Hidden under a bucket?

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I was at one of our church’s buildings around 6:30 this morning. A truck pulled up in the parking lot and the driver leaned out the window and asked what I was doing there so early.  I laughed and answered, “It’s Monday.”  “Too early,” he replied, “way too early for both of us.”  It’s Monday! For most of us “Monday” is synonymous with “work.” It means getting up to get the kids off to school, getting into the car for that commute, punching in for another day in the plant. A new week stretches out in front of us. Is it a week that you will just survive or will you thrive?

We serve God as much on Monday as on Sunday.
Our work matters to Him as much as our worship!

Do you compartmentalize your faith? Is Jesus welcome to go with you to work, to shape your thoughts, your words, your attitude there among the struggle of office politics, when you have to deal with a selfish supervisor, when you are tempted to just do the minimum because any extra effort is resented or goes completely unnoticed?   Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5)  I am sure that He intended to include that 40 to 60 hours that we will spend at that place of employment on the job!

Daniel, the captive from Jerusalem who ended up serving a pagan king in Babylon, is a great model for us. He never abandoned his faith in God under pressure. He never succumbed to the ‘office politics’ that landed him in the lion’s den at one point. He consistently served the Lord with great excellence and the knowledge of his devotion spread throughout the palace.  He was sought out by several different kings for his wisdom because they knew he was a person of integrity. It is worth noting that his dedication did not exempt him from real opposition and suffering!

If you are a quiet witness to Christ through your integrity and diligence you will almost certainly face some difficulties, too.  Many will pressure you to just ‘go along to get along.’  Make sure that your words do not outrun your actions. I have known too many Christians who noisily proclaimed their love for the Lord while slacking off, playing the same power games, or cutting ethical corners.  Their lives made a mockery of their profession. It is so much better to live in such a way that others have no argument with the depth of our devotion.

You might think that taking Jesus to work and living to honor Him is an impossibly high standard. How can I consistently live to honor my Lord?

Peter answers that for us.  As you head off into a new work week, here is a promise to own.   “As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT)  Plug into Him this morning.  Hit the pause button for a moment and pray for the Spirit to work in you. Tell Him about that challenging co-worker and ask for patience. Confess that desire you know is unworthy of Him and let Him start to change your heart.  Lean into Jesus!

The word from the Word comes from Jesus. I quoted this passage above. Here it is again, from The Message. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)

Go, be a blessing and let the Light shine.

_________

Living Hope

(Jesus, You are my living hope)

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Jesus Yours is the victory

Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham
© 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC]) Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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