Freedom to Witness as We Work

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23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. – Col. 3:23 NLT
 
Most of us do not have jobs that are commonly considered to be “full-time” work for the Lord.  But, what we need to remember is that whatever our vocation is, that is where we are planted and where we need to bloom. Where we are right now is our mission field.  We have more opportunities to witness every day than those employed by the church.  The pastors and other staff are there to encourage us in our daily lives and minister to the flocks that God has given them.  Most of their conversations are with other Christians, whereas, we are on the battle front everyday. Their job is to equip us to minister in our workplaces. When we are out in the world working for others, we must do so cheerfully and efficiently.  We should be working to please the Lord.  If our work pleases the Lord, it will be found to be more than acceptable by man.  Will we always be recognized and rewarded by our employers and/or our fellow workers?  No, but that should be of very little concern to us. God sees all of our works and stores up rewards for us in heaven. When we are faithful in serving God in the workplace, we can be assured that He notices it.  We live in a work-a-day world, but we are bondservants to Jesus Christ.  He is our Master and our Provider.  When our work pleases Him, we can be assured that we will receive the promotions and rewards in His timing. Be thankful for the provisions that God has made for each of us. If we have a grateful attitude, we won’t need to “put on a happy face”, we can just let the joy of the Lord shine through us and that will attract others to Him.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-04-2018

“Let Your Light Shine”

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For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Cor. 4:6 NLT
 
When we allow God to use us as His witnesses, we may not see the results of our labors immediately.  It has been determined that it takes more than 7 “touches”  or exposures to the Good News for a person to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Our God desires that everyone should be saved, but the “god of this age”, satan, has blinded many to the truth of the Gospel. They cannot see the Light because they are focused on the pleasures of this world and the desires of the flesh. Their refusal to see the Light does not alleviate us of the responsibility of being the Light of Jesus Christ shining in a world of darkness.  We have this Light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in our hearts. God has placed His treasure, this knowledge of Him, in the hearts of human beings. These jars of clay are weak and decaying but the Light shining forth from them displays the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is from God and not from us.  That is why God has made us responsible for shining, but He has kept the responsibility for dispelling the darkness. We can be assured that if we do our part, He will faithfully do His part and souls will be added to the Kingdom.

 
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 
— Isaiah 55:9-11 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-08-2018

Choices, Decisions, Consequences

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25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. – Hebrews 11:25
Every day, we make choices about the things in our lives.  A lot of those decisions are almost robotic or habitual.  We do this at this time because we always have.  Some decisions require us to actually consciously think about them before we decide what to do.  Every now and then, we have what we refer to as “big” decisions.  These are the things that affect our lives today and in the future. Some of those decisions will be irreversible and affect all the people in our circles of influence whether we want them to or not.  Some of us will be given opportunities to make world-changing decisions, maybe all of us.  Do you think Moses had any idea that his decision that day was a world changer?  To him at that time, it was probably a small decision that only affected the lives of a few people. But, consider this, “what if” Moses had not made the decision he made. “What if”, he had decided that he liked the riches and the glory of Egypt more than his people, what would have happened? Reminisce with me today. Let’s think back over our lives, how many “what if” times have we had?  How many times has God given us opportunities to change our little corner of the world and we made the wrong decision?  The next person the Holy Spirit nudges us to witness to could be God’s choice to be the Moses or the Billy Graham of the next generation. “What if” we don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and talk to that person about salvation?  Today, let’s make a renewed commitment to be faithful in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit and encourage those around us. Let’s be faithful in the “little” things because “what if” there aren’t really any “little” things in our lives?  Now is “the time” and where you are is “the place” to make that “big” decision!

 

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:14 NIV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-19-2018

“Called to Do Good”

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21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 
– 1 Peter 2:21 NLT
 
 
We have brothers and sisters throughout the world who “bear up under the pain of unjust suffering” everyday because of their commitment and faithfulness to Jesus Christ. If someone asked us to tell about our latest persecution brought on by our commitment to God, what would our answer be?  Do we even understand what it really means to suffer for doing good and/or being faithful?  Worldwide, Christians are the most persecuted group and yet, Christianity is still the fastest growing group. Even though, we are not yet being openly persecuted, Christians in the “free” world are being more and more marginalized everyday. Our time to be openly persecuted may be closer than we care to admit.  We can name the names of our favorite pastors, members of our favorite sports team, but can we name the name of one persecuted Christian?  Add persecuted Christian(s) to your list of people to pray for everyday. Pray that God will send His angels to strengthen them in their situations.

41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-19-2018

Watch for the Exit Sign

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14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14 NIV

Praying for and blessing those who persecute us is hard.  The flesh wants to scream, strike back and get revenge. Paul tells us this is a constant battle and we know from our own experiences that that is true. Why? Because the flesh wants what it wants and it doesn’t give up easily.
 
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.–Romans 7:18,19 NIV
 
We were born in sin into a sinful world. We are constantly tempted by the things we see, hear and read. That old father of liars, satan, knows where the chinks in our armor are and he pokes at us through those holes continuously. We are taught the “it’s all about me” philosophy on a daily basis. “You’re okay, I’m okay”  is a lie from the pits of hell. No one is okay without Jesus and no one can do Godly things without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live in this old decaying tent of flesh, we will be tempted and we will have to fight a daily battle against those temptations. But, God has not left us alone to do this, He has made provisions for us. There is always a way out.
 

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.–1 Cor. 10:12,13 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-21-2018

Give Cheerfully and Abundantly

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13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.–Romans 12:13 NIV

God has appointed each of us to be stewards of certain resources.  We should always remember that those resources originated from and belong to Him. We, as His children, are the distribution system He has chosen to use. How well we do that can have a direct result on how much of His resources we are allowed to manage.

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’–Matt. 25:21 NIV

Our love and charity should begin at home.


8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.–1 Tim. 5:8 NIV

Then, each church congregation should take care of it’s members.


9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.–Gal. 6:9,10 NIV

Then, we are instructed to love our neighbors, which, in Biblical context, is everybody. We show this love by practicing hospitality to everyone. It behooves each of us to ask the Holy Spirit to show us how to be better stewards of the resources God has given us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-20-2018

“Be Faithful In Prayer”

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12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12 NIV

Too often, we confuse pleasure and happiness with joy. Pleasure and happiness are temporary. They are based on feelings, external situations and how others treat us. Joy is internal and is a fruit of the Spirit. It is a gift from God and once we have received His joy, no one can take it from us. We can fail to access it, but it is always there. In those times of affliction, it strengthens us to carry on.
 

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.—Psalm 94:19  NIV

We must be faithful in prayer.  As Paul says, “pray without ceasing”.  We are able to do that because prayer is dependent on our thought patterns and our attitude. We can pray all the time, in any situation. A prayer can be a thought that goes through your mind, It does not have to be spoken.


10 “I the Lord search the heart  and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.—Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

A prayerful attitude keeps us focused on God and not on our problems or our situation. When we are focused on God, we are filled with joy because of the hope we have in Him.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-18-2018