Colossians 3:22-24 (NIV)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Hello Monday! Sneaks up on me every time. Why do Monday mornings seem more difficult than the rest? Even the dogs didn’t want to get up, I had to wake them up to eat breakfast as crazy as that is around here. My daughter moans pulling the covers tighter when she realizes there is another hour before the torture of getting ready for school. The week is full already as calendars, lists, schedules, appointments and even the weekly menu run through my mind. As I slide into the chair, the weight of the world securely fastened to my shoulders it is time to seek His Face and hear His Voice. I need a good talking to today. My attitude is obviously not as it should be. It is crunch time at the office. I need the Lord to stir that thing within me that always makes me shine under pressure and blossom in adversity. Today, I just want to crawl back into bed until an acceptable hour. I want to wake up refreshed and excited about this day I have been given. I see the future but it is not today. Oh, how I want it now.
Whatever you do… The “whatever” you do may be completely different from the responsibilities I have. Whatever those things are it is our God-Given responsibility to do them with “sincerity of heart and reverence to the Lord.” What if you work for the devil himself? How Lord can I be sincere and revere you if I hate my job? Maybe you stay home with the children all day? Knee deep in housework and dirty diapers – Lord, I am just ready for them to grow up or just make it to school! Whatever you do… The Lord invites us to work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord since our inheritance is in Him. In doing so, we serve the Lord not man. In this place of putting whatever our day holds on the Altar of the Lord, it has way more potential than our paycheck or human affirmation. So whatever you do today…
Deuteronomy 29:9 (NIV)
Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.
Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV)
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
The Lord takes us old school for a moment as we venture back to the Old Testament. Clearly we are no longer subject to the penalty of the Law but we are bound to its blessing as God’s Beloved Children. Carefully follow the terms of this covenant…God is a covenant keeper. He wants us to prosper and in fact, promised just that. We have a problem with rules and regulations clearly. Jesus came and died for our sins. Sin is violation of our agreement with God. We all have sinned and fall short of His Glorious Standard of Living. Sin prevents us for the prosperity and success that is promised in our covenant with God. So Jesus came and took away our sin and paid the price for every single one. Now we are free to follow the terms of the covenant and receive the blessing despite our inability to live a sinless life. God wants us to prosper in everything we do. His Covenant is about our success not failure. We see the rules but He sees the blessing of obedience attached when far exceeds anything we must give up to live in full surrender to the Lord.
What’s this about being strong? Why is courage needed? The Way of God that leads to blessing, prosperity and success are not as defined by the world. We must go against the culture of society to live in the fullness of God’s Favor. Who wants to be different? Who wants to be peculiar people? Going against the flow produces pressure to conform rather being transformed. Be careful to obey the Law. Why? I thought grace grants us freedom to choose. Oh it does. We choose who we serve each day. When we choose anyone or anything other than God, grace allows us to come back. Those who choose to follow the Lord surrendering their way to live God’s Way will be prosperous and success. The blessings of God you are seeking come from obedience. God’s Grace just allows us access. His Mercy picks us up, dusts us off and allows us to keep going.
Psalm 33:13-15 (NIV)
From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
God knows my heart. He knows exactly what I am thinking when I am thinking it. He knows my intent and motivation before I do. He considers EVERYTHING we do. Nothing in our life is meaningless. Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking that God turns a blind eye to sin because of our weakness and inability to be true. He expects us to try. If we know it is sin, our dedication to Jesus should make us at least try to avoid it. If the Lord has instructed us to do something, God looks at our heart to see if we are attempting to do so with earnestness. The Lord is looking at us through and through at all times. He paid a considerable price for our salvation. He wants us to get the most out of our freedom, of course. It is human nature to run back to Egypt driven by fear and the unknown but the Lord wants to have willing hearts that are considering Him as He considers us each day.
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.
Guard your heart it is important. Everything we do flows from the abundance of our heart. I used to get up grumbling and complaining each morning about my sincere dislike of this time of day. I get up earlier than I have to so that I can spend much needed time with the Lord. I became convicted of these grumblings. Complaining about a choice I made to be in the Presence of the Lord was not a benefit. It was brought to my attention that I set my own alarm and made the decision to get up before the sun. I needed to own it or stop doing it. Ouch! I can complain about work all I want I need the job and like the paycheck so I go each day. But what I get out of it eternally is up to me. God can give me another job in another place according to His Will but if all I do is gripe about working than it becomes a “me” problem. Above all else…it begins in our heart. We must guard our hearts and keep them wrapped up in Jesus to make the most out of each day. When we are caught up in this life, we forget what the Lord is doing that we cannot see but deeply desire.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
God makes EVERYTHING beautiful in its time. Newborn babies are not beautiful. I mean to mom, dad, grandma and grandpa there has never been a more beautiful sight. They are blinded by love to the red and wrinkly infant with a misshaped head. In no time at all, the baby begins to change. God sees our potential. He knows the plans that He has made for our life. They are good with a future and hope that we cannot see in our present state or condition. So we have to do all that we can to weather the storm and stand in our present conditions. Yes, there will be struggles. Of course, there will be opposition. We are under the constant pressure of transformation that pushes us out of our comfort zone into the unknown waters of change. God has equipped us with everything we need to do whatever it is we are to do for His Glory. We just have to stand our ground of faith in confident hope and the Lord will deliver. He is making good out of every detail in our life. (Romans 8:28) My only job and responsibility is to stand. When I don’t want to stand, stand some more. When I am weak and tired and want to give up – you got it just stand!
I Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)
I have the right to do anything, you say—but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything—but I will not be mastered by anything.
I Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV)
I have the right to do anything, you say—but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
Believers have been given full freedom in Jesus Christ. You choose first to accept or deny Christ. There are blessings attached to merely accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. It is in each footstep of our life that determines success or failure. We decide how we use our freedom. God has already decided the way of blessing. We decide if we will walk in His Ways. I have the right to do anything. Not everything is beneficial. Not everything is constructive. I love the statement made in I Corinthians 6:12, I will not be mastered by anything. We decide each day who we will serve. It is our God-Given right. We have been given everything we need to live a godly life and prosper. It is up to us whether or not we choose to live that way. You can be successful every single day. You can prosper in each moment. It is our choice. When we walk in His Way, meditate on His Word and become intent on serving God with our life – whatever we do will succeed.
I Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
Ok fine Lord, what is that you want of me today? Let me get a pen and add it to the list. I will make time for You today Lord, but I don’t know how to do it. Take that list and look at it. Now next to each item that you have already listed write – love. Do everything in love. Do each task with the Love of God in mind. Treat each person you encounter with the same kind of love that God has given you. We have proven our inability to live a sinless life but we can walk in love. Consider each choice compared to God’s Love for us. To share with others that same kind of gentle, kind, forgiving, gracious and merciful thing called love. That’s it? It’s enough to challenge us in each moment. We are free to live however we choose. It determines the level of blessing and prosperity that we encounter. We will experience God’s Fullest Favor when we decide to walk in His Love fully and completely each day. We put our heart in it that way. That’s all that He requires. Whatever you do today – walk in love and you will prosper in everything you do.
I Corinthians 13:1-8 (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.