Let Your Work Worship God

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…” Hebrews 12:28 ESV

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When or where did today’s church make a distorted turn when it comes to worship? The message that we hear so often every week is to assemble for worship. It’s like the reason we assemble is to make it possible for you to worship. The implied message (though not intentionally meant) is that worship is something that is done only in church through music. Again, we are instructed to gather together and praise our Lord. This is a good thing. The problem though is when we limit worship to only a church service and music. When we do, we put God into a tiny box.

The Hebrew word used throughout the Bible for Worship is closely related and sometimes interchangeable with the word Work. If you take the time to study, you will find that the Hebrew Scriptures associate worship and work as bedfellows.

I sometimes think we in the western world conduct ourselves in Church the opposite of God’s original intentions. We generally follow the world’s systems until we discover God’s ways. Take for example the Sabbath. The Hebrews kept the seventh day as a day of rest. They worked six days and rested on the seventh day. A part of their rest was attending a local synagogue. In our post-modern Christian world, we attend a church service where we are bombarded in the opposite way. We are typically encased with a Broadway-type staged music performance that is played so loud that one cannot hear themselves sing out of key. At times it brings back memories of attending a rock concert. It makes one wonder whether or not many of us expose ourselves to strong worship/work during services and then find our peaceful rest during the remaining week. Hopefully I’m the only person who sees it that way and the majority have their act together better than I.

Meanwhile, imagine a life where your work is your worship to God. Where your motive and intentions are to glorify God. What level of quality would you display in your work for God’s glory? How would you relate with your fellow employees if your work was to glorify God? How would you tackle that difficult customer if your work was to glorify God? If you are fortunate (or unfortunate) to own the business, does your brand, service, product, and culture emulate God’s glory? If your work is your worship to God, how does that show up in your business?

Tough questions. Yet when one discovers how Christ makes everyday work and business about Him and his Kingdom, the path opens quickly and the motivation is unceasing. To worship God through all you do is the most rewarding journey this life offers. Seize it. Ride it. Enjoy the life we have in Christ as we worship Him and serve others through the work we do every day.

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

Let Love Lead in the Marketplace

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV

 

love lead

For many years, I thought sin was my problem. Then one day a revelation occurred. Sin is not the problem; a lack of love is.  Yes, I realized that sin needs to be eliminated, but when our focus is on dealing with our weaknesses, our strengths become buried. In Christ, my sins are totally covered in grace. What I lack is the consistent hunger to allow love entrance into my heart and have its way with me toward others. When I am weak (the result of my sins or the sins of others impacting me) is when Christ becomes more alive in me.

When I look around the world and note the conflicts that are happening, where is the love? I see the sin, but where is the love? When I look at businesses and notice the conflict between employee and employer, where is the love from both sides? When marriages of thirty and forty years fall apart, what happen to the love?

It is easier to cover up the sins in one life than always express one’s attitude and action in love.  I think if we as a people invested more time praying and seeking ways to better love our neighbors, family, and associates each day, we would probably spend less time sinning and more time strengthening the important relationships in our life.

Yes that includes the marketplace which cries out each day for love and compassion.  Even though today’s regulations don’t allow hugs and other physical responses that shows others we care and appreciate them, there are many other ways to lead with love.  I’m sure if you set your heart in making it happen, the Holy Spirit will open the doors to make it possible. Also, if you are hungry to share God’s love with others in a business context, you are going to need his help. Strange that no matter how successful we become, we realize how poor of spirit we truly are and how much of God’s love we need simply to survive.

Yes, it may be radical to lead with love, but it is also the Kingdom way. It works.

 

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Work

“But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” John 5:17 (ESV)

God works

Why work? Is it because we have too or because we want too?  Don’t people work for various reasons? For example:

Most people work for an income to cover their living expenses;

Yet some people work to express their God-given gifts;

Others work to enjoy the social interrelationships;

Some work to escape from internal problems;

Than some work because they have been asked to serve others in a specific capacity;

Others work to fulfill their obligations;

Many work to satisfy some driven-need;

Some work to earn a little extra income to help others;

Others work for a cause they believe in;

A few even work for the glory of God.

This is only a few of the reasons studies have shown why we work. Yet, the result of good work is the reason we have food, clothes, shelter, and transportation for the masses. It is the reason we have schools, hospitals, churches, and factories. It is the fruit of labor for the common good of all.

How about you? Is work a spiritual discipline that allows you to move with God in the arena of life? Or is work some kind of drudgery that is required while you serve your prison time on earth?

Jesus’ stated that His Father God is working even as he spoke. That God didn’t complete the creation of the world and then retired into His heavenly home. Likewise, Jesus was purposely working instead of enjoying life on easy street. Jesus came to serve; and service requires work.

Work became difficult when Adam left the garden of Eden rebelling against Almighty God. God allowed mankind to taste what life is like apart from Him.  Since the arrival of the incarnated Jesus Christ and the reconciliation of man with God, work is the means of grace that allows us to experience the fruit of God Himself. Even today, God is at work; and with Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit we can partner with Him in His work that includes the redemption of all creation. Believe it or not, that includes the work you do today. Ask yourself, how many ways can you glorify God today through your work? What if you took one way today and worship Him through your work. How radical would that be?

 

Remember, we are rooting for you in Christ!

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

 

The Ultra-Lean Years

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

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Ever notice that there is a purpose for every season of one’s life?

Joseph was sold into slavery, imprisoned, and forgotten for thirteen years. Then through a series of “consequences” he became the governor of Egypt second in command to the Pharaoh.

David was anointed King of Israel at seventeen and wasn’t crowned until thirty. For thirteen years he lived in the fields with a bounty on his head from the current king. His companions were the undesirables of his day. Yet he was being prepared to lead a country as he followed God.

Moses was raised as a prince in the Egyptian household. Fleeing for his life at forty for murdering a fellow Hebrew, he took up the occupation of a shepherd for his father-in-law. The lowest of jobs in his time. For forty years he worked in the desert countryside until the Lord had prepared him at the age of eighty to lead his people back to their own country.

Each person had a call in their life from God, but the preparation time were the dry years. We would classify them today as the ultra-lean years.

When you look at the life of others throughout history, the down years were the building blocks for the next season of life. During these years, one learns to cry-out and trust their Maker. One also learns humility and living graciously in preparation for greater service. Though greater service may never come, one becomes available for more opportunities as one is being prepared.

In business, the lean years allows oneself to streamline operations, upgrade systems, and enhance the customer experience through more personal contact with less monetary costs. For those businesses that survive, they come out stronger and more committed in serving their customers and stakeholders. If they didn’t survive, maybe it was time to try something else. One never knows what good is going to come out of a bad situation until it is written in history many years down the road. Until then, we learn to trust our Lord and we walk with Him with our business and personal challenges.

In my own case, the best of times and the worst of times was in-between companies. It is during this time when cash flow dwindles, but the walk with God intensifies. At the end of day, when doors open again for the next opportunity, I always find myself stronger in my walk with our Lord and prepared to serve another employer with God’s gifts and love.

So remember, when you find yourself thinking you are forgotten by God, lean heavier. He is always there. He is simply preparing you for the next season of life.

Remember, we are always rooting for you!

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD WORK

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

good work 1

What is good work?

We all can recognize it in our field of specialty. But to explain it to an “outsider” becomes another story.

In carpentry, it is where the corners and measurements are precise and the look is picturesque. In parenting, it is having grown children that are mature, responsible, and accountable in the eyes of God and mankind. In business, it is providing a service or product that benefits others while maintaining a profitable operating model. In whatever occupation or vocation, good work is recognized by those who are involved in the same challenges each and every day.

However, does good work guarantee a productive outcome? The simple answer is no. You can have developed the best “widget” on the planet, but if there is no demand for widgets, no one is going to purchase the item. Even if there is a demand for the item, if no one is aware of your widget, no one again is going to purchase the item.

Your peers may marvel at it; the product may be the best ever, and it may truly represent the genius and godly character expressed through you. But no demand, no awareness, leads to no sales, and therefore no profits. But good work!

Good work is only the reflection of the person or persons involved in the project. It is a reflection of the inner character and mind of the person expressing themselves through their actions. It is what each of us can control, change, and improve upon. The final outcome though involves others. It takes others to participate in sharing their good work that may lead to a more favorable outcome.

God wants us to follow His example and do good work. The outcome though involves more than our contribution. It involves others. God created the world which is a reflection of His good work. The outcome of its care though He has placed into the hands of others: humans. Isn’t that the same thing we need to learn?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

Lead People; Manage Systems

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” Deuteronomy 30:19

people 1

 

One problem I noticed over the years with new supervisors and managers is the tenancy to manipulate people. In most cases, they do not realize what they are doing. They simply act in a way to get the results that they seek.

We see this with parents raising children. When one has young children, it is easy for the parent to control the actions of the child. They can use fear and punishment to produce the results that they desire. However, as the child grows and becomes a teenager, the parent needs to learn to adjust their leadership skills. For then, the child begins to reason and think for themselves. They are not afraid of the same consequences of their earlier childhood. Now the parent needs to take the time to reason and debate with the young adult. If not, the child will quickly rebel, and the conflict becomes a war zone. Likewise, when the child becomes a full adult, the relationship again changes. The parent cannot use the same techniques from childhood with their adult child(in most cases). Now the relationship is less about control and more about freedom of choice. The consequences may be the same, but the means change.

The same is true in the business organization where adults work with adults. Novice supervisors confuse the management of systems with the leadership of people. When one focuses on trying to manage people like systems, conflict will arise. Systems are designed to measure and move through a process to accomplish a specific objective. People are led through engagement and expectations of consequences. Systems are logical, heartless, and predictable. People are emotional, soulful, and unpredictable. Systems can be quickly changed and modified for expected results with little feedback. People need time to grow and mature until full mastery of the workload is learned.

Don’t confuse systems and people. Each are necessary for an organization to fully realize its potential and service for others. Yet both require a different approach. God doesn’t work with people the same way he works with animals. Animals are born with instinct. People are born with learned behavior. The animal’s potential is limited. The person’s potential is unlimited. Lead your people with the realization that their potential is greater than yours. Manage your systems with the realization that they give you the process and feedback to make you unique in the business community. But don’t confuse the two when working with each. How would you like God to confuse you with the inertia of gravity? Hope that isn’t too radical for you?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.