Prayer

Essential workers in God’s Kingdom!

Advertisements
God's Kingdom, Road to God's Kingdom
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Essential workers

Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:15-17 (Essential workers)

Define an Essential Worker

As we’ve seen during the global Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s definition of who is and who is not an “essential worker” . But not so with God, which should lead Christ-followers to this question. Who will be deemed the essential workers in eternity? Who will hold the positions of highest authority? Or, to borrow the language of our Savior, who “will be called great in the kingdom of heaven”?

Who will be great

Advertisements

Who will be called great in the kingdom? Those who are obedient to the Lord’s commands. Let me be clear: As Christians, our status as adopted children of God has nothing to do with our righteousness and everything to do with Christ’s (see Ephesians 2:8-9 : For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast). But as today’s passages make equally clear, there are varying rewards for us based on our obedience to the Lord’s commands in this life. Varying “essential workers” in the Kingdom.

Advertisements

What does obedience look like

So, what does obedience look like in our work? The answers to that question are innumerable. Here are just a few. If you’re an employee, obedience to the Lord looks like obedience to the earthly authorities He has put in place as your bosses ( Colossians 3:22). If you’re an employer, one act of obedience is paying your people fairly (see Colossians 4:1 -Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven). And of course all of us are commanded that in “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).

Advertisements

Apply the Lords Ways

The applications of the Lord’s ways to our work are endless. But Jesus famously and helpfully summed up the law with these overarching principles. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind….And Love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matthew 22). 

In other words, we are called to love God by being obedient to his commands, and we are to love our neighbors by becoming their servants.

Advertisements

Yahweh’s Presence Changes Everything

Advertisements by Hazel Straub Yahweh calls to us to seek him with all our hearts. He beckons us into a closer, more intimate, and deeper relationship, with him than we had yesterday. As you come closer, surrender your will for his will in your life. In his presence, all your cares and concerns melt likeContinue reading →

Prepare the soil of Your Heart

Advertisements It is vitally important for ever Christian to grow spiritually. We ought to seek growth in our relationship with God. We do this by preparing the soil of our hearts. That is the theme of this post – prepare the soil of your heart. God longs for us to prepare our hearts soil, ourContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – The Father and The Son

Advertisements Our journey through the Gospel of John continues a few months later where Jesus is cornered at The Feast of Dedication (Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah), in an noticeable threat, by the same religious leaders He has been castigating for years. In this passage of scripture, Christ lays claim to “The Father and the Son”Continue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Prayer, 0 comments

Prayers of Worship

Advertisements

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord , my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 – Worship

The life of a worshiper, someone who is able to worship is about life with God. Daily communion and a constant state of humility before His feet. Like a broken fragrance, we pour ourselves upon the feet of Jesus, yet He is the one who wipes away every tear and stain. (Matthew 26: 7-9)

It’s not so much about you being a leader of any kind, as it is about you being a worshiper – a worshiper who is just as serious about prayer as God is serious about hearing our prayers.

God wants your prayers. It comes from the understanding that you are not your own. This discovery is foundational in your identity: you are a child of God. When it comes to what you do and who you are, it has nothing to do with someone else’s expectations, but everything to do with you being His.

It’s a knowing that only comes from God through His word, intersecting with your soul. A recognition and agreement that takes place in the heart.

Don’t miss out

Sometimes we work so hard that we miss our true identity. Know this: God has not called you as a worker, but as a son or daughter. Ministry is about seeing Christ within you, doing the work through you. It begins by Him making you, instead of you making it.

We need to find our true identity is to be a son or daughter of the King by being who we truly are in Christ. Not a worship leader, not a director, not a CEO, not even a busy father or committed wife – but a child who is dependent upon the Heavenly Father’s unconditional love, lavishing care, grace, protection and provision.

Advertisements

When you see yourself through this lens, everything you do – or should do – becomes clearer.

Your identity is not just in Christ, but in the eyes of Christ – not in the eyes of others. Galatians 4: 6-7 states: “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

God is looking for sons and daughters to become worshipers by the heart, not by trade. Take a closer look into how God looks at you, and you will find what He’s created you to really be – His worshiper, His child.

God isn’t looking for worship leaders, He is looking for leaders who worship. And, He is looking and listening for those worshipers to pray.

Prayer

Father, please remove this grown-up-adult-view and give me the eyes of a child to see You. Give me the utterances and words from my heart to give You praise in sincere worship. Forgive me for withholding the echoes You long to hear from my soul. I turn to You as You turn your ear to hear my voice. I love You, O Lord. Thank You for hearing, listening, giving and providing for my every need. May I, in-turn, share Your love with others. In Jesus Name, Amen

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8

Advertisements

Latest from the Blog

Stronger – part 5

Advertisements God desires for you and me to become stronger. Stronger emotionally, in faith, in love and stronger in the sense that we rest on His sufficient grace. Stronger, StrongerContinue reading →

Stronger – part 4

Advertisements God desires for you and me to become stronger. Stronger emotionally, in faith, in love and stronger in the sense that we rest on His sufficient grace. Stronger, StrongerContinue reading →

Jesus is the answer

Advertisements For years and still to this day, people have and are asking. What are the answers to life’s questions? Well, my friends, the answer to that question is JesusContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, Prayer, 2 comments

Is the Holy Spirit the same as God?

Advertisements

Before we dive too deeply into how the Holy Spirit can help us, let’s take some time to figure out exactly who He is. Where did He come from? Is Holy Spirit just another name for God? How is He different? All great questions.

Imagine as far back in time as you can. Before earth. Before our universe. God was there. But He wasn’t alone. Well, not exactly.

God has three different forms. There’s God the Father, or just God for short. Then there’s Jesus, God’s son. And there’s the Holy Spirit. Mysteriously, all three are different, but they’re all 100 percent God. Each one uniquely expresses God’s nature to us, but none is greater than the other. In Christianity, this three-in-one concept is formally known as the Trinity.

When you read your Bible, it can seem like Jesus first came on the scene as a baby 2,000 years ago. Then, out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit appears in the book of Acts. But the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been hanging out together as far back as you can imagine.

In Genesis, when God created everything, it was actually the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working together.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Genesis 1:1‭-‬2

Now, you might be wondering, if all of them are God, what’s the point of having three? Another great question.

While Jesus was on the earth, He was only obeying His Father. He didn’t do anything on His own but only what He saw His Father do. When His curious disciples asked Him to show them the Father, He said, “If you’ve seen me, then you’ve seen the Father.” Basically, Jesus was telling them that He was God in physical form. God the Father has no physical form, but Jesus is God with skin on. Through Jesus, the love of God became something tangible we could see and feel.

But, as Jesus’ time on earth was nearing an end, He made a promise. He told His followers it would be best for them if He went back to Heaven because then God would send them the Holy Spirit. In the same way that Jesus became the body of God in tangible form, the Holy Spirit revealed Himself as the mind of God living inside of us.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:15‭-‬17 NIV

So, the Holy Spirit leads us to the truth. He’s the very mind of God, available to you at all times because He lives within you when you choose to follow Jesus. He’s the voice that fills your head with God’s thoughts. Intimate. Close. Personal.

In His physical form, Jesus couldn’t engage with people at the level of thought. That’s why He said it was better that the Holy Spirit come.

Let’s talk about Jesus’ promise and what it means for you.

Can you imagine trying to send a group text using pen, paper, and the post office? Imagine writing out letters by hand to your five closest friends, buying stamps, stuffing envelopes, and mailing them to five different addresses. After waiting for two or three days, the letters would start arriving at your friends’ houses. Then, each would respond with a letter of their own, making copies for each person in the group and waiting a few more days for each reply. Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It seems silly since you can accomplish the same thing in a few seconds using your smartphone.

The Holy Spirit works sort of like that. He makes it possible for Jesus to communicate with every single one of His followers in real time across the globe. Jesus could only be in one place at a time. His first disciples didn’t know much about the Holy Spirit or His purpose. That’s why Jesus spent His last days on earth preparing them for His death. They didn’t know He was about to die, and they certainly didn’t understand why. So, instead of trying to dump His entire plan on them all at once, He made them a promise.

He said that when He left He’d send someone else in His place—the Holy Spirit. Jesus wasn’t saying that they would be trading their relationship with Him in exchange for the Spirit. Instead, the Holy Spirit would come alongside them and help them understand everything Jesus had taught. Plus, the Holy Spirit could teach them new things as they learned to hear His voice.

When the Holy Spirit came, He would lead them to the truth. He wouldn’t have His own agenda, but He would be totally committed to completing Jesus’ mission on earth. In fact, the Holy Spirit would do everything to bring honor to Jesus. He would relay messages straight from Jesus into the hearts and minds of all His followers. But, here’s the best news of all: That promise wasn’t just for the disciples who were sitting around that night. It was also for you!

Think about how that changed the game. Before Jesus gave us access to the Holy Spirit, Jesus was the single source of information, and He was limited to physically being in one place at a time. He had to spread His message one crowd at a time. But, when the Holy Spirit made His home in the heart of every believer, Jesus’ message was engraved into our hearts.

The Holy Spirit can speak directly into our hearts and minds.

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Hebrews 10:16

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Prayer, 2 comments