What Concerns God Should Concern Us

Luke 16.15 warns, Jesus said to them, you are the ones who justify yourselves in men’s eyes, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly prized among men is utterly detestable in God’s sight.

This statement by God, warning us that what we value He despises, should terrorize us. Now certainly this cant be true in everything.

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Determining What is First Place in our Lives

1 John 5.21 ends the letter with, dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

The Apostle John ends his letter succinctly with the summary admonition to stay away from anything that might take God’s place in our hearts. This statement feels much like the Lord Jesus’ summary of what God the Father really wants from us: love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

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God Defines What is Good so We Can Do Good Works

Romans 7.4 states because you are united with the One who was raised from the dead, we can produceimage a harvest of good deeds for God.

Everyone wants to do good. Its in our nature to want to do good deeds that generates recognition of our goodness. We have this nature because we were created in the image of God Who is good.

Our original design was for us to always do good for the glory of God but now that we have been corrupted through generational disobedience to God we seek to do good to obtain esteem from one another. What we recognize is this inherent need and desire to do good.

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Lessons to be learned from the ‘Greatest Generation’

2 Kings 17.41 observes even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.image

The so called, ‘greatest generation’ were the parents of the children who attended high school in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. These people became the parents of those who attended high school in the 1960’s to 1970’s.

The ‘greatest generation’ was considered such because of the selflessness by which they lived their life. They suffered much and paid much to make the life of their children better.

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Being Salty Christians

Mark 9.50 encourages have salt among yourselves.image

The modern translation of God’s admonition to have salt in ourselves might be, ‘suck it up buttercup,’ or ‘cowboy up,’ or ‘man up,’ or any of a number of sayings that mean stop being a sissy and own the solution to whatever problem we are facing. The wussification of the current culture is over the top.

Everyone has a malady, no one is responsible for their problems, blaming others is common and looking to big brother for meeting our needs is the new norm. Our grandparents shake their heads at us as they endured the great depression, rationing of basic necessities and the effects of two world wars.

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Getting Paid for our Work

Colossians 3:24 reminds us that it is the Lord Christ Who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all He owns. He isimages the one you are really working for.

Work is inherent to our existence. If a man will not work neither should he eat, at least not for free from the church doles – we have the government to take care of that!

In all seriousness, it is work that determines a man’s wealth in a free society. And wealth determines a person’s comfort and opportunities.

Work in itself is good and not evil though many have been taught otherwise. God made man then set him to work in His pristine environment that guaranteed success. It was through the rebellion that work suffered a curse and therefore became inherently more difficult by yielding thistles and thorns in addition to good crops instead of just good fruit as God designed.

The real problem with work is the propensity to define ourselves by the results of our work and to use the fruit of our work for our own pleasures and wants.

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Wisdom for our Work

Isaiah 28:29 proclaims the Lord Almighty is a wonderful teacher and gives the farmer wisdom.image

I’ve often thought that if the world was dependent upon me for many of its inventions we would still be wearing grass skirts while hunting and gathering for food. I’m not much for inventing but I marvel at those who have developed so many ideas for my convenience, health and safety.

The Lord God Almighty takes delight in communicating to His people both about Himself and about how we can better love one another.

The godly business man, scientist and engineer should take heart from this verse. Those who seek God particularly in their areas of expertise whose effect can make a global impact should be encouraged because God delights to help those whose hearts are set upon Him and His ways.

The godly person who makes the knowledge of God first priority can expect God to reciprocate by helping them accomplish their priorities far beyond their hopes and dreams.

The prerequisites for receiving wisdom from the Lord are first to seek Him for Himself. Regardless of what God may do for us, truly loving Him is about loving Him for Who He is and not for what He does. The lover of God loves God and not just the works of God.

Second, the one seeking wisdom must seek it for the benefit of others and not just self. God is to be glorified and not people. When our objective is the furtherance of His kingdom and glory upon the earth then God can and will give us the wisdom we seek for making Him better known in the world.

Christian motivation is to be God centered for the benefit of humanity: this is exactly the way Jesus lived among us.

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The Purpose of Work

2 Thessalonians 3.6 commands we stay away from any Christian who spends his days in laziness. images

The Lord Jesus, the King of the universe, the One Who will determine the eternal destiny of all who have ever lived whether in heaven or in hell, commands people to work.

Indeed the first purpose given to man after being formed out of the dust was to work in the garden of Eden. What was this work Adam was to do? It was to care for his world to the glory of God.

The world God made for Adam would supply his physical needs so that was not his primary purpose for work. Adam was to work the world in such a way as to make it more glorious and wonderful in honor and praise of the God Who made him in His image.

Work was not meant to create personal status or its fruit for personal consumption but to give people a practical means for glorifying God.

The Church has likewise been commanded by the God of the universe to work for the glory of God and to make friends with only those who are also engaged in this purpose.

Work is not about us but about God.

The fruit of our work should be an offering to God not a means for personal consumption or glory.

The world and all it contains will supply our needs with little effort on our part. If we seek glory for ourselves our work will increase in difficulty for our insatiable appetite for gain will mean we will work more and more for increasingly bigger houses and greater treasures.

When the focus of our work is the glory of God and our best means for bringing Him honor then our work is full of peace, joy and contentment.

This kind of work focuses primarily on God’s pleasure and then the people around us discovering Him while we work and through our work and by our work.

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