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Daily Devotionals from Grace in the Workplace
Thursday, February 28 2019

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!

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Wednesday, February 27 2019

Verse of the Day

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” [Job 1:21 – NASB]

Our lives aren’t always a picnic, are they? We have our ups and our downs. Sometimes we hit a rough patch and we get down in the doldrums. But, guess what? More often than not, we bounce back! The problem is that we are short-term oriented, impatient creatures. We are into instantaneous gratification. We want results and we want them NOW! But God doesn’t work that way. There is a reason we are told to “wait on the Lord.” He does things in His time and in His way.

In today’s passage, Job makes it clear that regardless of our situation in life we need to bless the Lord our God. Few people in the Bible suffered more than Job. God caused the devil to test him and he lost everything; his family and his possessions—all that was near and dear to him. Despite this, Job stated a simple, but profound truth: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” We should react in the same way as we live our rollercoaster lives. We need to bless God regardless of our circumstances!

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Tuesday, February 26 2019

Verse of the Day

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15 – NIV]

God called King David “a man after My own heart,” and although David’s son, Solomon, started off strong in his relationship with the Lord, he fizzled at the end. His downfall was attributable to the two things he railed against the most in Proverbs: women and money. Unlike his father, he had a divided heart. You might say that Solomon is a microcosm of Israel. The Israelites were like a yo-yo. They would stray from the Lord their God, but they would always return to Him (after He forgave them and invited them back into His presence). Even when they came back to God they continued to worship pagan gods and traditions. The Israelites had a divided heart toward the Lord.

You can’t serve God with a divided heart. He wants all of you or none at all. The words of Joshua are true today. They are words to live by. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Who ya’ gonna’ serve?

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Monday, February 25 2019

Verse of the Day

“...I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10 – NASB]

You hear a lot nowadays about “living large,” which means living an extravagant or self-indulgent lifestyle. This seems to fit our 21st century existence to a “T,” doesn’t it? Why is it then that polls tell us that a sizable percentage of people believe we are headed in the wrong direction? Is this really all there is? There’s got to be more than this meaningless, empty experience that masquerades as life here on earth. Thankfully, there is more! So much more! What’s the answer to this conundrum? Jesus Christ! He is the way, the truth, and the life!

In today’s passage, Jesus tells us that He “came that [we] may have life, and have it abundantly.” As we read the passage in context it becomes clear that the fulfillment of this promise is conditioned on our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The only meaningful life is life in Jesus. As Believers, we can testify that when we are in Him we are truly “living large” in an abundant and wonderful way!

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Friday, February 22 2019

Verse of the Day

Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy? Proverbs 27:4 NLT]

We often associate jealousy with a spurned lover, but it also applies to someone who envies another’s achievements or success (which, incidentally, is the definition). This aspect of jealousy typically manifests in situations where our competitive juices are flowing and our pride is at its peak: —sports, games, academia, but perhaps most of all at work.

There’s nothing wrong with competing with a friend and coworker for a promotion; after all, a little healthy competition is a good thing. But when you’re climbing up the corporate ladder, you occasionally stub your toe on a rung. More often than not, if your friend gets the job and you don’t, your pride kicks in, and before long, you’re on a downward spiral. After all, you were the best choice by far, right?

As today’s passage from Proverbs tells us, jealousy is without a doubt the most destructive of emotions. After losing out on the promotion, you’re depressed, discouraged, bitter, and angry. As you seethe with jealousy, your feelings toward your former coworker turn to dislike and possibly even hatred. Your attitude suffers, and so does your performance. The consequences of your jealousy jeopardize your chances for a future promotion and maybe even your job itself. As if all this isn’t bad enough, there’s much more.

The effects of jealous behavior aren’t just confined to your performance at work; they permeate all aspects of your life. Your relationships with your family and friends suffer, and, most importantly, so does your relationship with the Lord your God.

Once you start down the path to destruction, there is no return. So, pray that you will never let this evil, sinful behavior take root in your life.

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Thursday, February 21 2019

Verse of the Day

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. [James 4:13-16 – NKJV]

We all like to boast. Whether it’s our golf game, cooking, business accomplishments, you name it. For the most part we have a high opinion of ourselves, which is generally undeserved, but, that’s not the point. The businessmen in this “parable” were boasting with certainty about the outcome of future events. They were going on a business trip and it was, without a doubt in their minds, going to be a success. They were going to sell things and make a huge profit. The only problem for them and for us is that none of us knows what will happen tomorrow, much less in the next minute or two. Only God is omnipresent. Only He transcends time and space. So, it is boastful indeed for us as mere humans to make statements with absolute certainty about future events. As James says, such boasting is sinful.

Does this mean that we are not to plan our lives, to think and dream about the future? Absolutely not! But when we dream and when we plan, we are to do so by seeking God’s Will for what we should do. After all, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, and many others with creative spirits have great dreams about what the future holds for them, but these dreams need to be in accordance with God’s Will and grounded in His Word. Make sure you pray to God about what His Plan is for your future.

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Wednesday, February 20 2019

Verse of the Day

For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. [Romans 7:5-7 – NIV]

In the Old Testament, the Israelites lived under the Law. It consisted of the Ten Commandments and many other commands and rules that God provided to ensure that His people were holy. The Law provided a means of covering sin, but it did not eliminate it. The Sadducees, Pharisees, and other religious leaders became very adept at keeping the letter of the Law; appearances mattered to them. Form over substance, so to speak. Thankfully, this all came to an end thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. His death and resurrection put an end to the Law. But did it?

In one sense, yes; because we no longer need the Law and its system of sacrifices to cover our sins. But as the Apostle Paul suggests, we still need the law to reveal sin. That is one of the many gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit helps us identify sin in our lives. Once revealed, we need to repent and sin no more. Sin is still with us and we still need a means of dealing with it. But Praise God for His Son, Jesus who has freed us from the penalty of sin forever. Hallelujah!

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Tuesday, February 19 2019

Verse of the Day

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5:16 – NKJV]

It’s 6:15 a.m. and you’ve got a long bus ride to work. A grumpy man plops down in the seat next to you and immediately starts a loud and annoying conversation on his cell phone. Later, as you wander into the coffee bar for your third cup of coffee, you overhear a conversation about how the company is about to lay off half of the people in your department. You get back from lunch and your boss drops by to visit. She tells you that you’ve got to stay late to get a rush project done before the board meeting. Finally, as you pull out of the bus lot on the way home, one of your fellow drivers cuts you off. How do you handle these and the myriad of other things that pop up during the typical day at work? Do you gossip or complain? Do you lose your temper? Do you let your pride get in the way of having a congenial, respectful, and productive relationship with your coworkers and boss? If so, then you are straying from God’s path as you go about your daily life.

In today’s passage, Jesus tells us that we are to let our light shine. More precisely, as Believers we are to let the light of Jesus shine through us. After all, we are His “ambassadors” sharing the Good News with the rest of mankind. When those around us see that we are living in accordance with His Word, it is a testimony to His presence in our lives and “glorifies our Father in heaven.” Your words and actions at work and elsewhere else do make a difference. They matter. Our behavior says a great deal about what and who we are. One of the most effective techniques for sharing Jesus at work is just being you. So, let the light of Jesus shine through today and every day and give God the glory!

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Friday, February 15 2019

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!

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Thursday, February 14 2019

Verse of the Day

A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on. [Proverbs 16:26 – NASB]

Have you ever been ravenous? Probably not. We are blessed to live in a country that has a bounteous supply of food and other necessities. Regardless of the condition of our tummies, the essence of God’s truth and wisdom in today’s passage from Proverbs is obvious for all to see. It is the kind of profound wisdom that can be found only in God’s Word.

We have basic needs—to put food on the table and a roof over our heads—that can be met only by hard work. The beauty and simplicity of God’s Plan for mankind is amazing, and work is an essential part of it. Only through hard work can we provide for ourselves, our families, and others around us. It is a true blessing to be able to work and, by so doing, to worship and glorify God.

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Wednesday, February 13 2019

erse of the Day

…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:34 – NIV]

Here’s another rock ’n’ roll theme: “Let’s Live for Today,” a 1967 hit by The Grass Roots. If you listen to the lyrics you will hear words and phrases like “worries” and “people in a hurry” and so on. Well, maybe the songwriter was spending time in the Gospel of Matthew before putting pen to paper. Anyway, before we consider today’s passage, I think it’s only fair to point out that most devotionals about worry focus on the need to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” which certainly is the key to overcoming the worry problem. Those of us in the workplace need lots of help with worry and stress. After all, they are the most common byproducts of our work environment. Did you get your report done? What about that promotion you’re expecting? Are you going to meet the deadline? We are under constant stress and we worry nonstop. Putting God at the center of your life is the first step to controlling and eventually eliminating worry. When you put Him in charge and take yourself out of the equation, there is a peace in your life like you never imagined. Everything becomes crystal clear.  He is holy and we’re not. So, seeking God and His will for your life is the key to your worry problem.

But, there is more. In today’s passage we get some added insight into why we worry and why it’s so futile and pointless to do so. Worry happens when we delude ourselves into thinking that we, and not God, are in control of our lives. But, because we are really weak, flawed beings, there is really nothing we can do to control or shape future events. Hence, we worry because we don’t know what’s going to happen. Our sinful pride prevents us for seeing the reality of the situation. That’s why today’s passage is so neat. When Jesus says “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” what He’s really saying is that tomorrow will take care of itself; i.e., that the natural course of events will control and shape what happens in the future. And here is where it gets really fun; He goes on to say, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Well, there’s no doubt about that, is there?

So, here’s the lesson for today. Only God is omniscient and omnipresent. He knows everything and He is everywhere at once. He is in the past, present, and the future. Since He is in the future, doesn’t it make sense for us to seek Him and His will for our lives? We have to live in the present, so why don’t we just get comfortable with that fact and stop dwelling on possible future events over which we have no control? There is absolutely no point in worrying; it is a total waste of time. We need to turn ourselves over to God, seek His will, and live in the present. After all, that is where we are. So, live for today!

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Tuesday, February 12 2019

Verse of the Day

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – NIV]

I don’t know about you, but I have a few weaknesses, a few faults. Actually, there are so many I can’t count them. Most of us delude ourselves and put on a façade of strength and wisdom, as though we are masters of our fate and in total control of every situation. Who are we kidding? But it’s one thing to acknowledge our weaknesses and quite another to welcome them and celebrate them as Paul did. So delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, because in doing so, Jesus Christ our Savior manifests Himself in our lives and gives us strength. As Paul says, only in His strength am I strong. So pray for adversities!

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Monday, February 11 2019

Verse of the Day

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. [Psalm 141:3 – NKJV]

I don’t know about you, but I frequently say stupid and occasionally hurtful things to others. Most of the time this is unintentional, but regardless, it shouldn’t happen. The problem is I think I’m a funny and humorous guy, and the vast majority of the situations in which I say something mean or inappropriate to someone stems from an attempt at humor. A quick wit generally means a quick (and often hurtful) tongue.

Speaking without thinking is a real problem, isn’t it? We could all benefit from the advice of the Psalmist to “set a guard over my mouth.” Actually in my case it should be a muzzle. The key here is to think first. Instead of responding like a machine gun in a conversation, let your heart and mind form your thoughts and that will help ensure that your response will be appropriate. Better yet, get into the habit of listening to others. A wise man listens.

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Friday, February 08 2019

Verse of the Day

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. [Colossians 3:2 – NIV]

There’s a lot of clutter in our lives nowadays, perhaps more than at any other time in history. There are many people and things vying for our time. There are demands at work and at home. We are bombarded with more information than we can possibly process or absorb from a myriad of sources. And all too frequently we chose to waste our time in pursuit of entertainment and leisure, i.e., mindless stuff. So when do we have time for God?

It’s all a matter of focus. Are you too concerned with the things of this world or are you about your Father’s business? Never forget to store up treasures in Heaven because where your treasure is there your heart will be also!

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Thursday, February 07 2019

Verse of the Day

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” [1 Corinthians 15:55 – NASB]

The idiom “Cross my heart and hope to die” is used by children to emphasize the seriousness or truth of a statement made to their peers. Amazing, isn’t it? The awareness and fear of death starts at a very early age and only intensifies as we grow older. With death comes the end of life. There is a finality to it that is unavoidable and terrifying. We try everything to avoid growing older, by changing our physical appearance as well as our mental outlook. Nevertheless, death will come to all of us. Our lives here on Earth will end.

All of this changes when Jesus Christ comes into our lives. For the first time, we have an understanding of what death really is—simply a transitional moment in our lives as citizens of the Kingdom. We take great joy in the knowledge that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us on the Cross. Thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection, we will spend eternity in Heaven worshiping and glorifying God. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

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Wednesday, February 06 2019

Verse of the Day

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. [Colossians 2:9-10 – NKJV]

Many devotionals have been written on Immanuel, God with us. The fact that God came to earth to live with us as a man is incredibly important, but that is not the point of today’s passage from scripture. Although He was a man, Jesus in His incarnation reflected the image of God the Father. While He walked the earth, He was God in human form. He was and is perfect. In much the same way, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are perfected by the righteousness of Christ that God imparts to us. We are brought into fullness by being positionally perfected in God’s sight. Only Jesus and His blood that was shed on the cross for us could accomplish this. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer! Thank you Jesus!

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Tuesday, February 05 2019

Verse of the Day

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. [1 John 1:1 – NIV]

Even though I’m a retired tax lawyer, I do know a little bit about evidence and trial practice. Lawyers rely on different types of evidence to establish the facts and prove their case. Evidence varies in its strength, effectiveness, and usefulness. Generally speaking, the strongest and most credible type of evidence is eyewitness testimony. And it becomes even more reliable and convincing when more than one person has witnessed the event at issue. So it strikes me as odd that there are so many doubters about Jesus being the Messiah, but then Satan has done a great job of planting seeds of doubt for the past two thousand years. That’s why, as a lawyer, today’s passage is so important. It’s the backbone of the case. Despite Satan’s lies and deceit, the fact remains that there were many independent eyewitnesses (aka, the 12 disciples and other followers of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and many more) to Jesus’ life—not just as a man, but as the Son of God. Case closed.

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Monday, February 04 2019

Verse of the Day

Give us this day our daily bread. [Matthew 6:11 – NKJV]

This is a familiar passage from the Lord’s Prayer. But, does it really have something to do with our diet? Are we supposed to eat bread and water every day? Or, is there more to it than we realize? The “daily bread” referred to in the prayer goes way beyond rye, pumpernickel, wheat, white, or sourdough. What it’s really all about is that God will provide for our everyday needs—not only the physical ones, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual ones, too. When you are praying to Him for your needs, be comforted and assured by the fact that He can take care of all of them regardless of what they are. He will give you whatever you need, not only to provide for your own needs and those of your family, but the needs of others as He uses you to fulfill His Plan!

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Friday, February 01 2019

Verse of the Day

And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:24-26 [NKJV]

I’ve wanted to write a devotional on the eye of the needle for years but struggled with how to approach it. As I got deeper into the Word and scoured the commentaries and other resources in search of wisdom, I found that there were two schools of thought as to what Jesus meant. One interpretation is that the eye of the needle refers to a small gate in the wall of Jerusalem through which a camel could enter only by stooping on its knees with its baggage removed, the inference being that it is difficult (but not impossible) for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The other is that Jesus was literally referring to a sewing needle, meaning that it’s impossible.

Recently the Holy Spirit shared with me that, instead of trying to discern the true meaning of today’s passage, I’d been engaged in an intellectual exercise. I’d been focusing on the wrong part of the passage and failed to grasp the heart of the parable. The beauty of this passage is that it shows us the mercy, grace, and mystery of God. Regardless of what the eye of the needle really means, Jesus tells His disciples (and us) that the answer to whether a rich man can be saved is that “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (emphasis added). Only through divine grace can one be justified. Amen.

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