The King and His Kingdom – Part Six


The King and His Kingdom Video
Session 6
 
Welcome to Part 6 of the King and His Kingdom, which we’ve titled the Working Believer.
 
Having had a closer look at the roles of the family this week, we want to see how God’s principles apply to us in our workplace. As believers, we are guilty of seeing the ‘church’ place as different from the ‘work’ place. God’s kingdom principles apply to us all the time – whether in church or out – whether at work or home.
 
 
 
In the Beginning
Adam was given free rein in the Garden of Eden and was told by God, “…I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth…to you it shall be for meat”. Everything was placed at his disposal. As we have today, there was certainly no need for him to ‘toil’ for his food. (Gen 1:29)
 
The result of Disobedience
They were effectively cursed when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil.’ Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long (We can get more detail of this situation in the ‘Gospel Explained’ sessions). Gen.3:19 shows us that humankind’s work (or Job) would not be easy, because he had lost his wonderful ‘image’ of God (Gen.1:26 5:3), and would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage to working in – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
 
Humankind’s Part
In the book of Psalms, the author wrote in Ps.104 about creation, showing how God had laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. In verse 23, we see one of fallen humankind’s parts in the plan – to labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
 
What about Christ’s Body (Church)?
Within the actual body of Christ (the bride of Christ, in other words), it is evident that not all members will receive gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Only those God has destined will grow in those gifts (Eph.4:11). These gifts cannot be obtained by studying at a school or bible college, but are given free by God to those He has ordained. As the body (church) grows, some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world (although not be part of it) to generate funds for furthering the gospel.
 
How will they Work?
In Romans, Paul exhorts the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in their daily tasks – as unto the Lord (Rom.13:1). That means all jobs – whether liked or not liked, agreed with or disagreed with (Eph.6:5-8). Work done daily should not be done ‘halfheartedly’ to make it appear as though a good job has been done but should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done (1 Timothy 6:1-2). We’ll all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He’ll want to know why?
 
Set Apart
Our behavior as Christians in the workplace is always under the watchful eye of the world. (“…and he calls himself a Christian!!” – heard the expression?). It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord. We should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
 
Who must Listen?
This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but those who disobey cannot be blessed, and this without partiality (Col.3:25).
 
Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings
At times it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! (1 Pet.2:18-22).
 
Some might say – “Why should I obey those in authority when they mistreat me?” Well, we need to remember that firstly, the Lord requests us to obey. Secondly, the scripture in Ephesians tells us that those in authority over us are accountable to God, so if they mistreat anyone under their jurisdiction, they will answer to God (Col.4:1 Eph.6:9).
 
Points to meditate
In previous sessions, we’ve been dealing with the roles of the husband and wife. Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Let’s have a look at these scenarios:
 
What would happen if we take the marriage scripture of 1 Peter and applied it to the workplace scenario, in other words:-
 
– The employer treated the employee with understanding – loved and honored them as fellow heirs of the grace of life? (1 Pet.3:7).
OR
  – The employee was obedient and submissive to the employer? (1 Pet.3:1-6).

AND FINALLY…
                – Both employer and employee focused their eyes on the Lord? (Taking the pressure off each other)
 
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
Right, let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:
1.       In the Beginning – In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given free rein. Humankind looked like God and had the exact nature of God. Everything in the Garden was placed at their disposal. There was certainly no need for them to ‘toil’ for their food. (Gen 1:29).
2.       The result of Disobedience – When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil,’ they were effectively cursed. Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long. Their work (or Job) would not be easy because they had lost their Godly ‘image’ (Gen.1:26 5:3). They would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage in which to work – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
3.       Humankind’s Part – God, laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. Fallen humankind’s part in the plan? – to
labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
4.       What about Christ’s Body (Church)? – Within the actual body of Christ (the bride), it is evident that not all members will receive the gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world to generate funds to further the gospel.
5.       How will they Work? – Paul urges the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in all their daily tasks as unto the Lord. Work done daily should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done. We will all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He will want to know why.
6.       Set Apart – It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord – we should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
7.       Who must Listen? – This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but without partiality, those who disobey cannot be blessed.
8.       Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings – At times, it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! The Lord said He would reward those who follow His word and deal with the superior who has been acting outside of the His principles. To the employer, Paul says that they should treat their subordinates with fairness and justice. If they take advantage of subordinates, “…you also have a Master in heaven”.
9.       Points to meditate
Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Compare the marriage scripture of 1 Pet.3:7 to the employer/employee relationship in the workplace.
 
LASTLY…
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
 
Please join me soon for the next session, where we will look closer at examples of some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers. Be blessed during this coming week – until we meet again soon
 
 

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A Son’s Love


A man, who in his life and by nature of his chosen vocation, had buried many souls, including his parents and brothers, stood alongside the woman he loved.

She had lost a son of 47 years and her pain was great. He felt her pain, little realizing that the day would come when he would be chosen to feel the real pain of her loss when his own son of some fifty years died of cancer.

It was only then, he understood the pain the woman he loved was experiencing.

Ernest K Gann, aviator extrodinaire, movie maker, prolific author, wrote, on hearing of his son’s death, “That day, I knew how the God of Israel felt” (when His Son Jesus cried out to him “……..why have you forsaken me” – my addition.)

Months later the man came across a e-mail, sent to him on Father’s Day, by his son and his reply:

“My Beloved Father, Best Friend and Spiritual Mentor,

Happy Father’s Day.

You may have regrets, possibly deep sorrow that my life, under your leadership (my father) could have been guided and inspired, disciplined where necessary toward a more meaningful vocation, a lifestyle of choices that may have proved more fruitful, a blessing to our family and the world.

Yet with legitimate regrets, my life journey has been one fraught with many trials, the consequence of deep inner struggles that proved too vulnerable to many bad decisions that has cost you, Mom, my siblings and the precious wife and children God blessed me with, in no small way a burden to most.

Yet, when I survey my life through the lens of Calvary I am confronted with this immutable truth, Christ has from before my conception orchestrated the elements of my journey in such a way that I would desperately need His atoning power much more and in greater measure than most.

In this place Daddy, I have come to know and love His Father in ways and dimensions that few, very, very few would ever come to know Him.

Because of this, I not only thank Him for His gift of healing and deliverance I actually find myself grateful for the circumstances that have led up to this great revelation.

Yet this one irrevocable fact stands head & shoulders above all things…..I am fruit of your Spiritual loins, I OWE my life in Yehashua to your faithfulness in Christ and for this I am so dearly indebted to you…. you failed, if you in actual fact did fail me, you failed me forward into the Arms of our loving Savior. Amen.”

The words you write My Son, are not only written with Godly anointing, but they are the fruit of pure silver that comes from the massive heat of the smith’s furnace.

It is only with Our Father’s grace that we have journeyed thus far, much of the time apart from one another, some precious moments, together, but always one in His Spirit.

We have cried together in the pain of loss and suffering, in the loneliness of deep regret, but always we have believed, together, that our Father would embrace our trembling souls and bring peace to our weary hearts.

I have come to understand, in my life, that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, no success or failure, there is just us and our Daddy, the only one true and high God, whose eyes never cease to look upon us as HIS SONS, sons that He loves to gaze upon in shear wonderment of His most perfect creation.

Love and Shalom

Your Daddy. xxxxxxxx

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Mission Malawi – Chapter Eighteen.


30.11.95
Our little grocer business is growing well. How I marvel at the Lords hand. We started off eight months or so ago, with three crates of cold drinks to sell which would give us about K160.00 turn over. Today, by Gods grace we will turn over about K1000.00 per day!

Why not start at the beginning of the series?

As our needs have increased God has blessed the business accordingly, it has just been a case of us watching carefully for the doors HE has opened and obeying HIS word as we go through. Hopefully I will be able to share on a daily basis, the miracles God performs in connection with this business. Up to now there have been so many other things to write.

Malawi RestaurantIn regard to the shop at the market we felt that perhaps a small restaurant would be a good idea. Memories of the last one come flooding back, but this time I believe we have the right ingredients (not just for the food!), and this seems to be in the Lords will and not our strength. We needed a place for people to sit and eat so Titus went to investigate at the site. Almost opposite, there is an open structure which the owner has not been able to use for four months. The only site available in the centre of the market!! What a blessing. Titus will go and negotiate with the owner and we will continue to leave it in the Lords hands.

On the domestic front the Lord has opened the door for much sharing in the area of marriage and past hurts. Sometimes we lose sight of the work which is going on in our own hearts. We become so engrossed in ‘outreach’ we forget that God is trying to work in our own hearts through these external circumstances.

Of course, the ‘Team’ is not exempt and require much pastoring and shepherding. “Christmas” time brings back memories of ‘back home’ – family gatherings and large christmas dinners. How easy it is for us to dwell on those things. It’s in those times of depression that the Lord reveals our hearts once again. He is a jealous God and wants all of our attention.

He does not demand that we don’t love our families, but that the love we have for Him must come first – above all else. As we dwell on the things of family, friends and the world, we are able to see just how much we are still tied to those things in our hearts. God allows this circumstance not that He would gain some malicious joy from seeing us in pain, but that we would be aware of just what percentage of our hearts love him and where the balance is. We must pray to receive this teaching and not become downcast and miss what God is showing us.

We are hoping to go up to the Lake next weekend and see if the Lord will open up some land for us. It seems that all land sale has been suspended along the lakeshore until government surveying is complete.

05.12.95
Today we placed a larger than normal bread order due to an increase in our sales. The bread delivery was due as usual around 7:30 in the evening. The day’s sales in the shop weren’t good and by 3:30pm we hadn’t had enough money to pay for the bread.

As we sat in our lounge area wondering what to do, we noticed an unfamiliar white car rolling backwards passed our drive entrance. It was being closely followed by a rather large lady trying to chase it!Christian synchronicity

We rushed out to see that the car had stopped just short of a deep drainage ditch outside our pavement. The driver got out the car and started shouting at the lady for allowing the car to go backwards. Once the situation calmed, we discovered they they had run out of petrol and the wife was trying to push the car uphill past our house. When she could no longer manage she simply stepped aside and the car rolled backwards!

We were led to invite them in and I asked Arthur if he would mind taking the husband into town in the Combi to buy some fuel.

This was not something I would normally do because I was aware that the Combi was our only form of transport. We relied on it 100% and I didn’t want it exposed to any danger unless we really needed to use it.

On his return, the husband was clearly shaken. He said that he had never experienced such kindness –especially from white people!

He asked me if he could contribute to the petrol we had used taking him into town and proceeded to stuff some notes into my pocket. I didn’t take much notice of what he had put in my pocket and we enjoyed the rest of their visit. They duly left – very grateful for what had happened.

By 7:00pm the bread delivery hadn’t arrived and we had mixed feelings of relief – having not enough money to pay and anxiety because our order hadn’t arrived.

We counted the day’s takings from the shop and we were K135.00 short for the bread payment. Kathy reminded me of the money in my pocket. I pulled it out and counted – K135.00 exactly!!

08.12.95
Theresa-Anne has been asked to help teach English at the local Baptist Church School. Even though she is still busy with her ‘O’ Level qualification and is so young, the need for English teaching is so great. She has agreed to help them every day for no pay so that the arrangement will not break the law in any way.

Arthur takes her to the school each day on the bike.

10.12.95
Arthur has requested to go back to South Africa for a break over the Christmas holidays. He is such a blessing to us and we will miss him, even for this short time.

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
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Mission Malawi – Chapter Thirteen


Zimbabwe

July 1995 – August 1995

 Kathy’s parents had asked us to please return to Zimbabwe for the birth of our 5th child. They had kindly offered to pay for all the costs and also knew of a Christian doctor who would oversee the birth. I asked Titus if he would like to accompany us because he had never been out of Malawi before. He was very excited.

19.07.95

It’s wonderful how the Lord has brought us to this lovely place at Lake Kariba, in the Northern part of Zimbabwe. The ‘Cabanas’ belong to Zimbabwe Sun and the unit we are staying in is part of Kathy’s parents time share. The contrast of life is amazing. How good the Lord is to allow us to experience different types of living. We need to learn to trust Him more and really KNOW that He will never forsake us. Kariba

 Kathy is starting to feel uncomfortable now and we expect that something should happen soon, by Gods grace. We are about 500km from the hospital that she has been booked into, but the Lord knows!!

05.08.95

Praise the Lord! After two weeks overdue date, Kathy and I are blessed with another little boy. We have decided to call him Daniel Stephen. The birth was another wonderful testimony to the Lord. Although Daniel was the heaviest of all the children, his birth has been the easiest. The doctor, a precious brother in the Lord, said Kathy would be his ‘tithe’ patient and so we did not have to pay for his services. We were blessed by Kathy’s parents who kindly met the hospital bill for us. We are truly so grateful for all these faithful people who are so willing to open their hearts to us in obedience to the Lord.

 10.08.95

We have been blessed with more gifts of money to be able to buy some groceries to take back to Malawi with us. There is also enough to have a new tent made for the little caravan/trailer that the Lord blessed us with in South Africa.

 One day while I was standing in the queue at the Mozambique embassy, a man came up to me and began to ask me some questions about Malawi. A Zimbabwean, he owned an art museum in America and was trying to find certain types of wood carvings to take back to America with him. After chatting for some ten minutes, he disappeared to the front of the line where he collected his passport from a man who had been in the line on his behalf.

 About 15 minutes later he came back as though he was looking for someone in particular. As our eyes met, he said, “Ah, I’ve been looking for you”. A bit taken a back, I wondered why he was looking for me. He then asked me what line of business I was in. The Lord opened a door for me to share briefly with him. Right there, in the queue, he took out his wallet and blessed me with two hundred Zimbabwe dollars. It was the exact amount we needed to finish the last of our shopping. The man in front of me couldn’t believe his eyes. He said to me afterwards, “But that guy didn’t even know you!!”

 How great is the Lord. If I had complained and had not stood in that line for as long as I did, I would have certainly missed the blessing the Lord had planned for us….”

With our new addition safely in the arms of Mom and Kathy’s family, we planned our return trip to ‘Area 49’ in Lilongwe.

Area 49
Area 49 Lilongwe Malawi

Kathy and the children would stay with her parents until strong enough to come back to Malawi. Her parents had once again kindly offered to pay for them to fly back when she was ready.

17. 08.95

After much planning, praying and packing, Titus and I are ready to leave for Malawi. We plan to leave at 4:00am. All being well, we can expect to get to Lilongwe at about 4:00pm. A long 12 hour journey. This journey is difficult for me as there are always ‘niggly’ challenges at the border posts. I believe from time gone by, in the days of white supremacy in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, there has been left a certain amount of unforgiveness and anger towards white people by some of the custom and immigration officials of these countries.

 Whilst I can appreciate the very difficult job these people have, their attitudes always appear to show their desire to have their authority respected. I am blessed that the Lord uses them to humble me.

 Arriving back in Lilongwe, the Lord has really granted us favour with men, apart from the Malawi customs gentleman who was very angry at Titus because he spoke in English! We have found Arthur Jacob, Patrick and Joseph all well and mightily blessed.

 The Lord has had His hand on the little businesses and they have all grown. Thank you Lord.

 18. 08. 95

After going to bed filled with the joys of returning to faithful brethren, we are awakened with a terrible shock. The Combi is up on pieces of log and stone – all four tyres and rims stolen!

I can’t find words to describe our disappointment. Somebody in our locality knew that we had arrived and had informed the thieves. All four new tyres given to us in South Africa a few months before, especially for Malawian conditions, had been stolen!Stolen Tyres

My first thought is: “Why Lord?”. As I ponder deeper on those words, the Lord shows me that actually, I have no right to even ask such a question. What right does a selfish sinner have to question the Almighty and powerful, everlasting God who knows all things?

 God, in His infinite wisdom had allowed this thing to happen and all I desired to find out was what lesson was in it for me. At this time the anger within me is too great to see very much.

Mission Malawi is published by “…time with the Master…” on a bi-monthly basis.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is also published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

 

God’s Line of Authority


But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Continue reading “God’s Line of Authority”

Building Bridges – Part Two


In part one of this series, we saw that we are all involved in community somewhere in our lives. There can be great benefit in community situations as we discover the wealth of sharing our lives with fellow members. The flow of wealth in these groups greatly depends on the bridges of relationship……

Continue reading “Building Bridges – Part Two”