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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! 

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.

Rise up and work!

  
Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Mission Monday: 
Wow! Didn’t the weekend just fly?! As we enter a new week, let’s refresh and refocus our minds on what God’s mission and purpose is for us.

We all have different jobs and occupations. Some are in high powered corporate positions of responsibility, others may be students, housewives, janitors or in church ministry. Whatever it is and no matter how demanding it is, know that God has equipped you with all you need to fulfill that mission!

You may feel as if you are on track or you may feel as if you’ve been experiencing setbacks – workplace conflict, or unexpected projects or tasks; maybe you’re in the midst of a career or ministry change and it’s daunting; or perhaps dealing with a health challenge or an ailing spouse, parent or child. We all have difficulties and troubles that can slow us down and cause us to be too preoccupied with ourselves and the situation, causing us to lose focus on our deeper cause – to live out Christ’s purpose through the highs and lows of our lives.

Sometimes it may be as though certain things have died or are dying and it may be quite difficult to cope with changes in circumstances and relationships especially if they are sudden.  

Today for Mission Monday, I want to encourage you to rise up and work! Continue to do what God has called you to do even in the midst of seeming setbacks.

Remember Jesus..at 33 years old, at the height of His successful ministry He was crucified (killed)..at least that’s all it appeared to be. In reality however, so much more was taking place! God was performing His greatest work since creation..the redemption of the human race from the power of sin and death.  

Things may have to die..things in us, things or people we’ve relied on must go, circumstances and situations will have to change and sometimes God would call us..like Christ to live out this great plan of His..trusting Him alone. 

Sometimes it means that we have to review methods, certain attitudes, actions or strategies and make changes. Don’t resist God. It’s all about Him and for Him. He can see the end from the beginning. He knows what He’s doing. He’s saying to trust Him, make the changes where you can and don’t rely on your limited understanding of that situation. It is not all that it seems..God is working a greater work and you must view those circumstances and guard your heart in the light of His word.
Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Jesus wasn’t just crucified..He was buried in a dark lonely abysmal tomb. Yet by the power of the Holy Spirit, He rose up in 3 days..not immediately..but in 3 days and was glorified and seated at the highest place..above every principality and power. 
John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

A season may be 3 days, 3 months or 3 years. You may feel as if you’ve been hidden or buried in a dark place, grinding and sowing that seed for a while..as if things God spoke to you are not bearing fruit..but be patient. God will in time, in the time of His favor cause that hidden seed He’s planted to break forth from the ground and grow into a tree, with branches of healing for others (the nations) and evident fruit. 

Trust God! Trust God! Trust God and obey what He’s saying to you. 

Your greatest level of worship at this time or any time in your life, is your obedience to Him.
So as you go into this new week, be refreshed and refocused with new strength. Move forward with renewed faith! Draw from God (your greatest resource) all that you need to be godly (like Him) in your life and circumstances. 

You are not merely a “man” or a “woman”, in a position, you are a supernatural agent of God with access to His supernatural insight and power through the Holy Spirit. So go live out your God given purpose..do the works He has created for you to do in obedience and worship to Him.
Have a powerful, focused, God-filled week!

By Carol-angel Jackson

Inside Out

  

Hi Sisters..we apologize for the late post. It’s been a bit crazy lately. 😊

Recently I watched the movie “Inside Out” with my boys. It was truly entertaining to see how the writers/producers depicted what was happening in the mind of this little girl in the movie. It was really quite accurate! Sometimes our hearts and minds can be tied up in knots. Emotions of anger, fear and sadness swirl in us like a whirlwind, intermingling with each other and seeming to battle for dominance as joy tries to hold the fort. Good old Joy! I must say she definitely is my favourite character and I really do try to let her rule the roost every day. However for us humans living in this fallen world, sometimes people’s actions, circumstances, loss, life changes, sin and other challenges can really offset that joyful balance. None of us are immune to sadness, anger and fear.  

Yet while each feeling does have its place and can propel us to a place of action. We must ask God to direct our emotions and actions so that we avoid the sinful and negative outcomes of acting sinfully on our emotions.

Take for example – Eph 4:26 which says “Be angry and sin not”. Phil 4:6 – 7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

James 4:1-3 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

The bible is clear that emotions are real. David the psalmist struggled with loneliness and depression as he fled for his life and Job seemed to wrestle with all of them as he endured severe loss. Even Christ was described as a man of sorrows Is 53:3.

However these men came to a place where their eyes were lifted beyond their present circumstances..as they considered the faithfulness and sovereignity of God and they obeyed.
Many people use their feelings as an excuse for their actions. Anger, bitterness and hurt propel us towards unforgiveness which is the root of broken relationships and more severely, crime.

In the midst of Christ’s betrayal and rejection from men, He saw the will of God and was able to say “Father, forgive them.” None of us, regardless of who we are can be above this.  

So, I don’t know what emotion is struggling for dominance in you today, in this season of your life, what wrongs you have endured and how you may be handling the challenges you face. However, I do know that the Lord will guide you if you ask Him. 

He promises: 

Is 61:3 “ To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Ask Him to come on the inside of your heart, to give you His light and joy to be reflected outside.

By Carol-angel Jackson

Simplify your life and soar!

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Image credit: http://www.prosoaring.com

Luke 10:42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

I was talking with a friend recently who was telling me that sometimes she feels as if she’s caught up in a whirlwind. With a demanding job, a young family and ministry work all happening at the same time, it wasn’t difficult to understand why she felt that way. Don’t we all feel like that at times? Don’t I know it! I was like..”girl you’re preaching to the choir!”

In my own life, a few years back, the Lord had been speaking to me about simplifying my life..and He still is! I heard His voice and whispered “I don’t know how!”

You see, I love activity! There’s nothing like the feeling a new project brings..the thrill, the excitement of getting something off the ground..birthing something new. The truth is however that it’s the growth process that often sucks the wind out of us..and being one who hates to quit at anything, I would often find myself juggling many different balls..trying to keep them all in the air and make it all work.

So He began to do it for me..a business and other activities, including some ministry ones that had become somewhat difficult to balance..I had to leave them behind. As painful as it was, He kept reassuring me..”For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11. I faced the reality that it wasn’t about all the things that I wanted to be or felt the need to be..but who He wants me to be..this should be my focus.

He wants me to be like CHRIST!
Christ was a man on a mission..He said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish it!” That’s the power verse for a lot of us “over-doers” and “over-achievers” along with..”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” ..and we really do try to do “all things”.

The thing here is that Christ wasn’t on His own mission but on a mission which was the Father’s will, the Father’s mission. What a difference! So many times we are caught up in this whirlwind with everything just swirling around us when God is saying..”peace, be still” not just to the whirlwind..but to us!

Now sometimes God will take us into seasons of busyness but I’ve found His grace to be sufficient and there’s a peace and joy that accompanies His will and His mission. When God isn’t in it however, I’ve found myself stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and distant.

Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word whereas Martha was distracted with much serving.

I don’t know if this speaks to you today, maybe you are naturally more of a Mary rather than a Martha..I know I am more familiar with Martha, she and I are best friends..if you get my drift! But at different points in our lives, God calls us to take a moment, step back, reset our priorities, listen to His voice and follow.

I have had to be brought to that point where a spiritual as well as practical refocusing was needed. I can tell you that the clarity, peace and joy that follows makes it all worth it. It’s like that hot air balloon..as we throw out the extra sandbags we become lighter, less encumbered and can soar to greater heights!

Prayer: Father open my ears to your still small voice. Give me a heart of obedience to pursue your will only. Lead me to the cross of Christ where I deny myself, pick up His cross..not my own, follow you and soar!

Do you also struggle with this? How has God helped you in your journey to simplify your life? Leave a comment and share with us.

Love and blessings!

By Carol-angel Jackson