Tag Archives: work

Performance-Based Christianity?

Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He also told us that because he was going to the Father, we would do even greater works than he did.

Are you trying to work without seeing Jesus? Without the blessing and grace of the Father?

Good things we do, like starting food banks and wrestling to get money from the government to stock them may have an impact on needs in society. How much greater would this help to people be if we relied on God alone to plan and stock the food bank, and to give the increase because we do it in his Name?

What keeps us from waiting upon God and doing things his way? The “risk” involved from bringing the seen out of the unseen? What if we fail? Pride opens up a can of ifs, ands, and buts, and what could be a beautiful project never comes to life. However, we feel if we can micro-manage a project enough, it will succeed and there is no risk.

We say, well, we are going to fix the worship time at church so it isn’t so boring. Get some new tunes and jazz up the old ones. Bless the socks off those people whether they get it or not. We are such good musicians, God will accept this music as worship and be proud of us.We will practice and practice until our arrangements are perfect and then offer it up as a sacrifice of worship and praise.

But God says a broken and contrite heart is what he wants offered to him. He wants us to be still and know that he is God. When we know who he is and know what we are in relationship with him, then the music is not a performance. It flows from the heart of God in unity with his children. Each gives to the other in perfect harmony.

All that we do in love for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit does not fail because God never fails. May he bless you today with creative thoughts and the wisdom to seek him first to know how to act on those righteous thoughts. In Jesus’ Name.

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Filed under Christian, Power of God, Relationship with God

The Work of Prayer

Have you ever needed to pray for someone and it is plain hard work to do so? You know that lifting the other person up before the Lord, pleading on their behalf is exactly the right thing to do. You want to do it, but there are so many hindrances, and you don’t know if you can wade through them all to get to praying. You have to go to your job, or do some chores at home. A neighbor drops by and seems depressed so you don’t want to excuse yourself immediately and end the visit. You receive a letter or email that you think should have a quick response, but you can’t find the right words and it takes a long time to write an answer. Eventually, you find yourself pouring¬† a cup of coffee and sitting down for no reason. Been there? Done that?

These interferences all seem to be acceptable priorities – except maybe the coffee! How can you get to where you need to be to pray?

To begin with, my friend, God is your first priority. Your day will be a lot smarter all the way through when you put the Lord first. Worship HIm, seek Him, study his Word, and let Him know that you are His for the day, no matter what. It may be that He will impress you to pray for the needs of others right in this first-fruits time of the day you are spending alone with God. It may be this is time for you and Him alone, and He will provide another time for intercessory prayer later. However it happens, let the Lord arrange your day from beginning to end.

When Jesus Christ the Lord is your priority, everything else you have to do flows from His arrangement. Your spouse and family are next, and then your church family, and your work. Some people preach that “ministry” comes right after family, but you will find that everything you do is truly ministry when you are properly focused. The light of Christ will shine from you while you are praying, and while you are doing menial tasks, and while you are enjoying a meal with family.

Our God is good. He wants you to have an orderly life. He created us to know Him and because we will always slide off the right path without His guidance, we must accept His direction for each day.

I am ready to get to work for the Lord; are you?

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Joy In Doing Right

Psalm 97:11 says that the Light shines on the godly and joy on those who do right. The Light is Jesus Christ: He is the Light of the world.

In this world, we always have trouble, and we can easily forget the joy of the Lord. Things that we hope for don’t happen, and we wonder if God is ever going to answer our prayers on certain matters. Doubt drags on us when we know we should have faith in God, and that makes us struggle with guilty feelings.

In 2 Timothy, chapter 4, there is a formula for experiencing your joy and gladness in following Christ. In Galations, we are told that joy is fruit from the Holy Spirit, so when you are open to him, you can receive his fruit. Being human, we also need practical wisdom for living out daily life in this manner. 2 Timothy 4:5 has wisdom for this:

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

1. “Watch thou in all things” can be paraphrased, “Keep a clear head.” Romans 12:2 tells us to have our minds renewed. Clear thinking is a must for godly activity. Minds and thinking are renewed by READING GOD’S WORD.

2. “Endure afflictions” is just what it says, and more; we have no reason to be afraid of suffering for Christ. Did he not suffer first and most?

3. “Do the work of an evangelist” simply means to WORK at bringing other people to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We can’t do that by sitting in a corner. You don’t have to stand on street corners and proclaim the Gospel unless God calls you to do that. Everyday life and how you live it speaks for God – or not. So work at living so that you are PRO GOD.

4. “Make full proof of thy ministry” sounds difficult, doesn’t it? Actually, it just means to complete what you know God wants you to do. Never give up. He is never going to leave you alone in your ministry. He is with you every moment to lead and strengthen and help you accomplish this.

These four actions are positive for knowing the Light shines on you, and you will receive joy in the process. To obey God is always the way to success. When you have joy, you have assurance that you are doing well.

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The Ant and the Foolish Women

Once upon a time there was an ant who believed the only thing it knew how to do well was work. It toiled from early morning until late at night to bring food to the anthill, storing it up for the colony. The ant was totally diligent and focused on this task, not looking aside to see what was going on anywhere but in its chosen path. Fortunately for this, the ant lived under a large picnic table in a national park, so food to gather was plentiful.

All the time the ant was shuffling crumbs to the anthill, a large group of foolish women was gathering in a nearby parking lot. They planned to use the ants’ sheltering picnic table, and they HATED ANTS. No one knows why they hated these harmless, hardworking insects. Their hatred was reasonless and pointless; very prejudicial and unjust. They did not fear the ants, which might have offered some excuse.

Well, the women gathered and the ant continued to toil. Finally it noticed the deep shadows gathering above and around the table. It tried to hurry faster in its work. No point in trying to see what the shadows really were – too much work to do. In fact, the ant felt threatened but didn’t understand why. It just kept going, doing its thing, until . . .

What do you think happened to the ant.

Have you ever focused so intently on one path that you completely missed what was going on around you? When danger threatens, do you miss it’s advance until too late to avoid it?

Here is what God says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5&6.

The ant could have looked up when it felt threatened. That feeling was it’s creator, the Lord God, warning it of danger. Looking up, the danger would have been seen, and safety sought and received by looking all the way to God.

We should always look to God, in trouble or in the daily work. He has provided a Rock for our refuge from anything that would crush us. The Rock is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Look to Him now and ask him to save you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

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