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Archive for June, 2012

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
– Acts 13:1-3 (NKJV)

Our assignments come from the Almighty.  He can set us apart for the work that He alone calls us to do in His name and for His sake.  He can single us out and call us out “for the special work”  that He has for us to do (v. 2, New Living Translation).  Even when there are other teachers, preachers, evangelists and prophets in the vicinity, He can still call for us to be separated from everyone else.

Such a calling is a heavy responsibility.  It requires us to act on it once we have accepted it. 

Look at Paul and Barnabas.  Look at the work that they did immediately folowing being set apart for this assignment of “special work.” They took action with their assignment.  They had all of the confirmation that they needed to go.  They had gone through all of the preparations that you could imagine necessary, not possible.  Fasting, praying and the laying on of hands were all part of what took place prior to sending them out.

Imagine what you would do if and when the Lord calls you out.  Try to picture your response to the Lord picking you out for “special work.” Go on and respond with some action.

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Those who love money will never have enough.
How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!

If you want true happiness, don’t put all of your trust in money.  The Bible says so.
Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. – Psalm 62:10 (NKJV)
He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage. – Proverbs 11:28 (NKJV)
Rather than do things for the love of money, the Bible instructs us: Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).

Other believers have said so, too.

“A preacher always loses out when he gets his mind on finances.” – Smith Wigglesworth
“Economy is half the battle of life; it is not so hard to earn money as to spend it well.”
“God has given us two hands — one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for giving.”  –Billy Graham

“Every spending decision is a spiritual decision.” – J.C. Ryle

Let us learn how to maintain a proper perspective on what God provides to us.  We must learn to do what we do for the love of the Lord, not for the love of money.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom. – Proverbs 3:13 (NKJV)

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But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.– 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

Are you growing? Answer it as honestly as you can.  Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Got an answer yet?

If you are growing, then it ought to be showing. . . somewhere.

If you are growing, it should be showing in one way or another, in one place or another.  It should be showing some way or somehow.  It ought to show.

It should show in your. . .

  • Words: What you say (as well as what you do not say).  Words carry meaning.  Even if we are careful with our words, we should also be mindful of how our words may be received by others.  The grace of the Lord should come out by what comes out of mouths.
  • Ways: What you do now (and what you don’t do any longer).  Our ways say a lot about how we relate to the Lord.  People will attribute who we are aligned with by the way we act.  People who do not even know the Lord have a preconceived notion of what Christians should act like and they expect Christians who are true to their faith to act accordingly.  Actions do speak volumes, especially to others.
  • Works: What we do for the sake of the Lord (by way of helping others).  Our faith should show by what we do for the Lord.  We perform good works for the good of others and the glory of the Lord.  Jesus said so.  He said that we should let our lights shine, and people would see our lights and give glory to the Father due to them (Matthew 5:16).

Take another look.  Is it showing in you? Are you growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord? If so, it should be showing.

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Do not merely listen to the word,
and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.

– James 1:22 (NIV)

It is probably safe to say that most of want to do what god expects of us.  We can admit that we are at least willing to try.  I think that makes some reasonable sense based on my own experience.

We don’t always do right.

We don’t necessarily do any better.

God expects us to do better.  He 3expects us to do something with His Word.  He doesn’t expect us to just take it in and let it sit within us.  He wants us working on what He has for us to do.  Otherwise, we are headed down the right right track.

Do what God says and you’ll meet His expectation for your obedience every single time.

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All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

-Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

You have been pouring your heart into this latest venture.  You can see the vision that you have for the future as clear as day.  It is in view.  Yet, as you continue to toil away by the sweat of your brow, you start to stress.  You feel yourself losing your nerve.  You begine to agonize over the potential pitfalls and staggering stumbling blocks that could emerge as you chase your dream.

That’s common.  You are just like many other entrepreneurs who fail to walk down beaten path.  Yes, it is common, but it far from healthy.

The Bible says that all hard work leads to a profit.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), that’s not necessarily so.  The births and deaths of business are measured in what is called “business churn.” Business churn amounts to combination of business births and deaths during a specified period, whether a quarter or a year, providing an indicator for the overall scope of business.  During this first quarter of 2012, things appear to be churning upward.  However, that means some businesses did still die during this period.  They closed shop and called it quits, never to arise from the ashes of defeat again (at least not under that company name).

So, what does that mean for Christians in business or seeking to jump into business?

It means that there is a slight and gradual recovery from the recession.  It means that the landscape is still full of uncertainty.  It means that, as Christians, we still have to have faith, even to go into business in this day and age.

Keep your faith.  Maintain your focus on what you can do.  Keep costs and expenditures, especially debt, low.  Seek to grow your business step by step, taking it slow if you have to in order to keep things balanced.  Stay close to the Lord throughout the venture.  Don’t wait until you have a pending bankruptcy to call on the Lord.  Start praying as you start planning.

After all, the profit that the Bible speaks of may not be limited to monetary riches and social prestige.  The type  of profit  spoken of by the Bible extends far beyond money.  You can be a success at making a difference in the community and in the lives of the people who benefit from your business, customers, employees, suppliers, partners and more.

Success is just within your grasp.  Go on and keep going for it.

Strive for Success with Life Path Consulting. . .

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. . . I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
– 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV)
“Let us long to be used in the conversion of sinners.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

The people of God are called to make a difference in this world.  That’s why the Lord called us salt and light.  We have a calling to make the world a different environment than a realm of sin and debauchery.  He desires us to have a positive impact upon others by serving Him through our daily interactions within this world.  We are to live in contact with the world, both believers and others.  The Lord does not leave us on earth to live in isolation like the Essenes of ancient times, hiding ourselves from others of this world in order to remain pure among ourselves.  We are to live in this world.  We are to be in close contact and proximity with the world around us, making a difference in the world before the very eyes of those who are full of doubt and unbelief.  We, as Christians in this society, must serve as the very salt and light necessary to purify what has become polluted and penetrate the darkness.
God wants us in contact with others.  God wants us actively making connections with the people who live in both doubt and darkness, the ones who live without hope.  Jesus said that we should let our light shine so brightly that others would see our good works and glorify the Father (Matthew 5:16).


In order to connect with them, we have to make contact with them.  We have to shop with them, play sports with them, and hang out with them.  We have to interact with them.  We have to hang out with and be around them.  We have to show them our light as the light of the world.

I know you have heard some interpret Paul’s words of light having no fellowship with darkness as to mean that we should not have anything to do with so-called sinners, but that is an extreme interpretation of that biblical text.  How can we impact a dying world without ever interacting with it? The onus is on us.  We are to share the gospel with the hopeless and doubtful.  It is up to us to reach those who do not know the love of Christ with a message of hope and a ministry of reconciliation.

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 For ever, O LORD,
thy word is settled in heaven.
– Psalm 119:89

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.

-Psalm 119:9-11(NIV)

Look at the Word of God.  Look into and seek the things that God wants to share with you.  Oddly enough, the Word tends to strike us right where we are in our lives.  Whether we are up or down, happy or sad, it touches us and it speaks to us through the Spirit of God.
Start keeping track of your daily inspirations from God and His Word.  Jot down in a journal or notebook how God speaks to you daily.  Keep track of it.  Refer to it on your down days or just during your down time. 
Write openly and freely about what the Lord says to you with the Word.  Keep your journal as your own private sanctuary for you coming before the presence of God with the burdens of your heart and soul.  Let loose and see what God does with your thoughts, expressions and feelings.

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