Friday, January 30, 2009


"The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan" (Josh 5:12).

God calls you to eat from the fruit of your own work. During the exodus from Egypt, Israel had to eat manna, the supernatural provision of God because there was no ability to make a living in the desert. However, the moment they stepped into the Promised Land the manna stopped because God had brought them into a new place. The new land could yield food and provision for their families. They simply had to work it.
For most of us God has provided us an ability to derive our provision from the work He has called us to do. God made a covenant with His people that provision would always be there if we were faithful to His commands.
"You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock - the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out" (Deut 28:3-6).
In order for this promise to be fulfilled we must fulfill His requirements. We must love the Lord our God with all our hearts and minds. And we must avoid having any idols in our lives that will take the place of God.
Every believer is called to come at out of "Egypt" and enter into our own Promised Land. He has already set aside the land for you. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself to be able to derive the fruit from your land.
"The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands" (Deut 28:12).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. " - Proverbs 22:29

The Lord has called each of us to be excellent in what we do. Those whom God used in the Kingdom as workplace ministers were skilled and exemplified excellence in their field. Not only were these men skilled, they were filled with God's Spirit.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts - to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship" (Exodus 31:1-5).
Consider Huram, the master craftsman of bronze in whom Solomon entrusted much of the temple designs. He was a true master craftsman (see 1 Kings 7:14).
Consider Joseph, whose skill as an administrator was known throughout Egypt and the world. Consider Daniel, who served his king with great skill and integrity. The list could go on - David, Nehemiah, Acquilla and Priscilla.
I recall the first issue of an international publication we began. It was common to hear the comment, "It doesn't even look like a Christian magazine." They were saying the quality and excellence exceeded what they equated to Christian work. What a shame. Has inferior quality become synonymous with Christian work?
May we strive for excellence in all that we do for the Master of the universe.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 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).

Monday, January 26, 2009


"So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law" (Mal 2:9).

My work, My way - When you and I live in this world without Christ we live a life just as Esau lived his life. Esau despised his birthright and failed to enter into a relationship with God that allowed him to fulfill his destiny. In essence, Esau fulfilled his work, his way. His life represented the carnal life of the flesh.
His work, my way - When you and I become born-again by the Spirit of God, we begin to focus our attention on living for Christ. We realize it is His work we are doing but it takes time before we learn what it means to do His work, His way.
My work, His way - As the Holy Spirit does His work in us, we learn to walk with God. We learn what it means to see our work as His work and we desire to do it His way. The Israelites were guilty of not knowing His ways and were unable to move into the Promised Land because of not understanding how to do Their work, His ways.
His work, His way - When we begin to walk with God we begin to realize that all that we do is His work and He calls us to do it His way. When we begin to walk with God in this manner we begin to see the Kingdom of God manifested in our working lives. We begin to experience His power and learn what it means to do His work, His way.
In order to experience God in this way, each of us must give our working lives to the Lord and ask him to teach us His way. Moses asked God: "If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you" (Ex 33:12). Moses realized He needed God to teach him His ways in order for him to prosper in His relationship with God.
What best describes your life today? Your work, your way; Your work, His way; His work, your way; or His work, His way? Pray that you learn to do His work, His way.

Friday, January 23, 2009


"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance" (Ps 16:5-6).

There is absolutely no place for competitiveness in ministry or marketplace activity if you understand God's view of receiving. The Scripture tells us that we are not only to bless our competition, but we are also called to bless our enemies.
The reason we can do this is because our security and provision is not based on posturing ourselves against another, but fulfilling what God has called us to do. When we take a proactive step to bless another, we actually apply a Kingdom principle that results in greater blessing to others, the Kingdom of God and even to ourselves.
Our ministry tries to help other ministries like ours. Some would say that we are in danger of losing "market share" or even our donors. This is the worldly model of competition. Those who cannot bless others are insecure in their own calling and insecure in God's ability to provide for their own enterprise.
God has already allocated His portion for you before the foundation of the world. You cannot out-give God. As you do your work unto Him God allows you to receive the fruit of your work.
"If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. . . The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you" (Deut 28:1-8).
Life is to be a lived vertically before the Lord, not horizontally. When we worry about the activities of others, we acknowledge our lack of faith in the One who called us.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


"What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?" - 1 Samuel 20:1

The cost of being one of God's anointed can be great. Those whom God has anointed for service and influence in His Kingdom go through a special preparation. David was anointed to be the next king over Israel. Shortly after this, while still a young boy, he was brought into King Saul's service to play music in Saul's court. While there, the opportunity to stand up against Goliath elevated David for his next stage of development as future king. As his popularity grew so did Saul's jealousy. However, even Saul's jealousy was God's instrument for molding and shaping David.
Saul finally decided he could no longer tolerate David's success and popularity among the people, so he tried to kill David. The confused young shepherd boy spent many years hiding in wilderness caves before he was able to see the hand of God in all of this. No doubt David thought that when Samuel anointed him he would be conveniently raised up to be king with all the accompanying benefits of kingship. Not so. God's preparation of David involved much persecution, disloyalty, and hardship. These were the lessons necessary to be a godly king. God brought many tests in David's life, just as He did with Saul. David passed these tests. Saul did not.
When God anoints us, it often is accompanied by some severe tests. These tests are designed to prepare us for the calling God has on our life. Should we fail these tests God cannot elevate us to the next level. For a workplace believer, these tests often involve money, relationships, and other issues of the heart.
What if God has chosen you for a specific purpose in His Kingdom? Are you passing the tests He is bringing about in your life? These tests are designed to bring about greater obedience. In most instances, it will involve great adversity. The Bible tells us that the King of kings learned obedience through the things that He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). If this is true, why would it be any different for His children? Be aware of the tests God may be bringing before you in order to prepare you for His service.

Monday, January 19, 2009


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight " (Prov. 3:5-6).

George Mueller was a pastor in England during the nineteenth century who knew what it meant to live a life that was focused on knowing and doing the will of God. God led him in a walk of faith that has become an incredible testimony to all who hear his story.
Whenever he lacked for something, he prayed for the resources. During his ministry in Bristol, England, George built four orphan houses that cared for 2,000 children at the time. When he died at the age of 93, over 10,000 children had been provided for through his orphanages, and he had distributed over eight million dollars that had been given to him in answer to prayer.
How did he know and do the will of God?
"I never remember a period that I ever sincerely and patiently sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been always directed rightly." Here is how George summed up the way he entered into a "heart" relationship with God and learned to discern God's voice:
1) "I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.
2) Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3) I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined.
4) Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5) I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
Thus, (1) through prayer to God, (2) the study of the Word, and (3) reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly."*
Consider these five steps when discerning God's voice in your life.

Friday, January 16, 2009


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving "(Col 3:23-25).

I sat across the table and i was asked a very direct question: "So, tell me about this faith at work movement." "Well, there's really nothing complicated about it. I believe every person's work can be viewed as a ministry if done with a motive to glorify God based upon Colossians 3:23," I responded.
"How can you say that if you're not sharing the gospel in that job? You would have to be actively sharing your faith for it to be construed as ministry," he argued.
"No, that's not true. The work itself is ministry because the word for ministry and service come from the same Greek root word, diakonia. When you are serving others even through your secular work and do it with a motive to glorify God, that's why it is ministry. In fact, the Bible says you'll receive an inheritance when you do," I said.
We continued bantering back and forth on the issue. I continued, "God created even secular work to meet human needs. Man began to divide work into spiritual and non-spiritual terms which introduced a form of dualism in the third and fourth centuries. But God never secularized our work. He desires our work to be viewed as worship."
We concluded our meeting in disagreement. However, a few months later I met my friend at a booksellers convention. "Hey, you were right, I've done my study and work really is ministry because it is service. This man went on to write a book on the subject and said this; "Think about this. If you are filling someone's teeth, you are ministering to your patient. If you are playing in a symphony orchestra, you are ministering to the audience. If you are flying an airplane, you are ministering to the passengers. If you wait on tables, you are ministering to the customers. All of that clearly fits under biblical diakonia."
It was the first time I'd ever won a theological argument with a theologian!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it "(Gen. 2:15).

Imagine for a moment that Jesus has just completed his three years of training with the disciples. He has been crucified and is now commissioning the twelve to go into the world and disciple the nations. Now imagine him also making this statement to them.
"Dear brothers, it is now time for you to share what you have learned from me. However, as you share with others be sure that you keep what I taught you separate from your work life. The principles I have shared with you only apply in situations outside your work life. Do not make them fit into this context. The miracles you saw in me can only be done in certain situations outside work life. Keep this in mind when thinking about praying for the sick or the lost. These truths will not work in the marketplace."
Sound preposterous? It may, but this is the mindset of many in our world today. The spiritual does not mix with the everyday world of the workplace. "What happens on Monday has no relationship to what takes place on Sunday," they say.
These are the thoughts expressed so much in our day and time, although they are not expressed in such direct terms. Let's think more about this idea. When Jesus came to earth, how did He come? He came as a carpenter. He was a man given to work with his hands and to provide an honest service to his fellow man. He did not come as a priest, although He was both a King and a Priest (Rev. 1:6 KJV). When it came time to recruit those for whom the Church would be founded, He chose twelve men from the workplace - a fisherman, a tax collector, a doctor, and so on.
They all came from the workplace. None of his disciples were priests from the synagogue, a natural place to recruit from if you were going to start a religious movement. Jesus called them all from the marketplace of life. Was this any accident that Jesus called men and women from the marketplace to play such a vital role in His mission? I think not.
Today, embrace your work life as a holy calling.

Monday, January 12, 2009


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! "(2 Cor 5:17).

A mulligan is a golf term which allows a player to play a second shot off the first tee if the first shot is poor. It's a second chance to get a fresh start without penalty.
Sometimes in life we need a mulligan - a new start. Christ represents the invitation to throw away our first life and begin anew with Him as a new creation.
The Promised Land represented a new life for the people of Israel who had lived a life of bondage and slavery in Egypt. It is also symbolic of a new life in Christ. It says we are no longer going to be driven by the appetites of our old nature, but Christ now lives in us to live a righteous and holy life. It does not mean we're perfect, we're just forgiven.
The new life in Christ has nothing to do with church attendance or even doing good things. Christ said there will be many people who will claim Him as their Savior but they never really knew Him. In other words, there was no evidence of the living Savior in them. "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt 7:22-23).
Jesus invites everyone to partake of the new life He offers. We only must believe, invite him to remove our sins and allow Him to live as Lord through our lives. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me?" (Rev 3:20).
If you've never had a mulligan in life, now is the time to let Jesus give you a brand new start. Ask Him for that new start today.

Friday, January 9, 2009


"Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" (Ex 33:15-16).

A few years ago, the "AD 2000" movement was a major emphasis in the church and had a goal of reaching the "10/40" window. This reference was related to the 10th parallel and the 40th parallel of the globe. It was determined that this was where the most people resided who had never heard the message of the gospel.
Today, there is a new move of God that is focused on the "9-5" window. This represents those who work—whether they are homemakers, construction workers, nurses, executives, Fortune 500 CEOs or pastors and vocational ministers. The one thing many of us have in common is that we work. However, the one thing most workers have failed to do is bring Jesus into their work lives. But, God is changing this.
God is helping workplace believers today understand the importance of bringing the presence of Jesus into their work lives so that He may be shared with those who have yet to receive salvation. God is calling us to move past "principle-based" living to "presence-based" living. It is only when we bring God's presence into our work lives that we see real transformation in us and others. It is the mission field of the 21st century—the "9-5" window. It is where more unsaved people live than the 10/40 window.
God is calling us to establish "church plants" into this new frontier that the church has failed to focus upon. The "Church" is a Church when two believers come together in the name of Jesus. It is not a building. It is a people. So today, bring the Church to the workplace by focusing your mission activity on the greatest mission field of the 21st century—the 9-5 window.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


"Everything is against me!" - Genesis 42:36

Eventually, Benjamin along with Jacob's other sons learned that their brother Joseph was second in command in Egypt. Joseph revealed his identity, and Jacob was reunited with his son whom he had not seen for more than 13 years. He had thought Joseph to be dead.
So often we believe our dreams are dead. There seems to be nothing left in our world to live for. Everything appears to be against us. During these times, God is doing His deepest behind-the-scenes work. During these times, God is performing a deeper work in each of us -- a work that cannot be seen.
When clients began leaving you business and it dried up for no apparent reason, it appeared "everything was against me." I could not see that God was orchestrating a whole new calling on my life. At the moment, it seemed like the worst thing in the world. It seemed that I had been a failure. But God said, "No." All the years before had been preparation for what God's ultimate calling would be. One of God's methods for directing His children's steps is through drying up resources: a job loss, a career change, or a disaster. In these times we are willing to listen more intently, and to seek God in ways we would not normally do. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." [C.S.Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1962), 93.]

Monday, January 5, 2009


"Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. But the king said, "He must go to his own house; he must not see my face." So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king". (2 Sam 14:23-24).

Many people hate conflict to the point they will never confront a wrong. Taking this path will only lead to later hardship. Such was the case for Absalom and his father King David.
Amnon, also a son of David, raped his sister Tamar. When this happened, David was furious but he did not punish Amnon for his actions. Absalom saw this as a terrible injustice for his sister. So, Absalom plotted to kill Amnon at the right time. He patiently waited for two years before he set up a situation to have him killed.
David was heartbroken over the death of Amnon and held Absalom responsible. At the same time, David still desired to have a relationship with Absalom, but because he failed to address the situation with Amnon when it happened, it led to more serious consequences in the family. Absalom was banished for three years because of David's anger towards him which allowed seeds of resentment to grown in his heart. Absalom then conspired to overthrow David's kingdom.
It is imperative to confront problems when they arise no matter how uncomfortable it might be. We are called to speak the truth in love. "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph 4:15-16). Failure to confront in love allows the enemy to sow greater seeds of conflict.
Is there someone in your life that you need to confront in love? Make plans now to get with this person and work through the issues that divide you.

Friday, January 2, 2009


" ... come down from the cross and save yourself!" (Mark 15:30).

God calls each of us to the cross in order for all the things that are alive in our flesh to die. Daily we are invited by the enemy of our souls to love ourselves and come away from the cross.
What are the signs that you have come off the cross? When you are overly concerned with appearance, you have come off the cross. When the words of others cause you to react and defend, you have come off the cross. When you strive to have your world in perfect order, you have come off the cross. When you complain about circumstances, you have come off the cross.
The way of the cross means letting go and letting God have His way in every matter, every relationship, every outcome.
"When God starts to deal with the old nature He heads straight for the center of all that you hold most dear. Allow Him to bring you to the cross in the very center of who you are. Don't grumble and become agitated when the process starts. Silence and peace will help you much more than being upset. To bear the cross simply, without letting your self-love add all sorts of dilemmas to it, will make your life easier. When you accept the cross simply allow it to do the work God intended, you will be happy because you will see what good fruit is produced in you."* Those were the words of Francois de Fenelon, a man who lived in the 1600s and was considered one of the most godly men of his time.
The apostle Paul sums up the way of the cross: "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:18-21).
Let the cross have its way in you.