The Origin of Work

Here is a devotional from the Lead Like Jesus group, for April 20, 2018.

From the world’s perspective, work is often viewed as a curse, something to get done so that we can get on to relaxing and having fun. In contrast, from God’s perspective, work is a gift that reflects His creativity and energy and life-giving nature. By inviting us to join Him in His work of caring for creation in all its facets, God gave human beings purpose and significance and an opportunity to experience the satisfaction He experienced in creation. What work has God given you to do?

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

Prayer: Creator God, giver of every good gift and the one who orders the days of our lives, thank You for inviting me into the work … [ Continue Reading ]

What Does a Disciple Look Like?

What Does a Disciple of Jesus Look Like? A great question. We often attempt to develop new believers into what we think is a good disciple, but at the end of the day, our product looks more like the chief opponents of Jesus rather than his disciples. [ for example, see here ]

It is so important to see the end from the beginning, so we know what we desire in a follower of Jesus. Then we can take positive steps to see that vision come to fruition. Let me suggest these characteristics that should be developed into a disciple…

D – Decided Faith – Assurance of Salvation (1 John 5:13, John 1:12-13, 1 John 5:11-12, Ephesians 4:14, Romans 8:16, 1 Corinthians 2:14)

I – Inward Growth – Devotional Practices (Mark 1:35, Genesis 19:27, Exodus 34:2-3, Psalm 5:3, 1 Corinthians 1:9, … [ Continue Reading ]

Luther’s Reformation at 500

This week is significant for the Christian church.

Sometime during October 31, 1517, the day before the Feast of All Saints, the 33-year-old Martin Luther posted these statements on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The door functioned as a bulletin board for various announcements related to academic and church affairs.

In case you ever wondered what this was all about…

In the first few theses, Luther develops the idea of repentance as the Christian’s inner struggle with sin rather than the external system of sacramental confession.

Theses 5–7 state that the pope can only release people from the punishments he has administered himself or through the church’s system of penance, not the guilt of sin. The pope can only announce God’s forgiveness of the guilt of sin in his name.

In theses 14–29, Luther challenged common beliefs about purgatory.

Theses 30–34 deal with the false certainty Luther … [ Continue Reading ]

Jesus’ Model for Decision Making

We all desire to make wise decisions, so it is best to look at the actions of Jesus to understand our decision making strategy.

Jesus Made a Choice: this is the key to decision making. We arrive where we are right now because of the decisions we have made over the years, and even today. So the first step is easy, simply choose to choose.

Jesus Withdrew from Others: if we want to make a godly decision, we should get away from worldly influences. Jesus withdrew and spent time in prayer, and thinking through his choices. He often spent time alone before making significant decisions.

Jesus Prayed About it: if prayer was necessary for Jesus, how much more for us? Ask for God’s wisdom (James 1:5), and maybe even fasting to your praying (Isaiah 58:8-9).

Jesus was Obedient: he made decisions based on the Word of God (John 4:34). Perhaps … [ Continue Reading ]