This past Sunday, the pastor spoke his entire sermon on a single verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:1. That one verse had many things to teach us. Each word had meaning, context, and a revelation for the expectation of behavior as a Believer in Christ. If we choose to be in the Word of God and work to understand all the meaning that each word and verse contains for us. A certain word, used in a certain way and place means more that the obvious. Furthermore, the Bible in its entirety is woven with the message of God’s ways and how He wants us to grow close to Him and live in His will and ways.
While the pastor spoke on what our efforts to understand each word God has given us and what it means for our lives. God, through, Peter has also spoken to us on how we are to read and understand the prophecy yet to be fulfilled that is contained in the Bible.
2 Peter 1:19–21 (NIV)
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Book of Revelation (written by the Apostle John as it was revealed to Him to write) is prophecy for all of us. Christians need to work to understand as much as currently is possible about what is to come. However, the full understanding of the prophecy of this revelation has not yet been granted to us by the Holy Spirit. We can interpret some of what is foretold, but we cannot yet know the time, but we know the time draws near. We need to be in the Word and at Work in living the full life of Christ in this world.
Now with that foundation of perspective in place, I want to talk about our daily work, the workplace, and how we engage in understanding what we are supposed to do. It is according to scripture that we are to run our businesses and lives. Furthermore, we are to do it as written, not as we “interpret” it within our own will and understanding.
What I mean by our “own will and understanding” is that too often we are willing to compromise the hard lines that God has drawn for our behavior. The lines in our own interpretation or for our convenience become like a line drawn with an old-fashioned soft lead pencil … if you run your finger over it, it blurs and smudges. It becomes less defined.
After you have smudged that line, you have only to look at your finger or touch the page and you will see YOUR fingerprints, the evidence of you making the line less precise, less clear. God’s fingerprints are not on the “smudging” of the line. His fingerprints are on all of creation, the covenants, promises, and judgments that He has shown us in His Word. Understand that what God says remains the same for all time. Many cannot change what God has written, we can try to blur the line, but the smudging ends up on our hands.
The workplace with its pressures to succeed, to pay the bills, to be bigger, and to grow may be the place of our greatest “tests.” Will we smudge the lines, will we disobey the Word of God to get ahead in the world of man?
Whatever we could gain by smudging the lines, can never be what we lose in separating ourselves from God with those choices. If we cannot do business on God’s terms and with His rules, then we need to look into our hearts and examine our businesses to see what is missing. Chances are it is God, in both our businesses and our hearts.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
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