It Matters

It Matters

Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

I used to work with someone who professed vehemently to be a Christian. In theory, the confession was absolutely true. This person would tell others that God was in control… which He is. Serving in church attending all the services and sharing the experience. Feeding the soul with the Word and good teachers – conversationally this person was living the life. However, at work this person was not a faithful employee. Arriving late, leaving early, not coming at all, and when in the office doing others things. Poor performance and inconsistent contribution forced the company to eliminate the position due to the tremendous weight on the company. The employer was extra patient and completely understanding until it took a terrible toll on his business. Seeds sown for life now have left nasty weeds for others to uproot and plant good seed in its place. It matters. Life matters. What I say as a believer is not nearly as important as how I live? To live for Jesus Christ is to put my feelings, emotions and bad habits in check to represent the One I serve appropriately and faithfully. It begins in real life doing ordinary things as though I was serving my extraordinary God.

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ.” This is the very reason why it is important that our life line up with our conversation. The Lord has given us the opportunity to live a new life as a new creation. I must set my sights on the “realities” of heaven. Let’s pause right there for a moment. Reality is important. It is resemblance of what is real. It is take the tiny seed called faith and plant it in every area of our existence until the life I live is based on heavenly concepts rather than worldly conformity. It would be easier if given a full heart transplant when coming to Christ but the truth of the matter is that the Lord did not come to you, call you and confirm you so that He could change you into someone else. You were born with the potential of God in you and eternity in your heart along with a measure of faith so that when the time came to pull it all together – you had everything needed. Coming to Christ, just activated God’s Plan and set the wheels in motion. He loves you. He made you. He have given you vast potential and called you to greater purpose. So how you live each day matters when it comes to God’s Process at work within you!

The reality of heaven is realized when Jesus Christ lives in us. To acknowledge Jesus is to recognize that our life is no longer bound by sin and grave. There is now more to live than this for those who desire and choose to live it. It is a conscious choice made every day to give up my way and follow Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 (NLT) In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Christ is all that matters…and He lives in all of us. Rather than dissecting and scrutinizing each other, what we believe and how we serve…what if…just for today…just for this moment, one considered the fact that the Lord has called us to one mind, one body, one heart and one purpose. This would mean that how I live my life directly impacts other people whether I know it or not. The things that I do each day reach someone. As the Light of the world by calling, others look to us for answers for practical life. My sights are set on heaven. I want to be with the Lord one day. How am I treating His Body? We are the Body of Christ. Jesus died for everyone not just one but all. This means that even those who do not believe – I am accountable to treat with respect. Why? Because my interaction with the Body should always represent the Christ in me and not the me He lives in. Let me take this home for a moment. When someone comes into our church, not my church but the one that each of us call home, how are they received? Is there condemnation as their appearance relays their choices? Are we judgmental? Are we fake? Do we ignore them? How do we receive them? Is it like the Father welcoming the prodigal son? See that is how Jesus would do it – He would run to them, wrap His Arms around them, genuinely receive them, welcome them, and love them in that moment not when they cleaned up nicely and fit our religious routine and could speak fluent Christianese. We are the Body of Christ. Even that homeless man speaking to unseen facing and caring on quiet a debate. Jesus loves him. He died for him. He desires Him. God has no favorites. It matters how we live our life when it comes to other people.

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)  Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Can I be transparent today? It is hard to live out the Gospel when it comes to people sometimes. Seventy times seven is a lot when you are the one who has to forgive and forget. We cannot forgive without forgetting and be like the Lord. He puts our sin in a sea of forgetfulness and justifies us just as if we never sinned. Can you say the same? I can’t and still be truthful. People can be downright difficult. BUT…since God chose (me) to be the holy (person) who He loves… I must clothe (myself) with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Ugh! As if that is not enough, I must make allowances for faults and forgive ANYONE who offends me. In the South, it might be called even those who hurt my feelings. I must forgive like Christ forgave me. He did away with a lot of junk and mess that’s for sure. Above all. Clothe yourselves with love. Walk around in it every day. It must be the filter through which every emotion, attitude and action goes through before it reaches another. I must be a lover. I must love all people. This will most definitely influence the choices I make and how I live because it matters. I am not representing myself any longer but the Christ who lives in me. “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:16-17)

Colossians 3:22-24 (NLT) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

It matters how we live and represent the Lord not only in the midst of our congregation but especially in our everyday life. The daily interactions with others as our character is revealed. Each day is the opportunity to be the Light for someone else but it requires strict attention not to others, how they live, what they do or even what they say. People have no influence over my purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are my purpose in the Lord. For me to live is Christ and die is gain. This must be the reality of my life.

Work willingly at whatever you do as though you are working for the Lord rather than people. Think about the tasks on your to do list. The places you will go today. The things that you are planning to do. There is no better representation of Jesus Christ then to do it all wholeheartedly as if working for Him and to love everyone in the process. Your pay grade doesn’t matter. The people you work with do not control your destiny. You will be rewarded abundantly for every seed sown in love and faithfulness. The Word of God tells us that as long as the earth remains – there will be seedtime and harvest. Those who live in drought and famine must carefully evaluate the seeds being planted in their field called life. Grumbling and complaining just grows into bitterness. Unforgiveness creates a wall that love cannot find its way around. Discontentment lead to discouragement but hope never will take you there. God has something far better for us hidden in Heaven and He promises His Goodness is for us in the land of the living. I do not pursue the Hand of God but rather His Heart so I must live according to what is found there – love, grace and mercy that gives way to faithfulness and obedience in all things. A diversified life is at risk. To fully invest my life in the Kingdom and have its reward requires a wholehearted effort to live, move, breathe and exist in Christ while I live this life. It matters. It all matters. Do not let the enemy convince you otherwise.

I Corinthians 15:58 (NLT) So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

The greatest ministry in life is not found in a position at the local church. It is not given the title of pastor, preacher, teacher or apostle. The greatest ministry is the life of worship lived by men and women who commit each day to work enthusiastically for the Lord in all things. To erase the line drawn between life and ministry. To decide that Heaven came exist on the earth and work diligently to make it so. It all begins by believing in the reality of Jesus Christ. He has flooded the earth with gracious, overwhelming, overflowing and unconditional love that is in us. We must decide to make it the reality of our life and decide each day matters to the Kingdom. Jesus set us free to live the life of our choosing but He clearly shows us the life that He desires for us and the promises that come with it. I want that life. To live a life that matters.

Ephesians 6:7-8 (NLT)  Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

Take This Job – A Devotion

Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (NKJV)

“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”

 

There is an old country song called “Take This Job and Shove It” ironically by a man named Johnny Paycheck of all things. The song details a life given to work rather than living. Dissatisfied with the results, this person has decided to walk away. Another workday has arrived and many people have the same dream of one day walking away from the stressful routine that is prohibiting them from living a life filled with joy and gladness. In a devastating economy, one would think that those who are blessed with employment would spring out of bed and face the day with great exuberance and enthusiasm. Yet for most it is a monotonous routine that is an endless cycle. Once on the job, the collective attitudes of the unsatisfied culminate in a group of disgruntled employees who spend more time complaining then producing yet wonder why they can never seem to get ahead. When the coveted paycheck arrives it tends to quickly fly in the direction of the nearest bill or obligation leaving little to show for the “hard” work that was put into its arrival. Humanity has become enslaved to their careers producing a laborious burden instead of the joy and gladness that come from serving the Lord in all that you do. Your job is nothing more than God’s current source of provision in your life. If you are working for a person or company, then you have missed the point completely. Faith warrants that we must find satisfaction in serving the Lord to access the “abundance of everything” that He has stored away for us. It is definitely time to make a change. It is time to take our jobs and put them in perspective according to the Word of God. We are to serve God, not the world. For when we mistakenly make such a shift, there are consequences. We have an insatiable hunger for more things rather than more of God. We thirst for power rather than righteousness. Our provision is lacking and we are transparent before God in our emptiness. We become enslaved to our job and people rather living in the freedom established by God for our life.

Your job is just a source. God is your provider. No matter what your position of faith may be God provides for His People. The Word of God says that the rain falls of the good and wicked. He is not going to stop providing everything that you need, but it is up to you whether you accept such a magnificent gift. Allowing your employer to hold the power of fulfillment in your life is a dangerous thing. It gives man power over your life. Placing our faith in a position and paycheck will rob us of the abundance that God has promised those who love Him and serve Him. You are serving man who is not able to provide for himself. An insufficient source that is unable to meet the desires of the human heart leaving men and women lacking what they have worked so hard to secure. It is time to take authority over the job that is hindering you and put it in its rightful place. It is time to recognize God as your Provider once more.  

Matthew 6:24 (MESSAGE)

You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and money both.

 

When a job or paycheck gain control over one’s emotions, it is safe to assume we have developed an emotional attachment or superficial love for it. Worship is a commitment of time and energy. To worship is the exaltation of something which produce acts of dedication. When comparing commitment to God and a career, it will quickly become evident what holds our attention and where hearts lie. While working is a part of life, serving God must become a priority in order to gain the proper perspective of one’s position in life. If the changes that affect our job affect our mind, will or emotions than there is an emotional attachment to what the Lord has provided rather than the One who is your Provider. It is an easily correctible imbalance that can be adjusted to produce the “abundance of everything” that God has promised. You have the power to change positions sitting at your desk, walking down the hall, making copies at the copier or staring at the computer. The Power of God is at work in your life. You are the manager of your destiny if you choose to follow the Lord and name Jesus your Provider. To “take” something implies authority and dominion. These qualities apply to every position that you hold in life as an Ambassador of God made righteous through Jesus Christ. It is up to you to apply it to everything you do in life including your job! To release the burden of labor over your life requires that you begin to worship God with your life including your job and not just fit God into your busy schedule. The more we adore God and live to please only Him, the sooner we will be satisfied even in the lowliest position.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

 

I have excellent news today. You are receiving a promotion. Is yet to come but not far off? Jesus Christ is your Provider. Not that job you attend to each day, but it is your avenue of blessing. Within your daily responsibilities, you have an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord with joy and gladness. It may be in mundane tasks that result in a tiny paycheck today but as you take your job and make it a place of worship, you will reap the rewards of faithfulness no matter who your boss is or what the economy looks like. You find peace in your workplace. God’s abundance in everything will be your bonus. Faith will become the foundation of your nest egg not the fickle dollar. You will be blessed. Others will see this and desire it. Jesus will be lifted up. Serving God will produce the freedom you have dreamed of as the shackles of labor are released. Take your job today…and give it to Jesus!