Your Vocation

June 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Isaiah, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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If you work at a “secular” job (as opposed to a paid ministry position), let me offer you a suggestion: Consider thinking about your job as not just a job, not just an occupation, not just a position, or a career, or even a profession. Consider thinking of it as your “vocation.”

What do I mean by that? I mean that “vocation” is a word derived from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call,” and from which we get words like “vocal” and “vocabulary” and even “voice.” The idea is that, in a spiritual sense, as a Christian, you are to do what God has “called” you to do.

1. Your vocation is real.

The Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle in Ephesians 4:1 and wrote: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…” It is very important that you do not compartmentalize your spiritual convictions away from the rest of your life, including your job.

Most secular jobs are difficult. They involve situations where problems are encountered on a regular basis, and if they were problems with easy solutions, chances are, you and your job would not be necessary to deal with them. A recognition that your calling is from God will give you determination and purpose in dealing with problems. It will also remind you to seek God’s help in dealing with these problems.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

II Timothy 1:8-9 (emphasis added)

The first calling you ever received as a Christian was the calling to become a Christian, and it is no surprise to God that you are on the career path where you now find yourself. He has a gracious purpose in mind, just as much as if you had been called to some official religious office. In the Kingdom of God that you are a part of if you are truly a Christian, there is no “sacred” and “secular” for you! Your briefcase, your hardhat, your pens and calendar, your suit, coat, tie, or coveralls are sacred because they are used in your vocation.

2. Your vocation is relevant.

There is a great need for Christians in whatever field you are employed, but that need does not exist because the problems of this world have become too big for God, nor does he need your help sorting them out. However, He chooses to glorify Himself by expressing His attributes in a fallen world.

None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

Isaiah 59:4

The types of problems which Isaiah is describing are right in there with things like shedding innocent blood and oppression of the weak and poor, and all sorts of lying and deceitfulness – the things which God abhors and which provoke His wrath. Prophetically, Isaiah 59 speaks to the days in which we live just as much as it did to the people of Israel during Old Testament times. The entanglements and problems that you will see among your co-workers, customers, or clients are not the products of innocent happenstance. When you go to work, you are going into a dark, hostile environment, like it or not.

Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

Isaiah 59:9

This is possibly what Jesus had in mind when He said that His followers were to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Our world does not need any more darkness. It needs salt and light, and I’m asking you to consider the possibility that God Himself has called you with a real divine calling to be that salt and that light in a place and at a time where it is very relevant and needed: on your job.

The Helmet of Salvation

February 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 5 Comments
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If you have ever played or coached baseball or football – or even tee-ball or softball – then you know the importance of a helmet.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

I Thessalonians 5:8 (emphasis added)

For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Isaiah 59:17 (emphasis added)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:17 (emphasis added)

The Bible does not tell us that we have permission to put on the helmet of salvation. It does not tell us to pray about the helmet of salvation. It does not tell us to consider the helmet of salvation. It does not tell us to plan to put on the helmet of salvation when we’re ready. No, the Bible tells us to TAKE the helmet of salvation. It’s an order, a command. It’s an imperative: take it.

In World War II some of the soldiers in Europe stopped fastening the chin straps on their helmets because they were afraid that their helmet could be struck so hard that when it flew off, the chin strap would decapitate them. It turns out that the practice of having an unfastened chin strap had started off as a joke. The more-seasoned soldiers would tell the newly arriving recruits to do this, thinking that it would be like telling a rookie mechanic to go fetch a left-handed screwdriver. But pretty soon even the experienced soldiers started believing the myth.

As Christians, engaged in spiritual warfare, it would be a tragic mistake for us – having received the helmet of salvation – to refuse to take it and wear it securely. Many Christians have believed their misinformed fellow soldiers – their brothers and sisters in Christ – and they think that Satan will overcome anything good that God is doing in our life, so it would be better to try to hide and wait out the battle so as not to excite Satan’s attention. On the other hand there are people who attribute every difficult circumstance that comes into their lives as as a sign that they must be doing God’s will – otherwise Satan wouldn’t be attacking them. This is one of the dangers of not having the helmet of salvation safely secured around our thought processes as we go into battle. If I started selling illegal drugs on the street corner, there is little doubt that I would soon have a great deal of trouble come into my life – but I could hardly take that as a sign that I was doing God’s will!

There are times when God allows Christians to experience trouble or tribulation as a chastening experience. Chastening is a sign that God loves you, but that He wants you to learn from your mistakes.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:19

This is not a sign of approval, but of correction.

The helmet of salvation should give us security in battle, not fear. It guards our minds – the way we think. We need to be constantly thinking of the salvation granted to us by the Lord – not because we might slip up and lose it – but to remind us of the responsibility it entails.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

April 11, 2011 at 11:49 am | Posted in Common Expressions, Eternity | 5 Comments
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For some reason, two of our common expressions concerning chickens and eggs are in the form of warnings:

1. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

When you find an egg mentioned in Scripture it is usually a snake’s egg, like in Isaiah 59:5, or some other kind of bird, like a partridge in Jeremiah 17:11. There are even ostrich eggs:

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear; Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.

Job 39:13-17

There is a reference to the cock crowing after Peter denied the Lord three times. I have a sister-in-law who is an expert in poultry science or veterinary poultry or something, so I should probably consult with her to make sure, but I’m fairly certain that a cock is a rooster, and that roosters don’t lay eggs. The only mention of chickens I could find in the Bible was:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Matthew 23:37
(Luke 13:34 is the parallel verse.)

One of the reasons that people say not to put all your eggs in one basket is that, if you put them in the wrong basket (meaning if you depend on the wrong thing or put too many resources into what turns out to be the wrong choice), you could end up losing all of them. In other words, be careful, because there are no guarantees.

But Christians know that this is not true. We have the guarantee of God.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I John 5:13

Another reason people say that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket is that the basket might get dropped, and then the eggs would all be broken. Mark Twain’s take on it was, “Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!

But when it comes to our salvation, all our eggs are in one basket. We put all our faith, trust, belief, and hope in the grace of God manifested in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we put our eggs in that basket, we do not have to worry about the basket being dropped.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…

Deuteronomy 33:27, emphasis added


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