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.

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Unknowingly Prophets

– Ps. 74:9 – We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.

– Acts 2:29-31 – I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to Him with an oath to seat one of His Descendants on His throne, he looked ahead and SPOKE of the resurrection of the Christ

Some of the same people who don’t believe prophecy is for today, don’t even realize they, themselves, are prophets. David said there are no prophets left, but he himself was a prophet. He sang, and he spoke the Word of God, and thus he prophesied. His revelation of the written word revealed what the coming of Jesus would be like. We now tell of what the second coming of Jesus will be like.

Prophecy


How can someone prophecy if they don't even believe in Prophesy?

How can someone be prophesying if they don’t even believe in prophecy?


1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

– Gen. 1:3 – Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

– Prov. 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue

– Rom. 4:17 – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

God spoke and things were created. We were made in His likeness. Our words, when mixed with faith, cause either life or death to the listener. If I call you ugly and you have the faith to believe that you are ugly, then your soul just died a bit.

Not only do our words have power, but God’s Word has power. The Bible is a giant prophecy about Jesus, so simply speaking the Word is speaking a prophecy.

– Matt. 17:20- if you have FAITH like a grain of mustard seed, you will SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’

– Eze. 36:1 – Son of man, PROPHESY to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith.
– If you have faith, you can move the mountains
say to this mountain
prophesy to the mountains

Do you have faith in God’s word? Do you pray? If yes to both, then you have prophesied.


2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

God’s promises are prophecies for your life. Prophesy is a word that scares some people, but simply it means: God’s spoken promises. From now on let use the words promise and prophecy interchangeably.

Prayer is an act of faith that God will fulfill His promises. Prayer speaks life into situations, which is prophesy.

Promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen

Prophecy: the foretelling or prediction of what is to come

When we say, ‘You have my word,’ it means ‘you have my promise’.
Well, God’s Word is His promise. The whole meaning of a ‘promise’ is that we wait for something we don’t yet have. Thus, it’s God’s ‘promises’, or ‘prophecies’, that show us what our future looks like. Abraham had no proof, no facts, that he could have children; all the evidence said he couldn’t. But when Abraham chose to believe God’s promise, the promise activated. The promises/prophecies God gives us, have to be activated by faith. The promise is carried out by faith. ‘Abraham believed and so became (Rom.4:18).’

‘You are what you eat’ rings true… You are what you believe.

Stand on His promises/prophecies for your life. Continue to remind Him of His promises when you pray.

– 2 Cor.1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”


Faith is 3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

– Heb. 11:1 – faith is the assurance of things hoped for

– Rom. 1:16-17 – the gospel, for it is the power of God… God is revealed from faith

The Word is the promise of God. It’s by our faith that God is revealed. Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence. Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy.

– Rom. 4:16-24 – Therefore, the promise comes by faithGod who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were notAgainst all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of Godbut was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.


4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

– Rev. 19:10 (NET) – Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

We can testify of: 1)the fulfilled prophecies about Jesus, and 2)the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled.


ClipNotes:
1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith

2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

Prophecy is a fancy term for ‘God’s promises’. God’s promises are prophecies for your life – it His promises/prophecies that show us what our future looks like. Prayer is the act of coming into agreement with those.

3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

Faith activates the promises of God. ‘Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence.’  Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy. 

4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled. 


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Jesus is Alive!

If you believe Jesus is alive today, then you have to believe that He is still healing and raising the dead today. Otherwise, you believe that His character is inconsistent, and you’ve rejected the Word that says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb.13:8).”

The Bible says we are the body of Christ, and the Spirit of Jesus lives in us. If you believe these scriptures, then you should understand that the gifts of the Spirit (1Cor.12) are still active today. Otherwise the Spirit, who is God, is inconsistent as well.

“God is Spirit (John4:24)” and He is our “Father, who does not change (James1:17).” “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you (1 Cor.3:16)?” “To each person has been given the ability to manifest the Spirit for the common good (1Cor.12:7).”

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things (John 14:12).” Not because we are greater than Jesus, but because He is alive inside of each of us, instead of being constrained to just one physical body.

Look closer. He lives in you. – Rafiki

He Lives In You // Lion King

Reflection - Lion King

– 1 Cor. 13:12 – Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

The gifts are our puzzling reflection of Christ. The gifts exist until His return when we see him with perfect clarity.

Creativity

Creative Christians: If you are totally abandoned to the will of God for your life, your abilities are just expressions of yourself to God. The stuff you don’t do out of strife, or competition, or as a discipline, but you do out of passion and desire for God – if someone rejects that, they are rejecting the Father.

God isn’t impressed by man, talent, or form; He is impressed with your heart. Maybe your worship style will become the form one day. You played the banjo and the fire fell, and now everyone plays the banjo; forms start from people seeking God. He’s not impressed with cds, music industry, art sales, or forms; He is impressed with the heart of His sons and daughters. Has strife and competition broken off of you, and are you free? Has rejection shut you down or do you still have a unique fingerprint?

We’re so independent in our culture, most of us can’t even choose what we like. Most people have to be told what they like. Break out of deception and realize that Father God is pleased with you, gave you freedom, creativity, and uniqueness. He loves those things, and you are not rejected by Him. Flowing, in the creative gifts He gave you, has purpose. Don’t let man shut that down. Flow creativity flow #JasonUpton

Jason Upton – teaching & worship session

Metaphors of the Church

Jesus gives us several metaphors to help us understand what the church should be like. The ‘church’ is not a religious building, or a specific denomination. The church is every person who accepts Jesus as their savior. Here are five metaphors to help us understand His plan for the church:


God is the master architect

God is the master architect

1. The Church is like a Building
This means: We need support.

If you are in the ‘church’, you are a part of the building, and helping build the building. If you are a pillar, then you need someone who is concrete to support you; you need someone as a roof, for you to hold up. We need people to support us, and people who we can support. A building is not made of only one kind of material. We need each other; we cannot do it by ourselves.

– Eph. 2:19-22 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

– 1 Cor. 3:9-10,16 – You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation (Jesus) like an expert builder. Now others are building on it… Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?


We are the body of Christ

We are the body of Christ

2. The Church is like a Body
This means: We need to grow.

When a body is healthy, it grows and develops. It needs many parts to be able to function. If you plucked out the eye, it couldn’t do its job. It still holds the potential to do it’s job, but it is worthless unless it is attached to the body. Parts must be connected to use their potential, help, and grow. Your potential cannot be realized by you. You need others to bring out your full potential. When we are separated from the body, we die.

– Rom. 12:4-6 – For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

– Eph. 4:16 – From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

– Eph. 4:11-12 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

– Phil. 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Christ is the shepherd of the flock

Christ is the shepherd of the flock

3. The Church is like a Flock
This means: We need protection.

The church is meant to protect you and for you to protect those in it. You are not meant to be alone. You can be around a lot of people, but if you aren’t being truthful, and transparent, you will feel utterly alone. You are meant to be able to share your life with others and let them speak into you. You need others to teach you, help you spot enemies, and help you trample the enemies. The enemies plan is to find those who are separated from the flock, and those who are weak. You cannot stay safe on your own.

– Acts 20:28-29 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

-Acts 17:26-27 – he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

– 1 Peter 5:2 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care

– Jer. 3:15 – I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

– Luke 12:31-33 – But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven


We are the family of God

We are the family of God

4. The Church is like a Family
This means: We need to be loved unconditionally

God loves us unconditionally. We are saved by His grace, not by works. Have you had a family member you didn’t get along with? We might not get along, but we aren’t supposed to kick each other out of the family. We need to be able to see others through our Fathers heart. The more we understand God’s heart, the more we will be able to show His love to others. We are adopted by God, into His family, and joined together by the blood of Jesus. A lot of times, your church family sticks closer to you than your physical family. These people know the struggle and have wisdom from God to share with you. We need more spiritual sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. Mentors rise up!

– Eph. 2:19 – you are no longer foreigners and strangersbut fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household

– Prov. 18:24 – … there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

– Eph. 1:5 – he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

– Rom. 8:14,29 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

– Gal. 3:26 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith

– 1 John 4:20-21 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


We are the bride of Christ

We are the bride of Christ

5. The Church is like a Bride
This means: We need to be One with Christ.

We need to leave everything to be joined to Christ, our husband. We need to get rid of every hinderance, and lay down every weight. We can be honest to our husband, because He loves us unconditionally. He takes His vow seriously, and He does not believe in divorce. In Jewish culture they would actually slaughter a bull and the couple getting married would walk between the parts and say, ‘may I be like this bull if I do not keep my vow.’ Christ walked through the parts for us (Gen.15:9-18). We are in a covenant relationship with Him and He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut.31:6).

– Gen. 2:24 –  a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

– Eph. 5:31-32 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mysterybut I am talking about Christ and the church.

– 1 Cor. 6:17 – But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

– Rom. 8:9 – You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ

– Ruth 1:15-16 – Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

– Matt. 19:29 – And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.


Worship: Brother, by NeedToBreathe

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Prayer: Lord, join your body together, so we can be the holy temple of God. Make your bride spotless, and show your people how to live unified in love. Keep our eyes set on your return, for you left for Spirit as a wedding pledge to us. Let us keep showing off this great gift of your Spirit, as one would a wedding ring. Let us stay about your work awaiting your return to take us to the home you have prepared for us in your Father’s kingdom. May your people (family) be our people; teach us to love them. May we build up the your people (building) with words of encouragement. May we protect your people (flock) and share the truth about our sufferings, trials, and victories. Help us grow, develop, and reach our full potential. Bring a new level of unity and love to us in Jesus name, Amen.


For more on this topic you can listen to Pastor Chris Hodges:
Be Transparent – How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Series

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