Monday, March 30, 2009


"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." - John 12:24

Almost every significant thing God births He allows to die before the vision is fulfilled in His own way.
-Abraham had a vision of being the father of a great nation (birth). Sarah was barren and became too old to have children (death). God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. He became the father of a great nation (fulfillment).
-Joseph had a vision that he would be a great leader and that many would bow down to him (birth). Joseph's brothers sold him to some merchants and he became a slave. Later he was falsely condemned to spend his years in prison (death). God allowed Joseph to interpret the dreams of the butler and baker and later the king, whereupon, he was made a ruler in the land (fulfillment).
-Moses had a vision of leading his people out of the bondage of Egypt (birth). Pharaoh as well as his own people drove Moses out of Egypt after Moses' first attempt to relieve their bondage (death). God gave Moses signs and wonders to convince Pharaoh to free the people and bring them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (fulfillment).
-The disciples had a vision of establishing the Kingdom of God with Jesus (birth). The very ones He came to save killed Jesus, and the disciples saw Him buried in a tomb (death). God raised Jesus from the dead, and the disciples performed great miracles until the gospel had spread through all the world (fulfillment).
-A grain of wheat has a "vision" of reproducing itself and many more grains of wheat (birth). The grain dies in the ground (death). A harvest springs up out of the very process of "death" in the ground (fulfillment).
Has God given you a vision that is yet unfulfilled? If that vision is born of God, He will raise it up in His own way. Do not try to raise the vision in your own strength. Like Moses, who tried to fulfill the vision of freeing the Hebrews by killing the Egyptian, it will only fail. But wait on your heavenly Father to fulfill the vision. Then you will know that it was His vision when He fulfills it in the way only He can do.

Friday, March 27, 2009


"Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands" (Micah 7:14).

You and I are called to be shepherds in the workplace. Your "staff" (vocation) represents your calling to your work life ministry. Moses' staff represented his calling as a shepherd. God's first words to Moses were: "Remove your shoes. For this is Holy ground." God came to Moses during his work day. His work became holy because God's presence was there.
God used Moses' staff to perform miracles and deliver the people of Israel from bondage. (Ex. 4:17). He is still issuing this same call today to you and I in the workplace. For most of us, this is where our inheritance lies. As we minister through our work life call, our inheritance will come as a result of letting God use our abilities. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:23, 24: "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."
What makes our work holy is the motivation by which we do it. If we work to glorify God in it and serve others in the process, that is what makes it ministry. The word ministry and service are derived from the same Greek word, diakonia.
Those in the workplace are like a remnant of a wayward people in a forest awaiting harvest. It is a fertile pasture awaiting a shepherd who can lead them into a life of purpose and destiny. Will you be the instrument of God to shepherd His people out of bondage?
Ask the Lord to use your "staff" to perform miracles and to become a shepherd to those He has called you to lead. Why not start today?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37,38).

From 1994 to 2001, I went through what I call my "Joseph Pit" experience. It was during this time of great adversity and great growth that I wrote TGIF Today God Is First and also birthed many of the things I am doing today. During this season, I discovered a spiritual truth about how most believers experience three distinct phases of their growth toward obedience in their Christian walks.
When we first begin our spiritual journey we often make decisions from convenience. Often, we decide what the outcome is that we want and then make decisions based on the perceived outcome. If it is a positive outcome, then we will make an obedient decision. I call this outcome-based obedience.
However, God desires that each of us live an Obedience-based life. In order to transition us from an outcome-based process to an obedience-based process, he will bring a crisis into our lives. This crisis is designed to create pain which motivates us to seek Him to alleviate the pain. We have all heard of "fox-hole" Christianity. There is place of obedience for everyone! However, this is not where God desires us to remain.
Ultimately, God desires us to live a life of obedience and intimacy rooted in conviction. We obey His commands from a heart of love and devotion. During the crisis phase we discover the personal love of God in our lives which we had never experienced before. Most of us will get to this phase of our walk with God by first living a life of convenience, then we will go through the crisis that will them lead us into an intimate love relationship with God.
The Christian life can be summed up in one word-love. God's desire for each of us is to know Him intimately and to love Him with all of our heart. Have you told your Heavenly Father you love Him today?

Monday, March 23, 2009


"Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Go south to the road - the desert road - that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'" - Acts 8:26

Philip was conducting what we might today call a revival meeting. God was blessing the meeting, and many were being healed and delivered from demonic influence. Here is the scene:
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city (Acts 8:5-8).
And yet, in the midst of this great event, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and told him to remove himself and go to a completely different area to speak to one individual. Philip was so sensitive to the directive of the Holy Spirit that he left what would be deemed a successful event to go speak to another - an Ethiopian eunuch. The result of his obedience was that Philip led the eunuch to faith in Christ and baptized him. The Lord then took Philip away supernaturally to another region many miles away.
God's ways of determining where we invest our time and energy often have little to do with results. The danger for each of us is to determine that we are in the center of God's will simply by the success or failure of the events we are involved in. Our plumb line for determining success can be only one thing: obedience. Philip responded in obedience to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Are you listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Has God prompted you to speak, go, or come alongside another? Ask God today to help you hear the Holy Spirit's voice so that you might be used mightily in your workplace.

Friday, March 20, 2009


"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." - Matthew 5:11

Recently, a friend told a true story about one of his closest friends who experienced great suffering for the soul of his persecutor. This man worked on a cargo ship. His boss was the captain. This friend was a committed Christian who shared his faith with others and was a good worker. One day the friend led the sea captain's girlfriend to Christ. The sea captain already hated and ridiculed the Christian worker because of his faith in Christ. When his girlfriend came to Christ, she stopped sleeping with the captain. The captain blamed the Christian man for the change in his girlfriend. One day he entered the restaurant where the Christian man was having lunch. He walked over to his table and began hurling obscenities and began beating him. The Christian man simply tried to defend himself but did not fight back. The captain kept beating him until eventually the man lay on the floor bleeding.
Two men entered the restaurant and saw what was taking place. They jumped the sea captain and took him outside and began beating him. The sea captain was beaten so badly that he needed immediate medical attention. The Christian worker saw the condition of the sea captain, came to his aid, and began helping him. The sea captain was so moved that this man could do this after he had literally beaten him bloody that he began to weep, not understanding what could move a man to have such love in the face of being beaten. The sea captain accepted Jesus at that moment.
The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners Christ came and paid our penalty so that we might live eternally. Many in the workplace have never known the love of Christ. You might be the only one they ever meet who can introduce them to this love. Ask God to show you how to love the unlovable in your workplace today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." - Hebrews 4:2

The people of Israel were called out of the bondage of Egyptian slavery. God said they would be brought out of 400 years of slavery so that they might worship Him. God desired to bring them into a place of milk and honey - the Promised Land. Yet that generation never entered into the Promised Land. Why? They never took what they knew in their head and transferred it to their heart. Finally, it never resulted in actions that were based on what they believed.
When I was a new Christian I heard an illustration of what belief and faith looked like when combined. If you were a trapeze artist and were skilled at walking across tightropes over high places, you might even be willing to walk across Niagara Falls. In fact, I would have confidence that you could because I had seen your abilities as a trapeze artist. However, if you asked me if you could push me in a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls, you would be challenging me to put my beliefs into action. This requires faith, participation, and risk, which, until now, was based only on mental assent.
The writer of Hebrews is telling us that if we believe God but do not enter in to those promises, we are like the man who chooses not to get into the wheelbarrow. If we don't act on our beliefs, then we remain in the desert like the people of Israel who never received God's promises. They did not combine what they knew in their head with a faith that was put into action.
Has God spoken to you about an area in your life that requires a step of faith? Let God provide the courage, as He does the knowledge, to act in faith on what you believe.

Monday, March 16, 2009


"It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering." - Genesis 41:52

Joseph named his second son Ephraim. Ephraim was given to him after he had been delivered from his suffering of 13 years. Joseph said that he named him this because God had made him fruitful in the land of his suffering. Ephraim means "twice fruitful."
Joseph was fruitful in two instances. He was fruitful during his time of adversity and in his prosperity. When God brings us into a time of suffering, it can be a fruitful time. It's rare for us to see the fruit during the suffering period. But know that the roots are going deep into the spiritual soil of our soul because of our pressing in to God during our time of suffering. This is producing a work in our character that cannot be seen until it finishes the process. Such was the case for Joseph.
It was not until several years after such a time of suffering that I began to see the fruit of the trials that the Lord allowed me to experience. How grateful I am to understand some of the "why" that has led to a new life in Him that I would never have had without this period.
Samson had great anointing but lacked character. We see many today who have great anointing yet lack character. But God is rising up Josephs who not only have great anointing for these days but also great character. Suffering produces character.
If you find yourself in a time of suffering, now is the time to press into God. Let your roots grow deeper. Whenever there is a famine, tree roots are forced to drive deeper into the soil to find water. These times are designed to create such a deep-rooted faith that our natures will be changed forever.

Friday, March 13, 2009


"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous" ( Prov 13:22 NKJV).

As a student in 1971, Berthold Becker was converted from being a socialist activist to a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Shortly after completing his university education, Berthold decided he wanted to understand what it meant to experience God in his professional career. So, he learned to walk with God at work in the automotive industry. Berthold testifies how God gave him many designs for cars that became their best-sellers. He was often referred to as the "prophet" among his non-Christian auto executives.
With his wife Barbara as his personal intercessor, Berthold left his career in the auto industry in 1986, to begin many entrepreneurial Kingdom initiatives. One was launched in the Ukraine through an initiative called GfS (Gesellschaft für Strukturentwicklung). Berthold became active in many training, consulting and joint venture situations, helping Ukrainian business start-ups. During his travels there, he noticed the lack of availability of good bread, and he decided to do something about it. He started small businesses using mobile bakeries that he bought from the Swiss Army. The German and Ukranian governments soon recognized that Berthold had been serving the nation through his business expertise and came alongside him to say, "You are doing it better than we can." The governments began funding his enterprises, while his group remained in control of the business. The Bible says "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession" (Ps 2:8). I believe one way that will happen is when Christians become the source of blessing to a city or nation.
These enterprises (which include technology transfer and training centers for bread, meat, and dairy products) have become a joint venture with a Ukrainian business group, operating successfully in the food industry.
Today, God is raising up a new breed of Christian workplace leader. God will use anyone to impact a nation because we are all called to disciple the nations. How might God want to use you in the days ahead? What idea might God give you to impact a nation?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her" (Hosea 2:14).

An ancient Arabian fable tells of three merchants who crossed the desert. In the daytime, they would pitch tents for shelter from the desert sun. When the stars came out, they would ride their camels in the cool of the night. At one point, the merchants crossed a dry riverbed under the stars.
"Halt!" said a voice from the darkness.
All three men jumped down from their camels and huddled in fear. "Who's there?" one of them said.
"Don't be afraid," said the voice in the dark. "I won't harm you if you do as I say. See those pebbles at your feet?"
By the dim starlight, the merchants saw thousands of pebbles in the riverbed. "Each of you pick up a pebble and put it in your pocket."
The three merchants obeyed. Each took a pebble from the riverbed.
"Now leave this place," the voice said, "and don't stop until daybreak."
The merchants mounted up. One said, "What's this all about?"
"I will only say this," the voice replied. "In the morning, you will be happy and sad. Now, go!"
Baffled, the three merchants proceeded on their way. As they traveled, they wondered what the voice meant by saying that they would be both happy and sad. When morning came, the merchants stopped. Each man pulled the single pebble from his own pocket and saw that it sparkled in the morning sunlight. The "pebbles" were precious gems. One man had a ruby, another, an emerald, and the third, a sapphire. "Jewels!" one merchant said, his face shining with joy.
"Oh, no!" wailed the second. "There were thousands of jewels all over the riverbed! Each of us took only one! Why didn't we grab handfuls?" "Look!" shouted the third, pointing behind them. A desert wind had whipped up, erasing their tracks. "We can never find our way back!" The voice in the desert had spoken truly. The merchants were happy and sad. They had found wealth in the desert but they could have taken more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matt 11:11-12).

John the Baptist did no miracles. Elijah performed miracle after miracle. Daniel interpreted dreams for kings and he and his friends impacted an entire nation. Jeremiah and Isaiah were two of Israel's greatest prophetic voices. Jesus built his church through the twelve disciples. But Jesus made a profound declaration about this man who performed no miracles - He is the greatest among all the prophets.
Why did Jesus make such a claim? Because he did one very important thing - he fulfilled his purpose on earth in every way.
The disciples asked John the Baptist, "Are you the one we have been waiting for? John responded quickly, "No." Then he made a profound statement: "A man can receive only what God gives him" (John 3:27). He had a complete understanding of why he was placed on earth.
Jesus proclaimed John the Baptist was the greatest because he (John) knew and fulfilled his purpose. The angel Gabriel described John's purpose to his father: "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).
His purpose was absolutely necessary to be achieved in order to prepare the way for Jesus. Do you know why God made you? Are you fulfilling the destiny He has planned for you since the foundation of the earth?
Understanding your work life purpose is key to receiving your inheritance. Paul said no matter what kind of work you do, if God has called you to do it, you will receive an inheritance for doing it. "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).

Friday, March 6, 2009


"The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD" (1 Sam 3:19-20).

"When I was 14 years old I was an exceptional junior golfer. This is not pride on my part, but merely a fact. I had already broken 70 several times and had three hole-in-ones. I competed in the US Junior Amateur and eventually turned pro after attending college on a four year golf scholarship. Those who knew me affirmed the gift and calling that appeared to be on my life. I turned professional for about three years, but God later redirected my life into business and vocational ministry. All of these experiences have combined over many years to contribute to the calling I am living out today". -OS HILLMAN
As we mature in our natural and spiritual lives, God uses our parents, teachers, uncles, coaches and pastors to affirm the gifts and callings that are on our lives. At the time, it often seems like these people are trying to get in the way of what we want to do. However, God uses authority figures to provide key direction during the early teen and twenty-something years. He is using these people to help guide us to the ultimate destiny He has for our lives.
When we are young, we are often more impressionable than at any other time in our lives. The young person who can allow wisdom to rule over immaturity and impatience is a rare individual. However, if you are able to receive from the people God puts in your life at this stage, you will be so far ahead of your peers and you will be amazed.
"God is continually preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity is right, He puts them into position in an instant. He works so fast, the world wonders where they came from," said A. B. Simpson.
Let God do the foundation work so that he can advance you to His ultimate destiny He has for your life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


"They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword." - 2 Samuel 1:12

How would you respond if you heard something bad happened to someone who had been trying to cut off your head for several years? King Saul had been seeking to kill David for many years before Saul was thrust into battle against the Amalekites. In this final battle, a sword killed Saul. When the news reached David, instead of rejoicing that his enemy was no longer a problem for him, he responded in a totally different manner. He mourned. Imagine that; he mourned for the one who sought to kill him.
This is a sign of one who can look past an individual who is the source of pain and consider how God views him. God looks on that individual and sees his needs and knows why he responds the way he does. When we begin to see people as God does, we'll no longer look at them as enemies, but as souls in need of grace. This is how Jesus could give of His life for us. He saw our great need, not what we did to Him. When someone wrongs you, do you seek to retaliate, or do you pray to understand the need behind the offender's actions? For several years a person was a source of constant pain and retaliation toward me. There was nothing I could do to change it. God allowed me to go beyond the person's actions to understand what was the source of his need. When I gained that understanding, God gave me a picture of this person inside a prison cell and in bondage. This bondage made him respond to life in this way. I was able to pray for him and genuinely love him in spite of the fact that he persecuted me. This is the kind of love Jesus wants us to have when He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who spitefully use us.
I believe God does a special work of grace in those who go beyond the realm of normal response to persecution. He brings us to a level of grace we never thought possible. Describing how God worked in Joseph's life, Francis Frangipane reveals what happens when we tap into this grace:
God made him fruitful in the very things that afflicted him. In the land of your affliction, in your battle, is the place where God will make you fruitful. Consider, even now, the area of greatest affliction in your life. In that area, God will make you fruitful in such a way that your heart will be fully satisfied, and God's heart fully glorified. God has not promised to keep us from valleys and sufferings, but to make us fruitful in them.

Tuesday, March 3, 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).

Most of us will have many jobs over our lifetime. As I look back over my past, I've had quite a varied history of jobs that included being a waiter, retail clerk, golf pro, advertising sales executive, ad agency executive, and ad agency owner. Today, I am a writer and lead an international workplace ministry. All of these jobs were important because they gave me a level of experience from which I now express God's ministry. I am able to relate to those in the workplace because of my varied work experience throughout my career.
With each of our jobs, God is building something in us that will be used for His purposes now and in the future. Oswald Chambers says "In the beginning we do not train for God, we train for work, for our own aims; but as we go on with God we lose all our own aims and are trained into God's purpose. Unless practical work is appointed by God, it will prove a curse."
Jesus was prepared for His ultimate calling by working with His father in his carpentry shop until He was thirty years old. More than 54% of Jesus' teaching arose out of issues in daily life experience. Joseph was prepared to be head of a nation by serving prison time and being a slave in Potiphar's house. Moses was prepared to lead a nation out of slavery by serving in Pharoah's house and later working forty years as a shepherd.
Do not despise the small jobs-for they are stepping stones to a greater purpose in God's plan for your life and for God's preparation for your ultimate destiny. Some of these jobs are necessary for the message He is forming in you.
Pray that God accomplishes His intended outcome in you through the work you are doing today.