I know God speaks, but do I want to listen? I am doing just fine on my own.
I know God speaks, but do I want to listen? I am doing just fine on my own.
Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)
This Easter we bow in awe and adoration before our God who in his infinite wisdom, amazing grace, and boundless love created a way for us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and for God to enter into our life and have fellowship with us. On that first Good Friday, Jesus paid the ultimate ransom price so that our consciences could be cleansed from all our less than perfect behavior, thoughts and attitudes.
This Easter we pause to appreciate what the resurrected Jesus is doing for us today. For Easter is much more than just a historic event. Easter is a present reality. Because Jesus died the very inner core of our being has been transformed from darkness into light. Because Jesus lives God dwells in our heart, calls us his children, and welcomes us into his Holy presence. We are free from the bondage of our sins. Jesus has taken away our shame, and restored our dignity. Jesus has taken away our fears and replaced them with love. We celebrate Easter because we have been released from the things of this world to serve the living God the way we were created to.
This Easter we appreciate that only by faith in Christ are our sins forgiven. Only through the blood of Christ are we cleansed from all our mistakes, and failures and sins. There is nothing you or I need to do (or can do), there is nothing we can create, and nothing that is created which can cleanse us from our sins. Easter reminds us that Jesus doesn’t have to die again. Easter reminds us that there is nothing that anybody can do to take away our redemption.
This Easter we anticipate with hope Jesus return. The King came, lived among his people, paid the price of redemption for his people, and now has temporarily left to return to His Kingdom. But having left, he has also promised to return. And when he returns we will get to enjoy perpetually and completely all the blessings he obtained by his sacrifice.
This Easter as you enjoy time with your family, as you enjoy a shortened work week, as you enjoy camping or gardening or whatever you are doing – celebrate that the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse you from all your shame and guilt, all your mistakes, anger, frustration, bitterness and jealousy. Celebrate that because of the blood of Jesus you can enjoy fellowship with God. Rejoice that there is nothing else you have to do be viewed as holy in God’s presence – celebrate that “It is Finished”. No matter how discouraging this world may be, no matter how silent the heavens may seem celebrate that your redemption has been accomplished.
Christ is Risen!
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24 NASB)
Today our hearts can be filled with shouts of Hosanna, shouts of praise, for Christ is risen and he hears and answers our prayers. We know that Christ has the ultimate authority over nature, demons, sickness, sin, religious rituals, and the systems and leaders of this world. We have experienced forgiveness, peace, love and joy. We rest in an eternal hope. We have a merciful and faithful high priest who is seated at God’s right hand, interceding for us.
Today we give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for his lovingkindness is everlasting.
Some days are messy days when our nerves are frayed, when nothing seems to be going right, or with deadlines looming, or when we can’t please anybody, or when our world has been turned upside down. These messy days still deserves a chance to be a good day because the Lord has made each day. Messy days do not change the goodness of the Lord or his enduring love for us. God is more than able to meet our needs today. So we continue to give thanks to the Lord.
Every day Jesus Himself is waiting to share in our struggles and sorrows, to renew our courage, and to enter into an intimate conversation with us.
Because Jesus lives we can call upon the Lord, and he answers. We do not need to be afraid and we are never alone, for the Lord is with us, and calls us his sons and daughters. God has promised to guard and cherish us forever. No matter what life brings, our refuge is in the Lord.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)
Throughout our career our work experiences range from jobs we thoroughly enjoy to work we would rather not do. God sees our work differently. God sees all our work as opportunities to cooperate with his eternal purposes. When we are working God sees us as being obedient to his command. In fact work is one of the very first commands in the Bible.
Adam and Eve had the immense privilege of being the first workers. When God created the world, God allowed Adam and Eve to work to subdue and rule over the earth. We follow in their steps through our work as we continue to subdue and rule over the earth. Even before God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil, God instructed Adam and Eve to work the garden and take care of it.
In other words, every job, even the simplest, most mundane or routine tasks that you do (unless it is some sort of criminal activity) has dignity and value, simply because working is being obedient to God’s command. Not only has God commanded us to work, God invites us through our work to discover every aspect of the marvelous complexity of his wonderful creation. The first task God gave Adam and Eve was naming each animal and bird that God brought before them. This creative activity of naming things still goes on today as we name new planets, name the location of new mineral deposits, or name new findings in medicine.
Being created in God’s image, when you are doing your work, whatever that might be, you are reflecting God’s love into the world and reflecting creation’s worship back to God. You can be filled with joy at work for you have the privilege of partnering with God. In fact you might be surprised, that when you start seeing your current role from God’s perspective that you will find peace and contentment. Remember that you are not working for man but for the Lord. Every responsibility of your job is the Lord’s work.
I know God can do all things; no purpose of God’s can be thwarted (Job 42:2)
The baby born in Bethlehem, the carpenter of Nazareth, the enthroned Lord of this universe is worthy of your praise, honor and worship this year! Everything you have today exists because He created it. He set the heavens in their place, established the clouds above, established the boundaries of the oceans, and marked out the foundations of the earth. The King of Kings, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace is lovingly ruling over everything that will happen in your life this year.
In the midst of the realities of life and death, work and unemployment, sickness and health you don’t need to keep searching. God’s celestial voice speaks to you through his word providing all that you need to know. Your relationship with Christ is your anchor of stability. The exalted and risen Christ, full of grace and truth, stepped into history and provided purification for your sins graciously offering you a way past any shameful or embarrassing moments. Relax, for when you face affliction, persecution or temptation, you can cry out Abba Father, and know that he understands.
Celebrate this year knowing that God can do all things! No purpose of God’s can be foiled. Look to Christ with adoration, as he rules and sustains everything that is happening in your world. God’s plans for you are more wonderful than you can comprehend!
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
God is calling you today. God may be calling you to a role that is exciting or to a place that the world may deem as “ordinary”. That is not what is important. What is important is that God is calling you to be exactly who he created you to be when he knit you together in your mother’s womb. When God created you, he knew that the world needed you today with your unique gifts and skills. He knew that there were things that needed to be done in this world that only you can do. God is calling you today to be a living witness to the life of faith. God is calling you today to a life of quiet obedience and faithful trust in every situation, in every conversation, in the good times and the bad times. God is calling you today to use the skills and talents he has blessed you with, right where you are. God’s call on your life is tremendously freeing, for his call on your life is for you to be you.
You don’t have to be afraid! The one who calls you today, sees exactly what is happening in this world. God is grieved by the sinfulness he sees, and his heart longs for redemption and reconciliation, but God is not surprised or panicking. What a privilege you have to constantly enjoy the presence of the one who called you, the one who is in control of this universe wherever you go, as you take the next step in obedience. No matter how many scary, dark, wonderful or joyous situations you experience, God has promised to be with you and never to leave you alone or forsake you. When you are tempted to say “what if this happens” or “what if that happens” what are you saying about God?
You know what you need to do next! The one who calls you, has given you sufficient guidance for the next step. His word is a lamp unto your feet. God has blessed you with everything you need to faithfully move forward (people, gifts, resources, skills). The one who calls you, is the one who created you. He is aware of your weaknesses and limitations be they physical, emotional, financial or whatever they may be. Yes, God has called you, because he knows that your unique combination of strengths and weakness are exactly what is required to do what you are called to do. When you doubt your ability to follow his call, what are you saying about God, and who he created you to be?
It is never too late … today you can start being the person God created you to be. Be obedient today and faithfully follow what you know about God. There is nothing stopping you from starting now to trust God. God is with you. God will deliver you. God is faithful, God will keep his promises toward you. Even though nobody around you may be trusting God – you can! Today you can model Christ’s love! Today you can model grace!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:1-3)
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb 13:15-16)
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. (Prov 22:4)
As the cloud lifted, there she stood covered in leprous sores, like a newborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten. Next to her, he knelt, praying that the Lord would heal his sister for speaking out against his leadership. Is it any wonder that Moses was known for being the most humble man on earth? (Numbers 12)
One of the great paradoxes in the Kingdom of God is that true humility is strength not weakness; a quiet strength of character resting in a firm belief in God.
Your humility is the strength that lets you serve others in your job, in a way that is uniquely you, without fear of losing your identity, for your identity is rooted in Christ. Your humility, based on Christ’s love for you, is the backbone that enables you to deeply love those around you without expectations. Because Christ has shown you how precious you are, you can show your neighbor how precious they are. Since you are complete in Christ, and assured that Christ sees you and knows your heart you don’t need to seek the place of prominence out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. When God calls you to a place of prominence, then with peace humbly go there for Christ is Lord there. When God calls you to a place of obscurity, then with joy humbly go there for Christ is Lord there.
Humbly remember your place in God’s creation. When God created you, He blessed you with your skills and abilities, and what God has created is good. In humility acknowledge your Creator. Courageously be who God created you to be; and do what God calls you to do; where God has placed you; with and for the people God has placed in your life. This is the narrow path of faith which is marked by trust in God. Never forget the grace God has shown you by forgiving your sins through faith in Christ, and allowing you to cry out Abba Father. Take the yoke of Christ upon you, and learn from him, for Christ is gentle and humble in heart, then you will find rest for your soul. Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden is light.
May your position in Christ bring you encouragement. May the Love of the Father bring you comfort. May your life be marked with tenderness and compassion. Amen
Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long,and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. (Deut 33:12)
It had been a long busy day for Jesus and his disciples. It was night-time and they were crossing over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was resting peacefully in the back of the boat when suddenly a huge storm descended from out of nowhere. As Creator, he knew that he was Lord over nature. Although these winds and the roaring sea threatened his very life and the life of his disciples, Jesus knew that the winds and sea were subject to his sovereign authority, so he rested peacefully. These experienced fishermen, could not comprehend how a simple carpenter could sleep through this horrendous storm. Drenched to the skin, shivering from the ferocious winds, they awakened Jesus, in the hope that the one who could drive out demons, the one who taught in parables, might possibly be able to do something to save them.
Little did they realize that their passenger had authority not just over demons but also over the wind and the sea. Their boat was tilting over precariously, and another huge wave was about to splash over the deck when with one short sentence from Jesus the wind stopped, and the sea was as flat as glass. The silence was deafening as they looked out on the reflection of the moon and stars on the Sea of Galilee. The only evidence of the storm was the water dripping off their clothes into the puddles on the deck of their boat. Softly Jesus whispered to them “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?1
Can the one who drives out demons, can the one who teaches with authority, can the one who calms the winds and the sea, calm the raging storm around you, or in your soul? Can you hear the Lord asking you “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Your soul can be at rest today, because you trust the personal, living Lord who sustains you. Tonight lie down and sleep in peace, knowing that in the middle of the storms of life, the Lord will keep your soul safe. Know that just as the Lord is the sovereign authority who rules over the wind and roaring sea, the Lord is the sovereign authority who rules over all those who are causing storms in your life.
Jesus is calling out to you today …“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”2
Tonight, when you go to bed don’t be afraid, sleep sweetly, for the Lord is at your side, and will keep your foot from being snared.3 God in whom you trust is your refuge and fortress, so rest peacefully in the shadow of the Almighty.
1 Mark 4:40
2 Matt 11:28-30
3 Prov 3:26
Along the path of your life, in each circumstance you find yourself in; continue to listen to God’s voice and be obedient. God is not surprised by where you are today. God remains faithful! God hasn’t stopped fulfilling his promises! God will not be surprised by where you are tomorrow. In every situation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, choose faithfulness and obedience to God. Keep your eyes focused on Christ. When you find yourself faced with temptations of any sort – stand firm in the grace of God. Stand firm where God has planted you because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of your Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
According to his loving, wise and good pleasure God is bringing to your situation redemption, healing and provision in ways beyond what your finite mind can grasp or imagine. Quietly trust and obey, knowing that God’s redeeming power is actively at work in the midst of the sin and darkness around you. You are not the savior of your workplace, but you know the Savior of this world. It is God’s redeeming power that restores and heals lives, families and relationships broken by sin. God redeems the harmful actions of those around you according to his good pleasure. By remaining faithful, you may be God’s chosen instrument for such a time as this at your workplace. Watch patiently and rejoice as you see the powerful, redeeming hand of the Lord of heaven and earth accomplish more than you ever imagined or dreamed.
May the Almighty bless you with blessings from the skies above, and blessings from the deep springs below.
Your righteousness is making a difference in your workplace! Your Godly behavior is bringing a blessing to the people where you work! Your honesty has been noticed not only by your employer, but by the people you work with. The fact that you don’t make excuses, but do the work you are asked to do, and do it with a smile is appreciated. The fact that you go the extra mile, to make sure that things are in the right order, and the right place, so that work is easier for your colleagues, hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Many people find it remarkable that you quietly avoid the griping about your boss, and the complaints about the way the company is being run. In fact when people ask your opinion, they are amazed that you always have something positive to say. When you speak, people know that you are speaking the truth motivated by love, with a desire to see things improve, rather than to see someone being belittled or hurt. In fact nobody can remember you ever stabbing somebody in their back, or saying hateful things about somebody. Your righteous behavior is making a difference in your organization. Within your sphere of influence (however limited that might be), by being Christ’s living presence in your workplace, by having the Lord’s favor rest upon you, you are a ‘canopy of grace’ for your co-workers. Your words, your smiles, your peaceful demeanor bring joy and gladness to people’s hearts. Because you delight in the law of the Lord, God has planted You like a tree by streams of water, that brings a cool shadow of protection, and beauty within your workplace.
The Lord has promised, that as you continue to trust in the Lord with all your heart, that He will make your paths straight. He hasn’t said that your paths will be easy. But he has promised that wherever your paths may lead, that he will be with you, that he will be a lamp unto your feet, that he will delight over you and that he will bring blessings through you to those around you. Wherever you go, by your righteousness, by your faith in your living savior, by your obedience to your risen Lord, you bring a canopy of grace to those in your sphere of influence.
Lord, may the meditations of our heart, the words from our mouths, and the work of hands be pleasing in your sight. Amen