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Today's Devotional from Grace in the Workplace
Monday, March 31 2014

Verse of the Day

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. [Deuteronomy 20:16-18 – NIV]

Just what did the Israelites not understand about this command from the Lord their God? Here’s the setting: they were about to enter the Promised Land and God wanted to make sure that they remained a holy people who were totally devoted to Him. A critical part of this process was to ensure that they removed all of the temptations associated with the other nations they were displacing, most importantly their pagan cultures and gods. But, the Israelites really had a problem with obeying God’s commands fully and completely. They always did things halfway. So when they conquered the Promised Land they did not do as God commanded. They spared many of the peoples of the other nations that lived in the land and, by doing so, sealed their fate. They intermarried, started worshiping other gods, and eventually strayed away from the Lord their God.

This pattern of disobedience continues to haunt the Israelites throughout their history. For example, in 1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel confronts Saul about his not being fully obedient to God by failing to completely destroy the Amalekites. Saul had received direct orders to kill everything and instead he ignored God’s command and brought back some of the best sheep and cattle, supposedly as a sacrifice. Samuel chastised him by saying, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

Just like the Israelites, we find it difficult to fully obey God. He wants our entire heart, but all too often we give Him far less. He is our constant Rock; our cornerstone. We are weak and He is strong. Trust and obey Him! Don’t be tempted to ignore His Word. It is so good and so true! It is transformative (a fancy word for life-changing). What can be better than that? After all, that’s what we really need, isn’t it?

Posted by: John AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 28 2014

Verse of the Day

Now the [Israelites] entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes… [Nehemiah 10:28-29 – NKJV]

After years of worshiping other gods and idols, the Lord finally lost patience with His Chosen People and their sinful ways and poured out His wrath on them by causing Assyria and Babylon to conquer the northern tribes and Judah, respectively. The Israelites finally returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, first to rebuild the temple and then to repair the wall of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah and the other Israelite leaders got it. They know full well why the Lord their God had poured out His wrath on their ancestors. Let’s go back even further in time. When the Chosen People were about to enter the Promised Land, God wanted to make sure that they remained wholly devoted to Him. A critical part of this process was to ensure that they removed all of the temptations associated with the other nations that they were displacing, most importantly their pagan cultures and gods. But, when they conquered the Promised Land they did not obey as God commanded. They spared many of the peoples of the other nations that lived in the land and by doing so, sealed their fate. They intermarried, started worshiping other gods and eventually strayed away from the Lord.

So Nehemiah and the elders wanted to get it right the second time around. God had allowed them to return to Israel, but that wasn’t enough. God’s people had to restore their relationship with Him. They had to realize their previous sinful ways and take steps to ensure that this sinful behavior never happened again. The way to accomplish this was to remove the temptation by taking an oath to “not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons.”

They got off to a good start the second time around, but it didn’t last long and they were back to their same old ways. Like the Israelites, we are prone to wander. We don’t stay focused on the Lord our God for long, do we? So join me in praying that we will be consistent and constant in our Walk with Him!

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Thursday, March 27 2014

Verse of the Day

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. [Isaiah 5:20 – NIV]

I am not a theologian, but it is my understanding that almost all of the signs, predictions, and prophesies about the end times were fulfilled shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and that Believers ever since have lived in eager anticipation of the Second Coming. Our lifetime is no different. Several more milestones have occurred.

One of the signs that the end times are upon us is an ever-increasing tendency of the secular world to consider right as wrong and wrong as right. There has been an acceleration of this in recent years. The print and broadcast media, educators, politicians, in fact all of the elite are caught up in the remaking of society. They are abandoning God’s ways in favor of those of the evil one. Most are doing this unconsciously; they are simply being duped. Look around you. Have you ever seen a time when more things that are wrong are being portrayed as right and more things that are right being cast as wrong? Acceptable behaviors, beliefs, and lifestyles are changing right before our eyes.

As disturbing as this is, we know that we are witnesses to the fact that another sign of the end times is being fulfilled, and can take comfort in that. But we have to constantly be on guard that we don’t get brainwashed by all of the media hype. More so than ever before, Believers have to test everything they read and hear against the Word of God. Just because something is portrayed as “gospel” on the network news hour doesn’t mean that it comports with what is right in God’s eyes. Welcome to the end times!

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Wednesday, March 26 2014

Verse of the Day

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." [Psalm 73:25-26 – NIV]

Truer words have never been spoken. Our bodies are weak and our hearts fail. We are sinful and fall far short of the glory of God. He is all we have and all we need! It’s the old “but for” test. But for God, we would be lost, wretched sinners cast into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Give thanks to Jesus for His redeeming blood that covers our sins. Give Him praise today in all you do!

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Tuesday, March 25 2014

Verse of the Day

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 3:13-14 – NIV 1984]

I’m a car guy and have been for almost 60 years (in other words since I started to be aware of my surroundings). British sports cars, Italian exotics, German autobahn screamers, American muscle cars; it doesn’t matter. There is nothing like a fast car! And when you’re driving fast you want to shift through the gears as quickly a possible. Going forward rapidly is the name of the game. You sure don’t want to go out in reverse!

God wants you to do the same thing (go forward that is). As the Apostle Paul says in today’s passage, dwelling on the past serves no purpose. Sure, we have all sinned and we tend to think far too much about our past transgressions. We feel guilty. We are ashamed. But, thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are made right with God. Our sins are forgiven, gone, up in smoke. So, take Paul’s advice and adopt a forward perspective. Pursue Jesus. Become more and more like Him. That’s the goal. Move forward towards Christ. What’s past is past. Live each day focused on eternity with Him!

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Monday, March 24 2014

Verse of the Day

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:31-34 – NIV]

This seems like a nonsensical question, doesn’t it? Everyone is worried about his or her job, right? Duh! Well, yes and no. Read on.

We humans are prone to worry about everything. There is generally no aspect of our lives that we don’t worry about. This is because we delude ourselves with the mistaken impression that we are in control of our lives. And since we are in reality powerless, we have to worry because we just don’t know the future and what it will bring. No matter how hard we try to control future events we just can’t. After all, we are human!

It is sort of ironic that we worry so much about our jobs, since it is our God-given talents and abilities that manifest themselves in the marketable skills that enable us to provide for our families and ourselves. This is the fundamental point that Jesus is making about God providing all the things that we need. This is a big part of HOW He does it.

Despite the fact that God has provided for us we still worry about our jobs day and night. Will I get a promotion? Will I be laid off after the merger? Will I get a good review? Will I get the raise I deserve? Most employees think that they are God’s gift to the workforce. They are smarter than their bosses and their peers. They deserve to be treated better. They deserve to be paid more. And on and on and on. This behavior is characteristic of our old friends pride and elevation of self, and it also plays a big role in the worry game.

How do you come to grips with all of this? Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness and worry fades away and is replaced by peace and serenity. That’s because you are finally focused on what is really important in life—your relationship with the Father.

I could tell you that if the things that you are worried about actually happen, in all likelihood God will provide a different and new path for you. You’ll probably get a new job and it may be the same, better, or worse than your current job. You may not get a promotion. Your salary may get frozen or cut. But no matter what happens I’ll bet that five years from now, when you look back over your life, things will be just fine. Trust and obey God. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Friday, March 21 2014

Verse of the Day

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23 – NIV]

In a recent sermon, my pastor and friend, Larry York described the comma in Romans 6:23 as the “most important comma in the Bible,” and he’s right, isn’t he? We know that God abhors sin. The Apostle Paul says it best: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Ever since Adam and Eve and the Fall from grace, God has been building a bridge, a path for His people so that they can reestablish a right relationship with Him.

God was faithful and long-suffering. He had a Plan—Noah and the Flood, the numerous covenants with His chosen people the Israelites, their constant disobedience, and finally it all culminated in a final act of love, when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners, i.e., His people. What amazing love! Jesus suffered on the cross and took on our sins so that we might have eternal life. Thank God for the redemptive blood of Jesus that covers our sin once and for all time.

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Thursday, March 20 2014

Verse of the Day

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly." [John 10:10 – NKJV]

The contrast in this passage is between Satan, the devil, and Jesus, who is our Good Shepherd. Why in the world would someone follow the devil and his evil, deceitful ways that lead to eternal damnation when the way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ? There is no doubt that the lure of the secular world is strong, and to many it’s irresistible. Power, wealth, greed, and sexual perversion are the way of the world. Many seek these things as a means of self-fulfillment. In today’s society it is all about instant gratification like its never been before. Me, me, me… But that is not God’s way. He teaches real love, forgiveness, humility, and wisdom.

Never forget that God’s love is irresistible. He is constantly whispering in the ear of the lost soul. So let’s give thanks today for our Savior, Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him.

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Wednesday, March 19 2014

Verse of the Day

David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. [2 Samuel 6:14-15 – NIV 1984]

I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a dancer. My wife, Sharon, loves to dance and she’s recently gone berserk over all those dance shows on TV. Maybe I should take dance lessons from King David!

All kidding aside, all of us Believers should start practicing our singing and dancing and the sooner the better. We are going to be singing praise songs to the Lord of lords forever and ever and dancing with all of our might on the streets of the New Jerusalem to honor and glorify Him. When we get to heaven, we will see God’s face and there will be no more night (He will be our light!). So we will need all the energy we can muster because we will be singing and dancing 24/7 for eternity! A word to the wise: get practicing! I don’t care if you don’t like to dance or can’t sing a note. That’s not the point. What’s in your heart, and how do you feel about God? This is more of an attitude thing than a talent thing. He doesn’t care about the performance, He cares about our hearts. Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!

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Tuesday, March 18 2014

Verse of the Day

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. [Psalm 73:25 – NIV]

There are many great passages in the Bible about loving God, and King David seems to be involved in more than his fair share of them, either as the author of a Psalm or as the subject of a passage about loving God. After all, God described David as “a man after My own heart.”

The theologian Paul Tillich defined god (with a lower case “g”) as “your ultimate concern.” So what are you really bonkers about? Playing golf? Gourmet cooking? Eating gourmet cooking? Your kids? Fast cars? TV? Football? History? Skiing? Camping and enjoying the great outdoors? Your spouse?  Baseball? Traveling? Your job? Clothes and fashion? Reading? Finance? Music? Facebook and other social media? The list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

We humans have many varied interests. We can really get passionate and obsessed with lots of things—our families, our friends and our hobbies and interests. But what (rather who) should be our ultimate concern? Who should we be most passionate about? Why God, of course!

That’s the great thing about today’s passage. David describes a relationship with God in which God is absolutely everything to him. In David’s life there was nothing, absolutely nothing more important than God. Nothing else came close. So how do you feel about God? Is He your everything?

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Monday, March 17 2014

Verse of the Day

 

A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste.[Proverbs 29:4 – The Message]

The stereotypical employee thinks that his or her boss is a clueless idiot, but in reality this just ain’t so. Most people in leadership deserve to be where they are and this is especially true the higher you go up the chain of command. But, there are always exceptions. There are the occasional bad apples, the executives or business owners that are infatuated with themselves and with the power of their positions. They mistreat, abuse, and ride roughshod over their people and then wonder why their company’s financial performance and productivity numbers are so low. They are hemorrhaging cash and don’t have a clue. But God does. They should listen to God’s Word to the wise. Treat your employees with respect as you would like to be treated yourself and you’ll be amazed at the results. Doing the right thing is, after all, the right thing to do, but it also tends to produce results! As an example let’s consider one of my least favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas. This movie is not to be confused with Holiday Inn in which Bing Crosby made the song “White Christmas” famous, but enough trivia. Anyway, in the movie White Christmas Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen star as Army buddies (and entertainers) at the end of World War II. Their beloved commanding officer, Major General Thomas F. Waverly (played by Dean Jagger), is being relieved of command. His troops give him an emotional farewell and since this is a musical, it’s a song called “The Old Man.” The words are what every leader should cherish…

 

We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go
Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe

We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay
Long as he stays away from the battle's fray

Because we love him, we love him
Especially when he keeps us on the ball

And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call
With the grandest son of a soldier of them all.

 

Obviously there is a bit of humor in this Irving Berlin song, but the real message comes through loud and clear: real leaders who care about their people have their love and respect. This is what God has in mind for you if you are a leader.

 

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Friday, March 14 2014

Verse of the Day

The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. [Proverbs 16:23 – NKJV]

The world tells us it’s our intellect that makes us wise. Based on this belief, the brain is the key to wisdom. But, is this really true? Never forget that in the Bible, a wise person is one who knows God and His Ways. So, the real key to wisdom is not the brain, it’s the heart. God always looks at the heart when evaluating a person. In Genesis 4, He found Abel’s offering acceptable while He rejected Cain’s sacrifice, based not solely on the offerings themselves, but on the hearts of the respective givers. We know from Acts 13:22 that God found King David to be “a man after My own heart.” Why? Because David always returned to being fully and completely devoted to the Lord his God.

God looks at our hearts, too, in order to see how we are doing on our walk with Him. Do we love Him and understand Him like King David or only half heartedly like His Chosen People the Israelites?

In today’s passage, King Solomon tells us that the brain still plays a role in this process. The heart instructs the brain of a wise person and as a result “adds learning to his lips.” In other words the heart trains the brain. But make no mistake, wisdom is not intellectual knowledge. It’s not a degree from Harvard, Yale or another Ivy League university. Wisdom is a right relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an ever-changing heart that is growing more and more like Him one day at a time.

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Thursday, March 13 2014

Verse of the Day

Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” [Nehemiah 4:19-20 – NKJV]

Things don’t always go swimmingly at work, do they? Whether it’s a jealous coworker, an aspiring peer, a wary superior or an ambitious underling, life in the workplace is fraught with political intrigue. Unfortunately, backstabbing, one-upmanship, and turf wars are commonplace in today’s workplace. So, how do you handle opposition at work? Let’s look at today’s passage from Nehemiah for some great advice.

Nehemiah was called by God to lead the Israelites in rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. When the Arabs, Ammonites, and the men of Ashdod heard that the wall was being rebuilt, they were very angry. At first they ridiculed, slandered, and threatened the Jews, but as the work progressed, they conspired to attack Jerusalem. How did Nehemiah respond? He prayed to the Lord his God and then he implemented his plan. The key is that before acting, he relied on God.

We should approach opposition at work in much the same way. Always go to God first in prayer; then act to resolve your problems. As today’s passage tells us, “Our God will fight for us.”

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Wednesday, March 12 2014

Verse of the Day

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God.” [James 4:6-7 – NKJV]

All of us tend to think way too much of ourselves. We are prideful, self-centered creatures with an insatiable need to elevate our needs, wants, thoughts, desires, and objectives above others and far too often, above the Lord our God. We think we’re the top dog, but in reality we are all sinners, the lowest of the low. It’s really about how we see ourselves that counts in God’s eyes. Do we lord over others? Are we dominating? Are we prideful, arrogant, or overbearing? We know that the meek shall inherit the earth, but are we meek?

How we behave is so important. Adopting an attitude of humility is not a situational thing. Being humble at church or with your family and friends is great, but how do you behave at work? Are you aggressive and mean? Do you have a “take no prisoners” attitude in the workplace? Let’s hope and pray that is not the case. God expects us to behave consistently in accordance with His Word regardless of the situation or circumstances in which we find ourselves. Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t submit to God and to others. Be humble. Pray every day that there will be less of you and more of others.

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Tuesday, March 11 2014

Verse of the Day

Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” [John 4:48 – NKJV]

Miracles do exist in the 21st century. There is no doubt that God can and does perform miracles all around us, but we don’t always see them or believe them. Even today, the best known miracles are those performed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is a difference in how the Gospel writers portray and interpret Jesus’ miracles. The first three Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke (generally referred to as the “Synoptic Gospels” because of their commonality) merely record Jesus’ miracles. Whereas the Gospel of John refers to His miracles as “signs” and attributes to each of them a special spiritual significance which points towards a different aspect or characteristic of Jesus. This is in keeping with John’s purpose of proclaiming Jesus’ deity, i.e., that He is the Son of God. And to make sure that there is no room for doubt, John tells us that “…these [signs] have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (see John 20:31).

Do you believe?

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Monday, March 10 2014

Verse of the Day

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. [Proverbs 22:29 – NIV]

Most of us work hard so that we will be rewarded. Usually we are looking for a salary increase, a bigger bonus, or a promotion. But a tangible sign of our employer’s appreciation of our efforts isn’t always the most important thing. Doing the best you can do at work brings you honor; it enhances your reputation not only at work but in the community as well. More importantly, being the best you can be at work honors and glorifies the Lord your God. Now that’s a really good reason to try harder. And, by the way, if you do excellent work you will likely be rewarded in a tangible way, too. So be skillful in your work and serve before the King!

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Friday, March 07 2014

Verse of the Day

When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God. [2 Samuel 6:6-7 – NIV]

Here’s a little contextual background about this passage. Before the reign of King Saul, the Philistines captured the ark and after a circuitous journey though their county (due to the fact that tumors afflicted the Philistine people wherever the ark went), it ended up in the temple of Dagon (their god). The next morning, the statue of Dagon was found prostrate in front of the ark. After restoring it to an upright position, it was again found prostrate the next morning, but this time its head and hands were broken off. After seven months of this, the Philistines couldn’t wait to get rid of the ark so they sent it back to Israel posthaste. But the ark was not taken to the temple; instead it remained for twenty years at the house of Abinadab and God blessed Abinadab and his family. When David became king, he noticed how God had blessed Abinadab and decided it was time to return the ark to Jerusalem so that all of Israel could be blessed.

King David had the right motive, but everything else about moving the ark was a disaster. God had given the Israelites very specific and detailed instructions about who could transport the ark and how they were to go about it. Nobody was to touch the ark. This was a capital offense. Keep in mind that the ark was the dwelling place of the Lord God Almighty and it was holy. David disobeyed or ignored all of God’s instructions for transporting the ark. It was transported on a cart instead of using the poles, as God had commanded, and the men who moved it were not Levites.

So when Uzzah reached out and touched the ark to steady it, God struck him dead. King David was angry with God, but God did this to teach him a lesson. God had gone to great lengths to prepare the Israelites to be His people. They needed to understand what it meant to be holy because God was holy. He could dwell with them only if they learned how to approach a Holy God. So Uzzah suffered for his sin when he touched the ark—the tabernacle of God.

Let’s fast forward to the present day. As Believers, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of God in our bodies. The ark is no longer His dwelling place; we are. So, what don’t we understand about God being holy? How do we treat His tabernacle? On the one hand, our physical bodies have nothing to do with our eternal life with God, but they are the repositories for His Spirit. So, how should we treat them? Should we eat, drink, and be merry? Aside from the fact that as Christians such behavior is unacceptable, it also fails to take account of the fact that we are ignoring the holiness of His tabernacle. Bottom line, we all need to focus on what it means to be holy and act accordingly. Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty!

From the “Oldies But Goodies” Collection. Originally posted on 5/28/12.

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Thursday, March 06 2014

Verse of the Day

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” [Jeremiah 29:11 – NASB]

We often hear about God’s Plan, but we usually think it’s more of a “big picture” thing. After all, God is more of a macro kind of Guy and not much of a micromanager, right? Wrong! Our God is a very loving God. He knows each of us in a very intimate and personal way. After all, King David tells us in Psalm 139 that “You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.” God is a God of details. He knows every hair on our heads. In fact He knows everything about us! Details are one thing, but true love and caring are another. Rest assured God is not mired down in trivia. Far from it!

Today’s passage tells us that God has an individual plan for each of us. But, hold on. There is so much more! Not only is there a plan for us, but the plan is “for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” God really wants the very best for us, no kidding! What an amazing thing it is that the God of the Universe cares enough to develop a plan that gives us a future and a hope. Get on your knees and give thanks to Him today!

From the “Newbies” Collection.

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Wednesday, March 05 2014

Verse of the Day

“He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.” [Proverbs 18:9 – NKJV]

In the old days, we used to hear a lot about the “old world craftsmen.” They took incredible pride in their work. Whether they were watchmakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, or coach builders, it made little difference. The members of each of these trades and many others built things to last. They did top-quality work.

How do we stack up today? Do we do the best job we can or are we content to just skate by? Do we take pride in a job well done? I hope and pray that we do. Years ago when you wanted to cast dispersions on a person’s work effort or the job they did you referred to it as “government work,” and I’m sure that’s still true today. When there is little expectation of quality on the part of the customer or recipient of your work, or you are in a position where you have “guaranteed employment,” there is a tendency to slough off and do shoddy work.

Unfortunately we see this all too often in life. But, we as Believers are held to a much higher standard. We are to “work as if working for the Lord.” When you have God as your boss you want to do the best job possible. You strive for perfection in your work and produce the best results possible regardless of the circumstances in which you find yourself. So be the best you can be for the Lord today! May your efforts at work bring honor and glory to Him today!

From the “Back By Popular Demand” Collection. Originally posted on 8/14/12.

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Tuesday, March 04 2014

Verse of the Day

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. [1 Thessalonians 5:11 – NIV]

Sometimes we get drawn into the delusion that we are completely self-sufficient, self-reliant creatures. We can do it all on our own without help from anybody else, thank you very much! This “Lone Ranger, I am an Island syndrome” is not a helpful thing, regardless of whether you’re at work or at home. When we are completely honest with ourselves, we acknowledge and admit that we really do need help, support, and encouragement from other people. Once we realize this it isn’t too much of a stretch we see that maybe we can serve them as well. After all, we are all in this game of life together.

In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul exhorts the church at Thessalonica to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Apparently, they were already doing a pretty good job because he tells them to keep on keeping on. As modern-day Believers, we too need to help, support and encourage one another. Unfortunately, in today’s high-tech world this is becoming more and more difficult. We are a society of introverts thanks to our smart phones and other devices. Let’s make a concerted effort to focus outward on those around us. Who knows? A kind word from you may just turn someone’s day around!

From the “Newbies” Collection.

Posted by: John AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 03 2014

Verse of the Day

No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. [Jeremiah 10:6-7 – NIV]

There is only one God. He is Sovereign. He alone deserves to be worshiped and glorified; there is certainly no one like Him. But our tendency is to elevate people and things above God. For some reason, we have a need to worship the created instead of the Creator. That was Israel’s weakness as the people constantly strayed from the Lord their God and worshiped Baal and other gods made of wood, stone, and metal. These idols were shaped like humans, yet they couldn’t do anything. Unlike the true God, they were powerless. We have the same problem today with our incessant need for stuff. Possessions are so important to us. But things don’t really matter. They come and go. We also tend to put our leaders on pedestals, but they are, after all, only human and disappoint us in the end. Only God is our Rock. There is no one like You, God!

From the “Greatest Hits” Collection. Originally posted on 8/13/12.

Posted by: John AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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