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Obedience As Worship

By | Day 23 | No Comments

Lately I’ve been working through the Hillsong: 40 Days of Revival reading plan on my You Version Bible App.  One of the days focused on obedience, and it included a perspective I had not heard before: obedience as worship.  Check out the devotional text below and see what you think. How might you extend this kind of worship into your workplace?

 

Obedience:

What exactly does it mean to obey God?  Ticking the boxes next to the 10 commandments?  Loving my neighbour? Turning the other cheek when someone hurts me?  In essence, yes! But also, no!  Obeying God with a ‘tick-box’ mindset is not only doomed to failure, but simply not what God asks of us.

God’s love for us is not based on our actions or effort but on His goodness.  1 John 4 explains that love is not about us loving God, but about Him loving us and sending Jesus.  When we realise and understand God’s grace, we respond out of a love for Him and all He has done for us, beginning to do things as He directs us through His Word, preferring His ways over our own until they become our ways.

Obedience to God, through the Holy Spirit, therefore brings its own reward of purity. Obedience to His Word, under grace, provides us with the opportunity to be more Christ-like. In this way, obedience is also an act of worship, for when we live a life devoted to God we demonstrate our love for Him.

Have you ever thought about obeying God being an act of worship?  How can you worship God specifically through your obedience today?

Cultural Vantage Points

By | Day 24 | No Comments

Have you ever wondered how cultures of the East and West (mis)perceive each other’s values?  If you understood these differences in perspective, might you be in a better position to share God’s story with someone from another culture?  Well, click on the image below to check out an infographic from the folks at honorshame.com. You can also click here for a more detailed explanation and a hi-res download.

Lives Of Conviction

By | Day 17, Day 21 | No Comments

I wanted to pass along another devotional by Os Hillman from his “Today God Is First” series. It talks about the need for our deep convictions to impact how we live and work, in order to bear fruit in the workplace. After reading through it, ask yourself “what is one step of obedience I should take in light of what God has shown me”.

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5a

Everyone lives a life of conviction. Whatever we give our greatest time, our greatest energies, and our greatest resources to is a good indication of where our convictions lie. Some live a life of conviction about sports. Some live a life of conviction around pleasure. Still others live a life of conviction about very little that matters at all.

Whenever God chooses to do a deep work in a life, a strong conviction is born of the Holy Spirit. Conversions in the early Church resulted in changed lives that held to a deep, life-transforming conviction regarding what they believed and how they lived out that belief. Paul explains that the gospel they received came not just in words, but also in power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

In order to impact the workplace for Jesus Christ, each of us must be reflecting a faith that is demonstrated through deeply held convictions. Are you living a life of deep conviction that spurs you on to reflect the power of Christ in your life and the lives of others? Paul was willing to suffer great persecution for his faith in a living God. God calls each of us to a life that is supernatural, not simply a good, moral life. The early Church understood the role the Holy Spirit played in demonstrating this power of the gospel. It was this deep work that resulted in living the gospel with great conviction. If you are not living the gospel with great conviction, ask the Holy Spirit to so fill your life today that the power of His Spirit is truly reflected in your life so that you may impact others in your workplace.

Secondary Vocations

By | Day 03 | No Comments

Day 3 of the Antioch Journey addresses the idea of our primary and secondary calling. Check out this video from Eternity Bible College, which elaborates on our secondary vocation (calling), the contexts through which we live out our primary calling. How are you doing at keeping the primary and secondary vocations in their proper alignment? Take some time to work through the questions asked in the video, and let God speak to you through the process.

Primary Vocations

By | Day 03 | No Comments

Day 3 of the Antioch Journey addresses the idea of our primary and secondary calling. Check out this video from Eternity Bible College, which elaborates on our primary vocation (calling), and what it means to put God’s character on display through our work … especially by creating, redeeming, and sustaining.

Are You A Trader?

By | Day 03, Day 13, Day 17 | No Comments

Have you seen the “Trader” video by Brian Mosley from RightNow.org? It introduces a new kind of missionary, a trader, but it’s not what you might be thinking.  Check out the video below and see if it challenges some area of your life.  Beyond today, beyond the “dream”, and into a life with eternal impact?

3 Questions

By | Day 03, Day 27, Day 31 | No Comments

Over the years I’ve come to realize that the phrase Business As Missions (BAM) means a lot of things to a lot of people.  You are in a conversation and think you’re talking about the same thing, using the same words, when suddenly you realize that’s not the case at all.

So, how do we cut through the fog and find some clarity on what BAM is and what our personal place in the movement is?  As I coach people through the process of exploring their calling in the marketplace, I find it helpful to ask 3 simple questions.  You can remember them by the acronym BAM … Best, Aim, Motivation.

  • What does your BEST look like? Or, put differently, what would need to happen in order for you to give God your best in this area?  This question speaks to the issue of preparation.  What training, experiences or coaching do you need to be truly fruitful in a marketplace context? Don’t just randomly jump in and expect success.  Get ready.  2Timothy 2:15
  • What is your AIM? Another way to ask this is “how do you define a win?” At the end of the day, how do you measure fruitful impact? Is your end goal job creation, addressing practical needs or social injustices, sharing the gospel, multiplying disciples, etc. etc.?  Knowing what you are shooting for, and periodically evaluating yourself against that, is vitally important.  Philippians 3:13-14
  • What is your MOTIVATION? People get into BAM for a variety of reasons. For you, is BAM about how to access a “closed” country? Are you attracted to BAM as an alternative to traditional faith support models for financing?  Are you seeking significance by serving the Great Commission through your occupation?  There are numerous reasons, and many combinations as well, but one’s inner motivation will ultimately play itself out in the choices you make and approaches you take.   2Corinthians 5:14-15

 

These questions, although not exhaustive in nature, can serve as a great starting point as you begin the process of discerning your calling in the marketplace. Do you want to dig deeper? How can we help you?

Balancing Act

By | Day 13 | No Comments

I recently read a devotional from WorkLife.org that reminded me of the value of an integrated lifestyle instead of just creating more margin in our lives.  Have a look below, and listen for what God has to say to you personally.

“Jesus Christ…is lord of all.” (Acts 10:36)

Whether we’re in the marketplace or not, many of us are desperately seeking to balance our lives. We’re conflicted between the different obligations and priorities in our lives, and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. The often less demanding compartments characterized by love (family life, spiritual life) compete with the more demanding work life compartment. Trying to keep all the balls in the air, we’re in a constant state of fatigue. We’re running in overdrive.

Sensing that our work is infringing too heavily on our personal and spiritual obligations, we’re looking for ways to free up more time to “do more important stuff.” I think all of us in the marketplace have felt at one point or another that our jobs have gotten in the way of things we really value, from attending Johnny’s soccer game to serving in a church ministry to deepening relationships with friends and neighbors.

Indeed, many of us would do well to find a different allocation of our limited time. We need to make sure our lives are balanced—that we’re committing the proper amount of time to each aspect of our lives in which God has called us to serve. But balance alone isn’t enough. A balanced life can still be very compartmentalized.

We also need to make sure our lives are integrated—that we’re thinking of and practicing each aspect of our lives, whether at home, church, or work, as a ministry of serving others to the glory of God. In fact, the key to redeeming more of our time is to integrate, so that all spheres of our life move in the same direction, glorify the same God, and operate under the same values.

Of course, there’s no trade-off between balance and integration. Balance without integration leaves us compartmentalized, while integration without balance leaves us without a sense of priority. We need both.

Two Pillars

By | Day 09, Day 13, Day 28 | No Comments

I came across a devotional by Os Hillman in his “Today God Is First” series, and I thought it was worth passing along here.  It speaks to the role the church and marketplace play, together, in transforming our communities.  Enjoy.

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” (Acts 17:16-18).

In order to transform a city or nation, it must take place in two areas; the marketplace and the local church. Paul was burdened for Athens when he saw all of the idols in his city. So, he began a strategy to win back his city by preaching in both the synagogue to the religious leaders and Jews and also in the marketplace every day.

The Old Testament records reveal that even at the time of the temple construction it was clear that foundations must be built through the marketplace and the synagogue. “He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz” (Chron 3:15-17). Jakin was a priest of the Lord that represented the spiritual foundation of the Church. Boaz represented the strength of the marketplace and its role to have impact on the society through workplace ministers, or kings.

God is moving today in cities across the world through collaborative coalitions made up of priests, kings and intercessors. This is a city transformation trinity that the Holy Spirit is forming to rid our cities of idols and to restore the spiritual foundations.

When we begin to equip and release those in the workplace to fulfill their godly roles in business, government, media, arts/entertainment, and education we will begin to see the idols in our cities removed. Pray that God raises up Godly workplace leaders who will lead with a biblical worldview.

Obedience in Faith

By | Day 20, Day 22, Day 23 | No Comments

This morning my high school aged daughter told me about a sermon by Matt Chandler that she was listening to.  The sermon was called “God is Able”.  The message was focused on Moses in Exodus Chapter 4, and Chandler spoke about the key to finding the power of God in our lives.  I can’t seem to shake this thought that he shared: “The omnipotent might of God almost always flows through obedience in faith.” The pattern then is still the same today … God speaks, we obey (exactly), then God shows up in an amazing way. God was not concerned with Moses’ past, his excuses, his brokenness, his limitations, his abilities.  God had all that covered.  God simply wanted Moses to act in obedience rooted in faith.

I’m so thankful for a daughter who pursues God and points me to sermons.  I’m also thankful for a God who pursues me and patiently points me towards obedience.