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Daily Devotionals from Grace in the Workplace
Wednesday, August 29 2012

Verse of the Day

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. [1 Samuel 3:8-9 – NKJV]

It was not uncommon in Old Testament times for prophets and others to actually hear God speak. God used them to share His Word with His chosen people, the Israelites. Today we rarely hear about God speaking, but He does. It may not be in an audible way like in ancient days, but the Holy Spirit is constantly talking to each Believer, sharing wisdom, providing insight, shedding light on sin, and administering discipline. Since the day of Pentecost, we are blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are truly Tabernacles. Since God dwells within us, He no longer needs to speak audibly; He can speak in our minds. And He does. Are you listening?

Do you hear a still small voice tugging at your heart? Does God have a plan for your life, ministry, mission work, lay service, or leadership that you are ignoring or resisting? Has He called you and yet you’re too busy to accept? If so, then pray about it with an open and willing heart. Remember, when God asks you to do something He always provides the means to get it done. So be attentive and listen to that inner voice. It just might be God calling!

Posted by: John AT 07:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 24 2012

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!

Posted by: John AT 04:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 22 2012

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!

Posted by: John AT 12:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 21 2012

Verse of the Day

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 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]

Like one of my favorite passages, Hebrews 12:1-2, today’s excerpt from Philippians is about “running the race” and keeping your eye on the Prize. But unlike the author of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul stresses the need to forget the past and focus on what’s ahead. Just imagine trying to run a drag race in reverse. That’s scary! In fact “going out in reverse” in any kind of race is nonsensical.

All of us tend to dwell more on the past than we should. We have good and bad memories that we tend to share (maybe a little too often) with others and certainly mull over repeatedly in our minds. There is nothing wrong with an occasional thought about a fond memory or telling a story relating something that others might find fun or interesting, but if you are living in the past you have a real problem.

For a Believer, the past reflects our old life before we were saved; i.e., the ways of the world. Why would we want to focus and dwell on what we left behind? We have a new life in Jesus Christ. He is the goal, the Prize that we are seeking at the finish line. So focus on what lies ahead. Go ahead, go for it!

Posted by: John AT 07:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 20 2012

Verse of the Day

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. [Jeremiah 23:5 – NIV]

The Old Testament is replete with references to the coming of the Messiah. Every book in the Bible shouts His Holy Name. No human king could ever reign wisely and do what is just and right. Only Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, could fulfill this prophesy. We look forward with eager anticipation to the Second Coming!

And He will reign forever and ever. Come Lord Jesus! Hallelujah!

Posted by: John AT 12:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 17 2012

Verse of the Day

“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” [1 Peter 2:24 – NKJV]

All of us have been sick at one time or another. We go to the doctor, get a prescription, and after a few days we feel better. We are healed. But there is one condition that doctors and modern medicine have no cure for—death. We all sin and the punishment for sin is death. Under the Law, God provided a “cover” for sin so that He could have a relationship with His Chosen People, the Israelites. But the curse remained; all of the offerings and sacrifices merely provided a temporary solution to the sin problem. The sacrifices were usually unblemished animals or birds, but they were not perfect. Only the sacrifice of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, could provide the blood that would not just cover but eliminate the stain of our sins for eternity. Only the perfect sacrifice could once and for all time restore us to God. The prescription that healed us was the incredible pain, suffering, and sacrificial death of Jesus. By His stripes we are healed and by His resurrection we have the promise of life everlasting. Thanks be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! By His stripes we are healed.

Posted by: John AT 02:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 16 2012

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?

Posted by: John AT 08:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 14 2012

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!

Posted by: John AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 13 2012

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!

Posted by: John AT 08:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 10 2012

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.

Posted by: John AT 08:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 09 2012

Verse of the Day

“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” [Ecclesiastes 2:24 – NIV 1984]

Do you find your work satisfying? I sure hope so. But many employees are frustrated. They spend much of their time complaining about their job, their boss and/or their company. For whatever reason, they are dissatisfied, disgruntled, bitter, and angry. I hope and pray that this doesn’t describe anyone who is reading this devotional.

First and foremost, we are to work as if working for the Lord, and that in and of itself should provide great satisfaction. Then there are the other things, often small, intangibles, that can bring us a feeling of satisfaction. Getting a congratulatory word from our boss for a job well-done, finishing a difficult task, or helping a coworker—each of these things can give us a boost at work. Also, attitude plays a huge role here, too. If you start your workday with a bad, negative attitude you’re not likely to enjoy your work. This kind of behavior feeds on itself. Why would one want to spend day after day down in the doldrums like this?

So follow King Solomon’s advice and look for satisfaction in your work. It really is there just waiting for you to discover it!

Posted by: John AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 07 2012

Verse of the Day

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7 – NKJV]

Most of you don’t remember the song “Heart,” but no matter. It’s from the musical Damn Yankees about a baseball player who sold his soul to the devil. Ironic, isn’t it? God is really the one who cares about your heart. Satan just wants your soul.

In today’s passage, God was rebuking Samuel, who, after looking at Eliab, David’s older brother, immediately assumed based on his appearance that he was the anointed one of God. As great a prophet as Samuel was, he was still human and prone to the same weaknesses and behavioral shortcomings that we all suffer from. Man judges based on physical appearance, while God judges based on the heart.

Our goal as Believers is to become Christ-like. To accomplish this we need to have a heart like our Lord and Savior. In Acts 13:22, God called King David “a man after My own heart.” This should be our calling too. Is it right for us to dare to be like King David, a great man of God? Well, I don’t know why not. Aspire to be the best you can be for your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Matthew 6:24 provides additional insight by telling us that, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” So we should love God completely with our whole heart. Let’s have none of this halfhearted stuff. That may very well lead to a deal with the devil.

Posted by: John AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 06 2012

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.

Posted by: John AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Email: info@graceintheworkplace.org

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