Work Determines Attitude

James 1:27 New International Version (NIV)

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I am doing a teaching series on KBOE 104.9 FM and it is on our Vital Ministries web page vitalministries.org. The teaching is on ‘work’. Most of the men I work with have a ‘getter done’ mentality, whether they are behind a desk or hands on. Many are to the edge of being consumed by work. 

Work is a good thing within its boundaries to not control you. As a matter of fact, Solomon says this about work in Eccl 2:22-23, “So, what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.”

This has really struck me as I continue to get older and my body breaks down. So what is important in my day to day work life as I toil with my hands? I think James, the brother of Jesus, gives us insight to true balance in work and in my attitude of it.

In my work, my heart of pure religion, is to pay attention to orphans, widows, and refuse to allow the world to corrupt me. Through my work, I can care for those who are fatherless or have absent fathers. I can work to help widows, both men and women. Finally, in my work I can not let my attitude be corrupted with the world which tries to suck me in.

Men, your work can determine your attitude. Right attitude with the Father determines right action in how you work. Work with a better, not bitter attitude.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Gathering on September 8 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Debbie’s Celebration Barn

Vital Gathering on September 8 from 5:00-7:00 PM

Debbie’s Celebration Barn

Food and Fellowship Starts at 5:00

Worship Band to Inspire

A Message to Encourage

Dessert and Coffee to End the Evening

Come Hungry for Food, Fellowship, and Encouragement

Vital Men Kick Off on September 11

Vital Men Kick Off

Teaching Series – A New Era of Leading

September 11

The Well in Pella

Barbecue Meal at 6:00 pm

Music with The Bridge Worship Band

Guest Speaker – Marty Schmidt

Come Hungry for Food, Worship, and Encouragement

Do Not Return In Kind

Matthew 5:43-48 (NASB) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’  

This passage ran me over with the force of a freight train, today.  I am not an overtly affectionate and loving person.  I can be on the rather cold, and mechanical side of things.  I’m also very much a justice  oriented person.  In some regards, that orientation is a good thing, but in most instances it is not.  Justice is too often determined by our perspective and emotions.  When I am “wronged”, I seek justice, quid pro quo.  I’m not necessarily a spiteful person, but will generally return in kind.  It doesn’t matter if it is a stranger, friend, brother or my wife, when I am “wronged”  I will almost certainly fire back in defense and most likely mount a counter offensive.  Then I will go about convincing myself and any who will listen, why my actions are justified. 

Regardless of the “wrongness” of another’s action, this passage expresses Jesus’ desire for us to respond the exact opposite to how I nearly always do.  We are to respond in kindness, not in kind.  We are to bring love into the conflict, to reflect God’s glory and to soften the heart and mend the wounds.  Reading this passage today, has been one of the most painfully convicting moments of my life.  I pray, “God keep this passage and the conviction you brought to my heart in the forefront of my mind, that I may not so easily lose sight of it again.”  

Take a moment to reflect how you respond to stressful people and situations in your life.  Does it need to change?  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

GRrrrrrrrrrr

When was the last time you were angry?  You don’t have to look far to find or start an argument these days.  The news and Social Media are flush with critical words about one group or another.  You just have to look at the comments on any given news story about someone messing up or being accused of a crime to watch the verbal spears fly.  Maybe the oldest human pastime is to criticize and condemn others to make ourselves feel superior.  People claim that the political environment is more toxic and polarizing today, but in reality, it may have always been this way, to a degree, but is just more obvious now.  If you have ever been in the middle of a heated argument, you realize that no one wins when it comes to yelling at each other.  What do we hope to solve by getting angry? 

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.  Proverbs 15:18

This past week, we heard stories of individuals having anger toward others and getting to the point that they take their lives, even killing people they did not know.  What does it take for people to get to the point where they think murder is a good solution to their problems?  Most of us would ask why would someone would commit a crime like that because we can’t imagine ourselves doing something that extreme.  But in reality, it always starts with anger, from an actual incident, or even from a perceived threat.  If any of us were put into some extreme situations, we would likely be capable of doing things we would consider unfathomable.  I think I am a fairly patient person, but like anyone, I have my limits.  When you say the same thing to a child (or an adult) 3 times in a row and they still don’t listen, frustration and anger start to creep into your voice and attitude toward the situation.  What can we do to keep anger from getting a hold in our lives and escalating further into yelling or acts of physical violence?  It starts and can end with forgiveness. 

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.   Ephesians 4:26-27

Is there anyone you are still have feelings of anger toward from this week, or even from incidents years and decades in the past?  What is it that keeps you holding on to those feelings?  It may have been something another person said or did to intentionally, or even accidentally harm you.  It may be something that you feel is unforgiveable, or you feel they are not remorseful and don’t deserve forgiveness.  The sad truth about unforgiveness  is that it always hurts the one harboring the bitterness more than the one who perpetrated it.  As someone has said before, ‘Its like you swallowing poison and hoping another person gets sick or dies from it.’  So, forgiveness not only frees someone else from the wrongs they have done to you, but even more so, it frees you from the prison that anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness hold you in. 

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.  Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.    Matthew 5:21-22

So, if you have a chance to take a close look at your heart today, and find there is even an ounce of bitterness toward another person, or even groups of people, who you don’t think are worthy of God’s grace, find a way to forgive them.  This act may even open the door to finding a way to show love toward them.  As God called us to love and forgive not just those that are closest to us, but to anyone who offends us.  That is the mark of a true Christian.  Doing the difficult things in life is not just good for others, but is also best for us in the long run.  May you be blessed as you find ways to be more forgiving toward others in all areas of your life!

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32

Yours in Christ,
Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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