Daily Devotionals from Grace in the Workplace
Friday, September 25 2020
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.
Thursday, September 24 2020
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.
Wednesday, September 23 2020
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.
Tuesday, September 22 2020
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!
Monday, September 21 2020
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?
Friday, September 18 2020
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.