Work For the Lord

Good morning. It is Monday, again. Monday, January 19, 2015.

Today’s Word of the Day is “quiff.” This is a noun, meaning, “A clever trick, ploy, or stratagem to achieve a desired end, esp. by unorthodox, irregular, or time-saving means; a dodge; a tip.”

Today is Popcorn Day! Being as this is my favorite food in the whole world, I feel relatively sure that I will indulge in the treat at some point today. Probably with my dinner tonight.

We had a wonderful time with Rachel and Justin, yesterday. After a nice lunch at Fogata’s, we went back home to play a game. They got a new game, called Pandemic. This is a very unique game, in which all of the players team up together to defeat a worldwide spread of disease. I’ve never played this type of game, before, where all of the players cooperate toward a single goal. It was great fun. We even won! At first we thought we had not, but then we took a closer look at the rules and found that we had, indeed, won by curing all four of the diseases.

After the game, we had a very deep heart-to-heart talk with Rachel about her future. I won’t divulge any details about it, but I think we all felt better afterward. I would appreciate prayers, though, for her and Justin, as they make some very tough decisions over the course of this next semester.

In other news, the Seahawks stunned the Packers, coming back from at least a 16-0 deficit to win the NFC Championship in overtime, 28-22. In the other “game,” the Colts, apparently, forgot to come to the game. Tom Brady and the Pats beat them 45-7. So, the Super Bowl is set for Sunday, February 1, New England vs Seattle. I think I’ll pull for Seattle to repeat. After the game will be the next episode of The Blacklist.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah.

Psalm 9:17-20

The reading today from Solid Joys is “How to Serve A Bad Boss.” That should get just about everyone’s attention, right?

. . . rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
knowing that whatever good anyone does,
this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.

Ephesians 6:7-8

The reading lists five things that we can glean from this passage.

1) “A call to radically Lord-centered living.”

Our work should be done as though we work for Christ, not for a human boss. This means that, as we work, we should be considering how Jesus would prefer for us to perform our duties, how he would prefer for us to think about the job, the boss, and the people around us.

2) “A call to be a good person.”

The verse says that we should be “rendering service with a good will.” Then, later, it says, “whatever good anyone does . . .” We should be about doing “good” things. Jesus also told us that, “when we let our light shine, men will see our ‘good deeds‘ and give glory to our Father in heaven.”

3) “Power to do a good job for inconsiderate earthly employers.”

The idea from Paul is “to empower Christians with Lord-centered motives to go on doing good for supervisors who are not considerate.” Does your boss ignore you are constantly criticize you? “Stop thinking about your boss as your main supervisor, and start working for the Lord.”

4) “Encouragement that nothing good is done in vain.”

We are promised that whatever good we do, we will “receive back from the Lord.” No matter how seemingly insignificant, every good thing we do is seen by God and valued by him. He will, in turn, freely choose to reward us for those good things. Not because he owes us anything, because he is never in our debt. Simply because he chooses to.

5) “Encouragement that insignificant status on earth is no hindrance to great reward in heaven.”

The final phrase of the passage gives this encouragement. ” . . . whether he is a bondservant or is free.” Whether slave or free. Regardless of position in life. We may be a “nobody” at work. The boss may not even know we exist. But God sees everything we do, and will reward us for our “good deeds.”

Father, you know I have been struggling with these very concepts for a while now. You know that I have not been happy with my management. So, then, you have given me this encouragement today, to stop considering that they are my true “bosses,” when, in fact, I need to be working for you. This helps me give the necessary respect to them (at least the minimum), and it helps me to perform my duties to the best of my ability, to please you, not them. In pleasing you, I will work diligently, and should, in turn, be pleasing to my earthly supervisors. The point is, this helps my attitude about work. It helps me have a positive attitude about things. I pray that your Spirit will constantly remind me of this, today, tomorrow, and the rest of this week. Help me to remember that I am working for you, not men.

I pray for this day, that we will have safe travel to and from work. I pray for the work day to go smoothly, and that circumstances will not threaten to steal my joy in you. I pray that Christi’s day will go well, and that her various pains will subside, and that she will be able to focus on you throughout the day. Help us to direct our minds to think about things that are pure and praiseworthy. I pray for Stephanie, that you will display your overwhelming love to her. I pray for Rachel that you will calm her spirit and give her confidence in herself. Help her to do the right thing, whatever that may be.

I also lift up our friend and sister, Melissa, who will be having some teeth removed today, by oral surgery. We pray for her recovery, and that the pain will not be severe. May your grace and healing hand be heavy on her over the next few days.

I pray for the heartbroken family who has lost a teenage daughter over this weekend in a car accident in North Richland Hills. May your grace and comfort be on the family. May your healing hand be on the mother who was also in the accident. I pray that you be strong in the lives of the classmates who will have to go to school today and face an empty desk, knowing that they will not see their friend again on this earth. We do not understand these things, Father, and never will, until we see you face to face. So help us to cope, and to look for you with faith that you have all things in control.

Your grace is sufficient.

Do you struggle with your boss(es)? Consider that you work for Jesus instead. And remember that all good deeds will, at some point, be rewarded.

Grace and peace, friends.

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