Daily Devotion for August 8, 2017

'Burdened to bless...all the time!'

Colossians 4:23, 12-15
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you...Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Colossians 4:5-6 NLT
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Ephesians 5:15-17, 18b
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do...be filled with the Holy Spirit...
Yesterday was my first day back to work...after spending the last 16 years serving the Lord at home. I wasn't supposed to begin until Friday, but I got called in that morning...and I was nervous! Would I do something that would embarrass my Lord? Would I be able to accomplish everything they asked me to do? Would I say something that would cause them to fire me—on the spot? My prayer, as I drove in, was that no matter what they asked me to do, I would be enabled by the Lord to DO it...and that I would be a blessing—to my employers, to those I was working with, and to those I was serving.
The Lord answered my prayer, folks—but the answered prayer was both wonderful and convicting. It was wonderful to know I had not failed the Lord my first day of paid work—but it was convicting too because I haven't always served at home with the same passionate drive to be filled “with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience!” Specifically, I haven't always had the same burden to “be careful how (I) live” around those I'm with the most!
Heavenly Father, I thank you for allowing me to be a blessing at my new job yesterday. What a relief! My prayer is that all of us who are employed would be enabled by You to DO our jobs well each day...and that we would desire to be a blessing to those we work with and work for (for You!). Moreover, Lord, help us desire to be a blessing to ALL who are around us—all the time! Whether we are at home, at work, shopping, serving, or at play...let us be burdened to be a blessing to You by being “filled with the Holy Spirit!”  Then we will be enabled to 1) “Work willingly at whatever (we) do as though (we) were working for (You) rather than for people, 2) then we will do all things with “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience,” forgiveness, love, peace, and thankfulness, and 3) then we will be “careful how (we) live,” making “the most of every opportunity, and understanding “what (You want us) to do.” We ask this in Your Son's name, Lord—for Your Glory! Make us burdened to bless--all the time!

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