Working 9 to 5

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Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I obtained my first job working part time during the summer when I turned 13 years old. I grew up thinking we were poor when actually my parents were frugal because they had fallen on hard times when I was born. We always had what we needed and when Christmas and birthdays came along we got some of the things we wanted. I could not wait to get a job so I could begin to purchase more wants which included some name brand jeans all my friends were wearing.

My next job was selling GRIT newspapers in front of the local Roses store when I was 14. My mother would take me there after school, weekends and summer days and man did I sell newspapers. That taste of financial freedom to me as a kid was addicting. Later at 16 I worked at Milliken, a factory, for 16 hours a week after school and on weekends.

Working was something my father did well. He worked at Duke Power which was 2 hours away from our home. He would carpool with other Duke employees from our area, then would come home and work in our garden and farm until way after dark. It only made sense that my siblings and I followed his footsteps and are hard workers today due to his example of work ethic.

The bible has a lot to say about working. Here are just a few things for us to consider as we work 9-5 each day.

Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, You may not like your boss, your co-workers or your job, but as long as you are working you should do your job as if God is your boss. HEARTILY – with all your heart.

Proverbs 14:23 ESV In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 10:4 ESV A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. We should be busy at work. If we are working and our company is successful, we profit. It could be from a promotion, raise, bonus or simply just keeping our job for another year.

Don’t associate with those who are not responsible employee: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9 ESV Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. Don’t get so obsessed with money that your family and God suffers. Some people are working 9-9 and there is nothing left for their family or God. Don’t be so busy trying to keep with the Jones that your family has every thing they want except you.

Colossians 3:22 ESV Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Unless we are the boss or the owners of a company we are instructed to obey our supervisors. Unless they are asking you to do something unethical or illegal, we should obey. No lip service, stirring up trouble, rolling our eyes or bad mouthing our bosses or company. God did not give us a list of reasons for us to disobey our bosses. HE SAID OBEY THEM.

A few other reasons we should work as unto the Lord: So we can provide for our family members who fall on hard times, so you can give to people in need, so you can give offerings to your church to further the ministry of leading others to Christ, so you can bring honor and glory to The Lord.

Maybe you are the employee that is working too much and too long to gain man’s approval, for the money you get paid or to avoid problems at home. Maybe you are the idle person at work, not doing your fair share or working with all your heart for your employer. Just maybe you are the employee who is working as if God is your boss but are frustrated because of others in your office who aren’t.

I want to encourage you to focus on God and his promises. Keep doing good and you will be profitable in God’s time and in his ways. If you have not been a good employee then today can be a good day to change that. God forgives us when we ask HIm, so stop and ask for His forgiveness then commit to get busy changing at work right now. If you have been neglecting your family and your home, ask God and your family to forgive you then take actions to change your priorities. Ask them to hold you accountable for the time spend at work and home.

God love us. He forgives and he blesses obedience. The blessings we get from following Him are greater than any amount of money we could ever earn!

The Pressure Test

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Today’s Truth: Job 36:15 He rescues suffering people through their suffering, and he opens their ears through distress.

From My Heart To Yours:

My husband and I love to watch a television show called “MASTERCHEF”. It airs each week on the Fox TV Network and is now in its 3rd season. The show features three judges, famed award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot. The best amateur cooks, approximately 100, are brought in from all over the US to compete for the title of MASTERCHEF and a grand prize of $250,000.00.

Through several individual cooking test the total is then reduced to 18 contestants competing for the title. Individuals are then separated into two teams to compete. Members from the losing team members have to participate in a “pressure test” challenge. The amateur chefs are given a dish they have to create in a very short time. Once the time is up, the dishes are presented to the judges. The judges critique then eliminate one or more contestants.

As we were watching the losing team participates in the pressure test I began to think about the pressure tests we have to deal with throughout our lives. Like the cooks we should have the skills and knowledge to help us face the pressure test challenges we face. Job immediately came to my mind. I think he had the biggest pressure test a Christian could face. His test was given to him in a short period of time and like the contestants, he had no idea what was coming up.

All the amateurs considered themselves to be the best chef and were shocked they were even on the losing team participating in a pressure test. You know, kinda like Job. In the beginning of the book Job was riding high, on the top of world, living life large, confident in himself. As the pressure test hit him, he was a little shocked. He, like the amateur chefs, thought he was too good to find himself in the situation he was in.

Under the pressure of the clock and the food task given each chef handled the stress differently. Some wept, some cursed, some cried, some became panic-stricken and were almost immobilized, some gave up and some a combination of all. As you read further into the book of Job you see that Job too responded to his pressure test in a variety of ways.

After the pressure came the judging by the experts. This was as true for the amateur chefs as it was for Job. Job’s critics, however, were the worst kind; his friends and family. At least in the show everyone knew that the judges are going to rate your food, cooking ability, then insult you personally. Job on the other hand was discouraged when it is his very own friends who were judging him so unkindly instead of encouraging him.

From the book of Job I learned SIX ways to help us pass pressure tests we face:

1. Realize that God knows what we are going through and understands how we feel. Though Job could not begin to understand why all of these things were happening to him, he knew God knew about it. Jesus suffered while he was on the earth and because of that suffering God understands how we feel. Job told his wife, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10).

2. God is not the cause of the pressure test, but he is there to help us make it through it. God is involved in every test that we undergo and God is in charge! James 1:13 says, “When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” God does not bring problems on us. He is not the source of the trials we may face, but he does allow us to be tried, and he will help us, if we rely on him.

3. Sometimes there is no clear “why”.  One of the difficult things for us to accept is that many of the sufferings we go through simply cannot be explained. The why is often a question unanswered. Bad things do not only happen to bad people. Job recognized that many times the wicked live to reach old age and even appear to prosper.

4. Trust God. It is relatively easy to trust God and believe he is in charge when things are going right. But what about when things turn upside down and inside out? It is in the midst of such perplexity and anguish that faith in God is most needed.

5. There are blessings for obedience. It is easier to quit when tough times come, to curse God and jump right back into our past life of sin. At the conclusion of the book reveals, “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (42:12). In the end, there were blessings for his obedience and for staying true to God.

6. Our trials can make us bitter or they can make us better. Once the trial passes we should have a better understanding of ourselves and of God’s mercy and grace. Whatever the trial or test, there is always growth that can be achieved. God wants us to grow and mature spiritually. Therefore, we must undergo periodic pruning to stimulate that growth (John 15:2).

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, we know that even as Christians we will face pressure test in our life. Sometimes, we forget you are in control when things are turned upside down. Help us to trust you, to rely on you and stay faithful to you during these stressful times. We ask for wisdom, during these tough times, to understand what lessons we are to learn about ourselves, others and/or our relationship with you. In Jesus Name.  AMEN.