Posted tagged ‘New Testament’

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.”

BRING JESUS TO WORK WITH YOU!

October 13, 2014

“the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (Luke 22:26, NIV)

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We devote so much time and hard work to our own advancement. We strategize, we plan, and we put our heads down and grind our way to the “top.” Somewhere deep down within us there is something that drives us toward securing greatness – of some kind or another – for ourselves. Maybe it’s on a small scale. Maybe on a large scale. Maybe in our work, our communities, or maybe even in our faith. But, because of our human nature, that drive just exists within us.

The twelve Apostles (all human by the way) had this drive, too. In the upper room, a dispute arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the “greatest.” But Jesus intervened and taught them (and us) that this inner drive must be refocused. “But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27, NIV). Shouldn’t we be trying to become more like Jesus in everything we do? His life was designed to be a blueprint for our lives. We must follow it and no other. We must reject all blueprints drawn by our pride, or envy, or selfishness.

Refocusing this drive, away from ourselves and toward lifting those around us, is one of the most important things we can do. When we do this successfully, others begin to see Christ in us. Our lives will move from being self-centered to being compassionate, generous, merciful, and loving – all characteristics which help define the nature of Jesus Christ.

Serving others is a better way to live – better for God, better for us, and better for those we are to love and serve. Look around you today, and this entire week, for people who are in need. Perhaps they need encouragement, or someone to talk to. Perhaps they need someone who will listen to them. Maybe they just need someone to acknowledge them – a smile, a “good morning”, an “atta boy.” Bring Jesus to them through you. It’s important to honor Him in everything we do!

 Work for Christ

Have a blessed day, “Working for Christ!”

THE PEACE OF GOD COMES FROM THE GOD OF PEACE!

July 8, 2014

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, NIV)

Peace (2)

During the economic downturn of 2008, many people lost their jobs. Sadly, many of them also lost their faith in Christ. However, it doesn’t necessarily take a recession or the loss of employment to turn us away from our Savior. Losing a sale, a reprimand from our boss, or an unsettled relationship with our spouse may trigger doubt and cause us to fall away.

Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we know that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and to give us peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” writes the apostle Paul, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of our daily trials and challenges.

Jesus taught us not to worry, because we can entrust our needs to our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us (Matthew 6:25-34; 7:9-11; 1 Peter 5:7). In Philippians 4, Paul follows Jesus’ example and encourages us to replace our anxieties with trust and prayer. The “peace of God” is not a psychological state of mind but an inner calm or tranquility. This peace comes from trusting in God who answers our prayers. It comes when we develop a disciplined spiritual perspective, and when we deliberately practice our Christian virtues.
Those who entrust themselves to God will not only experience the peace of God, but the “God of Peace” will be with them.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WE ARE ALL FOLLOWERS!

February 11, 2014

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God …”. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34, NIV)

Sin

The people we associate with (professionally and socially) have a tremendous influence on our character. It’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted by our peers. Consequently, many of of us fall into the trap of becoming followers instead of leaders. When we imitate others we often follow them into sin or destructive behavior just to feel accepted. When we turn to sin and destructive behavior we become followers of Satan.

There is a better choice!

To live in this world as a follower of Christ it is important to choose our friends and associates wisely. If we are to follow Christ’s example and live as He lived, we need to stop that sinful and destructive behavior. We need to take the “lead” so others follow us toward a meaningful life with Christ. We need to lead others toward Christ by following His example! It is up to us to display a positive example by the way we live. It is our job to gently and lovingly bring others to our Savior!

You may never know who is following you!

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

IN THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME!

December 28, 2012

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:27-28, NIV)

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Once again, we find Jesus in the workplace, associating with questionable people – tax collectors. When Levi (Matthew) made the decision to follow Jesus, he “held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others ate with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to His disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’” (Luke 5:29-32, NIV)

Tax collectors, also called publicans, are mentioned many times throughout the Bible (mainly in the New Testament). They are generally described as being greedy, taking more money than they are entitled to. Tax collectors were hated by many of their fellow Jews, who saw them as traitors for working for the Roman Empire. In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 19:1-9, Jesus sympathizes with another tax collector, Zacchaeus, causing outrage from the crowds that Jesus would rather be the guest of a sinner than of a more respectable or “righteous” person.

We don’t have “tax collectors” in business today as they were in Jesus’ day, but our places of employment are overflowing with greedy people and those that simply don’t care about anyone other than themselves. Many of our co-workers will do whatever it takes to get ahead – even at the expense of others. I’m convinced that if Jesus were alive today, He’d place Himself right in the middle of all the commotion and minister to those in need of His gentle and loving Spirit. He didn’t force Himself on anyone; He was always in the right place, at the right time, and willing to share His love.

As Christians, He has directed us to the right place, also – to work with those “who need a doctor”. Wherever we are, we need to be ready to share the love of Christ with those around us.

right place

Spend your time wisely this Friday, “Working for Christ”!

WHO’S REFLECTION DO YOU SEE?

October 18, 2012

As Christians in the business world, we have an opportunity to represent what we honestly believe – for good or bad. What we do with the resources that God has entrusted with us will reflect the things that we value the most.

Big cars, extravagant homes, expensive vacations, and overflowing bank accounts won’t mean a thing once we pass away. The only things that will be of any importance will be those done in the name of the Lord and according to His will.

God sent His Son to our planet to show us the way to eternity. Our purpose for being here is to lead others to Christ by following Jesus’ example. While on this earth, Jesus spent a good portion of His ministry teaching about the dangers of serving the world instead of God. It is up to us then, to set an example by the way we live.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV) Where we spend our time and money reflects the attitude of our heart.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV) Make Christ the most important part of your life.

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Matthew 7:26, NIV) We need a strong spiritual foundation to build our relationship with Christ.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NIV) Don’t allow yourself to lose your soul in order to become “successful”.

These are just a few of the lessons Christ taught in His Sermon on the Mount. Take a minute and pray about each of these passages. Then take a look in the mirror. Do you see Christ in that reflection?

Enjoy your Thursday, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

WHO’S DRIVING YOU?

October 17, 2012

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. (Luke 12:34, NIV)

Clearly many Americans (mostly men) display their value systems in their automobiles. For many this attitude probably started in high school, when a teenager’s popularity is partly determined by the car he or she drives. Someone driving by a high school today would have no difficulty determining the student parking lot and the teachers’. The student lot is filled with Z-cars, S-cars, Corvettes, and on and on. The cars in the teachers’ lot look like cast-offs from a bargain-basement auto sale.

I’m not judging anyone. The kind of car you drive is between you and the Lord. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that giving to the Lord needs to take priority over the kind of car we are driving. If not, we may need to re-assess where we are spending our time and our money.

I appreciate the higher-priced cars because of their performance, but I won’t buy a new car because of the lost value the minute you drive it off the lot. A couple of years ago, my wife and I were going to buy a “new” used car since the one I was driving was in a minor little accident (I totaled it). I read the Consumer Reports and felt confident that we would find a nice Honda or Toyota that would meet our needs.

My wife’s primary need in a car is that it must have a dual temperature control system – one for the driver and one for the passenger. Neither Honda nor Toyota offered that option in the models we were considering. So she began to pray that the Lord would provide a car with a dual temperature control system, and I began asking the Lord to make her content with a nice little Honda or Toyota. Our son informed us that his car, an Infiniti, offered the option she wanted. However, the price of an Infiniti was a bit more than that of the smaller cars I was considering, so I said, “No way.”

Apparently, the Lord doesn’t understand “no way”. My son called the next morning and told us he had found a nice, one-owner, 2005 G-35 on Craig’s List for the price I was willing to pay. It’s no Jaguar or Maserati, but it sure keeps my wife’s toes nice and warm, and it keeps me as cool as a cucumber.

It helps to understand that God owns it all, and He knows exactly where to find it. The fact that my wife and I each went to Him in prayer, over something so seemingly ridiculous as a car, showed Him that we treasure Him above everything else.

Where is your treasure? Spend a little time in prayer this Wednesday and find out who’s driving you.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”


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