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Day 21

Motivation

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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 ……

Dandelions

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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?

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?

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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)

How Big is Your God?

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Do you put God in a box? How big is your box?

Curtis Sergeant fears that we ALL put God is a box sometimes. He also holds that ALL of us can do some enlarging of that box (and some searching for a deeper bottom). Listen as he explains.

Revealing Truths to Our Hearts

By | Day 21, Day 26 | No Comments

I came across the following video in which the speaker asks the question: “How can I model loving God and loving people with all my heart, not just my mind?”  As we seek to share truth and grace with those in our workplace, the Psalms can be an effective bridge to deep insight, growth and healing. Check it out, and maybe you can adapt his approach to your situation.

An Impossible Requirement?

By | Day 21 | No Comments

Sometimes other bloggers say exactly what I’ve been thinking, only more eloquently than I could ever do.  That is the case with a post from Dr. Bob Snyder with IHS Global.  Bob wrote:

“God’s desire for me is abundant fruitfulness. He even gave me the prescription for this,

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. John 12:24 NLT

Do you mean to tell me that Jesus is saying that I must die to myself in order to be fruitful?

It is not improvement of myself but rather a death to myself that creates God’s fruitfulness in me. You must be kidding. Rather than dying to self I prefer to say, “I am actually a good guy.”  But Jesus says my goodness is not good enough. Only His perfect goodness will do.

It all begins by submitting to His Will and Power, therefore allowing my will and power to die. This painful and ugly process results in abundant fruitfulness.

Will you join me in dying to self?”

 

No Faking, Please.

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Every once in awhile you come across a video that is just so on target that it makes you feel a little uncomfortable.  The video below from Francis Chan is one of those videos.  As you watch, ask God to show you how the “inner you” is really doing, and how you might share today’s message with those around you.

Click HERE to see the video

Renewal – One Reader’s Response

By | Day 05, Day 21 | No Comments

One of the Antioch Journey participants sent me the following reflections after completing Day 5 – All things New.  I loved their transparency, and the reality of the struggles to work these ideas out in everyday life.  Let me know if you resonate with what they had to say.

“My renewal needs to be in my sinful need to be thought well of; to have a good reputation; to be quietly ambitious; and to sometimes be envious of others’ success.  Yikes, not a great list, but being honest, I do – from time-to-time – sense these things in me. It hit me even this morning via an email, where a colleague was being asked to pick up a small additional item to their leadership accountabilities, and my sinful nature was immediately prompting me to wonder why I was not being asked myself.  It’s a way in which I know that the enemy likes to distract me, and this time it’s prompted me to be more intentional to keep focused on the job I have, and the tasks I need to do. I know them to be tasks that are God-compelled, and so I need to rest assured in that.”