Working 9 to 5

Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I obtained my first job working part time during the summer when I turned 13 years old. I grew up thinking we were poor when actually my parents were frugal because they had fallen on hard times when I was born. We always had what we needed and when Christmas and birthdays came along we got some of the things we wanted. I could not wait to get a job so I could begin to purchase more wants which included some name brand jeans all my friends were wearing.

My next job was selling GRIT newspapers in front of the local Roses store when I was 14. My mother would take me there after school, weekends and summer days and man did I sell newspapers. That taste of financial freedom to me as a kid was addicting. Later at 16 I worked at Milliken, a factory, for 16 hours a week after school and on weekends.

Working was something my father did well. He worked at Duke Power which was 2 hours away from our home. He would carpool with other Duke employees from our area, then would come home and work in our garden and farm until way after dark. It only made sense that my siblings and I followed his footsteps and are hard workers today due to his example of work ethic.

The bible has a lot to say about working. Here are just a few things for us to consider as we work 9-5 each day.

Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, You may not like your boss, your co-workers or your job, but as long as you are working you should do your job as if God is your boss. HEARTILY – with all your heart.

Proverbs 14:23 ESV In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 10:4 ESV A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. We should be busy at work. If we are working and our company is successful, we profit. It could be from a promotion, raise, bonus or simply just keeping our job for another year.

Don’t associate with those who are not responsible employee: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9 ESV Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. Don’t get so obsessed with money that your family and God suffers. Some people are working 9-9 and there is nothing left for their family or God. Don’t be so busy trying to keep with the Jones that your family has every thing they want except you.

Colossians 3:22 ESV Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Unless we are the boss or the owners of a company we are instructed to obey our supervisors. Unless they are asking you to do something unethical or illegal, we should obey. No lip service, stirring up trouble, rolling our eyes or bad mouthing our bosses or company. God did not give us a list of reasons for us to disobey our bosses. HE SAID OBEY THEM.

A few other reasons we should work as unto the Lord: So we can provide for our family members who fall on hard times, so you can give to people in need, so you can give offerings to your church to further the ministry of leading others to Christ, so you can bring honor and glory to The Lord.

Maybe you are the employee that is working too much and too long to gain man’s approval, for the money you get paid or to avoid problems at home. Maybe you are the idle person at work, not doing your fair share or working with all your heart for your employer. Just maybe you are the employee who is working as if God is your boss but are frustrated because of others in your office who aren’t.

I want to encourage you to focus on God and his promises. Keep doing good and you will be profitable in God’s time and in his ways. If you have not been a good employee then today can be a good day to change that. God forgives us when we ask HIm, so stop and ask for His forgiveness then commit to get busy changing at work right now. If you have been neglecting your family and your home, ask God and your family to forgive you then take actions to change your priorities. Ask them to hold you accountable for the time spend at work and home.

God love us. He forgives and he blesses obedience. The blessings we get from following Him are greater than any amount of money we could ever earn!

Here For A Time

Psalm 119:15-19 ESV I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me.
To really get this scripture there are a few words we have to understand.
Meditate – think deeply or carefully about (something)
Precepts – a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought
Statutes – a law or decree made by a sovereign, or by God.
Sojourner – a person who is staying for a brief period of time
These last few days I have been confined to sitting at home. At first I searched Hulu and Netflix in hopes of finding something to watch to pass the time. Very quickly I realized that there was not much on that captured my attention. I have read my bible for the last few days and felt a desire to dig deeper. Of course as a pastors wife, i have many tools necessary to do just that. I have many bibles in different versions, concordances, bible history and bible dictionaries. I have seminary course CD’s and commentaries by some of the greatest men.
Because I was home alone and I was not suppose to be on my feet and those items were not within my reach. I decided to see what I could find online. To my surprise there are all many good bible study courses online. Of course I checked out the “about” and “what we believe” sections to make sure they were inline with what I believed.
After a lot of research, I settled on a course and signed up to go through a teaching on Genesis. I must say it was refreshing to be digging into the word of God instead of watching meaningless TV shows. The more I listened to the teaching the more excited I became.
I want to encourage you to find time to dig into God’s word. This scripture says we are just here on this earth for brief time. While we are here we need to meditate, think deeply and carefully on Gods statues. We should be focused on his words and ways while looking for wonderful things of and from God.
Find ways to dig deeper into God’s word each day. Don’t rely only on devotionals or Sunday morning sermons. Take time to find out more about God and what He has to say to us. Try to really understand and live by what you learn. I can’t promise it will always be easy but it will be worth it. You are never too young or too old to learn.
Here are a few of the great sites I uncovered today:
There are many many more for you to choose from. What this research proved to me is that there are many ways for us to get to know God’s word, meditate on it and then live it. It is time to stop making excuses. It is time to stop procrastinating. It is time to stop making excuses. It is time to get busy and today is the day to start. May The Lord “Deal bountifully with your servant, that you may live and keep His word. May He open your eyes, that you may behold wondrous things out of His law”

Can Christians Really Make A Difference In the World Or Is It Too Late?

The largest QOTSA headline crowd to date

Today’s Truth: Micah 6:8 You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God

From My Heart To Yours:

Can Christians really make a difference in the world or is it too late?  This question is one that is discussed in many pulpits and small group bible studies across America.  I believe there are a couple of different answers to the question.  First I believe yes we can make a difference.  We can make a difference in our own families, in our churches, in our communities and in our circle of Christian friends.  If you are a Christian, you know the Bible describes how the world will end.  The Bible tells us that as we get closer to the end of this world that sin will not get better, it will get worse.  True, however to me, that does not mean that we just lay down and prepare for death.  We still a responsibility to God while we are here.

I find the book of Micah to be a very interesting book of the Bible and I believe that it and this scripture reference for today can be used to answer the question, can Christians really make a difference in the world today.

Micah was a modern-day prophet for his time.  He was telling the people who God was a God of love but he was also a God of wrath.  The people were told that judgement was certain to come upon them if they did not heed His warnings about their blatant sins.  A lot of preachers and television evangelist today talk about promises and blessings for Christians but choose not to talk to about the sins we are committing.  Discussing sin is not popular now and it was not popular in Micah’s day either.

Micah was not the deliver of gloom and doom by talking about the sins of that day.  He told the people God loved them and provided hope that their relationship with God could be restored as it once was before.  He didn’t stop there though.  He gave them clear instructions on how to do it.  Micah 6:8 says, You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God.

God still requires these three things from Christians today just as He did in Micah’s day.  If every Christian would decide to follow this simple verse we could make a difference in this world and with all those we come in contact with.

….This is what the Lord requires from you:

1.  TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT –  We are to do what is right in our relationship with God. God is deserving of our heart, mind, body, and soul.  Jesus tells us (Mk. 12:28-30) that the first commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Because He created us in His own image, God rightly and justly deserves all of our worship and adoration. “This is the first commandment.”

We are also to do what is right and fair to our neighbor (to other people).  Not what is right and fair based on what man tells us but what is right and fair based on what God tells us. The world tells us to sue our neighbor, hate our neighbor, ignore our neighbor and the list goes on.  Jesus tells us (MK12:31) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

2.  TO LOVE MERCY – You must show love and kindness. Some people are weaker than you are and some are poorer than you are. You should be kind to them and help them.  For most Christians this means giving money to the poor person standing on the side of the road or giving money to the homeless.  But mercy comes in many forms such as kindness, benevolence, and charity. Sometimes mercy is just being willing to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to forgive our sins.

3.  TO LIVE HUMBLY WITH GOD – You must walk (live) humbly with God. The first two instructions tell us how to treat each other. But this one is about our actions towards God.  We should agree with what God tells us in His Word and show Him that He is important to us through our word, actions and lives. We should do what God wants us to, no matter how easy or how hard it may be.

You can not do the first two if you do not have a good relationship with God.  You must love him, trust him, depend on him and obey him.  With him all things are possible. Without him one and two will be impossible.

Can Christians really make a difference in the world?  Again I say yes.  Won’t you do your part?  Start today by deciding to focus on you and your family and then challenge and inspire other Christians to do the same.

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Lord, we know that in the times we live in today it is hard to stand for right.  Sometimes we become discouraged, want to give up trying to do right.  Sometimes we are convinced  that we can not make a difference because we are just one person or one family.  But Lord we know you are still the same God today as you were in Micah’s day.  Thank you for your promise of forgiveness through salvation and for the mercy and grace you give to us each day.  Help us to do what is right, to love mercy and to live humbly with you.  In Jesus Name. AMEN.