by David Brenneman
"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. The statement is trustworthy: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, and solemnly exhort them in the presence of God not to dispute about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the listeners. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place; and they are jeopardizing the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His;” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to keep away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:1-19 NASB
It's a theme in the world where people try to separate the life they live at home from the life lived outside the home. Tell me...did Jesus do this? Was this taught at all in the early Church?
It's extremely disappointing and discouraging to see Christians being as though they were not in public.
Some of the worst offenders are those in positions of leadership. What do we read Timothy being told? He is but one thing...a soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ. What were the Disciples taught to be? Fishers of men and women no matter where they were or would go.
Paul taught that those who were masters over others should indeed remember that they too have a Master in Heaven.
We who are in Christ Jesus who do live separate lives are what the Bible says are hypocrites by not showing Christ in us at all times, in all places. The Great Commission isn't separated between work and home.
I have rarely come across leadership in the workplace who put their faith on their sleeves. They make no apologies for living out their faith in front of all. Guess what? God blesses them for it. Also guess what? Those who are Believers who don't live out their faith, who are harsh, inconsiderate, taskmasters, have incredibly difficult times as leaders. God does not bless them, God doesn't make their lives easier. We are charged with being Holy as He is Holy. That charge is 24/7, 365.
When we embrace the world's ideology in anything, we leave behind something in our walk with Jesus.
In his charge to Timothy, Paul is very clear that there is no separation.
Paul, of himself, said that he became all things to all people, in the hopes that he would help save some. He often referred to himself as a prisoner of Christ. He never said that was just his day job.
We can't honor Christ Jesus if we're off doing our own thing, leaving our beliefs behind. We aren't strong enough to live this life apart from God in anything.
In the more modern parlance its called burning the candle at both ends. The light of Jesus Christ should only be the only light shining.
We clog up our lives with the temptation of success. We drive for it, often sacrificing people along the way. In Jeremiah we read of how futile that is. Worldly achievement will fade. What we do in Christ Jesus is what endures forever. When our lives are examined as by fire, and everything is burned away, what we did in Christ is all that will remain.
Do you not realize that God sees how you treat others? Scripture says He does not sleep nor does He slumber. His eyes go back and forth over the Earth to see who's heart is inclined towards Him.
Jesus spoke of not putting a candle under a basket. We do such things when we hide our faith out in the world.
My Friend, do not go the way of the world.
You who are in Christ Jesus ought to only live as one who is in Christ Jesus.
When I see those in leadership who have claimed to be Christians being harsh taskmasters, who aren't the same on the clock as off, it's heartbreaking.
Jesus taught servant leadership. Jesus was only one way in living life. He wasn't teaching anyone to be different between home and the world.
It's amazing to me that these same said people are highly stressed. Have great anxiety over their jobs. Yet don't see the connection. God will not bless where God is being told to stay out.
A few years back a visitor at my former employer blew me away by living out his faith in the face of other leaders at the plant where I worked. He stopped the tour to ask me how I was and how my day was going. Once satisfied with my reply then we went on to my presentation. When he did this I saw my site leader roll his eyes at what he thought was a useless interruption to his plans for this tour. It was all over his face.
I can tell you because I made a friend that day that God HAS honored him because his faith was shown for all the world to see. God has indeed blessed him.
When you get going today, be who you are in Christ regardless of where you are and what you are doing.
We're to listen to the Spirit in all things, at all times, in everything.
When Jesus looks at your life, at your heart, in this very instant that He IS doing so as its written that He is...what does He see?
Are you embarrassed to live out your faith to this lost world? Food for thought on that.
Are you striving to please Jesus or your employer? Scripture basically says you please Jesus pleasing your employer will go much easier. The favor of God rests on those who are obedient to His Word.
It's look in the mirror time.
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