Monday, July 23, 2018

A FAITHFUL MAN

"A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished." Proverbs 28:20 

There is a distinct difference between the workplace believer who operates based on living in the Promised Land versus the one who operates in Egypt. In Egypt, the workplace believer sweats and toils to generate an outcome. The final objective is foremost in their mind. Outcome is everything.
In the Promised Land, we learn that obedience is the only thing that matters. We are called to execute, and leave outcome to God. Sometimes that outcome is very positive, yielding a return. In other cases, we may not yield a corresponding return. We may even get a negative outcome. The difference is that we know that we have been faithful to what God has called us to and we yield results to God. God often blesses obedience beyond what we deserve. If God brings wealth to your life, it should come as a by-product of obedience, not an end in itself.
God may call each of us to be obedient to situations that may not yield immediate, positive results. It is in these times that our faith must be obedience-based versus outcome-based. What if Jesus had considered the immediate ramifications of whether he would go to the cross? Based on the immediate outcome, the decision would have been an easy one. Who wants to die on a cross? However, for Him there was a higher purpose in that obedience. We are called to this same kind of obedience. This means putting our own flesh on the line daily, dying to our own self-will.
This is what it means to be a faithful man. Pray that God will make you a faithful man today.

Friday, July 20, 2018

MAKING THE LORD OUR BANNER

"Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner." Exodus 17:15 

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. God instructed Moses to stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand. Moses' staff represented something that God said He would use to bring glory to Himself. The staff represented what Moses had done for most of his life - shepherding. It was his vocation. When God first called Moses at the burning bush, He told him to pick up the staff; He would perform miracles through it.
God wants to perform miracles through each of our vocations. At Rephidim, God defeated the Amalekites only when Moses held his staff to Heaven. It was a symbol of dependence and acknowledgment that Heaven was the source of the Israelites' power. When he dropped his hand, the power was removed and they began to lose the battle. Each day we are challenged to reach toward Heaven and allow God to be the source of victory in the workplace or be defeated. God calls us to let His banner reign over the workplace so that others may know the source of our victory. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven' " (Ex. 17:14). The Lord wants those behind us and around us to know that He is the source of our power and success. With each victory is a testimony that is to be shared with our children and our associates.
Is the Lord your banner today? Reach toward Heaven today and let His banner wave over your work so that He might receive glory from your life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

HEAVEN ON EARTH

"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."-Matthew 6:9,10 


Why was Jesus influential? It was one simple reason. He solved a problem in the life of every person he encountered. He allowed heaven to come into every situation.
When He met Peter he solved his fishing problem.
When Peter had a tax problem, He told him to go catch a fish and get the coin out of its mouth to pay his taxes.
When the disciples had to feed 5,000 people, He led them into solving the problem supernaturally.
When the blind man met Jesus, he was healed after putting mud on his eyes.
Influence in lives and culture can be accomplished when we solve a problem in a person's life. Culture does not care who solves their problem, they just want their problem solved. If you are the source of the solution, you will automatically gain influence as a fruit of your love and solution providing actions.
Someone once said, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." Want to impact a life? Solve a problem they have. Bring heaven on earth in every aspect of life, then you will see God move through you.

Monday, July 16, 2018

INDEPENDENCE THAT LEADS TO SIN

"So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 

The two young men had worked for many years in their family business. One day one of the sons decided he wanted to venture out on his own. He had been under the employment of his dad's business long enough. He felt he had learned all he needed to know. He wanted his independence. He wanted to take his stock options early, which would allow enough capital to begin on his own. The other son remained behind, working day in and day out, faithfully doing his job.
The first son went out on his own only to find it was more difficult than he had ever imagined. The immediate cash gained from the advance from his dad's business was a temptation that was too great for him. He spent all of the money, fell into sin, and failed to invest it in another business. He failed miserably. Finally, he came crawling back to his dad, seeking to be taken back as a mere laborer. The father took him back with open arms, fully restoring him to his original place. He experienced grace and love in a way he had never known before.
When we desire independence so much that we launch out without God's full blessing, we can expect to fall on our face. When pride enters our lives, it discourages us from dependence on anyone but ourselves; yet God says that we are to depend on Him alone. If we think we can go it alone, we will fail. On the other hand, in spite of the prodigal son's failure, he learned a great lesson of grace that he had not known before. This resulted in humility of the heart, which had a lasting impression for the rest of his life. Therefore, God even turns our failures into successes spiritually when we are willing to admit our failure.
Pride always goes before a fall. Check your heart today and ask God if there is any pride that is encouraging independence from total trust in God.

Friday, July 13, 2018

WALKING IN THE ANOINTING

"So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power...." 1 Samuel 16:13 

Has the Spirit of the Lord rested on your life? Can you cite the time when God's Spirit began demonstrating His power through you?
David knew the day the Spirit of the Lord began a special work in him. That Spirit was different from most leaders. Instead of seeking power and control, he led in response to a need. Instead of being a perfect person, he learned from mistakes and acknowledged them among those he led. Instead of placing confidence in his own abilities, he sought wisdom from the only real Commander in charge. David never lost a battle through his many years of leading Israel. He failed God by sinning with Bathsheba and by numbering the troops, but he learned from those failures, and he had to pay a price for them. However, God's Spirit never left David. He never left because of David's willingness to keep a soft heart toward God, even when he failed.
God wants to do the same in you and me, but He will not allow that Spirit to rest on us if we seek to control outcomes and manipulate out of our need for power. Servant leaders know that they are only a tool in the Master's hand. They do not value themselves more than they ought. David's heart was fully the Lord's. Is your heart fully the Lord's to do with what He wills?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

HE HAD SUCH A GREAT POTENTIAL

"Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright" (Gen 25:34). 

Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, he had such great potential? He never lived up to it though."
Esau was the brother of Jacob. He was a man who had great potential. He was skilled in almost everything he did. He was a hunter. He was a leader. He came from a Godly patriarch family. He could do just about anything he put his mind to. The problem was, he put his energies in all the wrong places. The Bible says he was a lady's man too. He was promiscuous and married outside the tribe. His parents were greatly saddened by the direction his life was taking.
During a moment of weakness, Esau made the greatest mistake of his life when he traded away his birthright for a simple meal. He had just returned from a time of hunting and he was hungry. His brother was making stew but would not give him any. Esau was angered by this and negotiated for what he wanted by agreeing to give Jacob his family inheritance. It seems almost unbelievable that Esau would do such a thing.
Esau had not understood the value of his birthright or his future in God. He could only see the immediate pleasures available to him. His appetites were driven by his flesh. And his choices led to a life that even God said He despised in Esau. Everyday there are Esaus living out their calling in the same way. They see the fruits that their professional life can give them. They make choices based on what seems right at the moment for immediate gratification. The Bible says there is a way that seems right but only leads to death.
God has a future and a plan for every person. But not every person will choose to follow this plan. Pray for those you encounter today that are still living as Esaus and ask God to move on their behalf in order that they fulfill their Godly heritage.

Monday, July 9, 2018

DEATH WORKS IN YOU

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 

Have you ever gone through a very difficult time in your life? These times make us value life. They make us appreciate the simple things that we took for granted before the crisis. When we are restored from such a trial, it is as though we have been given a new beginning. We can place a greater value on what we had before and use it for His purposes. Perhaps for the first time we can identify with others who find themselves in a similar trial.
I recall having an attitude of superiority over those who went through a difficult financial crisis. Because I had never experienced any financial crisis in my life, this pride kept me from identifying with such people. Then the Lord brought such a trial into my life. I learned a great deal during that period. I learned that the world and even Christians often treat such people as lepers. Like me, they didn't know how to relate. Now, I appreciate the little things that I never would have valued without that trial. The experience taught me greater dependence and faith in the provision area of my relationship with God.
When God brings death to one area of life, he resurrects it in a new way. Death works in us to bring new life and new perspectives. These are designed to press us forward in ways that we never would have moved without the experience. God knows how much this is needed in our life to gain the prize He has reserved for each of us. It is His strategic mercy that motivates Him to bring such events into our life. Press into Him, learn of Him, and rely on Him.