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    Faith at Work

    Many believers long to find ways to better integrate their faith and work. Some feel as though they are in a second-class role because they were not called into full-time Christian ministry. Some struggle with identifying their purpose, calling, and giftedness; having no role model; knowing how to integrate faith and work; and knowing how to share and defend faith in the workplace. As a result, these believers are frustrated and can fall short of fully integrating their faith with their work.

    If this has been your experience, get ready to be encouraged. These five lessons will help you reflect on…

    Why Cause Grief?

    Pastors make an easy target for criticism. Every week they are on display, carefully explaining God’s Word, challenging us toward Christlike living. But sometimes we look to find things to criticize. It’s easy to overlook all the good things a pastor does and focus on our personal opinions.

    Who’s That Hero?

    Reading the book of Judges, with its battles and mighty warriors, can sometimes feel like reading about comic book superheroes. We have Deborah, Barak, Gideon, and Samson. However, in the line of judges (or deliverers), we also find Othniel.

    The account of his life is brief and straightforward (Judges 3:7-11).

    Caring For Those Who Teach And Preach The Word Of God

    “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches” (Galatians 6:1-6).
    IDEA: Another expression of the fruit of the Spirit is how we support those who teach us the Scriptures.

    Minister Mentor

    In 1959, when Lee Kuan Yew assumed the position of Prime Minister of Singapore, his leadership began a long process of national transformation. Initially, disagreements between ethnic groups and a weak economic base made the future of this tiny nation uncertain. By 1990, when Lee stepped down from his position, Singapore had become a model country for ethnic harmony and a thriving economy. After serving as Senior Minister, Lee became Minister Mentor in 2004. Since then he has been an invaluable resource to Singapore’s cabinet and to other leaders around the world.

    The Good And The Bad

    The story of the rebellious prophet Jonah shows us how God desires to use both blessings and trials to challenge us and change us for the better. Five times in the book of Jonah it says that the Lord prepared circumstances for him—both good and bad.

    In Jonah 1:4 we read that the Lord sent a storm. It says He “sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea.”

    Insignificant

    “Movers and shakers” are people climbing the ladder of influence and success. Luke 3 mentions seven prominent leaders who exercised control in the society of their time.

    A Father To Follow

    When I think of my father, I think of this saying: “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and he let me watch him do it.” During my youth, I watched my dad walk with God. He participated in Sunday morning church services, taught an adult Bible-study class, helped with counting the offering, and served as a deacon.

    Leading From The Front

    Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers follows the US Army’s Easy Company from training in Georgia through the Normandy Invasion of D-Day (June 6, 1944) and ultimately to the end of World War II in Europe.

    Wise Words

    Now in my sixties, I reflect back on wise spiritual leaders who had a positive impact on my life. In Bible school, God used my Old Testament professor to make the Word come alive. My Greek teacher relentlessly employed high standards to goad my study of the New Testament.

    The Circle Of The Wise

    I used to serve on the elder board of a church in California. One elder, Bob Smith, who was older than most of us, frequently called us back to the Word of God for guidance.

    Just Kids

    After high school, Darrell Blizzard left the orphanage where he grew up to join the US Army Air Corps. World War II was in full swing, and soon he faced responsibilities usually given to older and more experienced men. He told a reporter years later that a four-mule plow team was the biggest thing he’d driven before he became the pilot of a four-engine B-17. Now in his late eighties, he said, “We were all just kids flying those things.”

    The fears Moses faced, and overcame!

    I’m sure you’ve been there. You’re about to make a decision, you’re ready for that change in your life, and something stops you. Often, we’re afraid of the repercussions.

    Discover how to press through the inevitable challenges of life

    Sometimes standing firm in our faith means enduring hardship and suffering. Perhaps you’re experiencing adversity right now.

    “Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel. Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children; because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me” (Psalm 69:6-9).

    Idea: Christ identifies with us if we are insulted for His sake.

    Purpose: To help listeners realize how closely we’re identified with Christ when we are put to shame for His sake.

    Always On Duty

    As my kids were discarding their trash at the local mall food court, my oldest son was almost run into by a man who was clearly on a mission. My younger son jokingly remarked, “Maybe he stole something.” Thinking I might be able to use this as a teachable moment, I said, “That’s what the Bible calls judging.” He then asked with a smile: “Why are you always ‘pastoring’ me?” After I finished laughing, I told my sons that I could never take a vacation from shepherding them.

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