Monday, August 22, 2011

Now Hiring

“Now Hiring”
By Zach Wood
Matthew 9:36-38
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

We see these signs many places, “Now Hiring”.  We see them in the paper, on bulletin boards, on job listing websites, and many other places.  Businesses are looking for people to fill job vacancies.  However, most places are not looking for just any person to come and fill the spot.  Businesses go through interviews and find people who have the job skills, attitude, and commitment essential to get the work done. 

These places do not want to hire people who will come and do just enough work to get the paycheck.  They want committed people who have a positive attitude and will do their best to get the job done. 

Jesus Christ is very strong in His job announcement for those who have given their lives to Him.  He commands us to go out and work the harvest field.  There are so many lost people who are dying with the love of Christ and need Him so desperately.  He has called you and I, the workers, to go out and spread the Gospel so that they may hear the Good News. 

He desires to have workers who are committed, loyal, devoted, determined and dedicated to seeing lives changed for the Kingdom.  There are lost sheep out there in this world who are wandering helplessly and hopelessly for something to fill the void in their lives.  The question is, "What am I doing about that?"  Each of us must ask ourselves that question everyday and look for opportunities to just simply be kind and courteous to others. 

One thing I would highly encourage you to do is to not bombard people with in-your-face evangelism.  Yes, some of us are bolder than others and have the personality to just be blunt and direct with people.  But, for the most part, many of us are just not that way and cannot imagine approaching someone that way.  Especially "lost sheep" that need Him.  Jesus Christ built relationships with people and shared with them in the process.  I truly believe this is how we build successful evangelism opportunities.  It just comes in natural conversations with others.  But there are also times when we hear things and we may choose to resopnd and give our input.  In these times, people may be more open to our input and knowledge of God and our relationship with Him. 

Please understand, I am not in any way trying to tell any of you how to do evangelism, but simply encouraging to go about it in a non-forceful way.  There are so many people today turned off to Christianity and the last thing they probably need is someone to get in their face.  Build the relationships and then share with people.  Building the relationships is a sure way to get a foot in with sharing with someone who is lost. 

"Now Hiring"  Are you up for the job?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unhealthy Comparisons

“Unhealthy Comparisons”
By Zach Wood
Luke 18:9-14

If I have done it once, I have done it probably a hundred times or even more.  I am sure you have probably done it as well.  I compare myself to people.  I know you do the same.  We all do.  We are human.  We seem to feel better when we justify what we are doing by comparing ourselves to someone else and say, “Well, at least I’m not like that person!” 

To be honest, that phrase becomes like a disease that seems to permeate through our relationships with other people.  We separate ourselves from those people who seem worse off than we are.  We like to think we are better than those who do really bad things.  The problem is we have come up with the rationalization that what we are doing is ok and what those people do is terrible. 

Sad thing here is, Jesus Christ sees sin as sin.  We can rationalize, justify, and convince ourselves that are better than “those people” who do really bad things.  We try to do good things, so we strive to many times separate ourselves when good and bad people are categorized. 

Jesus Christ is showing us in this parable that our comparison problem stems from when we compare ourselves within our reasoning and understanding and feel we are better than those who are doing really bad things in our eyes.  We are not comparing ourselves to who Christ wants us to be, but rather what we personally think is better.  His standard is so higher than ours and we many times fail to see the way He wants us to see.  The harsh truth is when we think this way in comparing ourselves to others, we are just as bad as those who we think are doing worse things. 

Jesus Christ calls us to be humble and repentant.  We should not think of ourselves in any other way than humble and responsive to what He commands.  He compares us to what He asks of us.  It is extremely unhealthy when we compare ourselves to others and feel we are better.  We become like the Pharisees.  We show off and try to explain how we are better.  We are no better. 

When I read this parable, I want to be more like the tax collector who admits his inadequacies to God and becomes humble before the Lord.  The last part of verse 14 is so powerful.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted. 

Which one are you right now?  The Pharisee or the Tax Collector?  Be humbled and let go of your rationalizations, justifications and comparisons you’ve made. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Work Dedication

"Work Dedication"
By Zach Wood
Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I am amazed at the people I see each day that are totally dedicated to their work.  You have seen them.  They always seem to have a smile on their face.  You very rarely ever hear them complain.  They are always willing to help someone else out if a need arises.  They are encouraging to others and uplifting to be around.  I see people like this every single day and I admire their attitude.  Then, I look inward at the condition of my heart and I question my dedication.  I question whether I am dedicated to the work I do each day. 

To be honest, I find myself complaining so often about what I am doing.  I may say voice the complaint in a way that is trying to be humorous, but underneath, I am really trying to complain and get my frustration out.  I have been convicted of this so many times no matter where I am at or what I am doing.  This does not just apply to my current day job, it applies to any work I do at home, helping others out, and even volunteering at church.  I find myself sometimes thinking of what I would rather be doing.  There are times when the dedication is just not there and I want to be somewhere else.  I believe we all struggle with this.

The other night when I was reading this passage, I became very convicted and heart broken.  God really challenged my thinking and convicted me that no matter what I am doing or where I am, I need to be doing what I am doing with all my heart as working for the Lord.  My mind and heart need to be focused on doing the absolute best I possibly can do with the task(s) in front of me.  As I continued to think about this, I realized that my attitude is going to speak volumes to people.  People will either see someone who is dedicated to the work or someone who just feels like complaining whenever approached.  I surely do not want to be that kind of person, especially if I am trying to be a witness for Christ. 

I want to encourage all of us to be better dedicated workers wherever we are and whatever we are doing.  No matter what we have been asked to do, we need to be positive and do the best job we can do.  If our attitude becomes sour, people will be affected and our witness weakened.  If we strive to do the best we can with whatever work we are doing and give our best effort, that will spread like wildfire to the people around us and they will see a dedicated worker.  That draws people's attention! 

Christ calls us to be our best wherever we are, no matter what we are doing.  Is it hard?  Sometimes yes.  Is it impossible?  Well....yes.....that is, without God!  With God, it is totally possible! 

How is your work dedication?