Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Serving God daily, quietly … a worship lifestyle

How to serve God daily in our everyday lives ?

When Jesus invited us to follow Him ….
He did not invite us to follow a new set of rules, code of conduct, rituals, liturgy, genre/type of music, spiritual jargon.

He invited us to follow Him … His nature, His Spirit, Himself
He invited us to follow Him … as He is revealed in His Word

 He invited us to follow Him
… following Him becomes a lifestyle
… not just a Sunday activity but everyday, 24/7
in the ordinary everyday things of life,

Following Him …
when things are smooth sailing with the wind blowing in the right direction,
and when the sea is rough, and the weather stormy
(just like the disciples in the boat with Jesus).

One day, while reading the book of Colossians ….
discovered an interesting thought ….
the whatever lifestyle


… that we may live peaceful and quiet lives
in all godliness and holiness

… that we can have quiet and peaceful lives
full of worship and respect for God.

1 Timothy 2:2 (NIV, NCV)


Whatever living ….

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
And whatever you do,  whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

in this letter to the Colossian believers … a few verses later, Paul addresses believers who are slaves

Colossians 3:23-25 (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

In another letter, Paul shares this to the Corinthian brethren,

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthains 16:14 (NIV, NASB, TLB)
Do everything in love.
 Let all that you do be done in love.
and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love.

and Jesus said,

Matthew 25:40 (NIV, NLT)
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Summarizing,

Romans 12:1 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life
— and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.


Whatever we do … do it all :

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
And whatever you do,  whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
Colossians 3:17 

do it in a manner consistent with the character of Jesus,
do it with the sincere motivation of glorifying the Lord,
do it with a prayerful heart,

in our words and deeds,
in words and action,
what we say,
and what we do.

what we say and do,
what we say is what we do
we mean exactly what we have said,
walk the talk,
consistent with the character of Jesus, glorifying the Lord.

… giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

with a grateful heart, attitude of thanksgiving to God the Father, through Jesus.
… relying on Him, … not our strength or intellect,
relying on His grace.
Grateful for His amazing grace and the Holy Spirit who enables and strengthen us in to glorify Him in our daily word and deed.


 

Let’s look at another ‘whatever’ living passage,

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance( from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:22-25 (NIV)

work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, … it is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colosians 3:23-25)

In this verse, according to the preceding verse (v 22), Paul is addressing believers who are slaves …

the work he is refering here is not work in the church or christian service/ministry …
rather, its marketplace work, … & in this context, slave work.

in our everyday work,
work at it with all your heart
, i.e. passionately, excellently, perservere … giving of our best to bless others through our work,
it is the Lord Christ you are serving
doing it to honor the Lord — our motivation,
… the Lord, He’s our boss.

A servant heart … serving others.

Writing as a prisoner in prison, Paul wrote,

Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. …

As a prisoner or slave, there’s much that one can grumble, complain and murmur.
Instead, in the letter to the Philippians Paul, prisoner, encouraged the believers

Philippians 3:1;  4:4,13 (NIV)
Further, my brothers and sisters,
rejoice in the Lord! …

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Back to Colossians 3, … Paul was addressing slaves serving masters who are probably harsh.  It requires faith to work and serve as unto the Lord.  Just like the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt, their daily challenges, struggles, injustices, groans were not forgotten by the Lord.

Exodus 2:23,24 (NLT)
23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act

In Colossians 3

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord
… it is the Lord Christ you are serving

Hence,
All work is worship unto the Lord,
all work is serving the Lord,  ministry unto the Lord
… including work for our earthly masters,
as we serve our colleagues, customers, supervisors, etc diligently.

Worship is an attitude, a 24/7 lifestyle … glorifying Him each moment of the day.
True worship is living worship.

There’s no divide between moments of spiritual or secular work,
or one better than the others.

When the Lord made Adam,

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Perhaps we can learn something from a tiny 9-seater ramen noodle shop in Tokyo which was recently awarded Michelin star,

“The most important thing is that customers like our ramen,” Takatoshi Itami, one of the restaurant’s cooks, said on Tuesday.
“We have good reviews thanks to them
– getting a star was not our priority.”
(source: Guardian)

… the precious possession of a man is diligence. 
Proverbs 12:27 (NASB)

Continuing in  Colossians 3,
24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  25 Anyone who does  wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. (Colosians 3:24,25)

The Lord is the just, impartial and fair boss.
In our daily work, keep our focus on the Lord, He is the one we are ultimately serving.
Our reward at work comes from the Lord, who is just and faithful
In the midst of work challenges, we continue to trust and  focus on our just Lord
… who will vindicate, and judge.


 

Let’s look at another ‘whatever’ living passage,

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Simple daily moments,
simple things we do everyday,
like eating and drinking …

whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)

All we do ….
all our actions, all our work … is worship unto God,
as we seek to glorify Him in whatever we do

Worship is praise and worship from our hearts in a Sunday church service,
 and also thoughts, words and deeds,
whatever we do actions in the world the rest of the week.

The fruit of worship is service.

Paraphrasing a lyric from a song …
this whole earth becomes our sanctuary of praise and worship unto Him

Psalm 150:6 (NIV)
Let everything that has breath praise the LordPraise the Lord.

Glorifying God in whatever we do, …. at home or at work or wherever we are,
implies doing things well, quality output and fruitful outcomes, excellence to honor the Lord.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23, NKJV)

For the glory of God …. as unto the Lord …. not unto men.

Work at whatever we are and do
to express,
not to impress.

As someone once said,
“God did not call us to be famous,
but to be faithful”.

All for the glory of God!

Matthew 6:1 (NLT, MSG)
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.

Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.

John 12:43 (NIV)
 for they loved human praise
more than praise from God.



Let’s look at one more ‘whatever’ living passage,

whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you were doing it to me (Matthew 25:40)

 In this passage in Matthew 25, the whatever you did Jesus was referring to was …

Matthew 25:35,36 (NLT)
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me.
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing.
I was sick, and you cared for me.
I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Our simple acts of kindness & service to someone, anyone, … is serving the Lord himself, you were doing it to me.
Its heartening to know that no matter how small our act of kindness is, its noticed by Jesus … just like the widow who gave her two tiny mites; all that she had. (a mite is the least valuable coin in circulation during Jesus time)

1 Corinthains 16:14 (NIV, NASB)
Do everything in love.
 Let all that you do be done in love.

Here, Jesus was not referring to the big stuff, or the ‘wow’ stuff or something spectacular,
but the little, everyday, simple stuff,
as simple as giving a drink to someone who is thirsty.

one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
…. you were doing it to me

… to someone insignificant … like a child, 

Luke 9:48 (NLT)
Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”

The least … can also refer to the marginalized, ostracized, ignored, forgotten, outcast… like the lepers, man with legion of demons … whom Jesus ministered to, … or even our enemies.
(… btw,… Luke is the gospel about the last, the least, the lost.)

To love another person is to see the face of God.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

…. you were doing it to me

Pause for a moment …
whatever we do to bless someone in need,
like giving a cup of water,
we are doing it unto Jesus

a cup of water …. a worship offering to the Lord,
from a servant heart.

And … one day Jesus is going to commend us for it.
Wow!

Can we see Jesus in “one of the least of these brothers and sisters“?

A compassionate ‘blessing others’, servant-heart attitude & lifestyle
… being like Jesus.
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

None of the acts of kindness Jesus refers to in this passage of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:34-40)  have to do with our knowledge of the Bible or the quality of our Bible sharing, or ministry in church.

The acts of service do not mention about ‘spiritual’ activities like prayer, teaching, discipling, worshiping, evangelising, etc.

Jesus also does not mention the outcome of giving a cup of water, feeding someone hungry, visiting someone sick, etc
… i.e. whether the person received Christ, or was healed, etc ….

Jesus is focused on our faithfulness, our heart of service,
loving someone in need, blessing others,
… not on the outcome or response from the other person.
you were doing it to me

The place of service Jesus mentioned includes the prison, where the sick person is resting,
anywhere where someone is thirsty or hungry or naked, … i.e. anyone with need, anywhere,  … not just serving in church.

These are simple acts … kind acts everyone, anyone can do,
… just like the boy who gave his 5 loaves and 2 fishes,
even a child can share a cup of water or food,

Hence, its not about what we know,
or who we know,
simply … practical service … to the least.

Its the living out of His life
…. a lifestyle.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
– Francis of Assisi


The “whatever you do” Bible passages focus on our heart attitude, our motivation, our inspiration, our rewarder … the focus is on Jesus, who love us so much.

We can also use these verses to check ourselves,
whenever we are unsure whether to participate in an activity or venture ….
or when we are seeking God’s direction,
i.e.

does it glorify God ?
can we do it in the name of Jesus ?
can we do it as unto the Lord ?
are we doing it in love?
Is love our motivation?
who or what is our focus ?
does it require faith, reliance on the Lord ?
can we give thanks to the Lord ?
Who gets the praise and honour?

Proverbs 21:2,3 (NIV)
A person may think their own ways are right,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do what is right and just

    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice

Romans 12:1,2 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God,
doing what is right and just
= our true and proper worship

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed …
a lifestyle change begins by the renewing of our mind,

so that we walk in
his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Whatever thinking

Philippians 4:8 (NIV, NLT)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise

Filling and feeding our minds with what is excellent and worthy of praise …

true thoughts ….  instead of false, deceptive thoughts/schemes, not based on fact or evidence, rumors, gossip.  Honest, factual & true, not perception, prejudice, bias. culture.
noble (honorable) thoughts … instead of disgraceful, shameful thoughts.  Thinking thoughts on honoring others.  Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. (Philippians 1:3 NLT).  Thinking of how to be a blessing to someone else and doing it.
right thoughts … instead of wrong thoughts
pure thoughts … instead of contaminated thoughts (sinful, immoral, unethical).  Pure thoughts from pure motives, … the ‘why?’ of our actions.
lovely thoughts … instead of ugly, hopeless thoughts. Thinking uplifting, inspiring thoughts.
admirable thoughts … instead of displeasing thoughts.  Thinking good of someone else.
excellent thoughts … instead of mediocre, self-pity thoughts.  Thinking that stretches us to become better.
praiseworthy thoughts … instead of complaining, fault-finding thoughts.  Thinking thoughts of praise, finding the good in others.

the best place to start thinking such thoughts …
is the Word the God,
God’s written word, … and God’s living Word, Jesus.

Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you ..

Revelations 19:11-16 (NIV)
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp swordwith which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

Amen, Jesus is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise

Our thoughts, and role models … influence our words and deed/actions.

Proverbs 4:23 (ERV)
Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.

Luke 6:45 (NKJV)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Our thoughts form our worldview, our principles, our values, our prejudices/biases, mindset, etc …
flowing out through our words,
… our actions.

The Psalmist prayed,

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 139:23,24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Paul’s exhortation,

Romans 12:1-3 (NIV)
 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Honoring God with our thoughts.


How to get rid of our bad thoughts ?

In Philippians chapter 4, the verse just before verse 8 says,

Philippians 4:6,7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer with thanksgiving is where we start, and through this,
we receive the peace of God which transcends all understanding,
guarding our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

… the prayer of the upright is His delight.
… the prayer of the upright pleases Him
… He delights in genuine prayers.
Proverbs 15:8 (NASB, NIV, MSG)

Our Father rejoices whenever we pray to Him!

As we cast our honest anxious thoughts, thoughts that trouble us, our doubt, our confusion, perplexity, suspicion thoughts, distrustful thoughts,  …
we receive a peaceful heart and mind through prayer and thanksgiving.

We maintain our peace by thinking true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy thoughts.

Again the Word of God is helpful.

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

In whatever situation, focusing our thoughts on the unchanging character of our Lord, His faithfulness, and giving Him thanks.  An attitude of praise/worship and gratefulness to our God.

16 Be joyful always,
17 pray at all times,
18 be thankful in all circumstances.
This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (GNT)

In conclusion,

Colossians 2:6 (NLT, NIV)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord,
you must continue to follow him.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live your lives in him,

 


  Serving Quietly | Work

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
October 13, 2014
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
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This entry was posted on October 13, 2014 by in Daily Rice, Foundations, Marketplace, Ministry, Serving Quietly, Stepping Stones, Work.
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