Posts Tagged ‘work’

Complete the Work

February 5, 2015

There are times when we feel like giving up.  That we cannot carry on.  That we cannot overcome the obstacles that we face.  It is especially at those times that we need to remind ourselves of whom we serve and who is working in us.

I.  Trust in God:  II Samuel 22:2-4

And he said:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The Lord is my rock.  This is an image of stability.  As we trust in the Lord He provides a sense of assurance.  Everything will work out in the end.  We can have confidence in Him.

God is our source of strength.  We can do more with the help of God than we would ever do on our own. God will strengthen us for the journey that He has set before us.

God is my shield.  The devil cannot harm me, except for what God allows.  God does allow some things to get through to us, to test us to see if we will trust Him, to see how we will respond.  The tests and trials of this life make us stronger, and they are a witness to those around us.

When we are in trouble we should call upon the Lord.  He will give us wisdom and strength as we trust in Him.  He is worthy to be praised, for through Him, we can be victorious over whatever may come our way.  We shall be saved from our enemies by the grace of God which works through us.

II.  God Will Complete the Work in You:  Philippians 1:6

 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

We can have confidence in God.  He does not leave His work unfinished.  He continues to work in our lives until we leave this world.  The work begins even before salvation as He prepares our hearts through the circumstances of our lives.  Then we are saved, and a new life in Christ begins.  We grow to maturity in Christ.  Then we live a life of service to God.  It is a rich, full life.  The work that God does in us is never completed in this life.  We continue to grow and develop more and more into the people that He means for us to be.  He continues His work, both in, and through us.

III.  Let Your Light Shine: Philippians 2:12-16

 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

To work out our salvation does not mean to earn our salvation, it means to live out our salvation.  If we are saved, then we should live like we are saved.  If we are a child of the king, we should live like He would want us to live.  If we have been born again, we should live a new life in Christ.

A part of this new life is to have the right attitude.  The work that we do is not always fun or glamorous.  Sometimes it is boring, difficult, even nasty. We should do our work without murmuring or complaining.

I think that this is a great verse for all children to memorize while they are young, and be reminded of constantly when they are teenagers. (v14)

Our lives should be different from people who are not living in a relationship with Christ.  The light of Christ has shown into our lives.  Now the light of Christ should shine through our lives.

We can trust God with our lives.  He will complete His work in us.  His light should shine through our lives.

To God be the Glory.

These are the sermon notes from 1/11/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

Protection at Work

June 23, 2011

A young man falls off of a ladder at work.  He gets a cut on his head, but nothing more serious.

Another young man is thrown into a dirt bank by sudden pressure on a water hose.  It is a significant impact, but there is no damage.

Another man falls through scaffolding  that is stretched across a concrete spillway, but is uninjured.

Any one of these accidents could have resulted in potentially serious injury.

All three of these men could be considered lucky that they were not hurt worse.

All three of these men instead, said “Thank you God, for protection at work.”

Work Harder?

May 16, 2011

My life is packed with things that are waiting to be done.  One problem is finding the time to do everything.  Everything?  Who am I kidding?  I am not ever going to get everything done.  I will have to settle for getting the important things done.  Hopefully, I am able to recognize what is important.  I often pray that God will help me to prioritize.  That I will know what is truly important.

The second problem is finding motivation.  When there is so much stuff waiting to be done, it can be overwhelming.  This is where a daily routine and a list can really be helpful.  Instead of looking at the entire list, which is overwhelming,  you simply start with the first thing on the list, and then move on to the next thing, and so on.  One thing at a time, task by task, you work your way through the day.  It is surprising how much you can get done when you are able to stay focused, moving from task to task.

The third problem is balance.  We are not meant to simply work.  I remember the character Boxer  from the book Animal Farm .  His motto was “I will work harder.”  I sometimes think that my life has been motivated by that motto.  That is not a good thing.  There is more to life than work.  Although there is always more to do, not everything has to be done, at least not today.

That brings us back to priorities.  May God help us to use our time wisely, to live as He would have us live.

Wilton Candy Shop

September 13, 2010

The other day my wife and I were enjoying a motorcycle ride.  We were taking turns picking destinations.  I chose the Wilton Candy Shop.

The Wilton Candy Shop actually sells candy, ice cream,  sodas, and sandwiches.  They make their own candy, ice cream and the sodas are actually soda water mixed with syrup at the counter.  The proprietor, George, is a ninety year old man.  He and his wife (she didn’t volunteer her age) are the only employees.    His father owned the shop before him, and he has worked there all his life.  The shop is open every day, seven days a week.  In the early years it was open from 7am to 11pm.  Now that George is advanced in years he has slowed down to working only half days…7am to 7pm.  It is a unique shop with a lot of history.

I am glad that I visited and became a part of its’ story.

Cricket in a Skillet

March 25, 2010

Last night in Bible study, a lady referred to a “cricket in a skillet”.  She was illustrating how sometimes people can be very busy, but not accomplishing anything.  We began by discussing what it meant to be lazy.  We had agreed that laziness was difficult to define, but that it could be understood as an imbalance.  On one end of a scale are people who work too much, and on the other end of the scale are people who work too little.  Work could be described, not simply as manual labor, but any helpful, productive activity.  We recognized that “work” would mean different things to different people, and that our type of work would change throughout our lives. 

Then came the question of the person who is busy, but not accomplishing anything.  They are not lazy, but they are misdirected; the cricket in a skillet.  We agreed that it was important that God give us wisdom to properly direct our activities, so that we can be productive.  We want our lives to be balanced, focused; and directed by the Holy Spirit.

Brain Drain??

October 27, 2009

I read an article the other day about the steep reduction in pay being forced upon the executives of the large banks that had received a government bailout.  The concern that was expressed was that these individuals were brilliant in their fields, and that if they were not paid what they thought they  were worth, that they would quit their jobs to work for someone else.

If they are so brilliant, then why did the government need to bail them out?

For most people, if their area of responsibility had failed miserably, they would be looking for a new job, not cashing bonus checks.  Are they going to put on their resume  “We oversaw the destruction of our last company, now what can we do for you”???

If the government had not bailed them out, either they would have worked themselves out of the hole, or they would have been fired and replaced, or their entire business would be consumed by other businesses that were run more efficiently.  The business world can take care  of itself.  The strong survive, the weak are devoured.

Why did we interfere?

Work Ethic

August 11, 2009

“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”

“We’re paying you to work, not read magazines.”

“There is always something to do.”

When I was a teenager my parents owned and operated a couple of small grocery stores.  The above quotes are things that I heard them say many times over the years.  I am sure that it was influential in the development of my own work ethic.  Since I worked for my parents I did not want to have a reputation for getting away with being a slackard, I wanted to be an example of a good worker.

I started working at the stores when I was in the 8th grade.  My first official job was unloading the milk truck three times  a week.  I would price and stock the product.  It took only about an hour an a half each time.  It was good for a little pocket money.  When I was sixteen I started working regular shifts, both as a stocker and cashier.  By the time I was seventeen I was ordering product, making deposits, conducting interviews, etc.  I worked about twenty four hours a week during the school year, and full time in the summers.  After graduating from high school I went to work full time. 

After working for my parents for about a year and a half after high school, I decided that I did not want to work in the family business.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a job that I could just go to work and then go home.  The store was a job that was always present.  It was a topic of conversation at the dinner table and even when we had company. 

It is ironic that I wanted a job where I just punched a clock, because now, many years later I work two jobs, neither of which involve a clock.  I am a pastor and a college instructor. 

There is always work to do.

I am never off the clock.  There is no clock.

The problem is, that since there is no clock, and no end to the work that could be done I have to be careful not to become a workaholic.  Church work, school work, work at home, they all blur together.  Things are done according to priority. 

In eighteen years, there has never been a time when everything was done. 

I hear people say that no one on their death bed ever looks back and says that they wish they had spent more time at the office, and yet, I don’t want to be lazy. 

As in so much of life, the key is in finding the appropriate balance.  Work hard, but recognize that there is more to life than work.

The Day After

January 21, 2009

Well, the party is over.  We have a new president.  Many people are filled with hope and excitement for the future.  Today is President Obama’s first day on the job and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for us.  He ran a good campaign.  He gives great speeches.  We will see if he can truly govern.

What I am impressed with, is that this country has had eight years of political turmoil.  There has been negative press ever since the Supreme Court finalized the election eight years ago.  The bitterness and anger has rumbled throughout our country with ever increasing clamor.

However, it did not turn to bloodshed.  There was no violent uprising.  There were no shots fired in our land for political reasons.  No one was arrested for expressing their views on the government.  The turmoil was expressed in print and voice.  Our country has survived a rocky transition of political power.  The Democrats are now in charge. 

I encourage all Americans of faith to pray for America, to pray for our leadership, and to seek to work together for the greater good.

The party is over.  The work begins.