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In God’s economy, we have no right to a particular standard of living, nor to pursue one. Like Paul, we must learn to be content regardless of our standard of living (Philippians 4:11-12). Indeed, this mindset is prerequisite to our doing “all things through Christ, who strengthens me (v.13).”

We have what we have either because God has given it to us, or we have claimed and carved it out for, by, and to ourselves. For the vast majority of us, there is a mixture; and it is hard to determine what falls into each of these two categories. It may be time for an assessment of the situation.

It is also difficult and threatening to consider what needs to go. Some things we possess will never be anything but the weight and sin that so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1). Or, alternatively, God may consecrate an ill-gotten possession for His eternal use. Recognizing that presumption is an unsafe tactic, how do we know what God would have us do? Read the rest of this entry »

Theological facts are like the altar of Elijah on Carmel before the fire came, correct, properly laid out, but altogether cold. When the heart makes the ultimate surrender, the fire falls and true facts are transmuted into spiritual truth that transforms, enlightens, sanctifies. The church or the individual that is Bible taught without being Spirit taught (and there are many of them) has simply failed to see that truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it. A.W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian

I believe it was Andrew Murray that confessed to teaching beyond personal practice. The same was true of Paul (Philippians 3:12); so, I am in good company in regard to the following.

God has used my study of microeconomics to shed some light on His economy. The truth can be both convicting and encouraging. I pray your consideration of the following will also make you free.

  1. If what we are doing has no current or future value to the kingdom of God, then we are devaluing the time and life we have been given.
  2. The way we invest what has been invested in us either adds to, or subtracts from, the value of it.
  3. The cost of time is the explicit time spent in the activity PLUS the implicit lost opportunity cost (i.e., what could have been earned doing a more profitable activity). Lost opportunity cost is many times greater, but often hidden from our consideration.
  4. The issues of cost/investment also apply to our talent, money, belongings, etc.

This kind of thinking raises the bar considerably. Is it too much to expect? Beware of your soulish reasoning. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you.

Most would agree that Jesus perfectly invested what the Father was investing in Him. This Son of Man, knowing what the Father was capable of, said a couple of interesting things.

Read the rest of this entry »

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Work is a part of the normal Christian life. It is not a deviation; and it is not God’s intention for work to be a distraction from our living that life. Work is a place where the Christian life is to be lived – in fullness. Grace and faith are necessary at work. Salvation happens at work. So does transformation, sacrifice, making disciples and every other Christian activity and process.

There is nothing in the kingdom of God that does not belong in the workplace. In fact, it is God’s intention for all of the workplace to come under His reign. Whether we want Him to or not, God is at work in the workplace. It is a sobering fact: We are either for Him, or against Him; victor, or victim.

Ask God to give you a new paradigm regarding His kingdom in the workplace. Why has He given you authority and influence there? What might the normal Christian life look like – for you – in the place where you, and most everyone else, spend most of your waking hours?

Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S. – This is the first of a new series I am calling “A Moment with the Map Maker”.  These will be quick read devotions (200 words) that are easy to share with those in your spheres of influence.  Let me know what you think.

Bible with Cross ShadowThere are some sayings of Jesus that do not line up with the average person’s reality. It is at those times that Bible teachers are tempted to justify Jesus’ commands, and defend the word of God. I’m just saying… from personal experience.

My intention in this article is to take a different course. Instead of defending or explaining away, let’s simply try to understand how to do this saying. It is, after all, what the Master desires for us.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

On the surface, this is not a difficult saying to do. Most Christians spend a lot of their prayer time asking God for things. Most human beings are seeking the truth; and many of them are knocking on the door of heaven, genuinely trying to get into the kingdom of God.

The problem we face in this saying is: Not everyone who asks receives; nor do those that seek find. Many are finding the door closed no matter how passionately they knock. So what is the problem here?

We know that Jesus is not a liar. There must be something more; something Jesus is assuming we understand in this saying. Hopefully, that understanding will help us be better doers; and help us appropriate His promises of getting, finding and entering. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowThe word “therefore” is placed strategically throughout the Bible. It means “for that reason, that being the case”; tying what is to follow to the preceding thought. The Holy Spirit uses it to build a pathway of truth and faith – a means of renewing our minds. Keep this in mind as you read:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34

Because we cannot serve two masters – particularly God and treasures – we must stop worrying about our life. Once again, we have a saying of Jesus that we are to do by not doing. Once again, we are faced with a seemingly impossible task. Who can really stop worrying about their life?

Once again, we are reminded that our only hope is found is the abiding life of Jesus Christ; and in this case, His mind. Thank goodness, the mind of Christ is something we possess (1Corinthians 2:16). The challenge is appropriating – or syncing with – that mind. Jesus encourages us to do so in the following ways.

  1. Look around at what God has done.
  2. Consider your value to Him.
  3. Recognize the futility of worry.
  4. Deal with your lack of faith.
  5. Stop imitating the Gentiles.
  6. Trust in the Father’s omniscience.
  7. Get your priorities in order.
  8. Focus on today.

There are two ways to leverage this list for our transformation. First, consider these as steps in a process; each one a truth that will both set us free and activate faith to respond as Jesus commands. Beginning in your secret place, meditate on each one, inviting God to search your heart for the doubt, fear and self-reign that has conformed you to the world. Confess (agree with) and repent (change your mind). God is faithful and just to forgive your sin and deliver you from all unrighteousness.

As faith and courage come into your heart, ask God to give you the opportunity to exercise your newfound faith and courage. Ask Him for an experience of the mind of Christ in a particular way, that very day. You will experience the Holy Spirit’s transformative power; as you prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

Second (and this may occur in the process above), allow the Holy Spirit to focus your attention on a step with which you have a particular difficulty. Very often, our greatest struggles become God most glorious victories. Work it out, trusting that He is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13); knowing that His pleasure is to give you His kingdom (Luke 12:32) – the very thing you are seeking.

Working it out will include searching out the matter in the Scriptures. The truth you find will make you free. You will also want to seek counsel from those that the Lord is using to make you His disciple. This is God’s way for our maturation. Regularly reckon the truths you discover as truth for you. Lay hold of them, and put them into practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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