STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK!

Matthew 6:33

‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’

The title for today’s post was a slogan for teaching young children road safety when I was a child. Click here to watch it. Try not to laugh because It was very effective. I have a feeling that it could also be an effective slogan for adults in how we communicate with God. As a freelancer it’s very tempting to always be searching for work and not spending my time meditating on God’s word. The answer for getting work isn’t necessarily found by firing off a million emails randomly but it can be found in scripture. The scripture above is a good example. Does the work I’m looking for allow me to also spend time doing God’s work? Does the opportunity allow me to pay testimony to Him in some way? Or is it just about the money? Does the work let me use my skills (skills I’m blessed with) in ways that God would want me to use them? Answers to questions like these dictate what I pray for. Prayers for God’s glory and not my own. That’s something to stop, look, listen and think about!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not seeking your guidance  when we look for opportunities. May our will reflect yours in all that we do, Amen!

Is it all about me?

2 Corinthians 11:30

‘If I must boast, I will boast of things that show my weakness’

The Bible is an incredible book. And it never ceases to amaze me how it says the opposite to what my instincts are. The campaign I’ve been working on for the last 6 months launched last week. The ad agency I worked for sent out an email to thank people for their hard work and they were kind enough to include me on it. It looked like there were over a hundred other names on the email as well. Who were these people? I can’t remember all of them sweating it out with me in London or all the other 10 countries I went to. A few of them yes, but not a hundred! Like all artists I can get wrapped up in my work and think of it as mine. ‘My baby’ they call it. But I had to check myself and acknowledge that many others contributed to its outcome no matter how big or small it may have been. In the corporate world we like to feel important. We like to be ‘the man’. People clapping enthusiastically as we enter out office buildings, looking at us in awe…..I’m getting carried away. But God is the one to look at in awe. It truly was God’s work to be able to make 12 commercials in 4 months. What I do is only a gift from Him anyway and as I’ve said before He can create way more than I can. He’s just letting me and the other hundred people have a go at it on his behalf.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, teach us to be humble toward others. Forgive us for not crediting you in all that we do at work. Amen!

Leader and follower?

Exodus 5:6-8

‘That same day the Pharaoh gave his order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people. “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw for making bricks; let them go gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before….”

Nothing has changed. People in power making life difficult for those with no power is a familiar story. Both in life and the work place. But instead of dwelling on those that can make our lives difficult, we should turn our focus to the one that can make it easier. God. He took care of the people of Israel and He’ll take care of us. We will enter the kingdom of heaven as equals, no CEO or world leader will be first in line. All of that power and self-importance will be left behind. It won’t go with us. So, whether we are in positions of power or not it seems pointless to toil away on this earth (in the limited amount of years we have on it) trying to prove something that will ultimately mean nothing! Instead, let’s behave in the way God wants us to behave regardless of our place in the corporate world. Loving, encouraging, respectful, honest, understanding and humble. The list goes on but those words even things out. We work with each other, respectful of each of our positions, but we work for God.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, be with us through our struggles. Whether we’re leaders or those following the lead. Give us respect for each other and help us to remember that you have the greatest power and that it’s you we work for. May we be joyful in the way we work together forever glorifying your name – Amen!

Don’t worry.

Philippians 4:6-7

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds’

 

Sometimes I don’t know what to write when I’m faced with scripture like that. Because it seems so clear and simple. It was in my daily reading yesterday and I felt compelled to bring it up again today. It’s a very comforting piece of scripture. I always find it very reassuring when it comes to the business place. In the world when I can never work out why certain things happens, with all the anxieties and pressures we all face.

It is easy to get wrapped up in our problems and worries whilst still knowing about the promise that God gives us in the scripture. We forget that scripture requires action from us. It says ‘present your requests to God through prayer and petition’. And only then will the peace of God guard out hearts. So, whatever is causing you concern today lift it up to God. Blurt it out! He’s listening. Don’t keep it to yourself no matter how ridiculous it is. But remember to also give thanks!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we lift all of our anxieties, concerns and worries up to you. Go ahead of us to the office place so we can have peace in knowing that you are there with us so you can free us Lord from the shackles of this world – Amen!

 

 

 

Ever considered a career in Christianity?

Hebrews 13:16

‘And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,  for God is pleased with such sacrifices’

It’s okay. We don’t have to become Pastors. But we can take on more responsibility as Christians. Whether it’s more of a mentoring role within a church or applying the skills in our paid work to helping others. When we reflect on our week, did it have the right balance between our time spent earning money and giving our time sacrificially? I have done very little of the latter since I’ve been on the road so it’s something I’m keen to re-balance now I’m home. When I was mentoring at The Bowery Mission in New York a couple of years ago, the last thing I needed on a Wednesday evening was to jump on the subway and head Downtown. But every time I did it I walked away energized. The Holy Spirit at work. Because it was of God. It is difficult to feel that way when we walk out of our office buildings every night. We should feel great but we’re human. We feel worn down by the same things. But a different kind of work can be a good replacement for a non-existent pay rise or promotion. The reason we crave the money and the promotion is because we need to feel better about what we do. Rewarded for the pain. It’s temporary though and the pain comes back. We can never find favor with God but finding other ways to work for Him where we don’t expect anything in return means it’s simply through love. Love for God and for others.

The Bowery Mission, Downtown, New York

The Bowery Mission, Downtown, New York

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for our careers and our jobs. We know that they are gifts from you. We pray we can find other ways to use our gifts or gifts we didn’t know we had to work for your kingdom and to glorify you – Amen!