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Posts Tagged ‘workplace’

One morning, you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to take a few days off from work to go do something ministry-related.

Your heart and soul are convinced that this is the right thing to do because of the anticipated benefit for the Kingdom.

It might be a short-term missions trip to help dig a well in a parched village. It might be for four or five days to repair plumbing and electrical stuff at a low-income elderly relative’s house.

Perhaps it is simply the spending of time with a profoundly grieving sibling whose spouse just died.

In any of the above cases, it’s a matter of serving God by serving others.

But how do you get the time off unless you ask for it?

And how do you get the time off unless you’re in good standing with your boss?

Listen, we never know in advance when we’re going to be needed somewhere other than our job and we’ll have to ask for time off.

That’s why it is SO important to build a good reputation with our employer so that he or she is more willing to accommodate our request.

If we’re known as an employee with a rotten attitude or lazy tendencies, our request might not be honored.

But if we’re always loyal to our employer and work hard when on the clock in order to promote the employer’s best interests, our request will have a much better chance of success.

I encourage you to read of how this principle served the Kingdom of God more than 400 years before Christ.

This was the case with Nehemiah and you can read about it here.

Clearly, Nehemiah was respected and appreciated by his employer who not only granted the time off but also provided lots of material and security support for a very challenging mission.

It was Nehemiah’s years of faithful, godly service to a pagan king that paved the way for the granting of this ministry request.

Please be the best employee you can, always looking to serve your employer’s best interests.

For you never know when you’ll need to ask the employer a favor that will allow you to carry the favor of the Lord to someone else who needs it. As always, I love you Martin

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The path to success is narrow.

The Bible says so.

Here’s what God told Joshua about how to be successful.

“Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:7-8)

Want more success — real success — out of your life’s relationships, career, health, finances?

Get more of God’s Word into your life.

Does it help us or harm us at home or work or wherever when we become more like Jesus?

You know the answer.

Studying the Bible and meditating on it is how we become more like God and His Son and it’s how we find more success in life.

Let’s walk the narrow path with God’s map in our hands, in our heads and in our hearts.

There’s a clear payoff for doing so.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If your job is going well, be careful.

If your health is good, be careful.

If your family relationships are strong and smooth, really be careful.

The fact is that we’ve all got to be very careful when our lives are going very well.

God said so.

For if we carelessly lose sight of the real reason why things are going so well, things just might turn south in a bad way.

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!

“Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good.

“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

These words from Deuteronomy 8:11-18 provide a potent reminder that what we have regarding abilities, opportunities or possessions has been given to us by God. To Him we are beholden. And for Him should our obedience be complete.

Tell everyone that our blessings and abilities are gifts from God.

They just might want to start thanking Him for their blessings and abilities as they recognize — as should we — that it’s only because of God that they even have life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Here’s what was included in my daily Bible reading:

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

Is the first sentence above evident in your life?

Yes, I know what it’s like to be in a secular workplace and feel the peer pressure to hide my faith.

I also know, however, what it’s like to sanctify that peer pressure by using that “push point” as an occassion to affirm what’s important for my walk of faith.

Imagine that several co-workers are standing near your desk and exchanging dirty jokes.

Perhaps they’re standing near you by intent… or perhaps not.

The fact remains that their words are offensive to your faith.

How you respond at that moment can show if you acknowledge Christ as Lord in a public manner.

Yelling at the group to shut up and take their gutter talk elsewhere is not a matter of faith but of retributive rudeness.

Ignoring the gutter talk for fear of social backlash is also not a matter of faith but of condoning condemnation-worthy behavior.

So what are the options for being faithful?

There are several, but here’s one.

Perhaps you could calmy tell the group that you’re trying to get your work finished but you need them to take their conversation elsewhere because the language is distracting since it is offensive to your Christian faith.

You’re not telling them they’re going to hell.

You’re not even telling them that they have no right to exchange dirty jokes.

You’re simply asking them to move because their behavior next to your desk is disrupting your work and offending your faith.

They might not like what you’ve said but they will know that your faith is very important to you.

And if you start catching grief in the future from them because you spoke up, then that is grief that God will see as strengthening testimony of your faith.

Of course, there are countless other ways to convey to others that we are Christians. Some use jewelry. Some use desk art. Some use a Bible placed on his or her work desk. All should use language that speaks of blessings and forgiveness and mercy and generosity and prayer and — as appropriate — our church activities.

Do all of your co-workers and nearby neighbors know you’re a Christian?

I pray that they will soon and that you’ll ask God for wisdom with how best to communicate that message.

One of those co-workers or neighbors just might start wanting to know more about a faith that compels people to stand up for what they believe.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you have a flowering bush by your front door, do you want people to see several dead branches prominently visible as they come to visit you?

Of course not.

You’ll most certainly prune away those useless branches that are not only “uglifying” your yard but that are also not serving the bush.

If you don’t prune them, what does that say about you?

Dead wood doesn’t serve us.

And it doesn’t serve the Kingdom of God.

That’s why we’re called to keep our lives connected to the Vine of Christ and His flow of Living Water.

As we do so, we’re far more likely to bear fruit rather than become dead wood.

Such a lifeless form is no good to anybody.

“Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (James 2:17)

Look for an opportunity today to do a good deed for someone. If you don’t see one by the afternoon, pray for God to create one before you go to bed.

Even if you write a simple email or text message of encouragement to somebody who is discouraged, it will be a fruit that occurred because you wanted your faith to overflow into another.

Take a friend to lunch.

Buy flowers for a family member. Even if at the grocery store to save money.

Write a thank you note to a co-worker.

Call a church ministry team leader to volunteer for an upcoming ministry effort.

Mow the neighbor’s front yard.

You’ll figure something out.

Just let God guide your faith and it’s fruit will follow rather than appear hollow.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Never underestimate what God can do with your surrendered heart.

At the least, you can change your life into become one more pleasing and fruitful for Him.

At the most, you can help to change the world by funneling God’s grace and power and Word into the lives of people now disconnected or poorly connected to the Creator.

The life of the lonely person at work could be made better by your decision to share loving words of scripture from the God who said He wants the lonely to become part of a family (Psalm 68:6).

Wouldn’t connecting with a group of loving friends – such as at your church – change the world of that co-worker?

The financial future of an economically struggling relative could be made better by your decision to pay for a faith-based financial management course such as the one by Dave Ramsey.

Wouldn’t connecting that loved one with financial wisdom tools change the world of that relative?

And the list could go on as you forgave those who’ve wounded you, as you invested time into volunteer ministry, as you studied scripture in order to know how to answer the questions of non-Christians who don’t understand God’s grace as the vehicle of salvation rather than human works.

It’s all about seeking God, rejecting sin and surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I will always have room for improvement in this regard because I will always be lacking some aspect of Jesus’ perfection.

Even so, I can still be useful to God in helping others toward better lives and better personal ministries.

How can I have such confidence?

Because God is in the business of transforming lives so that believers might help others toward transformed lives.

Check out what God did with a teen walking amidst a bunch of sheep.

“He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.” (Psalm 78:71-72)

If God could change the world with the runt of a family, a kid who loved Him more than anything else, He can do amazing things with your life and mine.

We just have to care for people with true hearts and do our best to influence people with wise, experience-proven values and choices.

I believe in you. More importantly, God does, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When God looks at how you spend your time and money, how you treat the people in your life and at your moral conduct, what conclusion might He come to regarding the priority He has in your life?

Are your choices made in ways that first consider what He wants from your life? Do your choices show that you want to honor the pattern of living and loving that Jesus demonstrated?

Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, trusting that all your earthly needs will be met if you put God first in everything?

This is all sounds good, but applying the principle in practical life certainly does take faith.

Helping a relative who has lost a job is a good thing but what if it means scaling back a long-desired, long-planned family vacation of a lifetime?

Hmmmm….. that’s a tough choice for some.

But what would God have us to do?

Imagine there’s a lucrative opportunity to snag a big promotion at work but it would require being chosen over a co-worker friend who is also seeking the promotion. You know about a big mistake the co-worker made but which the boss hasn’t yet discovered. Do you subtly “help” the boss learn about the error and thus eliminate your competition for the promotion and big raise?

What would God have you to do?

Listen, we have daily opportunities to display our faith in ways visible to others. In recent days, I’ve witnessed at length about Christ on a couple of occasions while talking with Internet sellers about things they were offering. It’s been very interesting how the Lord opened the doors to speak about Him.

I should have been doing more of this but at least I can commit to doing it more from this point forward. I know this is what God would have me to do and I desire to please Him.

A verse from my daily Bible reading — Psalm 73:25 — should guide our actions all day, every day. Whatever we do, whether in word or in deed, should be done for the glory of God. That, coincidentally, is what Colossians 3:17 tells us.

And if we live according to the pathos of Psalm 73:25, we will live to please God.

“Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.”

Let’s do our best to a life totally surrendered to God, a life that desires Him more than anything else.

He clearly deserves it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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