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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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New Year; Same God

Heb13

Hebrew 13:8 (KJV) http://biblia.com/verseoftheday/image/Heb13.8

Yesterday was Thursday. Today is Friday. As it was last week  and the weeks prior. The great difference being that today, Friday, marks the start of a new calendar year.

And while January first brings with it no magical powers to transform all things, it does bring with it something very important: HOPE.

Hope that things will change, will get better, can be re-built.  That the start of something new means that we can move past and forget the old.

We know a God that exists outside of time and in eternity.  Who, year in and year out, is faithful, dependable, unmovable, consistent; His word, nature and character do not change and it is in Him that we place our hope.

This is why:

  • Psa 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
    My flesh also will rest in hope
  •  Psa 31:24  Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord
  • Psa 39:7  And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
  • Psa 42:11  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope  in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Similar verses litter the bible; all pointing to the same fact. That there is only one focus for that which we hope: The Almighty God.

Let 2016 bring us to a sense of renewed hope where ours may have waned because of trials faced in the past and prayers unanswered; may we look forward knowing that each day means fulfillment of purpose in Him and that is what keeps us pressing onward; may we know that He is a keeper of promises and that His timing is never wrong; may we encourage and exhort each other in the Lord and with His because that is the only accurate measure; may we stand for Him as He stands for us to walk in and be obedient to His call.

Be strong in the Lord ladies.

Remember our lives are HIs.

by Marisse Cropper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus under pressure – Our example

christ-crucified

Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

Life has many challenges. While challenges make us grow, sometimes the pressure of those challenges can make us feel like we will explode. Let’s look at how our Savior, Jesus Christ, handled pressure and follow His example by applying these principles to whatever we may be facing.

 

1. Jesus did not use earthly tools, He prayed.
e.g. John 18:10 – When the soldiers wanted to take Jesus, Simon drew His sword (earthly weapon). Luke 22:44 – when Jesus was in agony He prayed..”Being in agony He prayed more earnestly.”

Why pray?
a. Prayer brings with it strength from heaven (an angel came and strengthened Jesus in His time of need).
b. Prayer brings with it the very presence of the all-powerful God (The three Hebrew boys in the furnace had the presence of the Son of God (Christ) with them in their time of extreme pressure).

Personalize it: What is your method? How do you react under pressure? Earthly weapons/solutions or prayer? e.g. Do you talk to everyone about a situation and gossip rather than praying? Proverbs 10:19 –“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise”.

2. Jesus resisted temptation.
Temptation lurks when the pressure is on – Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

We ‘react’ when we are under pressure and may say or do the wrong things e.g. Matt 26: 73-74 – Peter lied, denying knowing Christ when put under pressure. The pressure of potentially being arrested, charged and killed was too great for him to handle. Luke 22: 48-50 – The disciples asked, “Lord should we strike with the sword?” They had no sense of the hour that they were in. Christ’s response was very composed/cool/collected – ‘Permit even this’.

What are some of the temptations we face under pressure?
i. To react in anger and sin e.g. giving someone a good piece of your mind (Bible cautions us to be angry and sin not).
ii. To forget about Christ/God and take matters into our own hands especially if we believe that God is not acting fast enough or doing what we think he should do.
iii. To deny Christ – how do we do that? We can be ashamed to identify with him in suffering as Peter did. Enduring suffering for Christ is not something that comes automatically to us so we might try to ease our way out of it (Mark 14:50 says that they (disciples) all forsook him and fled). We flee suffering and deny Christ sometimes by throwing away our faith in God- There are people that leave the faith when they are under pressure – I have a friend whose mother was ill with cancer for years and after her prayers for healing were not answered in the way she expected, she left the faith – denied Christ.

The GREAT temptation when under pressure is to deny Christ, to abandon God ESPECIALLY when He seems silent. God was silent through Christ’s trial of crucifixion – He had no representation in the form of a host of angels (as they were when they announced Christ’s birth); no forefathers (Moses, Elijah like at Mount of Transfiguration); no voice appearing from heaven (like when Christ was baptized)…absolute silence. Under pressure, we have to learn to trust God ‘even when we can’t trace him’ – when he seems to have left us alone and there is silence.

I pray this was an encouragement to you. We will continue next week with the last two points. Have a great weekend everyone!

By Robertha Reid

God’s got you!



Ps 23 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

I don’t know what you’ve been going through, or what you’ve gone through. I don’t know what your day today was like..but at the the end of it all..whatever has happened…Sister, God’s got you! 

Read Ps 23…read it again! Read it quietly, read it out loud! Isn’t it wonderful? Can you see how much your Father is doing for you?

– He’s leading you..in paths of righteousness and besides still waters! So though sometimes it feels like it..You’re Not Lost! He knows the plans He has for you and he’s taking you there. Be patient! Trust His wisdom!  There’s a godly solution to your challenges whether professional or personal.

– His goodness and mercy..they are following you everyday! Some people say “bad luck keeps following me!” Or “Today’s going to be a bad day!” Well, God’s goodness and mercy are covering your back. He’s got you hemmed in at the front AND the back! God’s got you!

– He’s comforting and providing for you in abundance..even among your enemies…and He’s protecting you in the rough and dark places of your journey.

– When you’re tired, weary and feel like you don’t have what it takes..He’s there..restoring and anointing you, equipping you for a life of godliness for whatever task! 

The best thing ever is, His presence will never leave you! 

So let me remind you..God’s got you!  He’s working everything for your good. You can enjoy His peace now! Meditate on His words..the words of this psalm, lay back and rest in Him.

By Carol-angel Jackson

The “Obvious” Solution

solutionIn 2 Sam 5,  David had been anointed king over Israel. The Philistines hearing of this, come down to stand against David and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim (Valley of the Giants / Old Tribe of Giants). David’s old foe had once again returned at a time when there was breakthrough. The enemy that had been defeated in his youth, was making its presence felt again. At a time when he was finally standing in the place for which God had anointed him many years prior.

This time though, the situation would not have been quelled by a sling and a stone (a previous solution). This time, he had the armies of Israel at his command and as always, the Lord to direct him.

David asks for direction: 2 Sam 5:19  So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 

And the result : 2 Sam 5:20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim

Once again though, those pesky Philistines (your situation) would not go away. They came again to camp in the valley of Rephaim.

At this point, David could have said, “Ok army; Let’s go defeat them again.” The situation looked the same. Don’t assume the solution will be the same.

Again David asks for direction: 2 Sam 5: 23 -24 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”

Totally different strategy!!  The outcome even looked different this time : 2 Sam 5:25  And David did so, as the LORD commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.

Who knows what can be accomplished when we don’t do what seems best to us and seek the Lord? Even if what seems best, is what worked before or what worked for someone else in a similar situation. It might even seem to be the most logical thing to do but ….

God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are much higher than ours. 

Don’t tackle it, get frustrated, then go to God.

Take the time to ask how to proceed and….wait for the answer.

Remember Gideon defeated an entire army with only 300 men. Not the obvious solution but God’s strategy!!

 

Have a blessed, enjoyable and restful weekend.

 

by Marisse Cropper