Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seeing Your Work as God's Will (3)

'Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.' Psalm 127:1 NRS
When your skill level is high but the challenge of the task is too low, you experience boredom. When your skill level is low and the challenge of the task is too high, you experience frustration and anxiety. But when the level of the challenge matches the level of your skills—then you’re ‘in the flow’.

We don’t work mainly for money, recognition, promotion, applause or fame. We work for the flow that comes from a partnership with God. We hunger for flow, and when it’s present, something happens in our spirit as we connect with a reality beyond ourselves and become a co-worker with God.

This is why the psalmist says, Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.’ Flow is part of what we experience in that partnership and, in that, God in turn uses flow to shape us. Bezalel experienced flow when he carved wood, David when he played the harp, Samson when he used his strength, Paul when he wrote a brilliant letter, Daniel when he ran a government, and Adam when he gardened. If other people report to you, one of the great spiritual acts of service you can perform is to ask whether they’re experiencing flow in their work, and help them experience it even more. Paul was in the flow when he described himself as poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.’ (2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV) When you’re working in the flow of service to God, when you’re experiencing flow in activities that enhance and bless the lives of others—you’re working in the Spirit’.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Seeing Your Work as God's Will (2)

'Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.' Colossians 3:17 NIV
Research shows that the best moments of our lives don’t come from leisure or pleasure; they come when you’re immersed in a significant task that’s challenging, yet matches up well to your highest abilities.

In those moments, you’re so caught up in an activity that time somehow seems to be altered; your attention is fully focused without your having to work at it. You’re deeply aware, without being self-conscious; you’re being stretched and challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry. You have a sense of engagement or oneness with what you are doing. This condition is called ‘flow’, because people experiencing it often use the metaphor of feeling swept up by something outside themselves. Studies have been done over the past thirty years with hundreds of thousands of subjects to explore this phenomenon of flow.

Ironically, you experience it more in your work than you do in your leisure time. In fact, your flow is at its lowest ebb when you’ve nothing to do. Sitting around doesn’t produce flow. This picture of flow is actually a description of what the exercise of dominion was intended to look like. God says in Genesis that we’re to rule over the earth, or exercise dominion’ (See Genesis 1:26, 28). We often think of these words in terms of ‘dominating’ or ‘bossing around’. But the true idea behind them is that you’re to invest your abilities to create value on the earth, to plant and build and write and organise and heal and invent ways that bless people and cause God’s Kingdom on earth to flourish. You are Loved!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Seeing Your Work as God's Will (1)

'I must work the works of Him who sent Me.' John 9:4 NKJV

I know you've asked the question what is God's will for my life. Have you ever thought that what you do for a living has an important part to that? You’ll experience a new level of fulfilment when you begin to see that your job is an important part of God’s will for your life. Jesus preached and healed, but He saw it all as ‘work’ given to Him by His Father. You must too. Instead of seeing church as a place where you meet with God on Sunday morning, see it as a place where you’re fed and strengthened so that you can carry the presence of God with you into the workplace. Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.’ (Colossians 3:17 NIV) Notice two words here: (1) ‘Word.’ That covers skills of communication and information. (2) ‘Deed.’ That covers skills such as creativity and building. Whatever you do, you’re supposed to do it with a thankful heart, as though the Lord were your boss—because He is. When you work with that attitude, you come alive. One person comes alive when they pick up a musical instrument, another when they lead a team, another when they counsel someone who’s hurting, and another when they’re looking at a financial spreadsheet. When each of us is doing what God designed and called us to do, the world around us is enriched. All skill is God-given, and we’re invited to live in conscious interaction with the Holy Spirit as we work, so that we can develop the skills He gives us. Work is a form of love. We cannot be fully human without creating value.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Love

"And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him." - Mark 15:19-20

Christmas. It is one of the most joyous Christian holidays, a time to remember the birth of Christ our savior. Christmas is a time to share our blessings with one another, and to be surrounded by the people we love. It is a time for giving, and a time for forgiving. Most importantly, it is a reminder of how much God loves us.

Last Sunday someone asked me after Church, "Why did God send Jesus if He knew He was going to die?" In fact, Jesus wasn't just going to die, Jesus was going to be mocked, beaten, tortured, and then sentenced to die a slow, painful death by crucifixion. All at the hands of those He came to save.

It's funny, because as Christians we like to remember the good times in Jesus' life. We love to tell the Nativity story, but we forget that shortly after His birth Christ needed to flee from Herod's army. We tell about His wisdom, His love, and His healing, but we forget about His suffering. We forget the price He paid, for our sins. We forget the lengths that God went to show us His love (Romans 5:8).

To be honest, thinking about this leaves me dumbfounded, because God knew what would happen to His Son. God had told Isaiah along with many other prophets of the suffering the Savior would endure. God knew that the very creatures He had created, would crucify Him for trying to save us from ourselves. And yet, God lowered Himself in Christ, feeling physical pain and suffering. God lowered Himself, and let mere humans beat Him and mock Him (Philippians 2:7). The God who has all the power of the universe, humbled Himself to be lower than the angels, and to die at our sinful, hateful hands (Hebrews 2:9).

God knew this would happen ahead of time, and yet He loved us so immensely that He sent His Son, the third person of the Trinity, to suffer a painful death, so that we could spend eternity with our Heavenly Father (John 3:16). That's the story of love. That is the story of Christmas.

Today, remember the price God paid for you, because of how much He loves you. Remember what true love is, and share that love, God's love, with all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Christmas Tree

Every Christmas I pull this out to remind myself of who I am. I pray you will save this and do the same. Amy and I Love you Much!
I am God's child. (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend. (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord. (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)

I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth. (Matt. 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:27)

I am free forever from condemnation. ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant. (Phil. 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me. (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:18)

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 2:6)

I cannot be separated from the love of God. (Rom. 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God. (2 Cor. 1:21- 22)
I am assured all things work together for good. (Rom. 8: 28)

I have been chosen & appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)

I belong to God

And that is who He says I am. How about you?
“The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn His face toward you

and give you peace…”
Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


'Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation.' 2 Corinthians 7:10

The word repent means to acknowledge your sin before God, turn from it, seek God’s forgiveness, and start living differently. It means doing an about-face turn and heading in the opposite direction. If you go 20 miles down the road in the wrong direction, it requires doing a U-turn and coming 20 miles back. At first this can seem discouraging. But it’s profitable, because next time you’ll think twice about where you’re headed.

Repentance also sometimes means making restitution to others. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who got rich by overcharging people. But after he met Jesus he said,If I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much.’ (Luke 19:8 GNT) God is more than willing to forgive you, but He may allow you to experience the painful consequences of your sin in order to motivate you towards obedience. ‘No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.’ (Hebrews 12:11 NLT) Satan will try to tell you that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace, but you’re not. The Prodigal Son wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pigsty. But the day he decided to come back home, his father ran to meet him and restored him to full sonship in the family. And God will do that for you too. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously.’ (Isaiah 55:7 NLT)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Protecting Your Life Source

'Come and drink the Water of Life.' Revelation 22:17

The Babylonians encircled Jerusalem and cut off its food supply. The question was, how long could they hold out? That’s what the Babylonians kept wondering. But a month passed, then two, then an entire year, and still they held out. The secret of Jerusalem’s survival lay in a water supply from a spring outside the city walls where Hezekiah had cut a 542 m long tunnel through solid rock. From there water passed under the city walls to a reservoir inside called the Pool of Siloam. Without it God’s people would have gone down in defeat. But it’s not just another Bible story; there’s an important lesson here for you. To live victoriously you must: (1) know your life’s true source; (2) protect it; (3) draw from it daily. If your security, your strength, your self-worth or your strategy for living comes from any other source but God, the enemy can defeat you. Everything you need comes from God, so protect and nurture your relationship with Him, for it will always be the focal point of Satan’s attack. A day without reading God’s Word isn’t merely a slip; it’s a set-up for failure. Prayerlessness isn’t carelessness; it’s foolishness in the extreme. You say, ‘Well, I’m doing ok and I don’t pray or read the Bible very much.’ Maybe you haven’t reached your hour of testing yet. When that comes, without an established source to draw from you’ll struggle more and succeed less. Is that really how you want to live? If not, the word for you today is: Come and drink the Water of Life.’