Archive for October 2010
Since the working day forms the largest part of the waking day, anyone who wants to witness effectively has a full-time task. Let’s be practical, with some DOs and DON’Ts’ aimed to arouse your thoughts.
Three Basic Factors
1. Be punctual. If you are habitually late, you show an undisciplined life, either staying up too late at night or staying in bed too long in the morning.
2. Work conscientiously. Doing as little as possible and getting by is cheating.
3. Don’t pack up before time.
It is advisable to keep the Bible or text calendar out of sight if you are not toeing the line in these respects.
Attitude to Work and Colleagues
Do you ignore tasks which may involve extra time and trouble to complete? Do you shelve unpleasant work or, worse still, leave it to others? This conveys the impression that you have a grudge against your employer. Trustworthiness, down to the smallest details, should characterize the servant of God. Are you courteous to everyone, including those who are your juniors, as well as your seniors? Be impartial, to Christians and non-Christians alike. When your colleagues tell you about their weekend activities do not sound critical or adopt a ‘holier than thou’ attitude as you as you describe your own church commitments. Do you show a genuine personal interest in colleagues and their family so that they feel able to speak to you about their personal problems? It may be that a helping hand, a listening ear or just a cup of tea can be what is needed most. Evangelism means much more than simply inviting people to meetings. It starts by showing friendship, understanding and sympathy – in short, that someone cares
Living with your principles
The Christian will often be at odds with the views and behaviour in general society. Where Christian principles and truths are concerned, decide where you draw the line, and know why. Having done this, stick to your principles and do not waver. Take your stand for Christ and for what you are convinced is the truth, even if it makes you the ‘odd person out’, but be humble. Don’t invite persecution by being sanctimonious. If you feel that you have to refuse to take part in a raffle or gambling, why not give a donation to the genuine ‘good cause’. If you must say ‘No’, do it kindly.
Money and Promotion
Don’t eat your heart out after extra money or promotion. Show your colleagues that you serve a better Master than these – and that you can trust Him. Beware of becoming bitter if you are overlooked for promotion. If you are sure that there is no cause at all in your past work or conduct to warrant your being passed over, might it not be that God has some purpose you have yet to discern?
Guard against too much talking in the firm’s time. Watch those personal phone calls and keep them short. If a conversation develops on some spiritual theme, suggest, if possible, that it be continued over a cup of tea in the staff restaurant later on. Know when your leg is being pulled and pray for a sense of humour. Never be argumentative or always ready to strike back. A sharp tongue can blow your testimony sky high. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Watch that you don’t overdo meetings or Christian activities at night to such an extent that it affects your work or temper the next morning. Show a reasonable interest in local, national and international affairs, so that you can comment intelligently on them. A
Christian Must Witness
There is no division between the Christian as a witness and the Christian as a worker. To what, then, does the Christian witness? Certainly it must be to something that works in one’s own life, or there is no testimony! The Christian witnesses to a living, loving God who can be known personally; to an ever-present Christ, able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. Christians should put godliness into everything they do. Everything they handle will become a channel through which Christ can reveal Himself, and their work will be the better for it. We will be failing miserably if our work is not better done because we are a Christian. We should be diligent, for a bad worker has never made a good witness and there is nothing in Scripture to excuse such an attitude.
Witnessing at work does not mean that always speaking or handing out leaflets. In the long run, a consistent life is the most effective way of encouraging the ungodly towards Christ. Generally speaking, a person does not witness by reciting verses of Scripture parrot-fashion. The Bible, to the person in the street, is largely an unknown book shrouded in doubt and mystery. It is as our colleagues see for themselves, undeniably, that what the Bible declares actually works out in our lives, that we shall become convincing witnesses. Let your life be a living commentary on the Word of God.
You may also be discouraged because you think you are the only Christian at your work place.. But remember, God requires you, where you are, as His representative. You may be the sole agent for Christ and HIS business in your place of work. You will not only need to be out and out for Christ, but, if you are to stand against the tide of indifference and temptation, there must be no half-heartedness. Such strength can come only through vital fellowship with the Lord. It need hardly be emphasized, therefore, that the life of a true witness must be saturated in prayer. You must pray not merely for yourself, that you may conduct yourself as a true Christian in your work, but also for your colleagues. The more you pray for them the more you will want to know them, and the more you know them the better you will pray for them. The business and industrial life of the nation could be greatly influenced if more Christians were filled with the spirit of prayer, and were channels for God in the workplace.
Adapted, with permission, from an article published in 2003 on the web site of Christians in Communications (The Post Office and Telecommunications Christian Association)
This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine March/April 2004
In worship God gathers his people to himself as centre: “The Lord reigns” (Ps. 93:1).
Worship is a meeting at the centre so that our lives are centred in God and not lived eccentrically.
We worship so that we live in response to and from this centre, the living God.
Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren. Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives.
We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by spectres and soothed by placebos. If there is no centre, there is no circumference. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness, epidemic in the world, with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.
By Lin Pearson
Every Christian has been given the means to bear fruit for Christ. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4 NLT).
In his book The Disciple Making Pastor, Bill Hull writes,
“The non-negotiable for the fruitful Christian is remaining in Christ. Christ does not emphasize fruit bearing, but remaining in him. By remaining in Christ, as a branch depends on the vine, the believer will bear fruit; indeed, he cannot avoid bearing fruit.”
The words of Christ, “Remain in me”, suggests intimacy, and not just superficial acquaintance. So, for us to be fruitful, Christ must be at the centre of our lives, our affections, our choices and our actions. He alone should be our focus. We need to cultivate a deep and cherished relationship with Christ.
There is no denying that mission is physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding. Nevertheless, it need not be a strain to witness, or a struggle to win souls for Christ. Fruit bearing will be the natural outcome of a life which is consistently and vitally united to the living Vine, Christ.
To win the lost we need the power of the Holy Spirit, we need creative ways to communicate effectively, we need pure lives…we need so much. But our first and greatest need is to dwell deeply in Christ. All else flows from that. Then we can know that, as he said, “those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit” (John 15:5)This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine September/October 2009
Success did not come easily to Thomas Edison, the man who invented the electric light bulb. Time after time his experiments failed. Or did they?
When asked is this lack of success discouraged him he said:
I did not fail 1,073 times. I found 1,073 ways not to do it.
He always asked himself: “What can I learn from this? How shall I do it differently next time?”
Take encouragement! You, too, can turn apparent failure into an opportunity to grow in character and spiritually, if you learn from your failure. The old song encourages us: “Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again!” and with God’s help we can do just that.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Failure does not mean I’m a failure;
It does mean I have not yet succeeded.
Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing;
It does mean I have learned something;
Failure does not mean I have been a fool,
It does mean I had enough faith to experiment.
Failure does not mean I’ve been disgraced;
It does mean I dared to try.
Failure does not mean I don’t have it;
It does mean I have to do something in a different way.
Failure does not mean I am inferior;
It does mean I am not perfect.
Failure does not mean I’ve wasted my life;
It does mean I have an excuse to start over again.
Failure does not mean I should give up;
It does mean I must try harder.
Failure does not mean I’ll never make it;
It does mean I need more patience.
Failure does not mean God has abandoned me;
It does mean He must have a better idea.
- Author unknown
IT HAS BEEN SAID…
Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully - and imaginatively – for its hidden assets. – Michael Korda
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. – Helen Keller
Failure is an attitude, not an outcome. – Harvey Mackay
This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in Life Indeed magazine March/April 2004
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
By Sam Gordon
A story about Oliver Cromwell illustrates what God wants us to do in the time that is remaining to us prior to the second coming of Jesus.
At the time, England was running out of silver for making coins. So Cromwell sent his men to the cathedrals to see if they could find any silver there.
They reported: “The only silver we could find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners!” To which the crusty statesman replied: “Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them into circulation!”
That’s where we all belong, in circulation! We don’t belong in a corner of some ancient or modern church building gathering dust. Our natural habitat is out there among people. We have a potentially life-changing message that is well worth sharing. We have a full blown mandate from heaven. We have a global mission not yet finished. We are the men and women to whom God is looking so that the great task of reaching a world without Jesus might progress with speed. �
This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine September/October 2008