural in the animal kingdom, but it doesn’t fit into God’s plan for us. God calls us to aid the weak wherever He decides to place us. He calls us not to be leaders but servants, not to be winners but witnesses, not to be takers but givers, not to be exploiters but caregivers. His message to the strong: “Take care of others.” His message to the weak: “God has not forgotten you.”

Christ calls each of us to His service. It is a call to sacrifice. It is a call to go against “the natural order of things.” In fact, perhaps the single biggest measure of a worker is how we treat those who are in need of our service.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27, NIV)

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy 
and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV)

We are living under the grace of Jesus Christ and are citizens of the Kingdom of God. The principles of that Kingdom are universally applicable, wherever He places us here on earth. Allow Him to use you where He has placed you! Accept your role as His servant!

servant of god

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

This devotional was originally written by Randy Kilgore, Senior Writer and Workplace Chaplain for Desired Haven Ministries. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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