Work is God’s Gift

Work is God’s Gift

This statement may shock you or surprise you:  Work is a gift from God!

And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.  (Eccl 5:19 NLT) 

Our work is a blessing to us because through it, we receive finances, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  We use our skills and talents to carry out our work, and we should actually enjoy making use of these talents.

The Bible shows us many, many passages that demonstrate that God, Himself, works.  Here are a few of those passages:

All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider His doing.  (Ps 64:9)

Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.  (Ps 66:5)

I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.  (Ps 77:12)

In life, as we pursue an education, it is for the purpose of building skills, becoming trained, and uncovering our gifts and talents.  The more skilled and talented that we become, the more that we gain self-esteem, as well as a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  In this way, we are happy to acknowledge that we have contributed something good to the world.

When we work to a high level of skill and excellence, we bring glory to God and honor to His name.  When we work with a sense of joy and eagerness to discover solutions, we improve the environment of our workplaces.  In cooperating with and respecting our co-workers, we quietly acknowledge that we’re all made in God’s image. 

In such ways, we can contribute the love of God to those with whom we work, and thereby find favor in God’s eyes. 

God Is In Control

God Is In Control

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.  (Pro 19:21)

This article is a meditation upon the concept that our God and Savior is in control of life’s events.  Even in those cases where something that is negative or harmful occurs, the Lord can ultimately bring glory to Himself by delivering us.  He can also cause something that was intended to harm us turn into an opportunity for us to receive a blessing!  (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1) – God is not with us in trouble merely to comfort or strengthen us, but to protect and help us.  Hallelujah!

The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.  (Pro 16:4) – The Lord has created everything for His own purposes, and He gave human beings a free will even though He knew that a percentage of us would rebel against Him and reject Him.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Pro 16:9) – We make our own, fleshly plans; but the Lord in His mercy and goodness directs the circumstances of our lives according to His good plan for us. 

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.  (Pro 16:33) – Even the most seemingly accidental, chance, unexpected, or unplanned events are under God’s control. Trust Him and rely upon His love for you.

But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.  (Ps 115:3) – Our God is a merciful and loving God, so He will show mercy whenever and wherever He chooses to do so.  Because He can see the end from the beginning, He knows what events need to take place in our lives in order to accomplish His good plans for us.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand . . . (Isa 14:24) – God’s good purposes and plans for us shall stand for He will bring them to pass.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”  (Jer 32:27) – Whatever our difficulty or challenge or heartache, NOTHING is too difficult for God to turn it around.  Praise the Lord!

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  (Mt 10:29) – We know that God cares for us vastly more than the sparrows, so this verse opens our eyes to the truth that He diligently watches over us in all of the details of our lives.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  (Rom 13:1) – We must recognize that God even determines who will have authority at every level of a nation’s hierarchy.  He determines when and for how long a person will be in authority, even our employers, overseers, or business partners. 

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.  (Ps 62:11) – All power comes from God because it all belongs to Him.  Therefore, whatever position of power, authority or influence that you may have, be conscientious, kind, respectful and merciful to others.  You will one day give an account of yourself.

. . . not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  (1 Pet 3:9)

We are called to bless others and to be a blessing.  Living in obedience to God’s will always causes us to inherit blessings.  Recognizing that God is not only in control of all things, but that He watches over us in order to be able to bless and help us will make it quite easy for us to want to help others.

A Kiss for a Right Answer!

A Kiss for a Right Answer!

But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.  (25) He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.  (Pro 24:25-26)

This passage from the Bible has a couple of good spiritual points to make. 

  • The first recommends that we admonish those who commit evil, depraved, or heinous acts, rather than justifying or remaining neutral to what they do. Verse 24 says that that when we reprove the wicked, a blessing will come upon us.
  • The second point (v. 25 above) is shown like this in a reverse interlinear: “Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.”  In short, this means that plain, direct words are preferable to deceptive or ambiguous ones.  And that when someone speaks plainly to us, we should appreciate and value them. 

The “right answer” spoken of here is an answer that is filled with the wisdom of God.  The more we are acquainted with the Bible and familiar with the voice of the Holy Spirit, the easier it will be to recognize and value a “right answer” when we hear it.

All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.  They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.  10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold . . .  (Pro 8:8-10, emphasis added)

I believe that the purpose of these two verses is to help us to remember that ALL of the words of our lips are colossally important, both in the natural and spiritual realms.  Additionally, the Lord is giving us His advice on when to be critical of someone’s actions, as well as when to welcome and to be grateful for wise counsel or a useful and eye-opening insight.

By God’s empowering gift of grace, we’ll know when and how to apply this biblical wisdom.

Are You a Crown?

Are You a Crown?

Welcome!  This meditation is for all believers—men as well as women.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.  (Proverbs 12:4 NKJV)

In this verse, the words excellent wife mean a wife of valorValor means bravery, courage, heroism, boldness, daring, fortitude, nerve, and pluck.  This is one with determination and resolve.  This is a person of honor.

This honorable person’s determination and resolve could be about many different things: 

  • To serve the Lord with joy and gladness (Psalm 2:11; 100:2; Colossians 2:4)
  • To bring only honor and glory to the Name of the Lord (Psalm 66:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:1; Rev. 7:12; 19:1)
  • To be an instrument of peace in all situations (Numbers 6:26; 25:12; Psalm 34:14; 37:37; Prov. 3:17; 12:20; 16:7; Isa. 26:3; Rom. 12:17, 18; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19)
  • To bless their family, friends, and neighbors and not to curse them with their words (Prov. 11:11; Ezek. 34:26; Rom. 15:29; Gal. 3:14; 1 Pet. 3:9; James 3:8-11)
  • To build their home and not to destroy it (Proverbs 14:1)
  • To be hard-working and consistent on behalf of their family (Prov. 31:10-31)
  • To be a light in the darkness (Ps. 112:4; Isa. 58:10; John 8:12; Rom. 13:12; Ephes. 5:8-10)
  • To be a blessing to their spouse (Prov. 31:10-31)
  • To serve their family (Prov. 31:10-31)

This is a beautiful picture of a person of valor who loves the Lord and chooses to live for Him every day.  This person ministers out of the strength that they receive from their relationship with Jesus, their Savior and Redeemer, their Groom—to whom this honorable person is a Crown!  Such a person has a servant’s heart.  

Since the entire body of believers in Christ make up the bride of Christ, ALL Christians should strive to live like this—not only women!  Be blessed and be a blessing today!

Salvation is Now

Salvation is Now

For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Cor 6:2, emphasis added)

As I understand it, this verse is the Lord’s way of encouraging us to have an active, expectant faith for whatever our need may be.  The type of faith this verse encourages is one that says, “Today is the day of salvation!  Hurrah! God has answered me today.  Praise the Lord Most High.”

This verse imparts a wonderful sense of hope and the expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises—the sort of any-moment-now excitement of receiving a wonderful gift and blessing any moment.  This is a result of a clear understanding of how much God loves each one of us, and how He greatly He loves to answer our prayers, help us, and to meet our needs.

The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope [confidently expect] in Him!” (Lam 3:24)