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Today's Devotional from Grace in the Workplace
Tuesday, October 31 2017

Verse of the Day

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” [John 13:34-35 – NIV]

Well, The Beatles got it right didn’t they? What a wonderful world this would be…oh, I’m sorry, there I go again lapsing into more song lyrics from the 1960s. But, you get the picture. Jesus gave us a command. This isn’t just some sort of “I’ll do it if and when I feel like it” sort of thing. God’s commandments are to be obeyed. Hold on. What’s so tough about this love thing anyway? I love all sorts of folks. I love my spouse (well, most of the time), and I really love my children (but they are annoying sometimes), I love my friends (when they are doing what I want them to do), and I love my boss and coworkers (when they leave me alone). These are examples of the kind of love that The Beatles were singing about, but Jesus expects much, much more. He expects us to express and experience agape love, the kind of love where we love one another unconditionally.

The way Believers treat each other at work can definitely minister to others. If we treat each other with love and respect as Jesus commands, we identify ourselves as Christians. Nonbelievers see us and know that we are Jesus’ disciples. What better way is there to spread God’s Word in the workplace? Of course, our love for others doesn’t stop with fellow Believers. We should love the nonbelievers at work too (and not just those that we happen to like). And Jesus also calls us to love our enemies! (Matthew 5:44). So, let’s put these commands into practice. Learn to love others as you work with them day in and day out. It may not be an easy thing, but when you think about how much Jesus loved each of us as He was nailed to the cross, it is the right thing.

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Monday, October 30 2017

Verse of the Day

[Hezekiah] brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. [2 Chronicles 29:4-5 – NIV]

After Israel split into two kingdoms, there were never any “good” kings in the northern kingdom (Israel) and only a handful in the southern kingdom (Judah). By good, I mean a king who walked in the ways of the Lord. Hezekiah was one of the few good kings of Judah. In today’s passage we see Hezekiah restoring temple worship, something that the Israelites had abandoned long ago. He started by commanding the Levites to consecrate themselves and the temple and to remove all defilement from the sanctuary itself. Well, this is an interesting bit of information as we learn more and more about God’s chosen people, but is it relevant in our lives today? You bet it is!

After Pentecost and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our bodies became tabernacles or sanctuaries. We have God living in us. So it is incumbent upon us to keep our “tabernacles” holy. Just like the temple in Hezekiah’s day, we have to remove all defilement from our bodies to ensure that they are suitable dwelling places for the Lord. So, clean yourself up and make sure that you are an appropriate sanctuary for the Lord your God!

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Friday, October 27 2017

Verse of the Day

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [James 1:5-6 – NIV 1984]

Wisdom is one of the keys to our spiritual walk. A wise person is someone who fears God; who walks in His ways. Clearly, as Believers we need to seek God’s wisdom and fortunately there are several sources where it can be found. First and foremost is in His Word. Most people would pick Proverbs and Ecclesiastes as the best source for advice on wisdom, and why not? King Solomon was, after all, the wisest man who ever lived. But, don’t let your search for wisdom stop with a quick read of these two books.

The Bible is chock-full of good advice and much of it is found in the New Testament (especially in the “red letter” passages!). As today’s passage points out, there is a second source of wisdom available to us and it comes from our Wise Counselor, the Holy Spirit. But as with faith, do not doubt when you ask God. Only when you ask, do so with an expectation of certainly and you will receive.

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Thursday, October 26 2017

Verse of the Day

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. [Matthew 11:28-30 – NKJV]

Do you find your work difficult and demanding? Our work isn’t supposed to be easy. After the Fall from Grace, God caused work to be a real burden for us. He cursed the land and even after we moved from farms into factories and offices, our work is still a chore. We toil away; nothing comes easy for us at work. There is always something that seems to keep us from completing our tasks in an effortless way.

If you work hard and feel like you are at the end of your rope, then take comfort in today’s passage. Jesus is offering to help us cope with our work. In fact, once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and start to learn His ways, He promises that we will receive rest for our souls. Trust and obey Him in all you do. Jesus’ yoke is not lighter because He demands less, but because He bears more of the load. As your walk with Him evolves and your relationship with Him matures, you will find that your time at work will become easier. Jesus is beside you sharing the load!

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Wednesday, October 25 2017

Verse of the Day

And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. [Acts 19:23 – NKJV]

At first blush, today’s passage may seem somewhat cryptic, but not really. What is with the reference to the “Way” and what in the world is it? Well, the explanation is simple. The Way was the name given to the original church. Makes sense doesn’t it? Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” It’s His way or the highway. What more need be said?

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Tuesday, October 24 2017

Verse of the Day

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” [Isaiah 6:8 – NIV]

Volunteering is a good thing. Many of us contribute our time and talents to many worthy causes. If you are a volunteer for a group or organization you are probably familiar with the “80-20 rule.” That is, 20 percent of the members do the work and the other 80 percent belong. Actually, there is nothing really wrong with this. It is just the way things are meant to be. Some people lead and the others follow. If you are a member of the 20-percent crowd, how would you like it if the other 80 percent were involved in leadership? Just imagine meeting with several hundred people each with their own agenda instead of a cozy group of 10? And if you are a member of the 80-percent group there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Belonging is sufficient in and of itself.

But being called by God is different. For example, I know that I have been called by God to share His Word in the workplace. But this is not about me, it’s about you. Have you heard His “still, small voice?” Is He calling you? Is there something that He wants you to do for Him? Are you going to step up to the plate like Isaiah did? You can make a difference for Him. Just answer His call and make a difference in His Kingdom!

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Monday, October 23 2017

Verse of the Day

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. [Acts 20:24 – NIV]

The analogy between a race and our walk with God is used several times in the Bible, notably by Paul (in 1 Corinthians and 2 Timothy) and the author of Hebrews. But in today’s passage, Luke adds another nuance, to “complete the task that the Lord Jesus has given [us].” This probably seems like a no-brainer, but then we do need constant reminders of what is expected of us in our lives in Christ.

There is nothing more important than sharing the Good News. When we awake at the dawn of each new day, do we commit ourselves to “the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace?” Of all the tasks on our daily “to do” list, sharing the Word of God is at the top. Let’s get cracking!

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Friday, October 20 2017

Verse of the Day

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. [Proverbs 3:5-6 – NASB]

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve always been an “A to B” person. I like fast cars, and getting to my destination in a hurry is the name of the game. No doubt many of you will disagree. You prefer the scenic route. To you, there is nothing like a slow, meandering drive taking in the beauty of God’s creation. And, you’re right! I’m the misguided one! But, the debate about how to get somewhere in our 21st century world is not exactly the point of today’s passage.

In Old Testament times, long journeys were grueling and tiresome tasks. Most people traveled on foot over “roads” that were at best rocky, dusty, uneven, and treacherous. Because engineering was still a thing of the future, most roads in those days were twisty, winding, and often traversed mountains and other rugged terrain. Is it any wonder that the travelers of the day prayed for straight, flat paths? They longed for the easier route.

The message from today’s passage is that if we “trust in the Lord … and do not lean on [our] own understanding” then He will make our paths straight. In other words, life will be easier for us. So, trust in the Lord today and reject your own thoughts and desires. You’ll be glad you did!

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Thursday, October 19 2017

Verse of the Day

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. [Romans 1:20 – NIV]

You know you have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to not realize that God exists. His creation screams His Holy Name from the mountains, to the prairies, the deserts, the cities, the pampas, the valleys, the peat bogs, the oceans, the Arctic and Antarctic, and everywhere in between. Day and night, rain and shine, summer and winter, it makes no difference—He is there. How can you walk around at night gazing at the stars and not see Him? Only the deceit of the evil one can shield the obvious from the view of the unbelievers. All the more reason to get out and share the story of the Lamb with all you meet. Never fear; as the Apostle Paul says, you’ve got a lot of help. After all, God is all around us. And never forget, His love is irresistible. We love Him because He first loved us.

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Wednesday, October 18 2017

Verse of the Day

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. [Luke 24:45 – NIV]

We humans can get very passionate about our many varied interests. Take sports for example. There’s a reason that spectators are referred to as “fans”—it’s short for fanatic, which is what they are about their particular team. If you’re a sports fan, you want to learn as much as possible about sports, the teams, stats, trivia, etc., and most fans spend hours and hours each day reading, watching TV, and surfing the net. Wow! Amazing, isn’t it? Can you believe that we create all of this commotion about a game? It makes me wonder if Believers are really as fanatical as sports fans about learning and living God’s Word.

If you want to learn about your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, read the Word of God. Today’s passage makes clear that God speaks to us through His Word. The Apostle Peter tells us “… [That Believers] like newborn babies, [should] long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (see 1 Peter 2:2-3). It doesn’t matter where you are on your walk with the Lord; you need to be in the Word. Read it, study it, talk about it, pray about it, and live it. So get involved in a Bible Study. You’ll be glad you did!

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Tuesday, October 17 2017

Verse of the Day

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. …  Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [2 Peter 1:5-7; 10-11 – NIV]

This is great advice from the Disciple Peter. Notice that we are to perfect our faith by adding various attributes and characteristics in a specific order and at an ever-increasing degree. I think there is a reason that they are ordered as they are. Each successive attribute builds on the previous and cannot be attained without the addition of its predecessor. I think it would behoove us to study the characteristics that Peter has noted in this passage and the order in which we are to seek and obtain them in our lives. Of course, each of these attributes (which lead to our practical sanctification) can never be fully “attained” in our life here on earth (which is why Peter says that they are to be added in “increasing measure”). But keep in mind that once goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love are attained, the servant will receive a “rich welcome into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I can think of nothing that we should seek after more than this. Thanks to Peter for some really great advice!

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Monday, October 16 2017

Verse of the Day

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners… [1 Timothy 1:15 – NKJV]

I remember my first day of work at El Paso Energy back in 1997. Buried in the mound of paper on my desk was a job description. I briefly looked at it and then tossed it aside. Despite my cavalier attitude, job descriptions are useful things. It’s always a good idea to know what your duties and responsibilities are and what you’re expected to produce or accomplish. Almost all of us in the workforce have job descriptions, but what about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Does He get a pass from this somewhat mundane requirement? Absolutely not!

Today’s passage makes that abundantly clear. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That’s His job description and we can get down on our knees and give thanks that His Boss, God the Father, gave it to Him! Thank you, Jesus, for doing your job!

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Friday, October 13 2017

Verse of the Day

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know? [Job 11:7-8 – NIV 1984]

I grew up reading mysteries—one of the many idiosyncrasies I inherited from my parents. Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Robert van Gulik, Dorothy Sayers, Clayton Rawson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, etc.—I’ve read (actually it’s more like devoured) them all. One thing about a mystery novel: by the last page it’s always solved (either by the reader or the fictional detective). But in real life, there are mysteries that are never solved. Sometimes mystery surrounds something because it’s unknowable. The best example is the Lord our God. As today’s passage tells us, He is the ultimate mystery!

The fact that God is a mystery is not a bad thing. Never forget that God’s Word reveals all we need to know about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. And we Believers are blessed with the indwelling of the Spirit that helps us in our understanding of God’s ways. We also need to resist the secular world and the belief that everything is knowable; that nothing is beyond mankind’s grasp. This just ain’t so! We are not meant to know everything, at least this side of Heaven. So, give thanks for God; He’s my favorite mystery and I’m sure He’s yours too!

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Thursday, October 12 2017

Verse of the Day

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. [Micah 6:8 – NIV]

What better way to begin each day than by praying Micah 6:8? It is after all, what the Lord requires of you—to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Just remember that starting off right is important, but it’s not enough. Patience and perseverance are the keys to consistently doing these things day in and day out. So, pray that you will do what your God requires of you today. You and your fellow travelers will be all the better for it!

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Wednesday, October 11 2017

Verse of the Day

 

“…through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” [Genesis 22:18 – NIV 1984]

  

I like word games even though I’m not always as good at them as my family and friends seem to be. Anyway, today’s title has two meanings and ironically (or perhaps not), the subject of this devotional speaks to both. Often we speak of the personal, intimate things associated with a family as “family matters.” Also, we know that family is important and has true significance and meaning, so it “matters.” So how does this fit into our life as the family of God? Let’s take a look.

 

In today’s passage God tells Abraham that through his lineage all nations of the world will be blessed. This is a direct reference to Jesus, the Messiah. What could matter more than your salvation? Jesus, our Lord and Savior, died to save us from our sins. Thanks to Him, we are children of God! So you see, family really does matter; especially when you are blessed to be a member of the Body of Christ!

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Tuesday, October 10 2017

Verse of the Day

“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. [Hosea 4:1-2 – NIV 1984]

I was visiting with my friend Mike one day when he decided to watch the local news at 5. This was definitely not a normal thing for us to do during a visit. I don’t watch local or national network news. My choices are somewhat different—mostly cable news and the print edition of The Wall Street Journal. So, I was shocked when we watched murder after murder, domestic violence, wrong-way collisions, and other depressing stories for the first five minutes of the program. I had to get home for dinner, and so hurriedly said goodbye and quickly left.

What a depressing thing the news is. But, it’s really just a depiction of our society. The world is full of godless people and this is, after all, what they do. In Romans, Paul tells us that we can expect this type of behavior from a world that has turned its back on God. Why should we be shocked? All the more reason for us to share His love with all we meet. Make a difference for Jesus today!

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Monday, October 09 2017

Verse of the Day

And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” [Luke 18:13 – NKJV]

When Moses asked God what name the Israelites should call Him, He responded, “I AM WHO I AM” (see Exodus 3:14). Have you ever wondered if God is the Great I Am, then who am I? Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, provides the answer in today’s passage. The tax collector (or publican) in Luke 18 is perhaps the best example of a humble person in the entire Bible. Unlike the pompous and proud Pharisee, he refused to approach the Temple or gaze up at Heaven.

Recognizing that he was a sinner, he begged God to have mercy on him. We are no different. I would submit that my name (and maybe yours too) is the “lowly I’m not.” How could it be anything else? God is everything and we are nothing. Give Him all the honor and glory He deserves today! May there be less of us and more of Him, today, and everyday!

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Friday, October 06 2017

Verse of the Day

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ…Preach the word! [2 Timothy 4:1-2 – NKJV]

I’ve never displayed bumper stickers on my cars. I just can’t imagine that anyone would care or be influenced by my opinion, about my political ideology or my candidate of choice, where I went to college, my favorite NFL team, my child being an honor student (or beating up your honor student), or any one of the many social issues of the day. I think I’m fairly well-informed and believe that my opinions are well-reasoned, but “Who cares, right?” Sharing our opinions with others is a tricky thing. There are always two (or more) sides to any issue, so you are bound to get into controversy if you go overboard in expressing how you feel about something. That’s why many people subscribe to the “no politics and no religion” rule at the dinner table. But there are times when your opinion does make a difference—so much so, in fact, that it’s a matter of life and death.

In today’s passage the Apostle Paul charges us to preach the Word. It is a life-changing and saving experience. It’s the one time when your opinion really does matter! So share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone you meet today!

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Thursday, October 05 2017

Verse of the Day

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, this is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” [Numbers 6:24-26 – NIV]

What a great blessing! I remember it fondly from my childhood. Mom and I attended the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and the minister would always end the service with this prayer (as the benediction). As I read it today something else pops out at me. God is instructing Moses on exactly how the Israelites are to be blessed—i.e., God wrote the blessing for Himself. So I think if He wrote it then we should pay attention to it. It’s special! I encourage you to use it in your prayers to bless others.

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Wednesday, October 04 2017

Verse of the Day

…fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. [2 Timothy 1:6 – NIV]

Like many children of the ‘50s, I was shipped off to summer camp. Camp was fun; you got a chance to do lots of things that just weren’t possible back home in the city, like shooting a gun or a bow and arrow, canoeing, chopping wood, hiking and camping, and many other outdoorsy things. One of the most challenging skills we learned was how to start a fire with a steel knife, a piece of flint, and some tinder. This required lots of patience and perseverance. Once a fire was started, you had to keep it going, gently blowing and fanning the flames.

As we consider today’s passage, it’s good to keep in mind that the people of New Testament times probably started fires in much the same way as we did in summer camp. Why is this relevant? Well, because it sheds light on the real meaning of Paul’s words. Developing and using the gifts that God gives us takes a great deal of patience and perseverance on our part.  We are not to sit idly by, but we are to be engaged to the fullest in sharing God’s Word. So I implore you to do your part in spreading the Good News to all you meet today and every day!

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Tuesday, October 03 2017

Verse of the Day

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. [Psalm 19:14 – NKJV]

My friend drains a 15-foot putt and after I congratulate him, he says (jokingly), “Chalk it up to clean living.” Of course “clean living” is nothing more than blind, stupid luck. Even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn. There’s a difference between clean living and living right.

Living to please God is living right. If my mouth and my heart are pleasing to God then I know I have followed the right path in life. Pursue wisdom and run toward the Prize. Live humbly, love your neighbor, be merciful and just, read and live the Word, be generous, use your gifts to glorify and honor God, and love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Trust in God and obey Him. Pray that your life will be pleasing to Him.

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Monday, October 02 2017

Verse of the Day

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” [Acts 9:3-4 – NIV]

Road trips were a big part of growing up in the ‘60s. A bunch of guys and gals would jump into a car (preferably a convertible) and head off to, well, nowhere in particular. These adventures of a misspent youth were fun, but the greatest “road trip” ever took place two thousand years ago during New Testament times. Walking was the only way to travel back then and Saul (later to be renamed Paul) was headed down the road to Damascus toward an amazing experience, a conversion like no other—a direct, intimate and personal encounter with Jesus Christ!

God had a very special purpose in mind for Paul. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the Apostles “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [see Acts 1:8, emphasis added]. Yes, God handpicked Paul to be His messenger to the Gentiles, and just in case you’re still on your first cup of coffee that means us.

Given his background, Paul would seem to be the perfect fit to share the Good News with the Jews. After all, he was the “consummate Jew,” well-educated and a Benjaminite like his namesake, King Saul. However, God rarely follows human logic and reasoning. Paul’s mission trips spread the Word throughout the Roman world and to the ends of the earth. His epistles are equally notable considering that he got the Word directly from the “horse’s mouth” (from Jesus Christ Himself).

God used Paul in a very powerful and unexpected way to fulfill His Plan. As a Believer, God will be using you too. Be ready to honor and glorify Him forever!

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Grace in the Workplace Ministries, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 541
Montgomery, Texas 77356
Email: info@graceintheworkplace.org

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