Loving Your Neighbor

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord – Lev. 19:18 

Book 1 Chapter 4 - Leviticus 19 - 18 small


There are wonderful, intelligent, caring individuals who have propelled you along in your career, or been there for you when we’ve struggled. There are others whose words or actions have killed your career or emotionally wounded you. In the workplace there are individuals and companies who act with impeccable integrity and there are others who will do anything to accomplish their goals even if it isn’t ethical or legal. There are individuals who make excellent leaders and care about their employees, and others who have no concept or concern of the impact their decisions have on other people.

Sometimes we’re tempted to think that God is sitting up there in Heaven watching people and when he sees someone become a Christian, he calls out to Gabriel, “Quick, bring me my book, this pen is out of ink, get me another pen! I need to write down everything that has happened and will happen to this new Christian! Now I have to start watching over this person.” We know this isn’t the case. God was watching over us before we became Christians, and wrote down the plans for our lives in his book before we were born.

God knows each person, God created them in his image, God loves them, God gave them the skills and talents they have. People may not be aware, or may not care that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, but that doesn’t change who created them. People may not be aware of God’s love for them, but that doesn’t change God’s love for them. People may act like God doesn’t exist but God still knows what they’re thinking and saying.

As you bask in the love Christ has for you, as children of the Most High, imitate Christ by loving your neighbors, loving your co-workers, loving your customers no matter how they may treat you. For your Heavenly Father loves them as much as he loves you.

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for the people at work you have placed into our lives. Thank you for the skills and abilities you have given them. Give them wisdom to do their work with excellence. We thank you that you know what is going on in their lives, that you created them, and that you have blessed them with hopes and dreams. Father, we pray that you would grant them the desires of their hearts, and that one day they would acknowledge you as Lord. Amen


Luke 6:27–36

“To you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

God Created You

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.(Ps 139:14)


God created you! You are not a mistake, or an accident, or just a random collections of molecules that have formed into a body. You are not just a creation; you are a unique, fearfully and wonderfully made creation. God created you for this day, and chose the family and work situations that you find yourself in today before you were formed. God gave you your talents and skills to do something that nobody else can do. Everything you do, small or big, was part of God’s plan for you before you were created.

God knew beforehand all of the joys in your life right now. God knows about all of your struggles and challenges, too. What’s happening today in your life, what happened at work in the past weeks and months, and will happen tomorrow at work is no surprise to God – it is already written down in God’s book. God has been with you in each of these circumstances, and he will be with you in whatever happens next.

God knows all about the people you interact with, those who love the Lord, and those who do not acknowledge God or who actively oppose God. Therefore, you don’t need to have anxious thoughts, take matters in your own hands, or have offensive ways in your life. Leave the people and the circumstances of your life in God’s hands. Acknowledge that God is your loving Creator and ask him to search you and know your heart and see if there is any offensive way in you, so that no sin comes between you and God.

Prayer

Father, we praise you because we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We rejoice in your workmanship. Father, we thank you for the talents and abilities and strengths and weaknesses that you have blessed us with. Your thoughts toward us right now are very precious to us. As we start to think about them, we are overwhelmed.

Forgive us, Lord, for the times when our thoughts have not been pure, when we have not been filled with grace toward our co-workers. Lord, we lay our anxieties at the foot of your cross, and trust you in your infinite wisdom to deal with these situations. Search us and see if there is any offensive way in us, so that no sin comes between us. Amen

Blessings
James Bruyn


Psalm 139:13-24 NIV 
For you created my inmost being;
 you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
 your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
  when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
 all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
 How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
 when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
 Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
 your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you,Lord,
 and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
 I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
  test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
 and lead me in the way everlasting.

God’s Presence

God With Us at WorkWhere can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Ps 139:7)


The real beauty of the incarnation is that Christ came. He came for every hard or happy day you will ever face. He promises to be near you every moment. He is near you when your work is enjoyable and fulfilling and you look forward every morning to going to work. God is with you on those days when your work is dry and boring and it is an effort just to get out of bed. God is with you when you have been promoted to a new role; or when you find yourself in a position with less responsibility than you have had in the past.

God is present in the middle of the satisfaction and stress of work. God’s hand is always upon you—at work, at home, or wherever you are! God is fully aware of every one of your anxieties. God has searched you, and God knows your heart. You don’t need to be afraid!

God is aware of your thoughts about your co-workers and your work. God knows what you are going to say even before you say it. God is with you in your meetings, when you’re dealing with customers, at the water cooler, and in the lunch room. Even in the darkest place you find yourself, God’s light shines brightly!

When you reflect on God being aware of everything you’ve thought and said and done at work know that God accepts you just as you are. God is gracious. God freely offers forgiveness if you need forgiving and will not condemn you. You are not alone!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we are humbled and amazed at the concept that you know us completely. Forgive us for those things that we have said, or done, that we shouldn’t have. We praise you that we are not alone at work today, but that you are there with us in every activity,in every meeting, and in every interaction with others at work. Thank you that your light shines brightly in our workplaces. Amen


Psalm 139:1–12 NIV 

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

God’s Love For You

God's Love For YouSee what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1a NIV)


Sometimes you have great success in our work. There is a great sense of accomplishment as you look back at what you’ve done during the day, on what you’ve created, on a difficult problem you’ve solved, or look back over a longer time period on a project you have led or been part of that has successfully completed. At those times, remember that God loves you!

For many times of your life, you settle into a regular routine: you get up, you go to work or school, and you come home, relax, play and repeat. There is no great sense of accomplishment, but there is also no dissatisfaction—life is good, and the stability of the routine is reassuring. At those times, remember that God loves you!

Then there are times when life seems to be spiraling out of control. Circumstances seem to be conspiring against you. You don’t know if you are on the list of people to be laid off in the next round of layoffs, your car is broken down, the bills are piling up, family members are sick, or people are just treating you unkindly. At those times, remember that God loves you!

God is madly in love with you! He calls you his son or daughter! Turn your attention away from your work experiences, and focus on the love Christ has for you. As you focus on God’s love, you will find the true source of peace and joy. God will place a new song in your heart, and the smile on your face will come from knowing that you are God’s child, from knowing that God loves you.

Prayer

Father, root us and establish us in your love—that same love that redeemed us from our sins. Give us the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep Christ’s love is for us. Amen


Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

1 John 3:1–3 NIV

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure”.