We can thrive as Christian’s working in the marketplace.

We can perform our work with strength, confidence, courage and excellence knowing that we are loved by God.

We can choose to be faithful to God and loyal to our workplace even when there are things in our workplace that aren’t consistent with Biblical values. We can choose to seek the good of the people we work with, and the good of the organization we work for. We can choose to live as men and women of integrity. We can choose to wisely take advantage of each opportunity for personal advancement. We can choose to boldly embrace every opportunity God may give us to influence the culture of our organization. We can choose to lead in such a way that people will rejoice when we are leading. (Prov 11:10).

Discernment isn’t always easy. There are many dangers and risks to our walk of faith in the workplace. Pride or discouragement threaten to destabilize us. We may be tempted by the lie that we are unworthy and incapable, or be the tempted by the lie of selfish ambition. Therefore God surrounds us with wise mentors and leaders (not all of whom may be Christian) to provide wisdom; to encourage us to step out in faith at the right time; and to help us see our blind spots. God provides us with His word to guide us into all truth.

Work doesn’t always go well. Actions of loyalty, choices to pursue the welfare and success of the department or company may not always be recognized. However as Christian’s are motivation is not recognition by the world, but glorifying God.

When you live to please God, when you choose to do each task with excellence, God may choose to exalt you, or he may not … God’s purposes are beyond our comprehension.

Don’t fret when you see haughty eyes, lying tongues, hearts that devise wicked schemes, people rushing into evil. Don’t be disturbed when you are surrounded by false witnesses or persons stirring up conflict. The Lord hates all of these (Prov 6:16-19). God has proven throughout history that He is more than capable of dealing with these situations in His own way and His own timing. In humility ask God to accomplish His divine purposes in the midst of your workplace.

God works through our kindness, graciousness, loyalty, courage, ingenuity and diplomacy. With the craft and courage of Christian leaders divinely inspired coincidences can change the trajectory of organizations. Without divinely inspired coincidences all the wisdom of the world will not bring success. Prayerfully, patiently wait for strategic events controlled by God to bring a climax to the drama of your workplace.

As Christian’s when we adhere to Biblical values and Biblical wisdom; when we allow our Godly character to speak more than our words we will gain the favor of those around us. Through grace filled living we will be known as people of wisdom and righteousness in our workplace.

How can you seek the peace and prosperity of your workplace?

Can God Fix It?

Have you ever looked at the systems or processes at your workplace and shook your head? Have you ever watched people make decisions that protect their own interests? Have you ever been frustrated with work not going the way you want it to?

If somebody was to sit down with you and ask you to list three problems with your workplace, how long would you have to think before you could answer the question? When you have these conversations you run the risk of doubting God’s word even as Adam and Eve did.

Can God resolve these problems? 

Will God fix them the way we want them fixed?

“The Disaster”

Until that point in time every aspect of work was enjoyable. Adam got up every morning and together with Eve they performed the work God called them to do.

Suddenly a workplace disaster of cosmic proportions occurred. Satan commissioned Pride, disguised as a serpent, to interrupt Adam and Eve in their work. Satan’s words were enticing … “You will be like God”. Pride’s twin sister Shame, lurking in the shadows, watched with glee as Adam and Eve put aside their work, doubted God’s word, and succumbed to temptation. Sin had entered into God’s perfect creation.

Everything changed in that moment. Yet at that moment nobody stopped breathing. At that moment the earth didn’t stop turning or orbiting the sun. But the consequences of sin, of not trusting God, started to ripple throughout the world.

Work … Ravaged by Sin

From that moment forward all work was hampered by pain, thorns and thistles. Work was marred by frustration, lack of fulfillment and fruitlessness.

Apart from God, work became a means to find identity and self-worth. Unity and love was replaced with deceit, blame, manipulation, comparison, competition, disunity and strife. Work and God’s creation became a means to satisfying personal desires, controlling one’s destiny and accumulating power.

Could anything be done to remediate this catastrophic, cataclysmic event?

This wasn’t a situation beyond redemption! God’s didn’t pull out a contingency plan of the files to try and mitigate the damage. God didn’t invoke the angelic emergency response team. God in His sovereignty remained completely in control.

God’s Grace

God in his grace gave Adam and Eve the privilege to continue to be participants in his story. God in his grace, continued to allow His creation to be fruitful and multiply, although it would be painful. God in his grace, continued to offer provision for the physical needs for existence, although thorns and thistles wouldn’t make this easy. We see God in his grace offer provision for the emotional needs for survival as He clothes Adam and Eve covering their shame and nakedness.

God in his grace offers provision for the spiritual needs for survival through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. God in his grace offers in his perfect timing, hope for a future workplace in a new heaven and a new earth untainted by sin. God in his grace offers a path to unity with God and unity with other people.

God in his grace allows each person to accept or reject his grace.

This isn’t the storyline that Adam and Eve expected. This isn’t the storyline that anybody anticipated. This is God’s story!

The Story Continues

This story of grace is a story of redemption that continues to be played out today. This is a story that the angels watch with baited breath (1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Tim 3:16).

This story of grace, this story of redemption continues in our workplaces today.

Your workplace is part of God’s story. God in his righteousness and grace is weaving your workplace into His story. Since you aren’t the author of the story of your workplace, this story won’t unfold the way you expect, but it will unfold in accordance with God’s grace.

If God can take the worst cataclysmic event in history and by his grace turn it into a story of redemption, what could God do in your workplace?  

Read Genesis 3 on BibleGateway #bgbg2

No Little Places

All work reflects the image of God in us. God wired work into our DNA. We need work to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. Work is part of the blessing and the goodness of God’s creation.

God used his mind, his knowledge and his wisdom to shape every aspect of the universe. God has blessed us with minds and his wisdom so that we can seek out the ways His world works, and the ways of God in His world.

God was strategic in the way he created the world. He didn’t create the animals first and then wonder where to put them. When we develop strategies for our work we are reflecting God’s perfect planning.

Everything God created is unique. Consider the beauty of a flower or the variety of flavors of food that we eat. God trusts us to reflect his creativity in everything we make.

As God created the universe, he named the light “day’, and the darkness “night”. God calls each star by name. God gave us the privilege to name each animal, bird and plant, and to name our children. Like God, when we name something we are giving it the dignity God intended it to have, and describing its character.

God took the earth which was formless and empty and shaped it into this world that we enjoy, with all its processes, systems, and natural laws. When we take data, and present it in a spreadsheet, or take ingredients and serve a delicious meal, or lead people to finish a project in a structured and orderly fashion we are reflecting the enjoyment God takes in His creation.

God cares for each one of us. Each hair on our head is numbered. He knows our name. God cares for every aspect of his creation. Not one sparrow falls, or flower dies without God knowing. When we care or demonstrate compassion for others, we are modeling God’s compassion and care.

On the seventh day, God rested from his work. Rest … knowing your work is good; Rest … trusting that God will take care of you and your work.

There are no little tasks in God’s Kingdom. Each task has equal value in God’s eyes. Each task is needed for somebody to flourish. Each task is necessary for people to enjoy God’s creation. Each task is necessary to obey God’s command to rule over and subdue the earth.

Read Genesis 1-2 on BibleGateway

Stewards of God’s Creation

What command in Scripture were you obeying this morning when you went to work?

When we get up in the morning to go to work, we are heading out in obedience to God’s command in Gen 1:28 to fill the earth, subdue the earth and to rule over it. In other words every job, every task, or every good endeavor, that you do today, you are doing in obedience to God’s command to govern and be responsible for His creation.

Stewards of God’s Creation

When God created the world, he created it for you and me; and he created us to be stewards of His world. As God’s ‘vice-regents’ through our work we are have the privilege of entering into the story of God’s creative work. God created this world that at a macro level it would survive for millennia. At the micro level God designed the world so that it needs our continual stewardship.

God made each of us responsible to develop, care for, enrich, explore, cultivate and govern the corner of the world where we live. God expects and encourages us to maximize creation’s full potential through our work. It is the work of societies and cultures to help people thrive and flourish in God’s creation.

God provides all that we need for our work

God has provided us with everything we need to do our work. Starting with Adam, God provided a garden in a corner of creation, with water and animals and everything necessary to tend to the garden. Work was part of the blessing, the goodness and the environment of the garden. By working in this garden, Adam provided for himself and his family.

From that garden subsequent generations built the great pyramids in Egypt. Later the Greek and Roman cultures arose. From that garden today we have airplanes, trains, cars, medicine, the Internet, McDonalds and Starbucks. Each of these were forseen by God, at the dawn of creation, as ways that humanity would fill the earth, subdue the earth and to rule over it (Gen 1:28).

God provides barista’s with what they need to brew a cup of coffee. God provides chef’s with what they needs to create a delicacy. The chef and the barista provide opportunities for people to thrive and enjoy what God has created.

God provides project managers with the resources they need for their project. God gifted the people working on the project with the various skills needed to manipulate these resources to deliver the project. Through this project something new is created for the thriving of society.

God provides clues in creation for engineers and scientists to use to design new ways for people to flourish in God’s creation. This could be anything from new oil reserves, new energy sources, new technologies, using existing technologies in novel ways.

God places the receptionist in an organization to answer the phone and welcome people into their company so people can find their way within the corner of God’s world where that company specializes.

The choice

When God created the world, he said his work “was good”. Our universe is a masterpiece crafted by a master craftsman and artist, God. God worked for the sheer joy of working. As we do our work …

  • We have the choice to enjoy the world, the raw materials, the laws of nature as God created them;
  • We have the choice to enjoy the tools and processes and systems that others have developed from what God has created;
  • We have the choice to enjoy the skills of those around us
  • We have the choice to enjoy the fruits of our labor;
  • We have the choice to do our work in loving obedience to God’s command to be a steward over God’s creation;

How can you see your job as fulfilling God’s command to be a steward over His creation?

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The Way of Righteousness

What will you encounter along the way of righteousness? Will the circumstances of your life be different or will you experience them differently?

God doesn’t describe who or what you will encounter along the way of righteousness. God doesn’t promise that the circumstances of your life will be different along the way of righteousness.

What God promises, if you choose to walk along the path of righteousness, is that you will experience fully all that God meant for you to experience in each of life’s circumstances. When you walk along the way of righteousness, God promises that he will be with you every moment. God promises you that you will continue to know life with God in heaven at the end of the way of righteousness.

To enjoy these promises you must enter the path of righteousness by believing that Jesus has died for you sins. Only then are you able to stand righteous in God’s presence.

The way of righteousness – being who God created you to be
One of the joys of walking along the way of righteousness is that you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Walking along the way of righteousness gives you the freedom to be the wonderful person that God created you to be without false pretenses.

Walking righteously means that you diligently perform every job assigned to you, whether you like them or not. God has given you exactly the right mind, talents and skills so that you can faithfully build your life with gold, silver and precious metals for your life upon Christ the bedrock of your faith .

The way of righteousness – being a peacemaker
As one who has chosen to walk on the way of righteousness “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceable with all” . Choose your words carefully to bring joy, healing and peace as far as it is possible. Choose words that are faithful and true, gentle and kind, uplifting and encouraging.

Sometime you may find yourself working in a hostile work environment. There are workplaces with managers who reigns with fear, or co-workers who makes life miserable, or where Christian values are mocked or not tolerated. The way of righteousness does not take us around these situations, but rather takes us through them With God at your side you can abundantly experience life even in these places.

God’s eyes pierce the secrets of every soul. When you are surrounded by schemers, trust the Lord to keep you and your family safe. When you are surrounded by those who are unthankful, ungrateful, liars or fantasy chasers, be known as one who is trustworthy.

The way of righteousness is an invitation to walk by faith. It is an invitation to ‘act justly and love mercy’ . Quietly continue to do your work as if you were serving the Lord, so that you may be wholly acceptable in God’s sight.

The way of righteousness is not about being at peace with all people, but personally knowing peace with God. Your co-workers relationship with God is between them and God.

The way of righteousness – through the storms
The way of righteousness will not take you around the storms, trials, tribulations and afflictions that all of us experience in life. When the rages of earth and hell threaten your life, know that you are safe in God’s almighty hand. As God reveals himself to you through his Word, you have all that you need to stand firm during the storms of life.

Sometimes, as we all do; you will wander from the way of righteousness. At those times, welcome correction so that you can continue to know the favor of the Lord.

The way of righteousness – giving God the glory
All glory belongs to God. As you walk the way of righteousness, God is constantly working in your life through his Word to make you more like Christ. By demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit and the virtues of Christ who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, you reflect God’s glory into dark places. If people praise you for your prudence, quietly acknowledge God as the source of your wisdom. May people see your good deeds and glorify God.

The way of righteousness – the end of the path
At the end of the way of righteousness you will see your Savior standing with a big smile, and arms outstretched wide to welcome you to heaven. There you will hear your Savior say, ‘my child, well done good and faithful servant’!

Be Strong and Courageous

Joshua 1Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Josh 1:8)

How do we find the strength and courage to face our daily work routines? Where do we find the courage to step out into a new career or a new position?
God is sufficient to replace our anxieties, inadequacies, fears, and doubts with courage and confidence.

It would be nice if God gave us 12 steps to courage, or seven habits for courageous living. However God gives something much more amazing. God gives us his promises, God gives us his Word and God gives us his presence.

God’s promises as a source of courage 
Our strength and courage rests in God. God is the supernatural power that has created this world, and acted throughout history and in your life. All power on heaven and earth belongs to God. God is unchanging and God’s power will continue to act today and tomorrow.

God’s promises are dependable, because God’s promises rest entirely on God’s unchanging character. There is nothing that God has promised or does that relies on what you do, or what anybody else does.

The Bible as a source of courage
God reveals himself to us in the Bible, so that we can grasp the length and breadth and height and depths of his love for us. God reveals to how we can live our lives in a right relationship with him so that he can provide the strength we need for today and tomorrow.

Daily hear what God has to say about you and to you through his word. Don’t be distracted by inferiority-complex podcasts from your youth, or fear-mongering messages from well-intentioned friends, or people comparing you to your predecessor.

  • There is always something new to discover in the Bible. Knowing what God says to us in the Bible requires consistent life-long:
  • Meditation on God’s Word to make God’s Word part of your normal, day-to-day reasoning and thinking;
  • Exploring with other believers how the truths of God’s Word apply to everyday life situations;
  • Making God’s word part of your everyday conversations;
  • Being able in your own words to explain how God’s Word influences your day-to-day actions and larger decisions.

God’s preparation as a source of courage
You didn’t just arrive on the scene as a random collection of atoms. God skillfully created you! God has prepared you for today, and what lies ahead tomorrow. God gave you the abilities and skills you need to courageously face your daily work routine, or to courageously step out into a new venture.

God has also prepared the hearts of the people you work with, the people you lead, and your managers. Instead of being scared of the people around you, or frustrated by the people around you, give thanks to God for how he has prepared them and brought you together.

God’s presence as a source of courage 
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Josh 1:5)

God has promised that he will be with you wherever you go. When God is with you, there is no need to be afraid or discouraged. God’s perfect love drives away all fears. With God present in your life you know that God has forgiven you and which in turn gives you the courage to forgive.

Obedience as a source of courage
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (Josh 1:7)

You may know a lot about God’s promises, about the Bible, about yourself, and that God is with you. But true courage will not come until in faith you step out in obedience. Stepping out in obedience may mean dealing with sin in your life before God will give you the courage to move forward. For many of you obedience may mean faithfully doing exactly what you were doing yesterday. For some of you, obedience may mean a leap of faith into something new holding onto God’s hand.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

God knows your name

What is more important: the people you know; or that the Lord knows your name? What is more important: pleasing people; or that people know God is pleased with you?

Our lives have significance when we believe that God not only knows our name, but knows us intimately. Every task that we do has meaning for today and for eternity when we know that God is pleased with us and what we are doing.

You are known by God, and that is enough! God knows the essential reality of who you are, what is bringing you joy, and what is stressing you out. God created you and knows all there is to know about you. You are God’s special treasure.

For Moses knowing that God was pleased with him, and that God knew his name was sufficient. By faith Moses believed that God’s presence would go with him as he lead the Israelites to Canaan after they had made the golden calf (Ex 32-33).

Knowing that you are known by God, you can move away from the shrines of self-worth, of possessions, or accomplishments and step with faith onto the unseen path of God’s story.  By faith, you have the privilege of enjoying the presence of the One who loves you and enables you. When you walk by faith, you walk unencumbered by idols. When you walk by faith God is pleased with you.

Not only does God know your name but God who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Ex 34:6) promises to be with you.

With God present in your life, as Augustine wrote, the world sees “a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps.”

Bask in the wonder that God is pleased with you and knows your name.

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isa 43:1-3a)

6 Certainties for a New Year

As we make our plans for the coming year what can those of us who have placed our faith and trust in God know with certainty?

1. The Lord is the Maker of Heaven and earth. 

Our journey toward our goals takes place in God’s world. God created this world for us. God reigns supreme over this world. Nothing will happen to us this year that hasn’t first passed through the throne room of heaven.

2. The Lord enables us to pursue our goals. 

The Lord has blessed us with the abilities to make plans. The Lord has blessed us with exactly the right resources we need to carry out our plans. The Lord has surrounded us with just the right people to support us as we move forward with our plans

Give God the glory, the honor and the praise that is due him for all his blessings.

3. The Lord is with us! 

God is with us as we create our plans! God will be at our right hand every moment of every day as we carry out our plans through to the very end of our life. The perils along the path may be unknown, but our security is certain. God is not distant during our successes and failures.

As we are working on each of the tasks of our plans, we can continue to place our trust in God’s infinite wisdom and loving, protective care. We don’t have to worry about slip-sliding down “slippery slopes”, or tripping along rocky paths when we trust in God.

Believing that God never sleeps and never slumbers we can be refreshed as we rest with delight, assurance, joy and peace.

4. We do not need to be afraid! 

Fear not! Keep your eyes focused on our Lord and Savior, the maker of heaven and earth!

Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. When “Murphy’s law” kicks in, continue to keep sight of the one who can help us. Don’t be allured by the apparent tangible help that the world has to offer, instead continue to place your trust in the eternal, invisible, only wise God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

By trusting in God we won’t be consumed by fears that block the potential of our lives. Know with certainty that “the Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night” (Psalm 121:5 NIV).

5. Our eternal soul will never be harmed by evil! 

The Lord is watching over us! We don’t have to be afraid of future unknown public assaults, or secret treacherous insidious attacks of enemies. The Lord is the divine companion at our right hand, who stands between us and every threat real or imaginary. This doesn’t mean that we won’t face difficulty or danger, or won’t experience physical or emotional pain. But it does mean that our souls will never be harmed by evil.

6. We have a certain hope! 

The day is coming when we will stand before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. God who sits on the throne will shelter us with his presence. We will never again be hungry; we will never again be thirsty. The sun will not beat down on us, nor the scorching heat. For the lamb at the center of the throne will be our shepherd; he will lead us to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Rev 7:15-17).

As you keep your eyes focused on God may your life be enriched with love and thankfulness!

Perfect Peace

Trust in the Lord! God has heard your prayers! Rest in God!

Does it seem like you have been praying forever for your situation, or the salvation of a family member, or the challenges one of your friends are facing?

Be Encouraged! The day is coming when you will see God at work, and then you too will declare from the depths of your heart, with joy “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them” (Luke 1:68).

Waiting for God to answer our prayers is hard, for we live in a society that is based on instant gratification, fast food, fast cars, and rapid transit. Our patience is tested when we find ourselves waiting, especially if we are waiting for an answer, or when we find ourselves or a loved one in pain and are waiting for a way out. Yet when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus didn’t say that their prayers would be answered instantly. Instead Jesus told them to persist in prayer, to ask, to seek, to knock.

In your waiting for God to answer your prayers, you aren’t alone. There is a long line of believers before you who have had to wait for God to answer their prayers. Anna and Simeon prayed patiently every day until they were nearing the end of their lives before they saw the baby Jesus, God in the flesh (Luke 2:25-38). God allowed them to catch a glimpse of the beginning of the answer to their prayer – the baby Jesus. But they did not live to see how God was going to fully answer their prayers – they did not live to see how God’s plan of salvation was going to be worked out.

Why God has chosen His timing, and His way of answering your prayers, may well remain a mystery until you cross over into Glory. However know this, God is faithful, and just as He answered Anna’s and Simeon’s prayers, He will answer your prayers! In the meantime, in the midst of what is happening in your life cling to this promise that:

God will keep in perfect peace 
     all who trust in Him, 
     all whose thoughts are fixed on Him! 
Trust in the Lord always, 
     for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. (Isa 26:3-4)

The People God Uses

You have a unique role in advancing God’s Kingdom. In fact each person that God has created has a role in advancing God’s Kingdom. Yes even those who today who do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord, are used by God in someway to advance God’s Kingdom and to influence and shape your life so that you become the person God created you to be. This truth is vividly portrayed in the Christmas story. The birth of Jesus would never have been the fulfillment of prophesy without God involving a diverse group of people with various beliefs or lack of faith.

God used people with doubts.

God worked a miracle in the lives of Zachariah an elderly priest and his Elizabeth wife who are past child bearing age so that they would become the parents of John the Baptist.Even though Zachariah is standing in the Holy of Holies – in the very presence of God – he doesn’t believe that he is receiving a message from God.

God can use you today, even with your doubts. God hears your prayers! In faith, cry out to God to help you overcome your unbelief (Mark 9:24).

God used young people with faith.

God chose Mary, an ordinary teenage virgin and Joseph her fiancé, a simple carpenter to be the parents of Jesus. In faith Mary chooses to glorify the Lord and rejoice in God. Their hands would change a baby’s diaper. Their son’s hands would have nails driven through them for our sins.

Like Mary and Joseph,don’t let anybody look down on you because you are young, but set an example for other believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Tim 4:12).

God used pagan leaders.

God could have chosen any number of people of faith to tell Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem to have their baby. But God chose Caesar Augustus, a ruler who does not know or acknowledge God to issue a decree that caused Joseph and Mary to have their baby in Bethlehem.

The decisions that your company makes which have affected your life are constrained and directed by our all-knowing, all-wise Heavenly Father. Praise God for them,for God has used their decisions to bring you to where you are today, and this is exactly where you need to be today if you are being obedient to God.

God proclaimed the good news to people at work.

God chose to proclaim the birth of Jesus, good news of great joy, to shepherds going about their day to day work, doing the same jobs that their families had been doing for generations.

You can experience peace and joy today in your workplace because our Redeemer lives.There is no temptation that you experience in your work today that Jesus hasn’t experienced.

God used wise men who needed directions.

There were men, who God had gifted with wisdom, who followed a sign in the stars to Jerusalem seeking to know where the “king of the Jews” was born. Even with their wisdom they still needed to ask for directions to get to Bethlehem.

There is nothing shameful in seeking the wisdom and knowledge of those around you. Just test what you hear to ensure that it is in alignment with Scripture.

God used pious religious leaders who lacked faith.

God used the pious religious leaders who knew off the top of their head the prophecy as to where Jesus would be born to give directions to the wise men. Yet these priests lacked the faith to believe for themselves that this miracle would happen in their life time, and didn’t even bother to check it out.

Listen to the co-workers, managers, books, and other people God has blessed you with so that you can develop the skills to do all that God meant for you to be. Don’t pre-judge what they have to say based on whether or not they are people of faith.

God used a jealous, scared leader who reigned with fear.

God used King Herod, a jealous King, who was afraid that a baby would take over his throne to drive Mary and Joseph to Egypt so that the prophecy would be fulfilled that “out of Egypt I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1).

In your life, there will be leaders who do not acknowledge God or fear God, and their actions will shape your destiny. Remember that they have no more authority than what God has granted to them. Allow God’s perfect love for you to drive away all fear that you may have. (1 John 4:18)

God used a man of faith who patiently held on to God’s promises.

Like Abraham, Simeon, an elderly ordinary righteous, devout man had received a promise from God and patiently waited for it to be fulfilled. As a result he had the privilege of bestowing a prophetic blessing on Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

With hope walk boldly towards your future! God holds your future securely in his hands. God will use you to be a blessing to other people.

God used a woman who knew the difficulties of life.

Anna had only been married for seven years before her husband died. After that she faced the struggles of living as a widower in Jerusalem. Because she remained faithful, fasting and praying, God granted her the immense privilege of being in the temple at the right moment, to hold Jesus in her hands.

Today Jesus lives in your heart. Your peace rests in Jesus. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:33).

Give thanks for each person God has brought into your life.

Father we thank you and praise you for each person you have brought into our lives. We thank you for the way they have shaped us into the men and women that we are today. Give us ears to hear what you are saying to us through each person, and each circumstance in our lives. Speak through us your words of truth into the lives of those around us. Amen.