Proverbs 22:29 NIV
Here’s a prayer for success at work: “Lord, I thank You for the way You’ve made me, for the many gifts and talents You’ve placed within me, and I trust that I’m the best person for this job. I am grateful for each and every one of the personalities I work with, even the ones I don’t particularly like or understand. I ask that my focus would be on accomplishing the goals You have set forth for me to perform during my time in this position. Give me wisdom and discernment on the job, even in the midst of a hostile environment. Help me to learn what You want to teach me here, and give me patience as You prepare me for the future. Help me to do my best, and to always remain positive and hopeful. Please quiet the complaints and disappointments of my heart with Your perfect peace, and allow me to trust You with my job. Dress me in the garments of praise and the righteousness of Christ that I may bring You glory where I work. Allow me to know my true identity, to walk in Your favor, and to seek to please You more than those with whom I work. Where there is contention, let me be a peacemaker. Where there is deceit, let me speak truth. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is fear, let me bring faith. Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. These things I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Soul food: Judg 9:34-11:40; Mark 10:35-52; Ps 129; Prov 20:25; Ecc 5:4-6
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about all the things in life he tried and found to be disappointing: the intellectual pursuit of knowledge, the physical pursuit of pleasure, and the material pursuit of wealth. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he bottom-lines it: “Everything is meaningless” (v. 8 NIV). In other words: “Been there, done that – and it’s just the ‘same ol’, same ol’.” Now, penning his last divinely-inspired thoughts, he wraps up his life’s message with these words: “Here is the conclusion of the matter.” This is big stuff! Solomon is about to give us his bottom-line evaluation of a life well-lived. What is it? “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment” (vv. 13-14 NIV). The words “fear God” simply mean to reverence, love, and serve Him, and live your life according to the precepts laid down in His Word. The songwriter put it this way: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Author John Mason writes: “Is more money, a higher position, or more influence your goal? These are not goals; they are the by-product of true goals…Seek not success, but truth, and you will find both. Work to become, not acquire. Measure wealth by the things you have which you would not exchange for money.” When you wake each morning, pray this simple prayer: “Lord, above all else help me to spend this day loving You and carrying out Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Soul food: Deut 8-10; Mark 6:30-44; Ps 37:8-15; Prov 11:27-29
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about all the things in life he tried and found to be disappointing: the pursuit of knowledge, pleasure, and wealth. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he sums it all up: ‘Everything is meaningless’ (v.8 NIV). Most of us will, at some point, feel the same. When we chase things like money, fame, success, good grades, promotions, relationships, we can become disillusioned. We wonder why we’re here and what we should be doing, we end up asking ‘what’s the point?’ But Solomon carries on to say: ‘Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13 MSG). The words ‘fear God’ simply mean to respect, love, and serve Him, and live our lives according to what the Bible says is right. That is our purpose in life. The most important command is to love God. We’re called to: ‘Fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?’ (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NIV). When we chase things that aren’t our calling in life, or put priority on things that aren’t loving and following God, we can end up in that ‘what’s the point?’ situation. But when we’re doing what God’s asking us to do, we realise that we have a purpose here on Earth, and are empowered to keep going and not give up.
Deut 8-10; Mark 6:30-44; Ps 37:8-15; Prov 11:27-29
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
Any time you attempt something for the first time, or something you’ve failed at before, or something you think is too big for you, you’ll experience both fear and faith. They go together. One will win out over the other, but they never go away. Because Israel had no idea what challenges awaited them or what life would be like in the Promised Land, God told them, “Be strong and of good courage…for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” And today that’s His promise to you too! It’s fear of failure that stops us most of the time. Yet as you look back, you realize that most times failure doesn’t do permanent damage at all; you actually grow through it. Dr. Joan Borysenko writes: “When I was admitted to Harvard, I was sure there had been a computer error and I’d be exposed as a fraud. A lawyer friend of mine stops short of terror every time she has to give a final argument before a jury. Even when you’re an expert, fear doesn’t necessarily go away. It’s accepting fear as part of the journey instead of running from it, that helps you to conquer it.” To go anywhere, you must launch out from somewhere, or you’ll get nowhere. American essayist Hamilton Wright Mabie said, “The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had the means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has.” So confront your fear, step out in faith, and believe God for success.
Soul food: Acts 6-7; Mark 3:20-27; Ps 75; Prov 10:22-23
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
Any time we attempt something for the first time, something we’ve failed at before, or something we think is too big for us, we’ll probably experience both fear and faith. They go together. One will win out over the other, but they never go away. Because Israel had no idea what challenges awaited them or what life would be like in the Promised Land, God told them, ‘Be strong and of good courage…for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’ And that’s His promise to us too. Just like the Israelites, we can be unsure of what’s ahead. And the unknown can be scary. We want to be in control and know what’s going to happen, but we have to put our trust in God. He goes before us, and goes with us. We’ll never have to face anything alone. ‘The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). But it’s not just the fear of the unknown, we can also be stopped by a fear of failing. The idea of failing can make us too afraid to step out in faith and try. Yet when we look back, we realise that most times failure doesn’t do permanent damage at all; we actually grow through it. And, like Paul, we can say: ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4:13 NIV). So let’s confront our fears, step out in faith, and believe God for success.
Acts 6-7; Mark 3:20-27; Ps 75; Prov 10:22-23