Upstream in Uptown

Psalm 25:9

‘He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way’

We watched a film a few nights ago called ‘Salmon Fishing in The Yemen’. There was a scene in the film when the salmon were let loose into the river. At first they went the wrong way. They went downstream. But after a few seconds their instinct kicked in and they turned around and went upstream.

Being a christian is hard. In business it’s hard. Our tendency is to go with the flow. To go downstream. I have that image when I get on the train sometimes and occasionally in an office environment. We go the way everyone else goes. But to follow our faith means, that most of the time, we need to go upstream. To fight for ethics in the work place. To not go with a decision that might be harmful. Or to leave the party early or client dinner early because we have friends or family relying on us for something. Or even to turn down the job or promotion that may take us even further into the wrong place. The place that has the ‘Keep out’ sign. We need to seek God’s guidance as to whether we are going upstream or downstream. Only we know. But, speaking personally, I know when I’m going  downstream. I sometimes go that way for days and weeks. The good news, is that at least I’m aware of it. Being blind to it would be worse. Awareness is important. It means we’re trying. So, think about what way you’re going. But whatever you do, don’t take a train that’s going in the opposite direction!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we seek Your guidance today. We pray for the right directions in our life and career. Make clear the path we should follow and be with us on that path – Amen!

Here we go!

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

For many people, today is the first day back to work after the summer vacation and the first day back to school for the children. The trains will be fuller and the highways thicker with traffic. Even though the summer hasn’t ended it does feel like it’s coming to an end. And there can be anxieties that come with walking back into a building again. Unfinished projects, new environments or problems that we managed to brush under the carpet for a couple of weeks. To some of us, these are daunting things. But the scripture above tells us that we need not worry. God is not only with us but He has gone before us! The command is clear and quite abrupt. ‘DO NOT be afraid’. ‘DO NOT be discouraged’. Not ‘It’s okay, it will be alright’ but ‘DO NOT’. Why so commanding? Because God requires us to have faith and belief in Him. Our all-powerful Heavenly Father. But a simple prayer asking for our burdens to be taken on by God is all it takes. Then we can be at peace. As it says in Psalm 46:10 – ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Now we know that God is with us and we have faith then we can approach our work with vigor, energy and joy. That might be a lot to ask of us on a Monday morning but not too much to ask God for!

Pray with me

‘Heavenly Father, we pray for all of those that are going back to work today. We ask for you to go before us and with us. To give us strength, peace and love for others in the workplace and may we also give thanks for all You do for us today on our journey home tonight’ – Amen!

 

How rich are you?

Luke 6:38

‘Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put onto your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you’

No matter how wealthy or not wealthy we are, we can still be rich in God’s eyes. It says in Luke 6:38 that we will always get a measure back of the gift we give. Whether that’s our money or our time. ‘Give and it will be given to you’. I’ve read that verse a thousand times but still I worry about giving too much. I’m not sure why I worry because I always seem to benefit from it in some way. I don’t think the verse means that if I give $10, I’ll get $10 or even $20 back. There are different kinds of reward. There’s the reward we store in heaven. The peace that comes with giving to those that are less fortunate. The joy that comes with knowing you’ve helped better someone’s life. I find it very hard not to give to causes involving children. I get sad when I hear that children  aren’t happy. So, it makes me happy when I can help. Jesus loves us all but he holds a special place in his heart for the children. There’s many Bible verses on it. But regardless, giving sets us free from controlling our own lives and letting God lead us. Big faith comes with just letting go and giving our money to others instead of spending it on ourselves. We may say “But we’ve worked hard for our money, why should we give it away?”. God worked hard to create this earth and everything we have comes from God. Our lives, the skills, the gifts and the work that comes with that. All from Him. When we give, we’re just gift swapping. As God lavishes gifts on us everyday for all of our lives it seems only polite for us to occasionally give some back!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, thank You for all the gifts You lavish on us. Help us to search and soften hearts to give some of it back to You, to help build Your kingdom – Amen!