Honoring God in the Work Place

If our boss wanted us to do something ungodly, would we do it? Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego decided they would not, even if they were ‘fired’ for it. They respected God more than man. Once they took their stand–may I add, in a respectful manner, still calling him Your Majesty–the bosses view of them changed. The boss became furious and made their work 7 times harder (v19). Would we refuse to do something against our God, even if it made our work lives miserable? Even if the boss hated us and made things harder on us? S,M,&A trusted God to take care of them, and God did just that. God kept them from being ‘fired’, ‘fired’ some of the people who tried to hurt them, caused the bosses view of them AND their God to change, AND even gave them a promotion. What if your next promotion rides on you honoring God in the workplace? What if someone’s eternity rides on it? What if the whole workplaces eternity rides on it?

Dan. 3:16-30 – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” 19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” 30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.


The last season of my life has been a time of recovery. During that time, I didn’t do a great job portraying Christ to my atheist boss. The Spirit of God would not let me post this until I had texted him to apologize. What if my apology meant the reconciliation of him to God? What if he judged christians for being no different than the world? I can witness along side of him, that I am guilty by every measure, except the blood of Jesus has made me clean and purified me. I will try to do the things My Judge commands, even if it means sticking my foot in my mouth and becoming humiliated… I mean, humbled…

Matt. 5:23-26 – “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.


Dan. 3:1-6 – King Nebuchadnezzar (said)… you must fall down and worship the image of gold… Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.

  • This government forced everyone to worship a certain god

Dan. 6:7 – The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den

  • This government condemned everyone who worshipped a different god

‘You must worship this’ or ‘You can’t worship that’? America not only has decided it will make abortions legal, but around 2014 the government decided that all businesses must provide it to their employees. If America chose, by vote, to have abortions that’s one thing, but to force everyone to provide that service for their employees is another. The Catholic church and Hobby Lobby respectfully opposed this law by doing things the right way through the laws of the land. They were under threat of death; the government tried to close the business, put them in the news under fire from the people, and threatened to fine them one million dollars a day. What will you do if caught in this situation, where you must choose between honoring God or man? – Chris Hodges

The Methodist church is about to face a similar situation. The national United Methodist Church leaders are deciding whether they will accept gay marriage as God honoring or not. If they decide to honor gay marriage, any individual church under their umbrella that doesn’t agree can lose the rights to their buildings and land. If the leaders accept gay marriage, will these churches trust God to make them stand, even at the loss of their buildings? What if making that stance means their greatest promotion? If you’re the only church that makes that stand in your city, you better believe, there will be members leaving the other methodist churches looking for a place to call home. What if making that stance makes an eternal difference in our nation, for the members of that affiliation?

At my last job, a woman prayed for a girl who requested it. This woman was in a group of staff members, both male and female, and no one offered to pray for the young girl, although it was a christian business. The woman prayed for the girl, and was later confronted by her boss over it. This was a Church of Christ business, under the belief that women should not speak in front of men–whether to lead worship, lead a message, or even pray. Praise God for this woman’s courage to honor God at the expense of losing her job! Not everything each denomination believes, lines up with the Word of God. If we know better, we are accountable for our actions. May this woman’s courage make an eternal difference at her place of employment! And may you find the courage to do the same!

In 2015, Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley, released a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling: “I have always believed in the Biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. That definition has been deeply rooted in our society for thousands of years. Regardless of today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, I still believe in a one man and one woman definition of marriage. The people of Alabama also voted to define marriage as between a man and woman. I always respect the people’s vote, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has disregarded the choice made by the people of Alabama in its decision today.” Governor Bentley went against the nation as he refused to marry same-sex couples in Alabama. He caught a lot of heat for standing up for what was right! Satan himself went to tempt, and ruin, his public witness, as a year later Bentley fell into an affair and praise God that he went on record asking God to forgive him. May God redeem those who honor Him.

In the Bible, Joseph refused to disobey God’s laws at the command of his master who wanted an affair with him. He lost his job over the issue, but later God made him the ruler of a nation (Gen.39:10; 41:40). If Joseph hadn’t lost that job, he wouldn’t have become ruler of a nation. Trust God’s plan in whatever happens, and do your best to stand up for what is right. We all need God’s forgiveness, for we are all tempted, and all sinners–but still people that God can use to make a difference.

Advertisements

Empty

‘Bottomless pit’ and ‘well’, in the following verses, are the same word in the Greek language: phrear. This is one of several word denoted as ‘Hell’ in the Greek language. Hell, then, can be a state of the heart…

– Rev. 9:2 – He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.

– John 4:11-12 – “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

In context with the rest of the story, the woman at the well was basically saying, ‘I am an empty, bottomless pit’. I have a hole that I can’t fill. I cannot get enough husbands, or boyfriends, to fill this hole in me. How then can I draw water up to quench my thirst?

– Eccl. 12:8 (MSG) – It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke.

Smoke chokes you out and burns your eyes. It dulls the senses. It wants you to flee in discomfort instead of putting out the fire at its source. It doesn’t want you to have an endless source of water to squelch its flames.

The smoke isn’t the fire; it’s only what the fire produced. I lot of times we try to treat symptoms instead of curing the illness. God is the healer. This woman’s symptom was that she felt like she had to have a man in her life. The root issue was something else. It might have been that she had not received love from her father, or that she never finished grieving over the loss of her first husband. Whatever the case, Satan loves to throw up the smoke screen and try to confuse us. He knows that if we can’t see to put out the fire, that he can continue to burn us out till there is nothing left.

– John 4:25-26 – The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

She had heard of Jesus, but now she’s met Jesus. Jesus turns your bottomless pit into a spring of water. He doesn’t just give you one drink in your need, but provides a lifetime of provision for you. He is the living water and the only way to put out the flame at its source. If you have a bottomless pit that you can’t fill, ask Jesus to come meet with you and give you a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.

– 1 Cor. 3:20 – The Master sees through the smoke screens

– Rom. 8:27 (MSG) – He knows us far better than we know ourselves

– Rom. 8:1 – there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

When you can’t see through all the smoke, ask Him to show you and snuff out the flame. Notice that Jesus didn’t condemn this woman. The woman didn’t lie to Him about her sin. God honors your honesty, even when you know that you are doing something wrong. He won’t condemn you for being honest and asking for His help. He came to explain everything to us. He wants you to know your own heart and understand what it is you really need.

James 1:5 – But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Jesus isn’t just a well of water. Jesus is a spring of water welling up.  You don’t have to do the work of drawing up the water for yourself when you have Jesus. Just get in His presence.

Listen to this worship song on the subject: Jeremy Camp “Empty Me”

God is Passion

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

– Heb. 12:29 – Our God is a consuming fire

– 1 John 4:8 – God is love

One definition for the word fire is: ‘to inspire’

If you are looking for God, look for love.
Where there is fire, passion, inspiration, and love for something in your life, that is God leading you.
(As long as that passion stays on the path of righteousness)


“By following passion and love, we can find our purpose.”


God's people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

God’s people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

– Ex. 13:21 – the Lord went ahead of them… by night in a pillar of fire to give them light

– Eze. 1:26-28 – on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist … down he looked like fire

That pillar of fire was the leg of God. He was literally walking in front of Israel and guiding them into the promised land. Let that same God lead you; follow the flame of passion that’s in you.

– Ps. 104:4 – The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants

We were created to be burning and passionate. To serve what we love and let that fire drive our work. If passion has left, then its time to follow Him somewhere new. The Israelites stayed when God stayed and followed God when He up and led the way.


How do we follow passion?
Passion often produces dreams and desires for more, but we can’t get to the fulfillment of a dream without a process.

– Col. 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

You don’t have to do something all day, you just have to do a little each day. Focusing on the end product is productive for long term goals, but focusing on the end product with an instant gratification mentality is a set up for failure, frustration, & burn out. And In order to keep passion alive we have to protect against those things by:

– Being intentional (with our time, actions, steps, goals, etc.)
– Being practical
– Being consistent
– Expecting Results


Process is God inspired:

1. When we accept Christ we do not instantly become perfect.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We are transformed into His image. We cannot be perfect. Perfection is unattainable to us. We are perfect only through Jesus, not ever from our own ability. God does not expect us to be perfect, He expects us to transform. Transformation is not instantaneous. His grace covers us in our imperfect state. He loves us despite our flaws.

We Are Being Transformed into the Likeness of ChristWe cannot will ourselves into the last phase. We can only get there by taking the small yet necessary steps. The caterpillar isn’t stressed out about getting into its final form. Everything happens in its own time. We can trust God in the same way. His timing is perfect and it’s not something that we have to perform on our own. We can take it one day at a time and trust Him that the daily process is getting us to that final form of what He has planned.

– Matt. 6:34 – seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Strive for Progress Not Perfection

2. We can’t teleport. If we want to get somewhere we have to take one step at a time.
The journey is meant to be fun. It’s like site seeing. Bad things can happen along the journey, but staying on the path of righteousness makes those things dust in the midst of a whole heep of glory.

3. Thankfully, when we want to eat, we don’t just insert the whole meal into our stomach. We, instead, take one bite at a time and get to enjoy the flavors.


“We cannot take on the whole of our calling at one moment. We need steps.
And if we are following the passion and the love, then we are following God into our destiny.”


Passion can teach us about God:

– John 14:26 – the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

God Himself will teach us who He is. I was torn today about what I should study: bible or art? Though I had planned on learning an art program for work, passion led me to play violin, and during the violin session the Spirit of God talked to me about patience and revealed Himself to me. Today is a smorgasbord of all the things I wanted to do. I followed passion, and then I realized that God is passion, and that as I follow passion, He will reveal Himself to me.


Our purpose is engrained in us and fire lights the way to destiny. I have both desired, and dreaded, learning an instrument for 19 years now. I thought it would take to much time to learn and would catapult me into a realm of competition. If I had just learned a little every day for the past 19 years, I would’ve been a master by now. But true God given passions do not leave. If you deny them, they will haunt you for 19 years! Just go ahead and follow it. Ten minutes of attention a day for 19 years is plenty to get you to that final phase you dream about.

Each person has a place and a realm of influence, given to them from God. Every persons talents have a purpose. If God is guiding you with a passion, don’t let the enemy shut you down with lies like you can’t do it, you won’t be as good as others, or it would take too much time to learn.

– 2 Cor. 10:12 – We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves

 1 Peter 4:10 - Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others

– 1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


“We can’t find our purpose if we keep killing the seeds
of desire that God has put in us to nurture.” 


In this parable God shows us that every person has a talent, and every person gets to choose whether they invest in it or not. God promises that if you invest in the talent that you will receive a 100 fold increase plus.

– Matt. 25:14-30 – “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Prayer: Thank you Lord for lighting my path. Thank you the prophesy that was spoken over me that I would be a worshipper, write great things, and even make songs. I do not see it, and I have neglected it, but God, you are a consuming fire. As I continue to seek you, set me ablaze. Guide me with your righteous passion; lead me into the promise, and set me on the land that you have prepared for me. Reveal now, where you are in the lives of those who read. Help them see you as that passionate flame that burns inside of them. Give us more of you. Be the seal on our hearts that keeps us as burning ones. Consume every part of us (Ps.69:9). Let us be your living sacrifice (Rom.12:1). Let us burn with a fire that waters cannot quench (Sos.8:6). Make us Elijah’s in the midst of the prophets of Baal (1Kings18); no matter how much water, or how many trials come against us, keep our hearts alive with blazing passion for your name. May passion light the way for purpose.

Worship: Jesus Culture – All Consuming Fire