The purpose of every vocation, in all of the different spheres in which our multiple vocations occur - the family, the workplace, the culture, and the church - is to love and serve our neighbors. Loving God and loving our neighbors sums up our purpose (Matthew 22:36-40). Having been reconciled to God through Christ, we are then sent by God into the world to love and serve him by loving and serving our neighbors. This happens in vocation. So we can ask of every kind of work we doing, "Am I loving and serving my neighbor, or am I exploiting and tempting him?"
Obviously, those who make their living by robbery are not loving their neighbors. Heroin dealers, hit men, con artists, and other criminals are hurting their neighbors and have no calling from God to do so.
But there are some legal professions that also involve harming their neighbors instead of loving and serving them. An abortionist kills his small neighbor in the womb. An internet pornographer is abusing the neighbors he is exploiting sexually and, moreover, causing the neighbors who are his customers to sin.
Other occupations may not be so cut and dry....
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
First, we must read long portions of God's Word, not necessarily as Bible study, but to seek insights that might be applied to petitions or praises. Next, we should meditate on those portions that reveal a particular truth to be applied in prayer. Evaluate how the passage might translate into a specific petition, asking yourself, Does this verse prompt me to pray for someone with such a need? Is it possible to use some of the words of this scripture as I pray? Third, form a personal prayer, enriched by the passage you've chosen.
Suppose your brother is feeling as if life is over since his wife died. One morning you're reading Phil. 1:6: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Aha! you reason. This is just what my brother needs. So you pray, "Lord, I cling to this passage on behalf of my brother. Help him to see the good work You want to accomplish in his life through his heartache. Carry him to completion, Lord Jesus. I know You'll be faithful to this promise in Phil. 1:6, and although my brother may be too depressed to ask, I hold You to Your Word."
As you center your prayers on God's Word, its power and life become not only a part of those for whom you pray but also a part of you. Focus on quoting God's mercies in prayer as David did, and you will become more merciful. Plead with Him for His wisdom, quoting Proverbs 4, and wisdom will be yours. Center your requests upon His holiness, and you will grow in holiness.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Most believers have never been intentionally discipled and most believers have no clue how to go about discipling a new believer. The problem is that people don’t have a good understanding of what discipleship is. Here’s a definition for you:
Discipleship is truth transferred through relationship.
It’s that simple. What I’m doing with these two men on Wednesday nights is transferring truth through relationship. I love these two men, and they know it. In relationship with them I’m teaching them the truth, and at the center of that process is teaching them how to read, rejoice in, and apply God’s Word.
What are you waiting for? Find two people you can start doing this with.