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Life’s Darkest Day

By | Day 05, Day 10, Day 18, Day 21 | No Comments

I came across the following post on Facebook, and thought I’d share it with you.  If you are facing a “darkest day” right now, I pray it encourages you where you are.

 

Today I find myself contemplating “Holy Saturday”, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I think about what it must have been like for the disciples to pass life’s darkest day … between the Cross and the Empty Tomb, between death and life, between hope lost and joy restored.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  It didn’t make sense.  Had God failed somehow? Fast forward two thousand years, and we often find ourselves in a similar place. Our dreams and plans, even ones dedicated to God, don’t always go as we expected. Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. We live in a bent world, one that only God can restore. Sadly, until Jesus returns, most of us will endure times like these. But, take heart. Easter is coming. God is faithful to the faith-filled. Where are you facing dark times right now?  Is it with your work? Your family? Your past? Your future? Be encouraged by Jesus’ words, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When things are darkest, remember that the Empty Tomb was not the end, it was a new beginning. And, best of all, Jesus offers that new life to each of us. Happy Easter.

 

 

Crucial Conversations

By | Day 10, Day 17, Day 20, Day 25 | No Comments

As part of a new approach to discipleship my church is embracing, we’ve been reading through a book by Dan Grider called “Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap”.  On the back cover, the author explains how this book gives you the tools to bridge the awkward chasm and initiate conversations crucial to helping people take an initial step of faith.  Jesus initiated vibrant, crucial conversations with a broad range of people who thought differently than He did. (In the book) we study how He did it to help you engage in honest, open, crucial conversations without awkwardness. The Father will use these new skills you master to transform the relationships in your life (and the world around you).

I am enjoying the blend of theory (rethinking traditional church paradigms and ideas of “evangelism”) and practical help (through the use of simple illustrations, tips and sample questions) which leads to deeper dialogue with people God has placed in your life. If you ever struggle with how to get beyond superficial chitchat without turning the conversation into a sermon,  you should give this one a read.

 

 

 

Share It

By | Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 22 | No Comments

In today’s blog, I wanted to share a post from the folks over at ScatterGlobal.com. It’s an article about how to share your faith at work, and it references an excerpt from Traeger & Gilbert’s book about the Gospel at Work.  Read on:

 

If you’re not being intentional here, how can you be intentional there? 

I think we’ve all heard this statement when it comes to evangelism in our daily lives and looking to make disciples in another part of the world. We think it is safe to say that we can all improve in the area of being “intentional” to share the gospel where we honestly, spend most of our time: work.

But what does that mean? And how do we share the gospel without creating awkward exchanges and forcing the message?

The Gospel Coalition shares an article by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert from their book, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our LivesThis article gives you 5 practical suggestions to help you share the gospel at work.

Read the full excerpt by clicking the link to the full article below. 

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-share-your-faith-at-work/

 

 

Coming To A Point

By | Day 14, Day 15, Day 17, Day 22 | No Comments

Lately I’ve been reading a book titled “That Hideous Strength” by C.S. Lewis. In it you’ll find the following conversation between a husband and a wife:

“Have you ever noticed,” said Dimble,” that the universe, and every little bit of the universe, is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?”
His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them.
“I mean this,” said Dimble, answering the question she had not asked. “If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family—anything you like—at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing.”

Although penned in 1945, I think these words still ring so very true today.  In light of our present world and the urgency of the Gospel, what might this say to us about our role as marketplace Christians?

 

 

Run In Such A Way

By | Day 17, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Seek Me And Live

By | Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who profess to be Christians live lives of defeat and have minimal impact on those around them.  The other day I came across this devotional in my YouVersion bible reading plan (Daily Encouragement by David Evans). I wonder if this might be part of the reason?

“Seek me and live” – this is the essence of true religion: to seek and find the one true and living God, and in finding him, to enter into a life which pleases him. That life is inevitably characterized by good works and the evident presence of God: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you” (Amos 5:14).

The tragedy of nominal, formal, merely traditional religion is that it is just religion and nothing more. It does not change the life of the individual, and the Lord is conspicuous by his absence. The ritual is carried on while righteousness is missing in public and private life. People go to Bethel, but they do not meet with God. There is no lack of religious feasts, assemblies and music, but this ritual goes hand in hand with injustice and immorality and is an abomination to the Lord.

The test of all religious profession and practice lies here. Is there a genuine seeking of God, and does it produce holy living? We do well to bring our meetings, our music, our charity, and our whole lifestyle to this searching examination. Our Bible study must be subject to it too, because it is possible to search the Scriptures and yet not come to Christ (John 5:39,40).

All In

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently I was reading Jeremiah 29, which contains some verses familiar to many of us. Normally my attention is drawn to verse 11, which is the life verse God gave my middle daughter:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like to read that verse.  But as I reflected, it struck me that this promise comes with conditions (or at least a roadmap). The words that immediately follow it, verses 12 & 13, explain: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” For at least a week now, I keep thinking about verse 13 … when you seek me with all your heart.  Sounds like the picture of someone who is “all in”, fully committed. What a challenge this can be, but what a glorious outcome. When I get down about the state of God’s People today, or with my own walk for that matter, I am reminded of the solution laid out in these verses. We must call on Him, come to Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart. The question is, am I “all in”?  Are you?

A Better Way

By | Day 25 | No Comments

At a recent conference for medial workers, I had the opportunity to chat with some of the folks  from Crossworld, a mission agency focused on disciple-makers from all professions bringing God’s love to life in the world’s least-reached marketplaces. They shared with me a resource called “A Better Way”, which is available as a 160pg soft cover book or a free 24 page booklet. One of the concepts I really liked in it was the 925 Window.  Not sure what that is?  Read the book to find out.  Here’s a hint …  working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living.

First 30 Daze

By | Day 25 | No Comments

Have you ever wanted to be more effective at living intentionally for the Gospel as you enter a new culture?  Ever felt overwhelmed in the process, or at the prospect of doing so? Then, perhaps there’s a book for you.  Larry & Susan McCrary from the Upstream Collective have written a book called “First 30 Daze”. This resource contains thirty topics that blend scripture verses, stories and practical ways to tackle the issues most folks face when first entering a new culture. Check it out. You might find it quite useful for where you are, or where God is taking you.

Identity

By | Day 21 | No Comments

The other day I came across this devotional from Os Hillman in his Today God Is First series. It was a challenge I faced years ago, but one I still revisit from time to time.  How about you?

 

“All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied” (Eccl. 6:7 NKJV).

How would you feel about yourself if your job was removed from you tomorrow? Let’s imagine that your income wouldn’t change, just what you did everyday.

One of the schemes that Satan uses in the life of the Christian worker is to get him/her to view their value solely based on the type of work they do and how well they do it. We call this performance-based acceptance. It says “As long as I have a good job and I do it well, I have self-esteem.”

This is a “slippery slope” and can be used by Satan to keep our focus on our performance versus Christ. We are never to find our value in what we do. Instead, our value is solely based on who we are in Christ. The apostle Paul wrestled with this after he came to faith in Christ. He had grown to the top of his field as a Jewish leader.

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Phil 3:4-9).

You’ll never really know to the degree that your self-esteem is rooted in your work until your work is removed. Unemployment, illness, or a financial crisis can lead to job loss.

Why not evaluate where you are in this area of your life. Affirm with God your desire to be known by Who you know versus what you do.