Monday, February 24, 2014


Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men—knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 Ph).

You will not find anywhere in the Bible where it says that all Christians are to withdraw from participation in everyday life and work.  On the contrary, your work is essential to your spiritual life.  Jesus called a few fishermen to leave their trade, but it was a special call for a specific few, limited to Jesus’ ministry on earth.  Many others became followers of Jesus while continuing their work as soldiers, tent makers, tradesmen, salesmen, retailers, etc… 

Christ coming on the scene as a human being, with all the physical needs, skills, and temptations we all share tells us that the church is not about calling the material world evil and then assuming God is not engaged in our interaction with the material world.  Money is not evil in itself.  However, the “love of money” is the source of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). 

The danger for us is that we may separate our material temporal living on earth from our spiritual living.  We may place our material part of life in the category of nonspiritual.  Consequently you may value the work you do in the world, but you don’t see a spiritual dimension in that work.  A Christian may go to church on Sunday to be spiritual, but the rest of the week he goes to work in the world and mostly shelves his spirituality. 

Yet when God came to earth as Christ Jesus, He joined divinity and humanity, and He worked in time and space.  He continues to work in our times and spaces.  Therefore to be a follower of Jesus you cannot ignore any part of your time-bound, material existence – certainly not your work – as being nonspiritual.  Theologian Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, Who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” 

Your work, your job, your occupation belongs to God and is valued by Him, and He is with you in it.  Your work is no less spiritual because it deals with the material world.  It’s good and of the Lord not just because it’s a way to be provided for, but also because it’s a place of service to others, it’s a place where we encounter the sinfulness of humanity such that it points us to God’s salvation and strength, it’s a mission field to lead others to Christ, and it motivates us to learn to trust God and to follow His ways. 

God doesn’t work in a vacuum.  He works through you.  He works through your work.  He serves others through your work.  He influences others toward Christ through your work.  He shows His grace to others through your work.  He brings glory to Himself through your work.  You are appointed and planted in your work in the world to connect people with God.  Your work is an honorable calling.

Monday, February 17, 2014


And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17 (NLT)

In our society we may wonder if we share in the suffering of Christ.  After all in our community I don’t know of anyone who is imprisoned for the cause of Christ and being tortured for Him.  So what does it mean that we Christ-followers share in the suffering of Christ?  The truth is that all followers of Christ share in His suffering.  What it means is that we accept the disgrace and the humility of the crucified life for Christ’s sake.  He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

What the Lord produces in our lives and what we are taught in the Scripture runs headlong into the ways of the world around us, and the world pushes back.  This is Christ-like suffering.   Sharing in the suffering of Christ hurts but it also makes us more like Him, and it affirms that we are heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ, and we will share His glory one day.

Monday, February 10, 2014


If you’ve been watching the Olympics you’ve seen the beauty of grace in motion.  You’ve seen the art of timing, balance, precision, strategy, and focus.  Not only have we seen strength of will and determination to the point of exhaustion, but we’ve also seen a form of art in the expression of the athletes through their performance, whether in the snow or on the ice.  What they do and do so well is an art.

If we take another perspective of art from the view of a Christ-follower, our understanding of art involves a recognition that art says and does things. Art has always been a part of our history as followers of the Lord.  It has played an important part in the Christian experience.  Lauren Winner, noted author and professor at Duke Divinity School, says, “Art had a purpose.  It taught children to love the Bible.  It schooled viewers in theological stories.  It directed Sunday worshiper’s attention heavenward.” 

The Torahs from which Jews chant in synagogue are written in elaborate, precise calligraphy.  That calligraphy is not merely senselessly beautiful.  The rabbis teach that the calligraphy itself contains meaning, that if only we knew how to read them, the crowns and swirls and flourishes on the calligraphed letters have something to tell us about God. 

Art expresses something and for those who are Christians it is to say something about the Lord God.  As a matter of fact all of our ways of expression should in some way point to God.  We express ourselves through our work, speech, sports, art, body language, music, writing, drama, painting, motion, and relationships.  God says in Proverbs 3:6, In all your ways acknowledge Him, (NAS).  And then in 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whatever you do … everything should be done to bring glory to God (Ph).  Consider how you will express the grace and truth of God this week.  Whether it’s through an art form or simply in your everyday living and interaction with others, purpose to say and do that which praises God.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should (Psa. 90:12 TLB).  Stop waiting to live and start living intentionally. 

If you wait for all the conditions to be just right before you start living for Jesus, you’ll never start.  If you wait until everything is in perfect order before you pursue your purpose in life, you’ll never begin.  This world is full of troubles and disappointments.  The wind will blow at times.  The clouds will overshadow you sometimes.  And the rain will sometimes pour.  But that doesn’t mean you stop following God’s purpose for our life.  The Bible says, If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done (Eccl. 11:4 TLB). 

We have God’s presence and promiseWhatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am (Phil. 4:13 Mes).  So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit (Gal. 6:9 Mes).