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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

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

 

Jesus under pressure – Part 2

  
Happy Saturday Sisters!! 

Are you feeling like the walls are closing in on you? Maybe you have pressure on all sides or just one side in particular. Maybe you’ve been crying out to God for relief but He’s left you in the situation. Could it be that God has bigger and better things in mind, that He’s seeking to work out a greater purpose in you..to make you more like His Son?

If you’ve said “Amen!!” to all of this, then this week’s blog is just for you. What was Jesus like under pressure? Read on to find out!! But before you do, click here to review Part 1 of this wonderful, helpful teaching.

Jesus Under Pressure – Part 2

– Jesus did not defend himself in the flesh, but allowed God to be His vindicator. Luke 23: 9 – Then he (Herod) questioned him with many words but he answered him nothing. Christ did not allow his accusers to provoke him to respond in the flesh.

– He was not easily provoked because love (who is Christ) is not easily provoked. 1 Corinthians 13:5 Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Jesus operated in love.

– Christ’s trial presented 2 types of men 1. those who didn’t see anything wrong with Him and that He had done anything deserving of death (Pilate & Herod) and 2. the crowd who wanted to crucify him.

However, neither group affected Him. He didn’t care how he looked to men. He didn’t ride on the support received from Pilate and Herod, neither did He respond to the crowd’s aggression. His heart was so bent on pleasing the Father, that only the Father’s opinion mattered. Instead, He commited himself to God saying – (Luke 23:46) Into your hands I commit my Spirit – just before he breathed his last.

What lessons are there for us? 

– Stay on your cross!! Die to yourself!! Submit to the Father’s will for your life!!

– Be careful not to think that only telling off people is a sign that we are acting rudely or being provoked. Sharp answers or shutting off are just as wrong. Sometimes silence is what is needed and at other times silence becomes a weapon. We have to be honest and discern our own motives, asking God to show us.

– Our flesh desires to look good in front of men. So we often feel a need to prove our own innocence and clear our name; we feel that we need to defend ourselves. Sometimes we have to allow God to vindicate us. In these times He would ask us to trust Him and not seek to prove ourselves right but leave the matter to Him.

In the height of the pressure, Jesus had a prayer- “Father forgive them” – that was the Father’s objective – forgiveness..and Christ remained focus on that until the very end.

If like Christ, we commit to God, the focus is not on ourselves and how we feel emotionally or physically, the focus is on what God wants to achieve. 

When you are under pressure, ask God what he wants to achieve in you. When He reveals it to you, with His help, make Him and what He’s revealed to you the focus. It will help you to endure the pressure and hardship knowing that God is working out His greater purpose in you.

Praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness and know that all things are working out for good.

By Robertha Reid 

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

Through thick and thin!

  

 

I was recently having a conversation with my 11-year old about the importance of being selective with friendships..”It’s good to be personable and friendly..but be careful with who you walk with in life because not everyone is to be your friend.. many people have been led astray through the friendships they kept”, I cautioned him.

Through the years I must say, I have been blessed with true and enduring friendships near and far. I am thankful for these peeps..they keep me joyful, motivated, informed and encouraged and when we are together, we have such good times..laughs, great food and interesting and lively conversations. 

So yes..friendships are very important and we should choose to move with those who are looking to go in the same direction we are! 

Nevertheless, there is a true and faithful friend with whom none can compare and His name is Jesus. 

I want to encourage you to develop that close relationship with Him so that through the good times and bad, through thick and thin, when no one else may be able to see, understand or feel where you’re at..you can know for certain that He’s the one who knows exactly what you need. 

You cannot expect people to always “get you” because they may not truly know you..or you them..but God says: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and set you apart..” Jer 1:5..and this is to every one of us He created. What an amazing Father, Creator, Savior and friend! He didn’t just make us and leave us here..He constantly seeks relationship and intimacy with us. With him..there’s no need to try to “fit in” or make compromises in order to feel accepted or to “be popular”.  

So..we shouldn’t walk alone. Life is sooooo much better when you have others with you. Seek to cultivate enduring and mutually uplifting relationships but also be content to live a solitary life at times..because you are never alone if you have Christ. 

Don’t neglect this one, true, enduring friend while trying to build other friendships. Don’t spend so much time with social media and on the phone, at the expense of knowing the One (and only one) who laid down His own life for you. 

He says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love..” Jer 31:3

Get to know and trust Him more deeply than any other and your life and soul will be blessed and richer for it..both now and for eternity!

Bless you! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

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

God Can Resurrect Your Marriage Part 2

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“So I prophesied as he [God] commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army” (Ezekiel 37:10 NIV).

Hey Sisters, here’s the second part of the post by Sharon Jaynes at Girlfriends in God. May it encourage you as you read. Do enjoy!

Friend to Friend

I can hardly wait for you to read the rest of the story from my last devotion. If you missed it, please go back and read it first. Here’s where we left off…Don and Jona were divorced.

Now friends, the next part of the story is what Dr. Phil did not tell you. God began working on Jona’s heart. She didn’t change because of a self-help book or a ten-step program, but because of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Do you want to know what really happened? Do you want to know what Dr. Phil did not tell his viewers when Jona and Don went on his program talking about “life change”? Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading.

God took Jona to a place of repentance and began to soften, remold and remake her very heart. That’s what God does. He doesn’t try to cover up our flaws; He starts from scratch and makes us new. While the divorce was final, God was only just beginning to work on Jona’s heart.

“God took me to a place of repentance,” Jona explained. “For the first time, through a support group, I saw clearly what I had done to destroy my marriage. I had always blamed our problems on Don changing jobs so often, but the real problem was my lack of respect for the God appointed leader of my home. I was the real problem and Don simply couldn’t take it anymore. I had rejected Don with my words, my appearance, and my withdrawal of physical touch.”

Whether or not God could salvage the marriage, Jona made a commitment that she would allow God to salvage her. She immersed herself in Bible study, prayer, and getting healthy.

“I began to understand what God’s Word said about the relationship between a husband and wife. I was not Don’s Holy Spirit. I was not the leader of my home. God had called me to respect Don as the leader, to honor him as a child of God, and to love him with my all. One day when Don came to pick up our two boys, I shared with him what I had been learning.”

“That’s fine,” he told me. “But you need to know I’m moving on with my life.”

“You can move on,” I said. “But I’m staying right here.”

Jona continued to encourage Don and give him her BEST—bless, edify, share and touch.

Some people told him she was trying to trick him and that he should ignore her. But it wasn’t a trick; it was a miracle.

“God had changed my heart” she said, “and I was committed—no matter what happened between us in the future—to never go back to being that bitter woman I had been before.”

Don was confused at times and a bit leery of the change. “Why do you think I’m wonderful, all of a sudden?” he asked her.

“Because now I see you through God’s eyes,” she explained. “I see that you are a wonderful man.”

Don fell in love with Jona all over again. God has given them a second chance. They were remarried eighteen months after their divorce was final. Oh how I love God! He is the God of second chances.

Dear friends, Jona has so graciously allowed me to tell you her story because she has decided that she will do anything to help one woman not make the same mistakes she has made. She cried and cried all through the recounting of the story, and relived the pain…for you. “God allowed me to go to a terrible place,” Jona explained. “My prayer is that others will not have to go to that place before they wake up and realize what they are doing to their men.”

And that…is what Dr. Phil did not tell you.

Let’s Pray

For Married GiGs

Dear Lord, help me be the woman my husband needs for me to be. Help me to stop concentrating on his faults and failures, but start looking at my own. Show me. Teach me. Empower me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

For Single GiGs

Dear Lord, help me be a woman who is committed to building other up and not tearing others down, to speaking words of encouragement and not words of discouragement, and see each person as creation fashioned in Your image.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.