…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
Thank you for visiting :-).
Welcome to my ‘view from the pew‘,
‘grace in the workplace’ journey’,
… as a layman in His marketplace work,
… through the pleasant ups, & un-planned downs of life,
… the encouragement of God’s faithful providence,
… the supportive fellowship of caring friends,
… the inspirational life experiences of others,
… and insights from ‘walk the talk‘ believers in the real world, who’ve inspired me to follow Jesus and His salt and light path
A down-to-earth, ‘rubber hits the road’, 24/7 walk
… an imperfect offering, … a mustard seed faith.
“Its not a word message we comunicate, but a life message.
When God wanted to communicate with us, he wrapped His message in a person.”
– Howard Hendricks
… where the Bible hits the road
in everyday lives in a real world with a real God who cares,
simple faith, … inspiring truths, … timeless God
“Isn’t this the carpenter? …” Mark 6:3 (NIV)
What’s a layman?
How useful is a layman in God’s kingdom?
How qualified/empowered are lay people?
Are activities in the world ‘separated’ by a secular/spiritual divide?
… one better than the other?
What happens after Sunday services, weekday fellowships/Bible studies,
when we walk out,
… into our part of the world, where we live & work?
Are there role models of lay people in our world, and the Bible that we can be inspired by or emulate?
Can faith be just as real & authentic in the marketplace, in the home, … as in a faraway mission field faraway?
Does working & living in a profit-driven, competitive, always-connected corporate world … require faith?
“Church/ life” balance?
How relevant is the Bible to everyday life?
What does the Bible say?
Let’s look at Peter & John,
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
In the Greek,
unschooled – ä-grä’m-mä-tos, i.e. illiterate, unlearned
ordinary – idiōtēs :-), i.e. illiterate, unlearned, unskilled, non-professional
Peter & John were laymen, fishermen. The hallmark of Peter and John was they had been with Jesus. They daily spent time with Jesus, the living Word of God.
Other ordinary lay people in the Bible: the Roman Centurion with great faith, the poor widow who gave the utmost, the Samaritan woman who led a revival in her town, the boy who gave his lunch that fed 5000 (5 loaves & 2 fishes) 🙂 , the disciple who baptised Paul, etc, etc, ….
young, old, mighty, least, and everyone in between, … God extraordinarily used ordinary ones who are willing & loving.
“… for the lowliest, least promising and most insignificant person, the great life is possible. The mightiest things are made available for ordinary persons in and through Christ Jesus our Lord”
— David Lambert
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9, 10 (HCSB)
What about Jesus?
How did Jesus fulfil the Father’s will during his first 30 years of life?
3 … the landowner went out and saw others standing
in the marketplace doing nothing.
4 He told them, ‘You also go and work
in my vineyard …
Matthew 20:3,4 (NIV)
Layman : marketplace christian, non-vocational christian, not full-timer,
no Bible school training,, one of the congregation, non-ordained, non-professional,
a No Div
Anointing : divine grace, enablement and empowerment by the Holy Spirit to serve Him to be a blessing to others.
Acts 2:17 (NIV)
In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Hebrews 8:11 (NIV)
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
By Jesus death and resurrection, we can all personally know the Lord,
and all be empowered by His Spirit to honor & serve Him.
Exodus 31:2-5 (Amplified)
2 See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 To devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, 5 And in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship.
Interestingly, … the first person mentioned in the Bible to be filled with the Spirit of God is a skilled craftsman, Bezalel; not a priest, prophet or king or judge, … a lay person, … who creatively works with his hands.
I believe that God made me
for a purpose — for China.
But He also made me fast!
And when I run, I feel His pleasure.
To give it up
would be to hold Him in contempt.
You were right. Its not just fun.
To win is to honor Him.
— Eric Liddell,
1924 Olympics gold medal,
born in China,
served in China missions
till his death
God filled Bezalel with wisdom, ability, understanding, intelligence, knowledge and all kinds of craftsmanship.
The Holy Spirit empowerment & anointing upon Bazalel, received by His grace, … far exceeds any training or qualifications.
God anointed Bezalel to solve problems in his daily work, through his imagination, skill and hands. Hence, every lay person has an anointing to be vessels of practical blessing wherever we are. So that we can be salt at work and see Jesus at our work in our 24/7 world. Btw, Bezalel’s name means ‘in the shadow (protection) of the Lord‘ … walking under His abiding shadow in the world :-).
Daniel was a great statesman serving foreign kings,
and a prophet to kings and kingdoms in his time and the future.
God gave Daniel wisdom to excel in his work, and be his righteous spokesman and example in the corridors of power, … in the midst of political intrigue and jealousy … which at times almost cost him his life, …. being salt and light in the superpower of his day.
God gave Daniel wisdom to govern and lead an empire,
and be His prophet to kings and kingdoms, and kingdoms to come.
Daniel 1:17,20 (NIV)
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which
the king questioned them,
he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Daniel 6:3 (NIV)
3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
Daniel 5:12, 13 (NIV)
13 So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah?
14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom.
Consider also, … Nehemiah, a man of prayer, … a lay person.
Nehemiah’s heartfelt prayer,
… led him on an amazing journey with the Lord,
from a humble cupbearer, … to extraordinary favor with the king … to being a highly competent project manager, a builder, … leading a team, … completing a building project in record time, … putting his life on the line, … to a wise, benevolent, no-nonsense, competent governor.
Nehemiah consistently led by example, and served the people. He was ‘hands-on‘.
Nehemiah also spiritually led in the restoration of worship with Ezra the priest(at the dedication of the wall), and led the people in repentance following God’s word (eg. last chapter of Nehemiah). Throughout Nehemiah’s accoiunt, we hear his simple and effective prayers to the Lord.
Proverbs 22:9 (NASB)
Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.
By the Spirit of God, … Joseph, accurately predicted a 14-year economic boom and crisis cycle for the land of Egypt, by interpreting Pharoah’s dream.
By God’s wisdom, …. Joseph gave Pharoah of Egypt a practical economic plan that saved the country, and his own family in Canaan through the famine years. Joseph’s 20% taxation plan in the 7 years of boom precisely fed everyone in the 7 years of economic depression, … with enough to start planting again when the famine was over.
Genesis 41:37-40 (NIV)
37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them,
“Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
this man, one in whom is the spirit of God — anointing of the Holy Spirit
Like the kings in Daniel’s time, Pharoah tangibly saw the Spirit of God working through Joseph in the marketplace.
In a split second, Joseph went from prisoner to the second highest person in the land.
After all unimaginable challenges Joseph went through,
God preserved Joseph for a great open door for Joseph to influence Egypt,
Then he called down a famine on the country,
he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
Joseph, sold as a slave.
They put cruel chains on his ankles,
an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him. The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace, put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes and train his advisors in wisdom.
Psalm 105:20-22 (MSG)
Other examples — David, Mordecai, Esther, Abraham, Solomon, etc,
they influenced the marketplace around them, through their everyday lives.
I believe one of the next
great moves of God is
going to be through the
believers in the workplace
– Billy Graham
God’s Holy Spirit is upon His people – young & old, men & women, unschooled & ordinary … anointed by His Spirit by His grace! God does have a unique calling for each and every lay person.
make me an instrument of peace
14 … they are not of the world,
just as I am not of the world.
18 As You sent Me into the world,
I also have sent them into the world.
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
John 17:14, 18,20 (NKJV)
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
And He said to them, “Go into all the world
and preach the gospel to every creature.
Jesus empowered us all with His anointing,
& sent us all into the world around us,
to be a blessing to the world.
We are not of the world,
but sent into the world by the Lord,
so that His light will shine.
May He fill us with His visions and dreams to creatively glorify Him through our lives, our daily walk & work, and
… make the ordinary … extraordinary for His glory!
Amos 7:14 (NLT))
“I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.
I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees.
Amos‘ introduction of his backgroiund.
David, wrote in Psalm 23,
“You anoint my head with oil” (Psalm 23:5 NIV)
When David, the young shepherd, was anointed with oil,
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.
1 Samuel 16:13 (NKJV)
Amen, the Holy Spirit, … came upon David,
He abides with you and will be in you (John 14:17 NASB)
Hallelujah! We are empowered with the Holy Spirit who is with us..
But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
Psalm 92;10 (NASB)
In 1949, China closed its doors to overseas missionaries, the church was severely persecuted, church pastors were imprisoned. Out of these great challenges came the extraordinary revival in China, as God worked powerfully through ordinary & unschooled lay people who were dependent and anointed by the Holy Spirit, fired by persecution. Praise God!
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
Honestly, its taken me a while to understand blogging as ministry? (click here)
and finally, put pen to paper … impressions to expressions.
By His grace, hopefully and prayerfully … this blog may become a treasury of:
If I have seen further,
it is by standing upon
the shoulders of giants
… stories, journeys and sharings by christians who have inspired and encouraged me,
… refreshing insights from His Word, in a babel of resonant and dissonant views
… God’s word & the marketplace. God’s word & the layman. Thank God its Monday!
… God’s word — uplifting, fascinating, brilliant, ingenious, refreshing and exquisitely harmonious from Genesis to Revelation … yet, down-to-earth, practical, useful for everyday life at home and marketplace.
2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)
Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved,
a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed,
accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.
I pray the sharings will be,
… not just informational … but transformational,
… not puffed up … but build up, in humility,
… not just meditative …. but active,
… not just spiritual …. but practical, … down-to-earth,
… not in strength … but in weakness, in mercy, in faith
… real people, real lives …real situations … imperfect offerings,
full of grace & Truth, by His Spirit.
Hopefully, in some small ways, this blog will bless & inspire others to arise, shine, and soar.
God bless you and inspire you to be all He desires you to be !
Mark 16:20 (NKJV)
And they went out and preached everywhere,
the Lord working with them
and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
林弟兄, brother Lim F
6 他 对 我 说 ： 这 是 耶 和 华 指 示 所 罗 巴 伯 的 。
万 军 之 耶 和 华 说 ： 不 是 倚 靠 势 力 ， 不 是 倚 靠 才 能 ，
乃 是 倚 靠 我 的 灵 方 能 成 事 。
6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying,
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
says the Lord of hosts.
Zechariah 4:6 (NASB)
To navigate this blog, on the left hand side is a menu of the following topics:
Life Stories – Real life testimonies of His amazing grace, answers to prayer
Marketplace – Thoughts, sharings, stories, teachings on serving in the marketplace/office/business
Missions – Inspiring stories, sharings of what God is doing around the world
Ministry – Thoughts, sharings, teachings on aspects of various ministries
Media – Encourage, comfort, inspire through arts
Stepping Stones – Discipling Bible sharings, and Christian jargon explanations.
Daily Rice – Devotions, Bible passage sharings, thoughts
Serving Quietly – Practical reflections on serving quietly