Posted tagged ‘spirituality’

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

 

 

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

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

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

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!”

LIGHT UP YOUR WORKPLACE!

October 23, 2014

“You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)

prayer

Are you in the right job, following the proper career path, living in the right city? How can you be certain that God has you where he wants you? The strongest evidence is simply that we’re there. He knows where we are. He sees us (Luke 12:6-7). He is always with us (1 Corinthians 3:16). He has a plan for each of us. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  So where we are now – no matter where that may be – is no accident. Until we hear differently, we’ve got to assume that where we are is where He wants us to be – for His reasons, and for His purposes.

One of those purposes, if not the main one, is to bring “light” into our regions of influence and impact (Matthew 5:14). Jesus tells us not to hide the light that radiates from us when we follow Him.let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our light begins to dim when we get too comfortable with the places where we work and live. Our light is extinguished when we succumb and begin to follow our worldly desires instead of those ordained by Christ. We need to resist the worldly beliefs and values that so many of us tend to follow. We need to remember who we are – as Christians.

We follow Christ! Our values are His values! We believe in Him! That is the belief we live by!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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