Monday, October 15, 2018

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

God is Gracious

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

We spend a large percentage of our lifetime climbing the corporate ladder. Some of us make it further than we ever dreamed and some even make it to the top. But then what? Do we ever feel satisfied with our position? Is our current title, our fame and our fortune ever enough?
Whether we know it or not, we all have a yearning to be in a relationship with our Creator. It is the missing link to finding fulfillment. Yet, history shows that man has always strived to build a legacy for himself by himself. Not long after God flooded the earth to remove all wickedness from it, the people of the world tried to build a tower to reach the heavens on their own accord. But God stopped them. He had already provided a way for man to reach Him, but the gift was rejected. Nothing we do in our own strength can bring us into a right relationship with our Holy God. We must accept God’s provision -- Jesus. It’s that simple.

Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Because God is gracious, through Jesus we can be in relationship with the Creator, our Heavenly Father.

Monday, October 1, 2018

My Inheritance

God is Eternal

so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7

The thought of receiving an inheritance can be exciting, but why? We all know inheritance comes through personal loss. And while our lifestyle can be significantly enhanced, at the end of our life, will what we’ve owned even matter?

What will matter is God’s promise to us to spend eternity in heaven. It is this eternal inheritance that brings peace in all circumstances because we know our future is secure. Yes, inheritance comes at a steep price, but Jesus willingly died so that we could become heirs to the King. And God’s inheritance is available to all who accept it through faith by His grace.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 1 Peter 1:3-4

Because God is eternal, through Christ we will inherit the Kingdom of God forever.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Garbage In, Garbage Out

God is Wisdom

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

In economic modeling, we all know that the results forecasted are only as good as the data entered; and, that without a solid foundation, the predictions for the future are meaningless, even potentially harmful. The same is true in business as the vision, ethics, and values of its leaders seep through the organization. But if the core is rotten, so too will be the results. It is only a matter of time.

To have a fruitful life in business or at home, God’s word tells us to begin by protecting our hearts which can only be done by filling ourselves with things that are wholesome and pure, eliminating that which is not. It takes discipline to develop new habits and eliminate the old ones, but we can trust God that the results will be worth it.

My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil Proverbs 4:20-27

Because God is wisdom, and because He has shared His divine knowledge with us through Christ, we can develop good habits for a fruitful life

Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Lofty Declaration

God is Gracious

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.” Luke 22:70

We all have experienced the salesperson who makes elaborate promises with little downside or cost to us, but experience tells us not to believe in anything that is too good to be true.

But what about Christ’s claim to be the Son of God, sent to earth as part of God’s redemptive plan to pay the penalty for all the sins of mankind without cost to anyone? Does it sound too good to be true? Shouldn’t we owe something or someone to be forgiven? How do we come to accept this truth? And while the answer is simple, it is not simply accepted. Much debate can occur among ourselves and within ourselves as we struggle with accepting Jesus as the Messiah. But the simple answer is it is by faith that we believe. And it is only by faith that we are saved.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:1, 6

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20

Because God is gracious, through faith in Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Election Day

God is Sovereign

You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. Daniel 2:37-38

An election is coming and so we’ll have to choose a side. It seems like in this election the candidates have very disparate positions - To some, this makes the choice easy. But what about the choice you have to make about eternity? Is your mind made up? Have you cast your vote? Do you know what is at stake?

Not many of us realize, but every day is an election day regarding our future. Each day we can make a choice to follow Jesus Christ or not. For some, we have never made that all important decision, and for others despite our claims to follow Christ, we struggle with obeying God’s word in at least one area of our life. Yes the election of our government officials is an important event, but even more importantly is who we elect as our King.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:10-11

Because God is sovereign, with Christ as our King, we have eternal life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Silver and Gold

God is Faithful

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20

More than a symbol of wealth and status, silver and gold have recently increased in demand as a safe investment. And while wanting to preserve our assets for the future is normal, at the end of our lives, will all the stuff we’ve accumulated really matter?

According to Scripture, one day everything as we know it will be thrown into the fire -- that the things of this world will burn up. The Bible goes on to tell us that what matters most is our relationship with God and how we treat others. Is your focus on things that won’t last or are you committed to Christ, trusting that all your needs will be met by a loving God who is the source of all good? Are you foregoing worldly desires and instead, building treasures for eternity?

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 1 Corinthians 3:12-14

Because God is faithful, with Christ our focus can be on building our faith.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What's in a Name?

God is Eternal

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD the God of your fathers —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob —has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. Exodus 3:14-15

First names, middle names, surnames, nicknames– we all have them, but at the end of the day, what is really in a name? Our names are how we are referred, but more than that, our names are synonymous with our reputation and character. But we also know as our relationships deepen and people get to know us better, it is in our nicknames that our character is truly revealed.

Historically, the manner in which people called on God was very formal. Then one day, God introduced himself to Moses at Mount Sinai making the relationship very personal. God said you are to call me “I AM”. I AM meaning I am always present, I’ve always existed, and I am longing to have you know me intimately, to trust me, confide in me and walk with me. The great I AM has made an incredible offer to know Him through His Son Jesus – will you take God up on it?

God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:27

Because God is eternal, through Christ, we can always experience God’s presence

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Independence Day

God is All Powerful

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18

With 4th of July approaching, we are all reminded that we live in a wonderful and free country. Our constitution provides each American with an abundance of civil liberties, but are we truly free as individuals? Each day we are faced with temptation and while we have the freedom to make a choice, do we always choose what we know in our hearts is best?

The Bible tells us we can not be truly free until we have made Christ the Lord of our lives. Because of our sinful nature, we do not have the ability to resist temptation in our own strength. We may be able to withstand a persuasion for a time being, but not forever. However, with Christ in our hearts, we are given the power to be free from all sin if we are willing. Yes, our country grants us many freedoms, but our own hearts will never be free without surrender.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1


Because God is all-powerful, with Christ we are set free from temptation

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Competition

God is Faithful

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5

Life is a constant competition. We are always trying to win at something – whether it is in sports, a work opportunity, a relationship, or our own acceptance. Our desire to compete makes total sense because that is how we were raised – how the world is wired.

But from God’s perspective, the game is over. We have already won. With Jesus in our hearts, no longer is there a need to compete because we have all we need to be accepted, to be confident that our needs will be met, and to be guaranteed a place with the King for eternity. We can spend the rest of our lives trying to win and never be satisfied, or we can approach life by faith – faith that accepts that through Christ we have already been declared victorious in all things forever. So, more than how you play the game, it’s who you play the game with that really counts!

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Because God is faithful, by faith in Jesus Christ we have been given victory over all things.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Master Plan

God is Sovereign

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. Genesis 45:4-5

Most of us have a plan – whether it is simply for today or a long term strategy to take us through the next five to ten years. But what happens when something unexpected pops up? How do you react? Do you see it as an opportunity or as an inconvenience? Do you take the time to help and become engaged when it does not fit in with your original plan?

Jacob’s youngest and favorite son Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers when he was 17 years old – a far cry from Joseph’s plan to rule and reign over his family. But, after 17 years of captivity in Egypt, Joseph finally saw the wisdom in God’s plan. Israel would have perished and never have become a great nation if it was not for Joseph’s diversion. God’s plans for our lives are often quite different than our plans, but His desire is that we surrender to His will and trust that His ways are best.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Because God is sovereign, with Christ, we can trust His plan for our lives.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Location, Location, Location

God Is Self-sufficient

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12

In real estate, we’ve all heard the old adage “location, location, location”. It’s a fact, the best locations yield the greatest financial gains. But what about in life? Where does our focus have to be to achieve “success”?

The Bible tells us it is our relationship with God that is most important. That the closer we are with God, the more peace and joy we experience, regardless of our circumstances. Jesus tells us the greatest command is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

So it isn’t our accomplishments or the things of this world that matter to God, but our relationship. Our location in life is most dependent on our proximity to God. And with Christ in our hearts, we have all we need to achieve our goals – for we are seated at the right hand of God. Now that’s location!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Col 3:1, 15

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

Because God is self-sufficient, we have all that we need in Christ

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In Money We Trust?

God is Unchanging

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7

If you were to look at a coin, you would notice our national motto “In God We Trust” is stamped on it. In fact, since 1938 the motto has been placed on all coins minted as a reminder of the true source of our mighty nation’s power. But somewhere along the way, it seems our trust has shifted away from God. We’ve become a people who rely on what our money can do for us. Have we been re-branded to a country whose motto is“In Money We Trust”?

Let’s face it, the time and effort we make for God pales in comparison to money. But we are not alone. Jesus warned us to avoid the love of money and yet the temple courts, a holy place for worship, had been turned to a place of trade; the Roman tax collectors abused their positions by overcharging the people; and even one of the twelve apostles betrayed Jesus, our Savior, for 30 pieces of silver…. Isn’t it time we regain perspective on where our strength really comes from? Isn’t it time we stop relying on things that do not last, but rather trust in our Lord who satisfies completely? For He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

Because God is unchanging, we can trust Jesus in all things

Sunday, April 15, 2018

History Repeats Itself?

God is All Powerful

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5

No one likes to make the same mistake twice, let alone over and over again, but isn’t there something you stumble over time and time again? A behavior or way of thinking you’d like to change, but when given the opportunity, you fall back to old habits and familiar patterns…

The Bible tells us we are born into sin, incapable of always doing good without the help of God’s divine power. Because we are human, even the most admirable will fail at times, but when the Holy Spirit lives through us then, and only then, do we have the power to live in obedience and joy. If you embrace this truth and believe it in your heart, you can be transformed -- replacing evil desires with those good and pleasing to God!

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

Because God is all powerful, through Christ, we can live in self-control

Sunday, April 1, 2018

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

God is Gracious

The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? Numbers 14:11

Whether it’s your boss, a business associate or a friend that makes you feel inadequate and under appreciated, no one likes it when our past achievements are so easily forgotten. Like many, you wonder “is it possible to be acknowledged and trusted -- will I ever earn lasting approval?”

Imagine how God feels when we fail to remember the miracles He has performed on our behalf – the extent to which He goes to save us? Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites were notorious for losing faith and yet God relentlessly pursued them despite the constant rejection. After 400 years of silence, God kept His promise to send a Savior to be the final sacrifice for all of our sins. God desires us to believe Jesus is Lord and to trust and follow His commands. The choice is yours –will you dismiss the extent of God’s forgiveness and cost to redeem you or will you accept Jesus as the final payment?

Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. Psalm 78: 7-8

Because God is gracious, through Christ we are forever redeemed.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Make the Investment

God is Goodness

So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ Luke 19:13

Most of us invest money with the expectation of reaping a reward. And while a few may hide their life savings in a mattress, for the most part we expect our wealth to work for us. But what about other resources and talents – our time, our relationships, our abilities and strengths -- do we invest them with the hope of multiplying them as well, or do we sit back lazy or in fear, limiting our full potential?

In the parable of the Ten Minas, Jesus implies that God has given each of us unique gifts and talents. His wish is that we would use them for His purposes. When we follow Jesus, we give up our fears and selfish desires and serve God. Are you focused on what He desires from you or on what you desire from Him? When we use our talents in ways He calls us to, we will multiply the investment God has made in us. And God will reward a servant whose heart is aligned with Him.

The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ Luke 19:16-17

Because God is goodness, when we follow Christ, our actions will one day be rewarded.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Excuses

God is All-Powerful

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Exodus 4:13

Excuses - we all have them and sometimes they are legitimate, but what about those excuses that hold you back and keep you from accomplishing something great? The reasons that keep us from significance are usually made up, but we believe them anyway and thus miss out on opportunities.

Moses was full of excuses. Despite growing up in Pharaoh’s house and being highly educated and well connected, he baulked at God’s plan to lead the Israelites out from Egypt. His excuses included “what if they do not believe me or listen to me”, “I am slow of speech and tongue”, “who am I’, “please send someone else to do it”. Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you? Moses ultimately trusted God to sustain him as he, with the help of his brother Aaron led Israel through one of the most miraculous accounts in the Bible. But what about you; are you willing to stop making excuses and trust God to deliver you through the circumstances that plague you and the opportunities He presents?

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” Exodus 6:1


Because God is all-powerful, when we trust wholeheartedly in Jesus, we can accomplish great things.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

All We Need Is Love

God Is Love

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Everyone wants and needs to be loved – it is a universal truth. We recognize that love comes from several sources –from our parents, our friends, and from our spouse but there is also a higher love known as agape love that comes from our Heavenly Father. Many of us experience the first three forms of love and yet still feel unsatisfied because experiencing perfect love from God is the key to living completely fulfilled.

God’s unconditional love for mankind is the overriding theme of both the Old and New Testaments. God created us to be in relationship with Him and yet because of our sin we are separated. God promised a redeemer and that redeemer is Jesus Christ. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so that our relationship with God would be restored for all those who believe. Only God through Jesus can love us unconditionally. And only with that perfect love are we completely content and able to walk without fear of the challenges that lie ahead.

In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. I John 4: 17-18

Because God is love, in Christ we are made complete and without fear.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Seeking Meek

God Is All-Powerful

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Could you imagine a job description that lists being meek as a qualification? -- Hardly! Yes, companies seek hard working, perseverant individuals who are intelligent and well-connected, but the meek -- they need not apply. After all, how could one truly be successful as a boss, if they did not act "bossy"?

But if we dig into scripture, meek does not suggest weakness, but rather standing in confidence and security that is achieved through a relationship with the Almighty God. Meek suggests being submissive to God's will, but not necessarily to mankind. And being meek involves being forgiving at all times. Jesus modeled what true humility is -- the all-powerful God made man to be a servant for mankind. Not weak but meek. Are you ready and willing to practice what is preached?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8


Because God is all-powerful, through Christ, we can humbly serve others.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Passion for Service and Excellence

God is Gracious

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

Since creation, God has given us work to do. Knowing that God created work should shed new light on our approach to the work week. And, if we focus on this truth, it is possible that even the most difficult aspects of work can become a passion.

Are you passionate about your work? Do you strive for 110 percent or is complacency lurking in you? With the new year underway, take a look at what is being asked of you today and think of how God has been gracious to you. As He changes your heart and mind, you will have the ability to transform an undesirable or mundane task into one full of joy and excellence. Passion comes from the heart, a heart humbled by the knowledge of God’s grace and mercy.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, Colossians 3:23

Because God is gracious, He can transform our hearts and enable us to serve passionately.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Resolutions

God is Faithful

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The New Year is about new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams, and sometimes new direction. It is about setting goals, changing habits, improving character. In our own strength, we often fail, even after our best efforts. But when we lean on God to help change us from the inside out, we can experience success in transforming the big and small things in our lives.

Through the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, all things are possible for those who believe. Remember, God is always at work, renewing our minds and refining our character – it is just that sometimes we don’t recognize Him or embrace His efforts. The bible tells us to have faith and trust God with everything. When we let go of our hurts, our struggles, and our desires to be in control, God will transform our hearts and perfect our character. What would you like to leave behind as you start the New Year and are you willing to trust God to help?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Happy New Year!

Because God is faithful, with Christ we can experience a changed life.