Monday, May 24, 2010


Sometimes we wonder, “Is it worth it? Is all the hassle and stress and junk you put up with and go through at work really worth it?” Even your work within the church can raise questions like that. You may wonder, “Am I really making a difference”?

There are 2 things we must do to give value to our work. We must “work with purpose” and “work with people.”


• Make it your priority to serve God.

Eph 6:7-8 (NLT) Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.
Though you may work under the supervision of others, in reality you’re working under the supervision of the Lord. When we have that mindset, then it raises the worth of our work to a high level. We’re actually serving God. And He is making preparation to pay us when we get to Heaven.

• Do your work for God’s glory.

1 Cor. 10:31-32 (NIV) So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble.
The purpose of all ministries and all work is the glory of God. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. That even includes mundane household chores and repairs. I have to continually remind myself that I’m glorifying God with each task.

You’ve got to be able to get along with people and work with them in order to give value to your work and bring glory to God.

To work with people we’ve got to realize…

• God uses all kinds of people.

It may amaze you that God is able to use certain people, but He does, and we must accept that fact.

• Leaders must set the example.

Neh. 3:1 (NIV) Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate.
This verse tells us that the “high priest” got involved in the work to rebuild the walls and gates around the city of Jerusalem. He set the pace. He considered the work on the wall to be a ministry to the Lord. Leaders don’t stand by and tell others what to do and how to do it; they get involved in the work. The speed of the team is the speed of the leader.

• Some people will not work.

There will be some people in the church who will just not get involved in the Lord’s work. Ultimately it’s their loss, but we must accept that as reality.

• Some people do more work than others.

When Nehemiah and the people worked on the walls around the city, some of the workers completed their assigned task and then asked for additional assignments. There are some people in the church who do more work than others. And my hat is off to them. I thank the Lord for them.

• Some people work harder than others.

A man named Baruch worked harder than others on his section of the wall.
Neh. 3:20 (NIV) Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section.
Eccl. 9:10 (NIV) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

This is our chance. Let’s work for God’s glory with all our might, with all our energy. Each of us has a place to fill, a job to do. 1 Cor. 15:58 says, Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless. (GW)
It’s time to put your foot on the “accelerator” and give it the gas. It’s time to “excel”. All the hard work you do for the Lord is all worth it, and you’ll get your reward from Him one day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Jesus said…
Mark 9:23 "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Matt. 17:20 “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

What’s the status of your faith? What evidence of faith does your life reveal? Faith is something you exercise, something you do, something you express.

Our faith is expressed when we do these 4 things:

Heb. 6:12 Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Psa. 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Real faith in the Lord brings a calmness to your heart that keeps you from rushing about and trying to do in your own strength what only God can do.

When Nehemiah approached the king of Persia to request that he go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and gates, he was taking a risk. He recorded in Neh. 2:4, “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven.”

When we’re faced with a sudden decision or a question, the first thing we need to do is send a quick prayer to the Lord. Don’t answer without doing that. And back up your quick prayers with the praying you’ve already done. Then you’re already in line for the answer because you’ve spent a lot of time already praying about it. Nehemiah’s quick prayer was backed up by 4 months of fasting and praying.

Taking “faith risks” isn’t about jumping off a cliff and simply going for it; it involves planning. Not only had Nehemiah prayed for this opportunity to talk to the king; he had planned for it and had an answer ready. During his 4 months of waiting he had thought the matter through and knew exactly how he would approach the project.

Taking a risk of faith means you do your homework. Then don’t fear being obedient to the Lord.

1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.

God is sovereign over the dealings of nations and people. We can ask God according to His purpose, according to His will, according to what He wants done as described for us in the Bible, and then we can trust Him that He will do it. And then we must act accordingly.

Jesus said in Matt. 10:16 (Mes) "Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don't call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.”

As you commit yourself wholeheartedly to work at the task God has given you, you can expect the enemy to show up. The devil will try all kinds of things to stop you and distract you and make it easy for you to not follow through with commitment. Your faith will challenge the enemy.

Your faith will challenge others’ complacency and negativity. Some will say, “We like things the way they are. Don’t change anything.” Others will say, “We’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.” True faith will challenge complacency and negativity.

Your faith will challenge others to get on board. Nehemiah said the hand of God was upon him as the leader, and the followers began the work.

Your faith will draw ridicule from others. Just as soon as you step out in faith to do God’s work, to follow His will, the enemy will show up and try to discourage you. Everyone who has ever accomplished anything has faced ridicule. Jesus faced it. The Christians faced it in the book of Acts. Festus told Paul he was crazy (Acts 26:24).

To grow in our faith we must ask ourselves these questions:
- Am I willing to sacrifice my will to see God’s will accomplished?
- Am I patient in gathering the facts and planning my work for the Lord?
- Do I cling to the past, or do I desire to see God do something new?
- Am I cooperating in any way with the enemy and thus weakening God’s work?

Anyone can go through life as a “destroyer”; God has called His people to be “builders.”
Be a “faith builder”. Grow your faith and help others to grow in their faith.

Monday, May 10, 2010


If you’re going move forward in life after you’ve been hurt, or experienced failure, or had your heart broken, you’ve got to “care.” It’s takes an “attitude of caring”


God put Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and Esther in Persia – all according to the purpose He had for them. God always prepares His workers and puts them in the right place at the right time to accomplish a purpose He wants done.

• You are in the right place at the right time for God to work His purpose through your life.
God is using your circumstances, the good, the bad, everything to place you where you are so that you will fulfill the purpose He has for you. Look for the Holy Spirit’s direction. Keep your spiritual ears open and listening, and keep your spiritual eyes open and looking.

We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever. 2 Cor. 4:18 (NCV)

• Learn all you can about God’s purpose for you.
Ask questions. Research. Learn what your gift mix is and how God has shaped you to serve. Grasp the 5 core values of community, spiritual growth, ministry to others, bringing unchurched people to Christ, and worship. Make these values your personal values. And apply them to your purpose with your gift mix.


Nehemiah said, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Neh. 1:4

God is in the business of “rescuing” people’s souls. And He’s counting on you to be on His “rescue team.” We need to feel what God feels, see what He sees, hear what He hears. What’s on God’s mind? People, their salvation. And that’s what needs to be on our minds. Their eternities are on the line. And you and I can do something about it.

• Get on your mind what’s on God’s mind – the salvation of people.
The more you spend time with God the more you’ll think what He thinks and the more you feel what He feels.


Define God’s purpose for your life and then feel what He feels about it, praying for God’s blessing and then get to work on it.

• Get God’s purpose in your head, pray it into your heart, and make a plan to start.


Nehemiah prayed, “O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” Neh. 1:11

For God’s will to be done He needs people to be available to Him. When God answers prayer He begins working in the one praying. The reality of it is that He works in us and through us to help us see our prayers answered.

Nehemiah knew he would be taking a risk to approach the king with the matter of going to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. It could mean life or death. What if the king happened to be in a bad mood? It was a test of faith for Nehemiah just to talk to the king. But He trusted in God’s greatness to get him through whatever.

God continues to look for people who care – people who care enough to ask about God’s purpose for them, who are moved by that purpose, who pray earnestly for God’s help, and then make themselves available for God to use to get the job done.

• Are you willing to say, “Here I am God – use me?”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Leaders get blamed for things they didn’t do and criticized for things they tried to do. They get misquoted and misunderstood and rarely given the opportunity to set the record straight. If they act quickly, they’re reckless. If they bide their time, they’re unconcerned or cowards.

We battle a diabolical Enemy who is a “master deceiver” and a “murderer.”
2 Cor. 11:3 (NLT) But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan comes as a “snake” who deceives or as a “lion” who devours. This is why we must be ever alert and spiritually equipped to oppose him. Satan wants to intimidate you and strike fear into your heart and defeat you.

Sanballat and his group focused their attacks on Nehemiah when he and the people had completed the building of the walls and the gates around Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s enemies tried to intimidate him, discredit him, immobilize him, and eliminate him by using 4 strategies.


Nehemiah’s enemies wanted to meet him in a village “halfway” between Jerusalem and Samaria and figure out how to “work together”. We must take care that we cooperate with the “right people” at the “right time” for the “right purpose”; otherwise we may end up cooperating with the enemy.

Nehemiah’s enemies sent him an open letter and accused him of treason. Sanballat wanted the public to know the contents of the letter because he wanted to undermine Nehemiah’s reputation and leadership. In our day, sad to say, email is used to create disagreement and division and hurt.

Nehemiah was threatened but he let it be known that he was not about to run away in the face of danger. Satan will used threats to try to trap you. Prov. 29:25 says, Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the LORD means safety. (NLT)

Hidden Schemes
Some of Nehemiah’s own workers secretly cooperated with the enemy. People sometimes get out of touch with what’s real. They lose sight of God’s big plan and the purpose He has for them and instead start believing in something else that is actually contrary to God’s purpose. And they flatter themselves with their faulty thinking.


1. Beware that the enemy wants to destroy.
Jesus said in John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

2. Be convinced of the greatness of God’s work.
God has given us is the greatest work in the world. 1 Cor. 15:58 (NIV) Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 (NLT) I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

3. Keep your boundaries healthy.
With some people you love them but don’t like them. You forgive them but don’t trust them. You pray for them but don’t cooperate with them. You speak to them but keep your distance. Rom. 16:17 (Mes) says, Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. There is a time for “limited fellowship” when a person is not a “safe person.” It’s a form of church discipline.

4. Simply deny the untruth.

5. Pray for God’s strength.

6. Get back to work.
Remember your purpose. And remember the devil is trying to distract you and detour you from accomplishing the work God has for you.

7. Take care of your character and God will take care of your reputation.

8. Be courageous.

9. Test it against the Scripture.

10. Trust in God’s promise.
Phil. 1:6 (NCV) God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

Our work is far from done. 50% of the community in which you live is unchurched. This is our opportunity, our time, our assignment – to go get them and bring them to Christ.