My Devotionals

Subscribe

Covering Up With Accomplishments

gospel driven ambition Sep 10, 2018

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

As we saw in Genesis 11 last week, the Babylonians were driven by improper ambition to create a tower that would reach the heavens and make a name for themselves, a temptation that still plagues humankind today. When we create out of a desire to make a name for ourselves, or, to put it in more modern terms, to accumulate fame and fortune, we are essentially trying to save ourselves.

When the Babylonians invented the art of brick making, they weren’t content simply putting that innovation to work to build better roads and homes. They had to leverage their creation to make a name for themselves. Why? What is it about the human condition that causes us to use our work as a tool for proving something to the world? Deep down, all human beings...

Continue Reading...

New Series: Gospel Driven Ambition

gospel driven ambition Sep 03, 2018

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’ But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’ So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord...

Continue Reading...

The Cure for Restlessness

trust-hustle-rest Aug 27, 2018

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33 (NIV)

As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, trusting is the difficult yet simple act of recognizing that we are not responsible for producing results through our work—God is. Once we have taken this critical first step, it is certainly right to hustle, to use our God-given talents to fulfill our calling. But how do we know if we are both trusting and hustling? Hustling is easy to spot. It’s found in our email inboxes, our to-do lists, and our cluttered minds. But how do we know if we are truly trusting in God, rather than ourselves, to produce results? Perhaps the best indicator is whether or not we are at rest.

Rest is what we are all craving. It doesn’t take long to realize that rest means more than simply spending time out of the office. With the lines between work and home almost totally blurred, it can seem impossible to disconnect physically and...

Continue Reading...

Rise and Hustle

trust-hustle-rest Aug 20, 2018

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been exploring the tension we Christians must embrace in our work, between trusting in God and hustling to make things happen in our chosen work. As we saw last week, Solomon lays out a sequence to guide our thinking on this topic, beginning with committing our work to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3). In verse nine of the same chapter, Solomon urges us to hustle, saying, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Yes, God has called us to trust in Him, but He has also graciously given us minds to plan and execute. Once we have committed our works to the Lord, we are called to hustle, to work “with all our heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).

Too often, I’m afraid that we Christians focus too much on either trusting or hustling. Some Christians use...

Continue Reading...

Solomon on Trusting God in Our Work

trust-hustle-rest Aug 13, 2018

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

All throughout Scripture, we are told that it is God, not us, who produces results through our work. 1 Chronicles 29:12 says “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 reads, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

In an age in which anyone can launch a business, write a book, or start a podcast, it can be tempting to think that it is our hustle that is producing results through our endeavors. As we will see next week, God commands that we hustle and uses our hard work to produce results through us. But as we enter into any new work, we must begin by recognizing the indisputable fact that results are ultimately being produced by the Lord.

In...

Continue Reading...

New Series: Trust, Hustle, and Rest

trust-hustle-rest Aug 06, 2018

You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)

“Hustle” has got to be one of the most popular buzzwords in startup culture today. Shark Tank investors press entrepreneurs to “hustle” harder to generate sales. Everyone seems to be working on their “side-hustle” while keeping their 9-to-5 job. But what does the Bible have to say about our hustle? On the one hand, Scripture clearly celebrates hard work. Colossians 3:23 commands “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” But while Christians can join in culture’s celebration of hard work, we must also wrestle with the Biblical truth that it is God, not us or our hustle, that produces results...

Continue Reading...

When Jesus Said “No”

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.' Mark...

Continue Reading...

How to Budget Your Time

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30 (NIV)

It’s no secret that to be successful with your finances, you must plan where you will spend your money before it winds up in your bank account. We should apply the same disciplined approach to our time. After all, unlike money, we can’t earn more time, so we should be even more inclined to budget our hours than our dollars.

If you followed Jesus’ lead that we explored a few weeks ago, you should have clear boundaries outlining how much time you have dedicated to be productive in a given day. With these boundaries set, your commitments collected, and your essential few projects and tasks identified,...

Continue Reading...

Discerning What’s Essential

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.' Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

Martha gets a bad rap in our preaching of this passage in Luke 10. But the fact is, we are all Martha from time to time, struggling to identify which tasks are the most essential at any one given time. Clearly, someone needed to make dinner, and I’m willing to bet that Jesus greatly appreciated...

Continue Reading...

How to Keep Track of Your Commitments

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

Jesus commanded that our “Yes” be “Yes,” but more and more frequently, a Christian’s “Yes” really means “No.” Every time we fail to follow-through on a commitment, show up late, don’t complete a project on time, or fail to keep our voicemail’s promise that we will “return your call as soon as possible,” we are disobeying Jesus’ command that our “Yes” be “Yes.” In our fast-paced lives, we are saying “Yes” more than ever, while more and more frequently failing to keep our word. The fact that this sin seems so innocuous should set off alarms within the Church. We are images of God, representations of Jesus Christ to a lost world. To reflect our Savior well, we must be keepers of our word.

But how practically do we...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Join 100,000+ Christians who receive my weekly devotional every Monday morning!