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The fear of the Lord at work.


Daniel 6:23 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. 

Happy Saturday everyone! 

This week as prayer requests came into a chat group I’m a member of, a few of them were concerning work situations. 

We spend 8 hours of a day at work, relating and interacting with co-workers and clients. With that much time spent on a daily basis, stuff is bound to happen! Can I tell you!  There will be confrontations, disagreements and unfortunately there will be those who revert to hypercritical, manipulative and deceptive means to “better” their position. This leads to distrust and tense working environments. 

As Christians we are called to be different but not passive! Our faith must mean something and be what we act upon. Situations at work give the believer an opportunity to demonstrate that they work for the Lord and fear Him. The result is that they receive the wisdom of God to guide them, a wisdom that is far more superior than the world’s wisdom!

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding/insight/good judgement.

What does this mean and how does it influence the way we act at work?

1. It means working with excellence not just of skill but of character..demonstrating that a higher wisdom, not the wisdom of this world guides our lives.

James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 

2. It means taking serious ownership of what God has entrusted us with. Work heartily, being diligent in the service of others as a faithful steward. The principle of sowing and reaping not only applies to tithing and church, but work!  When we work like this, God will give increase and reward us. Promotion comes from Him!

1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

This mindset gives such a powerful approach to work! I was having a conversation with my Pastor’s daughter, a university student. She was saying that so many young people are unsure and searching for their purpose but if they occupied themselves, using what they have in service to others..they will find their purpose. I thought this truly profound and had to share!

3. It also means, minding your own business. You’re there to work, not gossip and take sides. If you’re in a position of authority you will have to at times step in to solve work issues but if not, stay out of it and don’t be drawn into work conflicts unnecessarily! You will win the respect of others for your impartiality and taking the higher road. 
1 Thess  4:11-12 (NLT) 11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

4. It means that although we have goals we’d like to achieve, we do not seek to “climb the ladder” by any means necessary, using people for our gain. This is worldly wisdom and the Holy Spirit won’t have it!

James 3: 14-18 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 

5. It means controlling our tongues when we are cursed and badly spoken of. We firmly stand our ground without responding in the same way or stirring up confusion and bad-talking others among our workmates. When we have opportunity we use our tongues to make peace not war!

James 3:2 For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

6. It means that we understand that we represent God’s Kingdom. Our God has all dominion and His Kingdom is above all the kingdoms of this world. Don’t fear what people do or say, fear God and keep His commandments.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

7. Most importantly, it means that we are to bring work and our co-workers/clients before the King, our God in prayer daily. We must listen to His voice and instruction. Simply put! 1 Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Daniel faced treacherous plotting and an attempt to destroy Him by His colleagues at work (other senior officials within the government). However moving in the fear of God, he trusted God to deliver Him and maintained his posture of consistent prayer.The result? The mouth of lions was shut and Daniel was delivered. 

While we don’t face real animal lions, we often deal with human lions. Trust God to deliver to the utmost!!  You see, Daniel wasn’t just delivered but the King recognized that the God he served and His Kingdom was superior and more powerful than all other Kingdoms! Powerful testimony and ultimately what God wants!

So, what are some challenges you’ve faced or are currently facing at work? How have you seen the fear of God and His wisdom on display in the situation? Leave us a message and let us know! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

By Carol Jackson

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Faith facts

Hi friends, it’s been one of those weeks! Suddenly so many things seem to be in turmoil and as a friend of mine said..the enemy is good at making even things that are blessings seem to be curses! When we face challenges, we may feel discouraged, we may feel overwhelmed but we must never ever let go of faith. Faith helps us meet life’s circumstances with certainty and affirmation that God has supreme control of the outcome..so let’s look at eight encouraging faith facts. I pray that this short study will encourage you as it has me.

1. Faith is the shield that protects us from the potentially damaging effects of the various onslaughts we face. Depression, anger, fear and anxiety come as a natural response to oppressive circumstances but we can flip the switch, pick up the shield of faith and push them back! Better yet, don’t ever put it down! Be always ready!2. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. You see it’s not about sheer willpower, if the Spirit of God lives in you Faith is already there ready for use! Oranges can’t come from apple trees. You’ve got faith!!!3. Faith must be nourished. How? By focusing on God’s word. If your soul is aching or burdened.. read and internalize faith-building scriptures each day. Doing this along with prayer, worship and fellowship..will be like medicine to remedy our aching souls. Ro 10:174. Workout your faith!! Exercise and build your faith muscles during hard times. Our actions should speak to the fact that we have faith. Don’t let apathy move in. Get up and work in Faith! No money for that big project yet? Start small with what you have. With prayer and faith, work your mustard seed and watch God grow it into a tree!5. Faith attracts God! While you’re dealing with a seemingly insurmountable task or challenge..work at it with all your heart towards God. God loves to see faith and He rewards it! 6. In the end you will shine!!! So work with endurance! Work through it knowing that whatever happens, God will bring you through as beautiful and refined like gold. Don’t let discouragement and depression win.  Job 23:107. Our faith is valuable! So much more than just temporal, so much more than just something to help us cope with circumstances this side of heaven. It is so valuable that it has eternal weight and glory! 

8. Faith leads us into to godly rest where even though we work, we do not strive to make things happen or to bring about the outcome we desire! When we believe, we can rest. Rest in the fact that God has this! He will provide, He will see that the outcome is for good. As the word says, let us make every effort to enter His rest! Faith leads us to rest! Heb 4I don’t know what you’re facing but God wants you to know that He sees and honors your faith. So be encouraged, surrender the outcome to God and raise up your shield of faith! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

(Click photos for photo sources)

Choices determine destinies 

Hi readers, this has been one of the longest SK hiatuses as God has been taking us through changes and expanding us in different ways. We’ve certainly missed you and are back! 

There will be a few changes in the way we post to the SK blog. Instead of weekly, we will post as we have content. This means that you may receive something weekly, bi-monthly or once a month. If once a month, we promise it will be worth the wait 😀. 

We will also be adding short motivational videos from time to time as well as content from some of our male leaders. Thanks for sticking with us! 

So today..here’s a repost from Girlfriends in God that’s a kick in the rear for those of us who let fear hold us back from using the gifts God has given us and multiplying it for His Glory!! 

Sometimes God will put you in a dry place to expand your faith and cause you to use what He has placed in your hands to produce something wonderful, life changing and even income earning   to serve your family and others! So let’s go! Let’s become producers, Not just consumers!! 

Reposted from Sharon Jaynes of GiG

Friend to Friend

One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus was explaining what the kingdom of heaven would be like in common terms.

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14-18)

When the master returned home, he was well please with the two servants who had invested and doubled their talents, but he was furious with the one who hid his one talent in the ground.

You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents’ (Matt. 25:26).

This story gives me chills every time I read it. For you see, God has given each and every one of us gifts . . . gifts that He has purposed for us to use, invest, and multiply. And I’m not just talking about money, but gifts in our inner being. He has given you talents and abilities that He expects you to use to further the kingdom and minister to others.

So what kept the servant with one talent from doing so? Fear. Giving into fear prevented him from investing what he had. I think the master would have been more pleased if the servant had said, “Lord, I invested the talent and unfortunately lost it all.” At least he would have tried. At least he would have made some effort. But the master saw him as evil and lazy.Fear makes us lazy. Think about that a minute. A fearful person does little.

Moving forward despite the fear gets the spiritual couch potato out from under the afghan and into the life she was meant to live.

So here’s what I want us to think about today: Are we investing the gifts and talents that God has given us, or are we hiding them because of fear.
I don’t know about you, but I want to invest all I have and live bold. We’re going to pick back up on this in my next devotion, but for now, let’s ponder which servant we want to be.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank You for entrusting me with gifts and talents. Sometimes I’m not sure what they are, but I pray that You will make them clear to me. Help me to be brave and share the talents that You have given me with others. I want to invest in other people and multiply the fruit in Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Read Matthew 25:14-30 in your own Bible. Which servant do you resemble the most? Which servant do you want to resemble most? How did the servants’ choices determine their destinies?

Here is a quote from Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: You either show fear the door, or it will bolt the lock to keep you out of the places God has prepared for you to go and do all that He has planned for you to do. Fear has no choice but to leave the premises when you stand on the promises of God and say, “You are not welcome here.”

What area of your life do you need to “show fear the door?”

Have a great, productive day all!! Your friends at Sisters’ Keeper! 

In Christ alone!!!

  
Life is so beautiful! Yes, there are peaks and valleys, losses and gains and often many hard knocks. These experiences may try to lead us down a path of worry and fear..but when we wrap it all up in Christ, we can win over worry and have perfect peace. 
Here are four common road blocks that can cause us to stumble and how we can kick them to the curb through the power of Christ in us!

The waiting game –

You may be praying for healing for yourself, a loved one or a relationship. Financial breakthrough may be long in coming. A business idea or a dream you have may not yet be fulfilled..and it’s been yearrrrrs. Or maybe you don’t think you are making sufficient progress in your Christian walk. 

Sometimes it feels as if nothing is happening but take heart..Christ is always working and He always finishes what he starts. He is the Alpha and Omega, He’s at the beginning and sees things through to the end so we need not worry when things seem to be at a standstill. We can lay hold of peace knowing that Christ in us began a good work and He will be faithful to complete it!

Lack –

Don’t look at what you don’t have in the natural..set your spiritual eyes on all that you have in Christ!!! 

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands John 3:35 

When we are in Christ we have all things because He has all things. We can have access to His all-sufficiency through prayer and relationship with Him. Let’s read His words daily and let them sink into our hearts..then ask according to His word and see great things happen!!!

John 15:7(NKJV) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Relationship difficultiesProv 16:7 The Message (MSG) When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Don’t you just love this promise? When we dwell in Christ and seek to do His will daily, God will make even our enemies live at peace with us. Many of us can testify to this!! God is a peace-maker. He can either change that spouse or difficult boss or relative..or change us, giving us such love for them that they are converted by our love. Christ in us is the one who at the height of His pain said ..”Father forgive them.” As we do His will, He will bring peace to our relationships!! 

Fear of the unknown –

Regardless of what our past experiences have been…when we are in Christ we can settle in ourselves that everything that comes our way is filtered through Christ first. We are completely hidden in Him and covered in His love, wisdom and power. While we physically live in this world, we dwell in Christ’s world! He holds, keeps and shields us!

Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

So let’s do a little word maths here?  Being in Christ = perfect love = no fear = perfect peace! 

Whether or not you’re a huge maths brain, that equation is one we can all definitely grasp!!!  So if you’re stuck in a pit of fear and worry we want to invite you to pursue these truth with us daily.

Let’s pray together: Lord I ask you to dwell in me so that all that you are and all that you have is mine! I want to dwell in your perfect love which casts out all fear. I want to win over worry and have your perfect peace so that others may see you in me and be changed, glorifying our Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

Click to enjoy this beautiful worship song In Christ Alone
Have a great week everyone!

By Carol-angel Jackson & Adrian Reid.

Times Of Refreshing

  
Yay!!!! Spring is here! The cold bitter winter is over! The snow has melted and flowers are in bloom again. Let newness SPRING forth!!!

During spring, everything is rejeuvenated and refreshed as the earth tilts closer to the sun, causing warmer temperatures, longer days, frozen rivers to flow and new plants to grow. While we don’t have this season in the Caribbean, during this time of the year we also notice temperatures rising as we approach the warmer summer months.

So how is this blurb on spring connected to our devo today? Where are we heading with this?

Recently there was a headline which caught my attention. A well known worship minister’s confession of sin which ultimately led to a failed marriage..and there have been other similar occurences of sin in the lives of brothers and sisters near and far.

So I heard someone ask.. “If God has forgiven us for our sins and wiped the slate clean, why do we still have to deal with the negative consequences?” Yet, others may say..”that person got off way too easy!!”

There is always a consequence for sin. Though we forgive our children when they do wrong we still discipline them so that they would learn from it.

Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

King David had found himself in a similar season of sadness, grief and painful discipline of his own making. He had turned away from God and to his own sinful desires, taking the wife of Uriah, covering it up and then murdering him. 

Though God forgave David’s sin, it did not go unpunished as he experienced trouble in his household and the death of his son with Bathsheba.

However, what was David’s response? After God sent the prophet Nathan to reveal to David his wrong. David repented. He still pleaded with God to be merciful and spare his son, but ultimately he accepted his wrongdoing and God’s punishment, refusing to be angry and rebellious against God. David turned his heart to God in repentance and worshipped. Read his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51.

While this is a powerful lesson for us to avoid sin at all costs. It is also a lesson to us that in times when we do sin and have fallen, while we have to bear the consequences of our sin, we must turn fully towards God, repent (change our thinking) and throw ourselves on His mercy and grace. God is merciful and sometimes may even soften the punishment. Whatever the consequence, He is waiting with open arms to restore and completely redeem us, bringing us into a season of newness and freshness in Him. 

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Let us remember this in our lives and as we deal with fallen brothers or sisters. While they may still have to deal with the consequences of their actions, let us pray, encourage and guide them as we have opportunity towards God’s mercy, grace and restoration. 

Yes, God will punish sin but he still loves us and is unswervingly commited to our success, eternal salvation and destiny in Him and we must be the same. Let us not secretly snicker or despise them but let us pray for repentance, conversion and restoration.

Isn’t it wonderful that the same God who made winter also made spring? He will rejeuvenate and restore us again when we turn our hearts towards Him?

Let’s pray: Father, help us to quickly repent when your Holy Spirit reveals to us our sins. Help us not to harden our hearts but to turn towards you so that you would refresh and restore us in your presence. Help us Lord to pray continually for our brothers and sisters who are in struggles with sin and temptation or dealing with its consequences and guide them with the same mercy and love you continually show us. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

By Carol-angel Jackson

 

Stop Doubting Your Value (Part Two)

 Luke 12:7

Happy Saturday! Hope you had a great week. Here’s the second part of this wonderful series by Gwen Smith of Girlfriends in God.

Friend to Friend
In part one of this devotion, we looked at the doubts and insecurities that cause us to question our significance and value. We also examined the Biblical truth that validates both. 

Today we’ll look to see what Jesus had to say about this topic and reflect on why this matters in the grand scheme of God’s purpose for your life.

When it comes to knowing the value God places on us, let’s turn to Jesus’s comments about sparrows. Do you know much about these little birds? They’re a dime a dozen. Highly common. Highly overlookable. The way many of us women might feel on any given day.

Look at what Jesus had to say in reference to both ordinary little sparrows (and you):

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6–7)

For context, Luke 12:1 tells us that Jesus was addressing “a crowd of many thousands” when He spoke of the value God sees in each person. Many thousands. The rich. The poor. The average. The misfits. The bland. The spicy. The employed. The unemployed. The talented. The crippled. The lonely. The well. The sick. The married. The widowed. The single. The stressed-out. The curious. The masses! This wasn’t just a pat on the back to encourage His besties! He was talking to the gamut of humanity. This is important because it makes the words He spoke that much more amazing.

Think about what He said! “You know those sparrows that are sold in the marketplace for next to nothing? Those overpopulated little flyers? My Father doesn’t forget even one of them! He remembers them all.”

You know what this means, don’t you?

He remembers and sees you too.

You. Have. Value.

You are not forgotten by God. He sees everything about you—even your screw-ups and failings and fears and doubts—and He finds value. I don’t love my children any more or less because of the way they dress or because of how well they can sing, throw a football, play chess, or pray publicly. God doesn’t love you and me any more or less because of what we can or cannot do, or because of how good or bad we are either. He loves us because we are His. Made in His image. Fashioned by His heart. Believe it. Even if your life wasn’t planned in the heart of your parents, it was planned in the heart of God. You are His, and He remembers you, by name.

You, me, and the stars. He knows us all by name: “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names” (Ps. 147:4 ESV).

God cares for and knows all about you. He knows how you like your coffee or tea. He knows your weaknesses and insecurities. He knows all of the things that make you unique, even if you’re an identical twin! He knows the things that make you tick, the quirky things, the things that cause you to beat yourself up, and the things that put a fire in your belly. And He knows how many hairs are on your head. Incredible!

And Jesus didn’t stop there. He looked those people eyeball to eyeball and told them, You … and you … and you … and you … and you … and you … are worth more than a whole mess of sparrows!

God really is that into you.

Because you are His. Handcrafted with divine devotion.

I can’t help but notice that before Jesus told the people how valuable they were to God, He said, “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 12:7). Don’t be afraid? Why would Jesus say that?

I wonder if it was because He knows that many of us are afraid that our lives don’t matter. We fear insignificance. We worry that our contributions are dumb, weak, and worthless. I wonder if it was because He sees beyond the prodigal to the potential, and He wants us to stop listening to those other voices and let Him—our Creator—tell us our value.

And I wonder if some of us might be afraid of God’s love. Afraid to be defined by His grace. Afraid to be refined by His holiness … to be set free, because those old chains that bind and hinder are our normal.

Jesus made it clear: In God’s eyes, you are of great value. You are loved, cherished, seen, and adored.

You are more than your health. You are more than your abilities. You are more than who other people say you are. You are more than your doubts and insecurities lead you to believe.

  • No one understands the insecurities of a woman like another woman. I’m with you in the battle, friend. I’ve wasted a fair amount of time searching for significance in the approval of others and of God. The secret to finding our significance is knowing God’s heart for us. Once we understand that we are significant to Him, we can move forward in the purpose He has for us—because every life has a purpose.

Let’s Pray
Lord, Thank You for always remembering me and for loving me for who I am and for where I am. Please help me accept this truth when I doubt my value. In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Stop doubting your value (Part 1)

  
This devotional is a repost from Gwen Smith of Girlfriends in God. Be encouraged by the way God loves you and know that you are His child and you are extremely valuable to Him. Enjoy and have a great week! 
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~

Friend to Friend
I may look confident and put together on the outside (when I’m not in my yoga pants and a ponytail) but on the inside I often wander back to that little girl who questions her value and wants to make a difference.
There are lots of ways this inner struggle presents itself in me …

I tether my value to how I look. 

I tether my value to how my jeans fit. 

I tether my value to how I perform. 

I want my husband and kids to love me perfectly,
even though they can’t. 

I want to love others perfectly, but I don’t, so I
 juggle guilt like a hot potato.

I get distracted and waste time, so I feel unproductive.

I want to make a difference, but I try to do too
 much.

The Bible showcases a perfection that I implement pathetically. Like that love chapter in 1 Corinthians that most of us had read at our weddings. Verses like “love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way” (13:4–5 ESV). Wait, what? Geez! The way I love doesn’t even come close to this list! And then the big left hook smacks me hard: “Love never fails” (v. 8). The magnitude of God’s perfect love is epic. The magnitude of my love is minuscule.

I try to be patient. I try to be kind. I try not to envy or boast. All of it. But my efforts are less than. I stub my toe on my ego all the time. I get edgy and loud. I insist on my own way. And then I beat myself up!
If I were a better mom, I would’ve ____.
If I were a better friend, I would_____.
If I were in better shape, then maybe _____.
If I were more talented, I would be able to _____.

And because I’m not content with my own body, my own behaviors, and my own abilities, I struggle to see how a perfect God can look past my brokenness. I know in my heart that He loves me, but I sometimes struggle to accept that He likes me, because sometimes I don’t even like myself.

These doubts and insecurities cause me to question my value and my ability to make a difference. They cause me to feel insignificant. Invisible and ineffective. Yet I know that the Bible says the opposite. And because of this, I’m reminded to, instead, tether my value to truths like these:

I was created in the image of God.
I am sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus loved me so much that He endured a horrific death so I could be saved.

These truths matter. And because they matter, they confirm to me that I matter. And they confirm that you matter too.

Don’t think for one little minute that I don’t sense you bristling up. It’s what we girls do when the spotlight of attention is shined on our significance. We shy away. Throw our hands up to shield the light. Contest with our best excuses…
Some of us contend, “I’m really nothing special. That word valuable makes me nervous. My life is less than. Average at best. Mac and cheese is my jam. I drive a minivan, wear ponytails, use off-brand detergent, and live paycheck to paycheck. Where is the value in that?”
Others of us contend, “I cannot believe you’re going to go there! Did you not read my bumper sticker and T-shirt? I am nothing. Jesus is everything. Hide me in the cross and stop trying to make me feel special. Slap! Slap! Slap! 

Shame on you for even bringing up such a topic of the flesh!”
Some of us acquiesce: “Okay. Let’s talk. I know in my mind that I’m precious to Jesus, but that often gets lost in translation on its way to my heart. Yes. Let’s have this conversation. I want everything God has for me, and I’m ready to move forward as a woman of greater impact.”
Wherever you find yourself in these responses, my prayer is that you will join our last friend with an expectant and curious heart. With a heart that is ready to move forward in the truth of your significance so that you can live out the purpose for which you were created.
I am going to leave it here today. Let you marinate in thought and prayer. In part two, we will go a bit deeper and see what Jesus has to say about all this.

Let’s Pray
Lord, Help me to accept that You are the One who defines my significance. Please sift through my thoughts, doubts, insecurities, and emotions that leave me feeling like less instead of more.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.