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 ]

The Thief on the Cross

Passion week is almost upon us. Luke 23:39-43 records the familiar death-bed conversion of the thief on the cross. I recently studied on this topic and discovered seven truths that the repentant thief understood. These truths must be embraced in order to gain peace with God. Here’s the passage:

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

So, … [ Continue Reading ]

The Monster in the Manger

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… you can’t read those words without adding the tune, at least in your mind. Christmas is a wonderful time because it is the time of celebration of the coming of the long-awaited Messiah. He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2). Christians recognize the Messiah to be the baby born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). The sign to the shepherds was finding the baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:12). So, much of Old Testament prophecy pointed to this great event in the life of the community.

In America, we have removed the Messiah in the manger and replaced him with the monster in the manger. To a few people, it appears to be offensive to make any reference to Jesus during Christmas, preferring to emphasize Santa, reindeer and good old fashioned consumerism (dare I say, materialism). In a … [ Continue Reading ]

God’s Requirement of Us

It’s the question that many ask… sometimes on a regular basis. What does God want from us?

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. (Deuteronomy 10:12)

So, who says the Old Testament is hard to understand or is irrelevant to our lives today? Well, there are some parts but overall the message is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

When it comes down to it, God is asking that we LOVE HIM. Many people think they have to get their life all straightened out or in order before they can become a Christian. But in reality, God isn’t asking all that much of us… except that we love him with all … [ Continue Reading ]

The Blessing of Weakness

It has been said, never show your weaknesses, mainly because it will be used against you. The fact is, everybody has weaknesses. We have physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual weaknesses, so the question is, what do you do with your weaknesses?

While most people deny, defend, or excuse their weaknesses, Christians can embrace them and ask God to use them! When God works through weak people, His power is shown more clearly (2 Corinthians 12:5, 9, 1 Corinthians 9:22, Hebrews 4:15, 11:34).

When I use the word weakness, I’m not talking about a character flaw that can and should be changed. A weakness is any limitation in my life I inherited or can’t change. How do you lead your small group through weaknesses that you didn’t ask for and don’t have the ability to change?

1. Admit Your Weaknesses: In other words, stop pretending to have it all together, stop … [ Continue Reading ]