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Motivation

By | Day 21, Day 23 | No Comments

I was recently reading a devotional by Os Hillman that talked about the relationship between obedience and motivation.  The exercise of reflection was good for me, so I wanted to pass it along to you as well.  Here’s what Os wrote:

“I have observed this process in the scriptures in working with people through years of ministry. I have noticed three distinct stages. First, we live based on convenience. Our obedience is largely based on circumstances in our lives. We choose to obey based on the circumstances.

The second stage is the crisis stage. God allows a crisis to come into our lives. We are motivated to obey God in order to get out of the pain of our situation. Many times God allows us to stay in this condition in order to demonstrate His love and faithfulness during our pain. Gradually, we discover something new about God and often have a personal encounter with Him that changes us. Our very nature is affected by this God-encounter.

This begins to move us into a third phase that is a relationship that is motivated now by love and devotion instead of pain. This is where God desires us to be. Another way of saying this is we are no longer seeking His hand. We are seeking Him. We want to know God personally.

Obedience will not last when the motivation is only the removal of our pain. Obedience only lasts when the motivation is loving devotion. Where are you in your obedience and what is the primary motivation? If it isn’t love, why not tell the Lord you love Him today and want to know Him for who He is and not for what He can do for you.”

Food for thought ……

Threat or Opportunity?

By | Day 05, Day 06, Day 12 | No Comments

Hardly a day seems to pass that we don’t see something in the news about immigration or large groups of people moving across political borders.  Whether by people seeking asylum, pursuing economic opportunities, fleeing persecution, or forcibly displaced by war or famine, nearly every country in Europe and North America is affected by this in some way. Although the issues are complex and the solutions often seem distant, I wonder if we might view things differently if our perspective shifted a little.  What if this were more about an opportunity for the Kingdom, rather than a threat?  Check out the video below and maybe it will give you some food for thought.

Dandelions

By | Day 21, Day 27 | No Comments

I was recently reading a group chat between a bunch of marketplace folks in the Washington DC area who meet regularly to encourage each other in the faith as well as pray for their country’s leaders. The conversation was about flowers …  dandelions to be more exact. They started to list out some attributes of dandelions and then see how many we as workplace Christians share in common.

The group noted, among other things, that dandelion is a French word meaning lion’s tooth.  They remain in seed form, dormant, but suddenly appear everywhere when winter is past and springtime approaches (Song of Solomon 2:11-12).

As I reflected further, a few more features came to mind. Dandelions may be seen as weeds by those around them. They are designed to spread and take their seeds near and far. They are driven by the wind (2Peter 1:21). They are tenacious (or at least in my yard they are!). They are prolific.

As you reflect on the dandelion, make a list for yourself. How many of its attributes are true in your life? Is your life’s season more like winter or springtime? Specifically, how do the features you listed manifest themselves as you seek to advance God’s Kingdom through your work?

God Before Gold

By | Day 03, Day 10, Day 22 | No Comments

Someone recently forwarded me an item from Christianity Today titled “Meet the Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold”.  The article covered interviews with 2016 Olympic Team USA Christian athletes. I was struck by the variety of people and stories they had, as well as the perspective many of them held even though they were the very best of the best in their professions.  As they speak, let God speak to you too.

 

Shawn Johnson (gymnast) –  even if I won “12 more Olympic gold medals…it’s not my purpose in life, and He will always be my greatest reward.”

Madeline (Maya) DiRado  (swimmer) – “I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”

Michelle Carter (track and field) –  “People notice how I am living out my faith. Sometimes it takes me by surprise how much they notice. Even when no one is looking, the way I act is important because it is a reflection of how I walk with Christ.”

Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon) –  “I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that, it will help you to gain perspective on everything in life—not just endurance sports.”

Jordan Burroughs (wrestling) –  “I’ve been blessed with tremendous gifts, and it’s my job to use those gifts to inspire others. As a man of faith, I take great responsibility in being a good steward of my talent. God has created unique … avenues to allow me to glorify him.”

David Smith (volleyball) –  “It’s been a big thing for me to understand that my joy and my peace do not revolve around my performance or how I do compared to other people. My joy comes from the fact that I am playing a game I love and that He created me to play.”

 

As you reflect on these quotes, check out more from Shawn Johnson in the video below.

(Extra)Ordinary

By | Day 06, Day 17, Day 19, Day 20, Day 22, Day 23, Day 25, Day 26 | No Comments

Ever wonder how ordinary people, using ordinary resources, can have an extraordinary impact for God’s Kingdom? That’s the heart behind Zume (Greek word for leaven), a new disciple making / training movement that launched February 14th.  To learn more, go to their website at www.zumeproject.com and also check out the video below. Zume will change your life, and the world.

3D Gospel Conference

By | Day 24, Day 25 | No Comments

Have you ever considered that the Western church usually presents the Gospel in terms of forgiveness through the removal of guilt, but people in the Majority World tend to seek honor or spiritual power? If we are to be effective Kingdom ambassadors in today’s globalized world, Christians need to understand and communicate a three-dimensional gospel that speaks to all of these perspectives.

So, we wanted to let you know about an upcoming event that might help fit out your tool kit in new ways.  Our friends at Eternity Bible College will be hosting a special evening conference with keynote speaker Jayson Georges. Jayson is the founding editor of  www.HonorShame.com, and has also authored a solid resource on this subject, “The 3D Gospel: Ministering in Guilt, Shame and Fear Cultures”.

The conference will be held on May 13, 2017, from 5-9 pm in Simi Valley, CA.  For more information or to register, check out  www.eternitybiblecollege.com/3Dgospel

Healthy Competition?

By | Day 14, Day 21 | No Comments

I recently read a devotional by Os Hillman that made me rethink some parts of my competitive nature.  Here’s some of what Os said:

“There is absolutely no place for competitiveness in ministry or marketplace activity if you understand God’s view of receiving. The Scripture tells us that we are not only to bless our competition, but we are also called to bless our enemies.”

“The reason we can do this is because our security and provision is not based on posturing ourselves against another, but fulfilling what God has called us to do. When we take a proactive step to bless another, we actually apply a Kingdom principle that results in greater blessing to others, the Kingdom of God and even to ourselves.  Some would say that we are in danger of losing “market share”. This is the worldly model of competition. Those who cannot bless others are insecure in their own calling and insecure in God’s ability to provide for their own enterprise.”

 

“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Ps 16:5-6).

Your thoughts?

Favorite Bible Verse – Persecution?

By | Day 19, Day 21, Day 22 | No Comments

Have you ever considered what role persecution has in the life of a follower of Christ?  Or, how can we develop a healthy attitude towards the challenges we face? Another way to think about this is to ask, what is our ‘theology of suffering’?  Reflect on these questions as you watch the following video from Curtis Sergeant.

Calling = Being ?

By | Day 03, Day 21 | No Comments

Today I’d like to share with you a blog post from Dr. Bob Snyder with IHS Global. It’s about calling, but also about being. Bob wrote:

At times on my journey with Jesus it has been difficult to discern what God is calling me to do. Actually the call of God is quite simple. Jesus most often expressed it in two words, ‘Follow me’.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”             1 Peter 2:21 NIV

His desire for me is to be more and more like Him in my inner being and reflect Him in all that I do. Jesus’ call for my life is not about vocation or geography but rather to BE more like Him in absolutely every area of my life.

However, whenever I prioritize DOING for Jesus over BEING like Him, I can find it easy to justify un-Christ-like behavior in the name of DOING good.

The call of Jesus is to be more like Him each day. That must start deep inside of me. (Matthew 5:3-10)

Every Second … Matters

By | Day 17, Day 19, Day 22 | No Comments

What if we all started to view time as a precious commodity, something to be carefully stewarded and wisely managed?  What difference would it make for God’s Kingdom if His people recognized that every second … matters?  Watch this video.