In honor of celebrating Labor Day here in the United States today, let’s chat about work!
Work can be very satisfying, very fulfilling. But, work does involve people, and as they say -- people can be people! If you’ve been employed anywhere for any length of time, chances are you’ve encountered a boss who wasn’t your favorite person to work for -- or a coworker who wasn’t your favorite person to work with.
How was that experience for you? Did you find yourself getting frustrated, saying things maybe you shouldn’t have, talking about them to others...or maybe even quitting that job? While you can’t change other people, you can change your perspective...and often times, perspective is everything.
>>My encouragement to you today is to remember who's boss!
Meaning, remember who you really work for -- the Lord! Keeping that in perspective is truly a game changer. In the Bible we see this encouragement: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).
As a Christ-follower, let this Scripture become the attitude of your heart in the workplace. When you look at your work as something the Lord has you doing -- in a place the Lord has you stationed at for now, and working for a boss the Lord has put in leadership over you for now -- it helps you keep your heart in the right place at your job.
With this heart attitude, you can extend grace and patience to your boss, coworkers and customers. You can go the extra mile at work, when no one is looking, because you know God sees and records your faithfulness. Beyond that, I encourage you to pray for your boss. Pray for your coworkers. And perhaps most of all, pray that the Lord will do a great work in and through you -- so you may have joy in your work, and so that His love will shine through you to everyone you encounter!
Say This: “Father, thank You for my job. Thank You that Your favor surrounds me and I have opportunities to grow and thrive at work. Lord, I pray for my boss, my coworkers and my customers. I ask that You help them prosper in every way. And Lord, I ask that You help me keep the right heart attitude at work and have Your light shining through me to everyone around! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Relationships
In honor of celebrating Labor Day here in the United States today, let’s chat about work!
When someone knows their time left on earth is short, they choose their final words with great care...they make sure the words are meaningful and intentional, they say something that matters. I often think of that in terms of what Jesus said to His followers, shortly before He paid the ultimate price on the cross and then ascended to heaven on that glorious day. Let’s take a look at the words He chose in that very important time.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV).
Here, Jesus was instructing us to make disciples...to tell the world...to share the Good News with others so they come to know Christ too! Let’s not let telling others about Jesus just become a “side” thing or a “maybe someday if I have time” thing...it’s absolutely essential, and there are many people in your life who need to hear about Him!
>>This is so important that Jesus used some of His precious final moments on earth to instruct us in this!
So, how do we make disciples? Many ways! We live by example, continuing to grow in our knowledge and application of the Word so that others can catch the spirit of faith from our lives. We make the choice to stay others-minded, asking God to use us to help others each day. And -- this is hugely important! -- we share our story with others. We talk to others about how Jesus has changed our lives. Not in an over-bearing, judgmental or weird way...just honestly and sincerely, as a way to encourage others in their faith.
Some may think that making disciples or sharing our faith with others is scary or overwhelming. If that’s you, let me encourage you with this...keep saturating your heart and life with the Word of God. That’s the secret to being an effective disciple-maker!
Because...when you are so full of the Word and of experiencing the Word at work in your life...you can’t help but share it with others. It just comes out of you when people press into you, so-to-speak!
Friends, be encouraged today to keep investing your lives into things of eternal value. Share with others the great gift you’ve received -- Jesus Christ -- so that their lives can be forever changed too!
Who do you know that needs the Lord in their lives? Who’s showing signs of interest? Hunger for something real? Why not take a step of faith and follow Jesus’ instructions to “go ye” and have a chat with your friend about the Lord. You can start up a conversation by asking them a question or getting their feedback. Maybe a question like, “What do you think about eternity?” “Do you know for sure where you will go when you die?” “Would you like to know for sure that you’ll spend eternity in heaven?” “Would you be open to watching a video about how to get to heaven?” “How would you like to take an online course to learn the basics of the Bible?” Etc. Just ask the question and see how they respond. The Lord will guide you in the rest of the conversation.
Jesus thought it was important enough to instruct us in this before He left earth...so let’s take heed to His call to action and make the most of our time. You can do this!!
Say This: “Father, thank You for Jesus’ instruction to me...I want to help make disciples and help others receive the same gift I’ve received which is Christ Jesus. Lord, help me to saturate my life with Your Word and let that be what naturally and sincerely spreads to all those around me, as I live the life You’ve called me to live. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
We are in a selfie culture, aren’t we? When we scroll through our Instagram and Facebook feeds, we see lots of selfies from friends, family, coworkers, inspirational people, fitness gurus and folks from all age groups. Now, I’ve got nothing against a great selfie...although you gotta get it from the right angle (who’s with me there?)!
But...the challenge for all of us in this selfie culture is to not let our photography trend bleed over into our everyday communications with others. If we’re constantly making ourselves the center of every conversation, or inserting our own stories over the ones others are trying to tell, then we’ve carried the selfie mindset into the broader scope of our lives...and that’s not going to help our relationships!
In Philippians, Paul made the observation of how much self focus, rather than others focus, was noticeable even in those times. We can read about it in Philippians 2:19-21: “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
>>So, what can you do to stand out in this selfie-obsessed culture? Here’s the secret…
Take a genuine interest in others! Dale Carnegie said it so well: “To be interesting, be interested.” Simple -- even basic, if you will -- but very profound! What does it look like to be interested? In practical terms, it shows up in things like being intentional to ask questions about others. Not just the surface-level “how are you” to which everyone just replies “good” or “fine” (or “crazy busy”), but asking questions that show you are genuinely wanting to learn about how they’re really doing, what they’re doing, what they like, and so on.
If you spend time honing this skill -- this critical people skill of being interested -- you will definitely start to see the positive impact this will have on your relationships in all areas of life. Plus, it’s just downright FUN! People are fascinating, everyone has a unique story and perspective. Getting to know lots of different people can add color to your own world. And, as you’re actively being interested in those around you, they’ll find YOU more interesting! People enjoy being known...everyone likes being noticed and cared about enough for someone to take interest in them. Be that someone!
Your people skills matter. The Lord has a divine purpose for you and for all of us, and for us to maximize our impact in this world for Him, it takes people skills! Friends, let’s each commit to growing in our people skills, now and throughout our whole lifetime, so we can help others in new and greater ways!
Say This: “Father, thank You that I can turn to You for help in any area of my life. Today, I pray that You would help me increase my people skills, now and throughout my life. I want to help others around me and help to build Your Church, and all of that involves people. Lord, help me to stay others-focused, and not self-focused, and to take a genuine interest in others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
You’ve probably experienced one or both of these scenarios in your life...at some point, you’ve likely not had enough of something you needed (money, work, transportation, friends, you name it!) and wondered why you weren’t experiencing the abundant and prosperous life you heard others talking about. On the flip side, at some point maybe you’ve experienced a prosperous life, full of blessings and abundance, but felt guilty for doing well...felt like you had to apologize all the time for being blessed.
You may find yourself in one of those two camps even today! So friends, I want to talk with you about both -- together, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about blessings and prosperity. Remember, we don’t build our faith or our lives on opinion, culture trends or any other constantly changing influence...we trust God’s Word as the foundation and guidebook for our lives. So let’s check out what the Bible has to say about this topic:
Psalm 103:2-5 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (NKJV).
And, in John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (AMP).
These are just two of the many verses on this subject, but I love these two! They paint such a beautiful picture of the Lord’s heart to us...He offers us salvation AND a whole benefits “package!” He came to bring us life that we can enjoy and have abundance, till it overflows. Wow! God loves us -- and through Jesus, He has already paid a mighty high price for us to be blessed and prosperous! Let’s check out another verse...
Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits…” (NKJV).
Seriously, check out the words in that verse: “daily” and “loads!” I don’t know about you, but those words to me paint a picture of abundance, not of scarcity or lack! I know that for some of you, this is confirmation of what you already have experienced as you’ve trusted the Lord for increase and blessings. For others, this is causing your head to go tilt! Let me encourage you today to continue seeking the Lord for revelation in this area...He’s a good Father and He wants you to be super blessed and ever-increasing.
>>Don’t miss this one very important “asterisk”...
It’s all about the heart! God does not want you to be blessed and prosperous so that you become self-obsessed or materialistic. He doesn’t want you looking down on others or letting money rule your life. By no means! He wants you to have and enjoy life, and He wants you blessed to be a blessing! At the same time, the Lord wants you to be content and willing to share generously -- having a giving spirit. Can you see how the heart condition truly means everything in understanding, receiving and appropriately applying God’s goodness and blessings in your life?
Take some time this week to soak in these Scriptures...let them renew your mind to what the Word says about God’s heart towards you and His desire for your life. After all, as you experience abundance and are blessed, your ability to bless others greatly increases. So let’s believe God for the blessings He wants for us -- and let’s bless others generously too!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much that You love me and that it’s Your will that I am blessed and prosperous. I’m so thankful for the price Jesus paid so I could be saved and also enjoy the whole benefits ‘package’ that is available to me. Today, I ask that Your blessing and goodness continually fill my life with abundance in all areas. And show me, Lord, how I can be a blessing to others! As I increase, help me to keep my heart focused on You and giving all the glory to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17, NLT
I want you to know that you’re on my heart…I love our devo readers, and even if I may not get to meet you in person on this side of eternity, know that I am praying for you and cheering you on in your life of faith!
The topic that’s on my heart for you today is relationships. Specifically, that God would connect each of you with true-blue, God-knit friendships...the kind where “iron sharpens iron,” where they encourage you in your faith, where they will speak the truth when you need to hear it and where they pray heartfelt, faith-filled prayers for you and with you.
This is my prayer for you today -- read through it, receive it and join in with a hearty “Amen” at the end!
“Father, I thank you for each devo reader all over the world. Today, Lord, I ask for Your special grace and provisions to connect each of them with friends who will encourage them in their faith, who will walk with them through life’s good days and bad, who aren’t afraid to speak the truth in love...and whose friendship would cause them to all the while grow closer to You. Thank You that You are divinely connecting them with the right people and helping the right friendships to grow! I also ask You, Lord, to help prune any unhealthy relationships, so that the healthy ones would grow strong and that the abundant, blessed and prosperous Christian life is what each devo reader would experience! Thank You for divine friendships and ‘iron sharpens iron’ connections. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”