My Lord, whether my last days on earth be amid turmoil or peace, I will praise you. Whether my last days are from sickness or injury, I will praise you. Whether my last days are amid friends or enemies, I will praise you. Whether they are in a hospital or a prison, I will praise you. Whether I die from natural causes or am slain, I will praise you. Forever in this life and the next life that I will have you on the other side, I will praise you.
In gratitude, I fall before your throne, Lord. You made it possible for me to join you and live with you someday. Yes, I know you are with me now. But, when you give me a glorious body like Jesus’, I will be able to see you with new spiritual eyes. Oh, to see you face to face. To behold your noble magnificence and divinity with my own eyes is my heart’s desire and my spirit’s dream. Until then, my Lord, my soul will bow down to you and worship.
The scripture for today, October 31, is1st Corinthians 10:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
How is your everyday life while around other people? What kind of employment do you have? Secretary, engineer, manual labor, going to school, teaching school, keeping your home, watching your children?
Some jobs are exciting, some are boring. Some require decisions, some require none. Some can involve a little bit of misrepresenting the truth. Some may be under a boss who is mean. Some may be among fellow-employees who shirk their duties and try to get by with doing as little as possible. Some may be among people who steal from the company.
Always remember that, wherever you are, that is God’s assignment for you in this universal battle between Good and Bad. You must do whatever you do in your daily life as good and honestly as possible. Will others notice? You bet they will! Will they resent you? Maybe. Will they blame God for the way you act? Deep down the resenters probably will. But at least it will make them think about God.
Then someday when they have a problem they are desperate to work through but cannot, who will they turn to? You. And God.
So, be strong. Stand firm. Do the right thing. And ultimately God will be glorified.
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You, Lord God, travel through time at your ease. Time means nothing to you. I am confined to seeing and hearing on a single highway as I travel through life. But you are above that highway and can see and hear everything that is going on around me, both past and future. It is all the same to you. Perhaps time is good for me because it offers me forgetfulness of the painful and anticipation of the exciting. You need none of that because you are everywhere at once and have been from eternity to eternity. Someday you will dissolve time when all is well and I am home with you.
Thank you, God of my heart, for following me around all the time. You guard me. You guide me. You surround me. You are in me. I am never away from you, for I am your child. You hover over me, turn me around, stop me, you do whatever is necessary to keep me on the path to heaven. I am never alone. In sadness and joy, in danger and safety, in sickness and health, in poverty and wealth. How can I thank you? I cannot. But I worship you with my heart and soul.
The scripture for today, October 30 (10/30), is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “
In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. The vengeance was to be carried out by the person who had been hurt. Some things were even punishable by death.
But Jesus told you to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive you (Matthew 6:14).
What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person. But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better someday. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.
Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on you. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for you.
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In the famous Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus tells his followers to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” But what does this look like in the modern workplace? How are working Christians, from the boardroom to the classroom, heeding this call from the New Testament? In Barna’s recently released study on vocation, produced in partnership with Abilene Christian University, we found encouraging signs that Christians are living out their faith with integrity. Previously on Barna.com, we’ve covered data about the sacred value Christians perceive in their professions, the challenges working parents face and the Church’s important role in encouraging faith and work integration. Here, we’ll look at the specific values and virtues that define today’s Christians’ work ethic.
Christian Workers Are Setting the Bar High
Encouragingly, working Christians say they hold to standards and virtues of professional integrity that represent the Church well. They are rooted in a conviction that Christians should act ethically (82%), speak the truth (74%) and demonstrate morality (72%). On an even more spiritual level, respondents say working Christians should make friends with non-Christians (66%), withstand temptation (59%) and do excellent work in an effort to bring glory to God (58%). Most believe people of faith should be guided by an attitude of humility (63%) and service (53%), while also looking out for others by speaking out against unfairness or injustice in the workplace (53%) and bringing grace and peace to others (48%). The trend is clear: most employed Christians want to do good in their places of work—but not always in a way that stands out. They appear less inclined to see it as their responsibility to be influential: one-third believes they should help mold the culture of their workplace (35%). In addition, only one-quarter says sharing the gospel is a responsibility (24%), pointing to a general wariness of speaking explicitly about faith, an attitude not uncommon in today’s climate. However, the more exemplary Christian workers in this study show more spiritual boldness with a higher willingness to share the gospel than the average Christian worker.
Christian Millennials are the most likely generation to say it’s completely important for Christians to mold culture (40%, compared to 35% of Gen X and 33% of Boomers) or serve others (58%, compared to 51% of Gen X and 51% of Boomers) at their jobs. However, other responses from Millennials imply they have some vocational lessons left to learn: When asked to point to values they should exhibit in the workplace, traits like speaking the truth (68% vs. 78% among Boomers), demonstrating morality (72% vs. 76% among Boomers), acting ethically (77% vs. 85% Boomers) or withstanding temptation (54% vs. 66% among Boomers) diminish in importance among Millennials, particularly compared to Boomers. However, less than half say their church gives them a vision for living out their faith at work (46% vs. 57% of Gen X and 53% of Boomers agree “strongly”). This could be a wake-up call for church leaders to equip the largest generation in the workforce with a deep vocational understanding.
God, you are my life, my heart, my soul. You have done stupendous and amazing things to save me. Nothing was too hard. You raised the dead back to life and thereby destroyed death. You are the light of my soul, my hope, my song. Your love is so high it reaches the stars which join in chorus to sing of your glory. Your love is so deep, the ocean waves dance in gladness at the sound of your voice.
Jesus, you did so much for me ~ for us all. You came to earth to suffer with us, though you didn’t have to. We were rebelling against you, so you rolled up your sleeves and met us on our level. Only then would we let you lift us up with you. Thank you, Jesus, for such love. And it is summer. We had a gentle summer rain yesterday and the flowers smiled. Thank you.
The scripture for today, October 29 (10/29), isJohn 10:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
No other person can take your salvation away from you. They may badger you, belittle you, torture you, kill you, but they cannot take your salvation away from you. The only one who can do that is you.
Jesus himself said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
The Apostle Peter said, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall….Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (II Peter 1:10; 3:17).
Hebrews 2:1 says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
Determine now to read the scriptures for yourself (God speaking directly to you) and praying (you speaking directly to God) and meet with other Christians to give and receive encouragement and be better able to stand firm.
You cannot do it alone. You need us. We need you.
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Some people ask me if I am in danger by teaching over 6000 Muslims the Bible. It is unlikely, living in the US. However, there is always that possibility. In that case, do I dare tell my students to risk their lives to become a Christian if I am not willing to do the same? Each day, no matter where I live, I am one step closer to Home.
The scripture for today, October 28 (10/28), is Matthew 10:28fas found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and bodyin hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”
This scripture indicates that sometimes God’s allows you to “fall to the ground” ~ your body suffers, or you are killed. How can that be? After all, God is so loving. Surely a good God would not allow any harm to come to someone if he truly loves them.
But we all have our assignment from God in this war between Good and Evil. Just as Job in the Old Testament lost his entire family and entire wealth and then his health, he refused to blame God. He even said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).
Satan causes bad to happen to you. Why? In order to get you to blame God for it. Your assignment is to refuse to deny God. That way, Satan loses one more battle, and God wins one more.
There is an old Christian song called “Victory in Jesus.” How can you have victory in Jesus if you do not have something to be victorious over? Romans 8:37 says we are more than conquerors. How can you be a conqueror if you have nothing to conquer?
Stand strong and say with James (1:2) that you consider it pure joy whenever you face trials. Hard to say? Of course, it is. But it could turn your life around.
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I hear your voice calling me, Lord. I hear it in the wind, in the hooting of that owl, in the gentle rushing of the creek. I hear your voice now in song. My heart sings along with yours. My spirit feels your spirit, my soul touches your soul. Oh, that you have granted me the privilege of being your child. The very thought of it confounds my imagination. You, my Maker, are also my Father. You watch over me and care for me and protect me. Even if I were being beaten right now, I will feel your protection. There is nowhere I can go that I am beyond your watchful eye and the shadow of your wings. There is nowhere I can go that you cannot hear me, see me, and touch me. I adore you, Lord my God, and worship you.
You have done so much for me through my life so far, how can I begin to thank you for them all? If I made a list, it would become a large and thick book. When I become afraid, you give me courage. When I stumble and do wrong, you lift me back up. When I cry, you wipe away my tears. When I laugh, you laugh with me. When I am sick, you make me well. When I limp, you are my staff. You give me enough shelter to keep me out of the elements when I sleep. You give me enough clothing to keep me warm, enough food to keep me healthy, enough mercy to remind me to be merciful to others. Most of all, you ransomed me from Satan. And now, you are preparing a special place for me in heaven where I will spend eternity thanking you for being the God of Love.