For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
– Galations 1:10
In considering this verse it did not take long for me to draw parallels to my work life. I have responsibility over a large number of employees who are in place for the purpose of meeting the mission of my organization. You are hard pressed today to pick up a book on leadership and not see the importance of caring for and development of your employees. Part of that thinking is that “a happy workforce is a productive workforce” (I put it in quotes because I am sure someone said it – if not, I just did). This certainly makes sense and today we see this played out in ways no one would have dreamed about 50 years ago.
Google is a great example of this philosophy in action and is one of the most sought after places of employment today. An employee at Google has access to breakfast through dinner at no cost – right there in the workplace. They not only serve you the food, but they pick you up from home in their own bus to get you to work. And don’t forget your dog Skippy, he can come along and join you for the day. Need a few months off to climb Mount Everest? That can be accommodated. Don’t worry, when you get back to work you’ll have a massage waiting for you to soothe those tired muscles!
Of course, this is not just one big free ride. It all is intended to ultimately achieve the company’s mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Oh, and I would be remiss to leave out the $16 Billion they made along the way in 2013.
Meeting the mission is the primary driver for any organization. While a productive work force is key to achieving that, organizations frequently need to make decisions which do not always please all of their employees. I personally have experienced this in an organization which has had to make significant changes due, in great part, to forces outside of our control. I have found that I cannot prioritize pleasing people ahead of meeting the mission.
When we focus back on Paul’s mission in Galations, the stakes are much higher than any organization – they are eternal and driven by the ultimate CEO, God himself. There is no room for compromise of scripture in order to please people. How would Paul respond to the condition of the church in America today? How does your life reflect on these truths? As a servant of Christ I must be unwavering in my commitment to the mission laid out before me in scripture. While I need to demonstrate the love of Christ to a dying world, this cannot come at the expense of watered down truth; and ultimately means I will find myself alienated from much of the world around me. There is one Gospel. There is one truth. The least loving thing I can do is hold the full truth of scripture from my unbelieving neighbor or even the brother sitting in the chair next to me at church.
We need to embrace a sense of urgency in our own lives to abide in Christ and commit to striving toward obedience to the fullness of scripture. It is then that the Holy Spirit will be our guide to do all of these things beyond the limitations of our own wisdom and strength. Because I find myself this morning falling far short of righteousness, I embrace the encouragement of Paul….
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Phillipians 3:14-17
I pray we will press on today in Christ to further our mission to a world in need of Him.
GODS NOT DEAD!
God is faithful and just. He is good, righteous, loving, patient…he is everything you and I need.
More than enough.
Never underestimate the amazing God we serve.
His word is true…And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Remember that his timing is different from ours. And remember Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
WOW! God is so good.
Last night I was thinking about the first time I got a glimpse of God’s glory. It was absolutely amazing. This has happened a few times. Everything in me longs to stay in that place with God. A place where I am filled with an amazing peace and joy that only comes when you have been in the presence of God. I had this burning passion. I would bring my sister out into the garage for Bible study, planning on it taking half an hour, but every single time I would start talking I would lose myself and it would go on for hours. It was amazing. God was speaking to me and through me. After a few months things changed. It felt like God was testing my faith, and in that time I would get on my knees and pray. I would humble myself before Him and every time I did I could hear His voice so clearly. My heart lost that burning passion after a while. Last night was the first time in a long time that I spent time alone with God. I spent so much time praying. Praying that He would rekindle the flame within me. I prayed about every thing big and small that was holding me back from living in that wonderful place I talked about earlier. I asked the Lord for scripture and this is what he gave me…Psalms 51
I was reading a sermon this morning by David Platt, titled: Chapter 6: Where Glory Dwells.
There were a few things he said that really stuck out to me. I would greatly encourage you to listen to the sermon or read it here. Hope you have a wonderful day!!!
This church could have the least talented people and the least gifted people, the least amount of resources, and that kind of church under the power of the Holy Spirit of God can shake the nations for His glory. Do we believe this? Do we believe that we can accomplish more as a church in the next month with the power of the Holy Spirit than we could in the next 100 years apart from His power?
The purpose of our redemption is worship.
And what this is pointing us to today is that the ultimate purpose of salvation is what? It’s worship. God saves us for worship. God delivers us for worship.
Do you know almost 50 times – in these first 4 books of the Bible alone, almost 50 times we see the phrase, and you see it over and over again in your reading, “Either you or they will know that I am the Lord.”
We possess His presence. Oh, the wonder of this. The wonder of this and the seriousness of it. Brothers and sisters, do not play with sin. Brothers, stop looking at that on the Internet. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Brothers and sisters, watch what you fill your minds with, what you give your body to, what comes out of your mouth. In the same way that a High Priest would go into the holy of holies once a year in holy fear, help us God. Help us to realize what you have entrusted to us. Help us to guard your holiness, to realize the wonder and the seriousness of the fact we possess His presence.
Come aside, men and women, please, students, come aside from the trifling stuff in this world and see this eternal truth. Christ has died on a cross and risen from the grave that you might know God. That you might walk with God now and enjoy God for all eternity. So if you have not yet trusted in Christ, I urge you to do that now. Turn, turn, turn from yourself, turn from your sin and trust in Christ.
Do not waver in a moment, not live in pride or in pleasures in stuff of this world. Turn and trust in Him. And when you do, when you do, brothers and sisters, when you do, then seek His glory. Seek after Him and long for more and more and more of Him because you know there’s coming a day, you know there’s coming a day when you’re going to see Him in all His fullness. So do not be content now to be complacent before your God.
My prayer for all of us is that we would truly take these verses to heart and not just be hearers of the Word but doers of the Word! Follow Him!
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
We have been going through this teaching on The Cross and Christian Community as a family and would like to encourage you to check these sermons out! We hope you are enjoying the new year and pray that it will be filled with blessings and happiness!
It’s been awhile..a long while!
I don’t know about any of you, but I get so caught up in the stresses of life. To a point where God no longer is my focus, but it’s that thing that has taken it’s spot center stage. In your life there will always be something that is your focus. That something can be anything. So many times we are blind to idolatry in our lives because we don’t take the time to reevaluate what really takes precedence in our hearts.
A lot of times the hardships I’m facing take that center stage role. The thing is I don’t think I’m dwelling on it when I pray and pray and pray about it…but I am. Don’t get me wrong we are supposed to cast all our cares on the Lord. But that’s just it we are supposed to cast our cares upon him. Give them to him and let go. So many times we miss the let go part. Why am I not feeling your peace Lord? Maybe it’s because you aren’t trusting God entirely to take care of you. And that’s when something gets put before God.
An idol is anybody or anything that has our love and loyalty ahead of God, and as a result decreases our dependence on Him, our desperation for Him and our devotion to Him.
I don’t love being stressed out, but when I think about it I am pretty loyal to it. I give my hardships lots of attention. Or sometimes it’s other things that I put before God unintentionally. Things that you would think how could that be idolatry? Serving in the church can take precedence over God. Family, friends, music…whatever!
I’m writing this to you to urge you to look at yourself…really look at your heart and ask yourself is there anything I am putting before God? And then do something about it! After all even if you look and see that God is right where he is intended to be in your life, there is always room to grow!
1 Corinthians 10:12 says Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
It feels good to be able to see God working. When your eyes are focused on something other than Him it is so easy to doubt. When you refocus…When you ask God to rekindle that flame in your heart, He is faithful and He will do it. And then it’s so clear that he is right here and that he has been here all along!
I’m praying for you all as this new year approaches. Praying for His guidance in your life and that you would taste and see that the Lord is good!