Key Verse ~ Work

The Gospel redeems you and your work.

23Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.   Colossians 3:23-24

Our relationship to work is to flow from our relationship with Jesus. Therefore what we do is an offering to Him.

What’s your work? Who’s your work for? “Working only for the man” or the dollar, can rob work of meaning, generate bitterness in relationships, and truly make us slaves of rotten bosses and systems.

What’s your work? Do it heartily for Him. Let Him redeem your time, energy, passion, skills, and heart.

Study heartily for the Lord.

Solve problems heartily for the Lord.

Serve heartily for the Lord.

Lead heartily for the Lord.

Teach heartily for the Lord.

Discipline ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — its painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”  Hebrews 12:11

Can you identify the resistance in the following?

Lifting weights.

Taking something sugary out of our diet.

Learning a new skill.

Learning a new language.

Pressing in to understand a new set of information.

Reviewing Scripture verses in order to memorize them.

Learning a new musical instrument.

Taking responsibility of how we feel without blaming another human.

Accepting the limits of our time and energy with our current responsibilities.

All these require discipline.  What discipline has in common is that it meets resistance.  Discipline is a kind of resistance training.  John tells us that Jesus came full of grace and truth.  As He invites us into relationship with Him we also get introduced to the responsibilities that flow from our identity in His Kingdom.  Grace and truth actually run into the resistance of my heart and my flesh toward God, toward change, toward movement in His mission.  But the first point of discipline is to bring me into a yielded relationship with God.  He will enlarge my vision of His love.  He will pour in His Holy Spirit to renew our desire for Him. God disciplines those He loves in order to shape us for Christ likeness.  It may not be enjoyable in the moment but the payoff is extraordinary.

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — its painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”  Hebrews 12:11

Rebirth ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

With the arrival of each new kid into our family I was gob-smacked with awe, excitement, hope, and joy!  That’s what new life does.  It creates a new perspective!

Jesus died so we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us and was raised to new life.  So now since you have received Jesus and His grace for the forgiveness of sin, you are a new creation!  This is how we we can see ourselves and see others who belong to Jesus.  We have been born again.

But you know, just as it didn’t take long for the reality of diapers, dirty dishes, and noise to challenge my happy view of the kids, it doesn’t take long for the reality of my brokenness and the world’s to crowd out the truth of the new creation. But don’t settle for this fleshy view.  Re-calibrate your life with Jesus daily.  We are Jesus’ new creation, a work in progress nonetheless, but we are His masterpiece!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Others ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”  Philippians 2:3-4  NLT

I have a friend who says, “You gotta rock Philippians 2:3-4!!!”  His enthusiasm for treating others well and better than himself challenges me!

When Jesus touches our life we start to love others rather than use others. Servanthood means that I can temporarily suspend my own needs in order to attend to the needs of others. This means I’m sacrificial; I have a “whatever it takes” attitude in my circles of concern.  You know what annihilates service? Preoccupation with ourselves. Or a desperate need to be pumped up, propped up and applauded by other people. Or plain and simple — pride — we think we are better than everyone else. The Gospel meets each one of these black holes to not only plug them but to reverse the flow. Jesus transforms us into servants like Him. Now we can pour out our life secure in the knowledge of our unmerited, graceful exaltation with Jesus and by Jesus.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.” Philippians 2:3-4

Lordship ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”  Matthew 7:21 NLT

Over the last week I’ve been reflecting on the twin themes of relationship and responsibility as they are revealed in God’s Word.  Jesus invites us into relationship with God by way of His grace and truth.  Now we call Him Lord.  In response to being loved by Him, we take up the responsibilities of citizenship in His Kingdom.  Now we seek to do the will of our Heavenly Father.  To reverse the order is poison and is NOT the Gospel.  We do not take up responsibilities in order to gain our identity with Him (That’s religion.)  Rather we receive Him as Lord and accept the responsibilities He gives to us (That’s grace.)  Jesus warns us, we do not really know Him as Lord if we are not also spiritually enabled to desire and to do the will of our Heavenly Father.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! ‘Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of Father in heaven will enter.”  Matthew 7:21