Monday, April 20, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Identifying With the Risen Lord in the Workplace


Saramma Chacko
Epiphany MTC, NY
14 A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.

God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.  We cannot comprehend them unless the Spirit reveals it to us. Paul and Silas were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach in Asia, though they were eager to do so.  When they tried to go Bithynia, the Spirit did not permit them. While they were in Troas, Paul had a vision of a Macedonian seeking help.

Encouraged and moved by the Spirit, they realized it was God’s will for them to go to Macedonia.  So they travelled to Philippi, a place in Macedonia.  On the Sabbath, they went to the river side, where women assembled customarily for prayer.  A business woman, Lydia from Thyatira, was there and she heard Paul’s message.  The Lord opened her heart to discern the Word.  This was a divine appointment which neither Paul nor Lydia was aware of.  Because of that unexpected encounter, she and her entire household was saved and baptized.  She persuaded Paul to stay at her house.  There was a vertical and horizontal relationship formed.  God uses us in amazing ways, beyond the comprehension of our finite mind.

We get easily frustrated when our plans are thwarted because we fail to understand the glorious end if we move according to God’s plan. He has a purpose for each move in our life. So we have to learn to follow His lead and enjoy the journey though it is difficult.

God does not want all of us to leave our job and go to the mission field.  But He wants to use each of us as His vessel for the extension of His kingdom.  God wants us to be working as evangelists in the setting He has placed us. We are expected to share the Word in our workplace with our peers and clients.  Faith comes through hearing the word of God. So if we don’t speak, they can’t hear.  But before we speak, make sure the Spirit permits us to speak.  To know the will of God in the given circumstance, we have to listen to His quiet voice.  We have to tune our ear to His frequency.  Our actions speak louder than our words.  People watching us will want to have our Savior when they see our peaceful life; simple actions such as showing up in time to work, being sensitive towards the problems and sufferings others go through, treating others with patience, grace, love, acceptance and compassion, avoiding gossiping or retaliating but forgiving, submitting to authority, and not lording over our subordinates are all ways to bring others to Christ. 

Many people are depressed and living without any hope.  We can tell them about the hope they can have in the Risen Christ in their desperate circumstances. We must be on the watch for the right opportunity. The Spirit will guide us, but we have to follow His guidance, trusting that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Most often, the Spirit tugs our heart to speak after He prepares a receiving heart. We don’t have to worry about the outcome. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord alone can open hearts to receive and believe His Word.  Our job is to speak when He permits us. We are only accountable for doing our part.


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, grant us the grace and boldness to be a witness for you wherever we are planted.  Prepare hearts to receive the Gospel.  Enable us to gain souls for you by the way we live and interact with others, reaching out to the needy and doing our work sincerely. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Actions speak louder than words. Our workplace is our God-ordained pulpit.