Let God do the hard work

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you

It’s perhaps not in our nature to make things easier for ourselves. As we work our way up the ladder work gets more intense and pressured. Expectations are high and so are salaries. We feel we should be working hard to earn that money. And to be seen to be working hard. Early mornings and late nights. First in. Last out. The twists and turns inside our bodies can make our work harder. The worry, the anxiety, the stress, the frustration, the anger, the ego and the pride. We use up all our energies on them and it drains us. We look exhausted because of these things. There was a time when even though I believed in God, I couldn’t believe that He could help with the problems I faced at work. But through my own experiences and what I read in The Bible I came to believe and trust that God had control over all situations. Nowadays, when I remember to, I give it all over to God. And when I do that it all becomes much easier. I am aware that all the issues are still there. I can’t completely forget them but knowing He’s in control can give me tremendous peace. Of course, I don’t stop doing my job. I’m not sitting back and watching. I’m just letting God work through me and work out the situation. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I expected or wanted to, but that’s the way it works with God. If we give it all up to Him then we have to be open to a different result to the one we planned. So today, as you head towards your place of work, give any concerns you have up to God. Let Him do the hard work. I suspect it’s quite easy for Him.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we ask that You take on all our burdens so we can be at peace at work today – Amen!

 

 

 

 

Here today. Here tomorrow.

Matthew 8:20

‘…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’

Throughout our lives things are continuously coming and going. There’s never any real permanence. Even when it feels like there is, there really isn’t. We may live in the same house all our lives but life within that house changes. Children come. Children go. Our loved ones pass away. Jobs change. Cars change. Brown hair to grey hair! We’re happy with the wallpaper but 2 years later we change it. We plant a tree but 20 years later we cut it down because it’s blocking out light.

As believers in Christ, it’s possible that God comes and goes in our lives. We may think about Him some days more than others. Or even go through periods of weeks and months when we forget He even exists. Amazing that someone who we know in our hearts is incredibly important to us, can disappear from our minds. Our God is a gracious and a forgiving God. And even though we forget Him, He never forgets or stops loving us. He’s waiting for us to connect with Him. There’s many ways we can do that. Opening our Bibles and reading just one verse can re-boot that relationship. Praying a simple prayer for God to guide us. Downloading an app that delivers a verse to your Smartphone. I have  Proverbs and Psalms apps that pop up on my phone 3 times a day. It’s amazing how timely they can be. Making that effort means we are inviting God into our lives and asking Him to speak to us. For any of us in business I highly recommend a few Proverbs verses a day.

So, wherever you are now perhaps stop reading those emails and go to the apps store and download one. There are thousands of them and most of them are free. You won’t always read them but not to worry, there will be one the next day and the next and the next…

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us, even when we’re not with you. We pray we can be with you through prayer and scripture. And with faith! – Amen!

Is this the happiest day of your life?

John 8:47

‘Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God’

We were recently moving house. One of the men that worked for the moving company seemed particularly happy. After a while he came up to me and said “Today is the happiest day of my life”. Moving us made it the happiest day of his life? No. It turns out the man was going to see his Mother next month. He is from Brasil and his Mother had been granted a visa to visit the USA. He had not seen her in 10 years.

I almost felt like crying. He really did have a reason the be happy. And then it made me think. I am not always at home. I am away from my family a lot. But I can see them as often as I like and I’m not that far away from them. Even my family in the UK are not that far away. And, unlike the moving man, who couldn’t pay his way back to Brasil, we can occasionally afford to go back to the UK and visit. I felt fortunate compared to him. He was probably in his late teens when he left his Mother. God blesses us and shows us grace in abundance but sometimes we need to hear someone else’s story to appreciate how blessed we are.

The man was very happy. He was not sad. Not that day. But I am sure he had many sad days up until then. Praise God for sending his Mother to him and praise God for sending me His message through that man.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we ask that we can be attentive to Your word both through scripture and other other vessels You choose to communicate with. We pray that we will pause and listen carefully to the message You send us – Amen!

 

Respect not expect.

1 John 4:7

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God

‘Expect’ or ‘Expected’ are the words that are used a lot in the office. “You are expected to be in the meeting”. “We expect you to work the weekend”. “You are expected to attend the conference”. “We expect you to work late”. If you read the dictionary, the word is actually used out of the context of what it really means. Or it’s been twisted. Regardless of that, it’s hardly ever used in the context of pleasant things. I don’t ever hear “You are expected to take a vacation”. Or “You are expected to see your family”. “We expect you to take a lunch break”.

We have many expectations asked of us and most of the time it’s important that we live up to them. After all, we are getting paid for it. But when someone doesn’t live up to our expectations of them be careful not to judge. Outside of the work place our colleagues are living lives. In some cases, lives full of illness, suffering and pain. They have families to look after. And with that comes many problems and genuine worry, to the point where they simply can’t do their job as well as they would like because they are distracted. It’s perhaps not up to us to investigate someone’s problems. But showing we care by having patience, showing kindness as well as understanding regardless of the situation, is sharing God’s love through us.

So, share that love today. If the moments right, tell someone you expect them to do something pleasant. Something they would least expect you to say! I think that is God’s expectation of us.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we pray that we can humble ourselves before others. May we be gracious, loving, kind and understanding. Give us the wisdom and the skill to navigate through all our work situations – Amen!

 

One step at a time.

Psalm 18:28

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

If you’re anything like me, you might sometimes sit on the train (or where ever you may be) wondering what the future looks like. But, of course, we don’t know. And because we don’t know, we plan. We plan something that is our idea of what it might look like. Planning is good but only if we are looking to God for guidance. Even then, we can get carried away with our own dreams. “Dear God, I pray that you can guide me to Florida where I can retire.” That’s probably not the right prayer but we all do it. Or something similar. The Psalmist of the verse above is happy to have a lamp to guide him. Lamp’s won’t light up the entire path, just a few yards. Enough to stop us from going the wrong way. The future is now. That sounds like a cliché but it’s pointless planning so far ahead because we may be missing out on so much today! So, plan the next few steps with God and let’s pray a prayer for a future (today and the for the rest of our lives) that can in some way glorify Him. Sound like a plan?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, We thank You for always being with us even when we don’t know it. Lord, we offer our lives up to You. Our future is in Your hands. Lead us to where You want us to be. Give us the faith to follow You, one step at a time – Amen!

“What a save!”

Psalm 119:105

‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’

“What a save!” is a common phrase in a soccer commentator’s vocabulary. The video below is the probably the best save in the history of soccer. Be sure to watch the replay for the slow motion as you won’t catch it the first time. One miraculous save. By an Englishman…of course.

When we come to Christ we talk about being saved. We accept Jesus as our Lord and savior and then we move on with our lives. But God continues with great saves everyday. Lots of small miraculous saves. He saves us from saying something that may offend. Or being tempted by something we crave, that isn’t good for our souls like money, success and fame. How does he save us? Through scripture. We can turn to God’s word when we’re tempted away from the precious thing that saved us in the first place. Our faith and understanding that God’s way is the only way. Thousands of verses of encouragement, warnings and day-to-day advice. Thousands of saves! So, not for the first time I’d urge us all to carry scripture with us. We don’t have to carry books any more. There are thousands of bible apps and daily devotionals. Perhaps use that smart phone to look at scripture for a minute or two, rather than emails? The ‘Bible Verses Companion’ app automatically sends us scripture three times a day if we download the app. That’s three saves a day!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for Your word. Help us to look to Your word so we can be guided skillfully through our lives – Amen!

God has not ‘shutdown’

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

With all the that’s been going on in Washington this past week I feel like shutting down myself. I’m not commenting on the rights and wrongs of it here but It does make me realize how fortunate we are to have someone we can trust. God. Perhaps we can shut off from the craziness? In the midst of the madness when we’re getting frustrated, angry and our head is full of confusion we can simply turn to God and ask “Please intervene and sort this out”! It’s worth trying. As Christians it’s our duty to stay peaceful, calm and have wisdom. We need to pray for some of that wisdom in Washington.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we pray for wisdom for our leaders and for ourselves. We pray for a peaceful resolution in Washington. We pray this will happen quickly for the good of the people who’s lives are being affected by the situation – 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!

 

Money makes the ‘word’ go round.

Proverbs 19:17

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed

When we give to God we’re putting our money in His hands. In truth, it was His to begin with. A gift to us, of which we’re giving just a little back to help build His kingdom. If we ever wonder if it’s being put to good use then we just have to spend time in the company of missionaries. These are people who have given up a lot to help spread the word of God around the world. To people who have never heard the word of God and to some places where it’s against the law to read The Bible. But still they persevere. Their perseverance comes through a very strong faith in God. Faith that means they are willing to risk their lives to build the kingdom. Not everyone can be a missionary and not everyone should be. We all have our purpose on this earth which God has assigned to us. And giving is maybe one of them! If you’re in business now and you sometimes wonder how you can contribute to the word of God being spread then giving is a huge part of it. Without it, these missionaries can’t do the work they do. So, God is looking for cheerful givers…..spread the word.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gifts You give us. Help us to be wise in how we use these gifts and how we use them to build Your Kingdom – Amen!

It’s not complicated.

Mark 9:36-37

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

In the business I’m in everyone talks about simplicity and how to communicate a message in the simplest way no matter how complicated or basic the message is. The skill is to get straight to the point and not let the complicated stuff get in the way.

This past Sunday I listened to a girl sing a hymn. Sophie was her name. I think she’s no more than 8 or 9 years old. It was beautiful. She’s blessed with a wonderful voice and the words were all about ‘Jesus’. Uncomplicated words. In the quietness, the words she sang seemed so simple. Suddenly all the clutter and the stuff that complicates life and gets in the way of my relationship with Jesus blew away in the morning breeze. An image came into my head as the girl was singing. It was of two paths. One all overgrown and thorny and the other clear. Jesus was at the end of both. It was like I had a choice. I could take the tough path to Jesus or the clear one. Children were running down the clear path with Jesus smiling at the other end. The clear one seemed more appealing. It was the simple, less complicated path. Together with the words from the song it all seemed so clear. God can speak to us in any situation. I don’t think I was expecting it to come through an 8 years old girl’s voice! It was like a whisper. We have to be listening carefully and paying attention to when God is speaking to us. Of course, I have to look at all the stuff that gets in the way of my relationship with God but it was a peaceful, satisfying image. I thank God for Sophie, her voice and the moment of clarity. I just wish I could turn back time and film her singing it. Perhaps another time!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the children. Fo their pure and peaceful lives among our complicated ones. Help us to simplify our relationship with you so we can come to you like little children – Amen!