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Day 17

Smooth Sailing ?

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I was recently reading in the Daily Encouragement devotional from You Version. The selection focused on  Acts 27, which describes the shipwreck that Paul encountered on his way to Rome. The author made a statement that really stuck with me. “The plans and programmes of men are subservient to the purpose of God”. As I reflected on that, and how it applies in my current situation, I heard God say two things. First, God doesn’t guarantee we’ll have an easy voyage, but He will get us to where He wants us to be. The second point was more personal. God said ”Seek Me, do your best, but leave the outcome to Me.” I can envision something like that floating through Paul’s mind as well (floating … that’s a pun). And just like Paul, our lives are not always smooth sailing, especially as we aim to glorify God through our work. Even so, may these words, and Paul’s example, be an encouragement to you today.

 

Fix My Eyes

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Do you ever wake up and just feel like you need a boost?  Some sort of reminder that God will do what He has promised, and that our troubles will not overcome us?  That happened to me this week, and God pointed me to Hebrews 8 for the solution. Where are you fixing your eyes?  Check out this video if you need a bounce in your step.

 

Heb 12:1-2  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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Spiritual Leadership

By | Day 13, Day 14, Day 17, Day 21, Day 23 | No Comments

One of the best books on leadership, especially how faith and work intersect, is “Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda” by Henry & Richard Blackaby. The book shares truths applicable to both business and church leaders alike. One common thread is the difference between vision and revelation, and which one should drive our thinking and action.  For example, here are three quotes:

“There is a significant difference between revelation and vision. Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive.”

“The world functions by vision; God’s people live by revelation.”

“Every time leaders choose to develop their own vision for their people instead of seeking God’s will, they are giving their people their best thinking instead of God’s. That is a poor exchange indeed.”

Which of these represents how you tend to view your work?  Which way is closer to how you do “strategic planning”?  Anything you need to change?

 

 

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

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Nehemiah

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I asked a long time BAM practitioner in Southeast Asia what lessons he had learned over the years. He said that Nehemiah has always served as a great example that he tries to pattern his work after. Nehemiah held a position outside of the religious hierarchy, but was motivated by his faith and sensitive to God’s leading. He learned of a need, then dropped to his knees. He prayed and planned. He assessed the situation and acted in practical ways. He persevered through adversity, and God’s presence was ultimately manifested once again because of what Nehemiah accomplished.  As I reflected on what he shared, I wondered how many of us are like Nehemiah, and are we seeking out other Nehemiah’s around us?

Faith

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I was reading through a You Version Bible devotional and encountered this entry on Faith. May reading this impact yours.

“The Lord expects his people to trust in him at all times. How clearly this is seen in the record of his earthly life. Faith to him was “natural” and he marveled at unbelief. He expects the royal official to trust his word as he walks the lonely road back to Capernaum (John 4:50). Even in the face of death he looks for faith. So he says to Martha, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?“ (John 11:25,26). The burden of his prayer for Peter is that his “faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).

The nature of faith makes trust in the Lord a possibility at all times. For faith is not feeling, or sight, or mere human understanding. Faith is the helpless cast upon the Mighty, the weak leaning upon the Strong (S of S. 8:5). It is the obedience of those “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:5-6), the confession of “Jesus as Lord” (Ps. 10:9).

Trusting the Lord at all times is not a cold, indifferent exercise but the pouring out of the heart before him.”

Just A Florist

By | Day 04, Day 17, Day 18 | No Comments

As I watched the video below from Right Now Media, I wondered how many people feel like she does. Everyday folks who say to themselves, “I’m just a ______ .”  I bet millions do.

What if we were to look at our work as God’s place for us to live, breathe, and speak the Gospel? To make the Kingdom come alive in that place? What if we were placed there to be more than “just a florist”, but rather as God’s instrument of grace and redemption? It might take boldness, intentionality, creativity, mercy, patience, or other gifts ….  but it could change the world.