Category

Day 21

The Killer Angels

By | Day 01, Day 17, Day 21 | No Comments

I’m currently going through Michael Shaara’s book The Killer Angels, an engaging account of the United States Civil War Battle of Gettysburg from the point of view of several commanding officers.  As the book’s foreword describes, Shaara’s one goal above all others was to leave something behind, something to be remembered for.  Unfortunately, the book had only a lukewarm reception, and even after winning the 1975 Pulitzer Price for Fiction it simply didn’t sell. This was a crushing disappointment for him, and Shaara died in 1988 believing he had failed.  But you have to hear the rest of the story.  In 1993 the movie Gettysburg was released, which was based on his book.  The momentum from the movie propelled The Killer Angels to the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, and it is regarded by many as the finest Civil War novel ever written.

As I reflected on this, it made me think how similar this is to our everyday reality. We long to leave a legacy of significance, to do something great for ourselves or for God’s Kingdom. But often, we don’t see the fruit we expected, or things don’t turn out anything like what we had hoped for. We feel like failures. If only we could read the last chapter, because the story isn’t over. God is not finished yet. Our part is to be faithful in obedience, and the outcome is up to Him. The next time you start feeling the discouragement Michael Shaara experienced, remember Galatians 6:9  …. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Generations

By | Day 17, Day 21 | No Comments

A coworker recently sent me a link to the video below.  It has to do with our legacy, spanning out over 5 generations.  Here’s what I took away from it: 1) The choices we make can affect thousands for good, or for bad. 2) No matter what your heritage is, a conscience decision on your part can put things back on the right track. 3) It’s all possible because of what Jesus did.  What does the video say to you? How will it affect your choices?

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.

Light of the World

By | Day 08, Day 21 | No Comments

I was recently reading a few posts over at www.moredisciples.com, and came across this one from Brian Flood. As I read through it, I wondered …. you ever feel this way too?

 

“You are the light of the world…” There are days I sure don’t feel like that. Yet here is God declaring exactly what I don’t feel over the purpose of my life. Early in my walk with Jesus I read those words with a sense of accomplishment; “now the world gets to see how the Lord works through me.” Perspective is a powerful thing and now, when I’m not feeling so ‘light-of-the world’, I feel the weight I have placed on that statement. I, too often, do not finish the thought and see the real meaning. A lightbulb consists of several parts most of which have no purpose in themselves. Nothing the parts do can fulfill their own purpose. It’s not until power is applied that the purpose of any of them becomes apparent. Even then, the light is turned on to complete the work of another. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Father, give me your power to fulfill your purposes.

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 ……

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?

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)

How Big is Your God?

By | Day 12, Day 21, Day 22 | No Comments

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.