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New Series: Anxiety at Work: How to Confront It, Cast It, & Carry On

anxiety at work Jan 07, 2019

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25)

Let’s face it: We are overwhelmed with worry and anxiety, perhaps more so than we are willing to admit. We are overcommitted, overwhelmed, and overstressed personally and professionally. The problem has gotten so bad that the World Health Organization has labeled anxiety the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Much of this can be explained by the fact that there appears to be more to worry about than ever before. Outside of our offices, we are confronted with global stressors such as terrorism, financial insecurity, moral decay, and a ridiculously divisive political climate. At work, anxiety hits even closer to home as new product launches, tighter deadlines, difficult bosses, inadequate compensation, and the demand to always “level-up” in our careers all punish us with worry. In short, Satan offers us no shortage of things to stress us and distract us from the work the...

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A New Journey

the coming king Dec 31, 2018

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

This past week, we have celebrated the arrival of the Promised One. We have seen and worshipped him. And because of him, our lives are now and forever changed.

But, as we have spent time in Bethlehem, pondering this great event, we must now start out on a new journey. A journey that will ultimately lead us to Jerusalem. For here, Jesus will complete the task for which he was born. In Jerusalem, on the hill of the skull, the real surprise of God’s great rescue plan will be revealed. Here, the Promised One will die and rise again. Sin, loss, the grave, and the enemy will all be defeated. God will have won the victory and death will have been swallowed up, bringing new life to us all!

And with this new life comes a new season of anticipation. We live now in expectation of Jesus’s second coming. We wait and hope for his arrival once more to...

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God With Us

the coming king Dec 24, 2018

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will...

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Anticipating the Promised One

the coming king Dec 17, 2018

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace. (Micah 5:2-5)

We all feel the weight of the loss that took place in the garden so long ago. In every aspect of our lives—work, play, friendships, family, dreams, and desires—we experience the sense that things just aren’t the way they were meant to be.

Conflict with co-workers deters our most valiant efforts at doing what we think is right and best. Anxiety overtakes us when we find ourselves striving to...

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New Series: The Coming King

the coming king Dec 10, 2018

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he...

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Let’s Get To Work

does my work matter? Dec 03, 2018

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.' Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NIV)

We began this devotional series considering the question of whether or not our work matters. Over the past few weeks, we found that the Bible’s answer to that question is an unequivocal “Yes!”

Our work matters because God Himself is a worker and we have been created in His image and likeness. Work is a part of who God is and, as such, it is a part of who we are. It is in our DNA. We work because our Creator first...

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Work: Part of God’s Plan

does my work matter? Nov 26, 2018

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

Work is not a new thing. It is not some evolutionary survival technique that developed and then went sideways, enslaving humanity in an endless cycle of toilsome labor. Nor is work a more recent invention of the humanist project seeking to gain power, prestige, and material dominance over one’s neighbor.

No, from a biblical perspective, work was a part of the plan from the very beginning. It was a component of God’s good design from the get-go. When the Creator (worker) God crafted human beings in His own image and likeness, the ability, necessity, and power to work was embedded deep within us. God works, so His creatures work. In this manner we truly are, to borrow the crude expression, “a chip off the old block.”

Not only are we workers, but we are workers with a specific task. We are meant to carry forward God’s grand and wondrous building...

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A God Who Works

does my work matter? Nov 19, 2018

This is what the Lord says—the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. Isaiah 45:11-12 (NIV)

When asked to describe who God is and what He is like, most Christians tend to give an account of His divine attributes. They will passionately proclaim that God is good, loving, holy, wise, or omnipotent. However, what is almost never mentioned is the notion of God as a worker. For whatever reason, most overlook, or at least do not actively consider, this glaring reality of who God is.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

This is the first verse of the first book on the very first pages of the Bible. It is the first time we are introduced to the God who is there. It is also the beginning of the whole story of...

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New Series: Does My Work Matter?

does my work matter? Nov 12, 2018

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)

We all want to be affirmed in what we do. To be recognized for our efforts. To have them confirmed and heralded as good, meaningful, and beneficial. This is one of our most primal longings. We thrive on approval. To hear the words “good job” or “well done” immediately stirs up something deep inside of us. Something that moves us to be more passionate, more diligent, more intentional. This is the power of affirmation. It helps us to see that our...

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85% of Jesus’s Career

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:28-31 (NIV)

The Bible gives us very little detail of Jesus’ life between the ages of twelve and thirty, when He began his public ministry. One of the only things Scripture notes about this significant chunk of time is that Jesus was known in...

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