Posts tagged with: 1 Corinthians

What’s Your Function? Introduction

What are your strengths? What are you good at? What tools have you already been given to help you carry out our mandate as ministers of reconciliation?  You must figure out your functionality so that you can determine what your Kingdom contribution is to God’s plan.

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A man standing by a building.

What Motivates You?

I am constantly working on finding tools and exercises that help me become more self-aware. John Calvin argues in his Institutes that you can’t really know God if you don’t know yourself, and that you cannot know yourself without knowing God. I see my pursuit of self-awareness as part of my growing relationship to the God who created, called, and redeemed me… As we begin 2019, let’s commit to growing in our knowledge of self and knowledge of God in our daily work.

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Pillows on a bed.

I’ll Come to You

A couple of years ago, for the very first time that I can ever remember, I missed Easter. When my alarm went off to get me moving in time to make the sunrise service, I felt a little bit “off.” I thought it was a headache, so I rolled over and made the decision to skip sunrise and get myself to the 10:30 service. It wasn’t long, however, before I knew something was wrong. It was vertigo. My husband was eight hours away on a ski trip in Colorado. When he called to report on the fun he was having, he could tell something was wrong.

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"Fall Bounty © Gayle Chi 2015

Leadership Vows: Imagination

Perhaps nothing is more human than our ability to imagine. That should not surprise us. After all, humanity is created in the image of God. We are made in the likeness of the One who loves to create things out of nothing. Our core identity as God’s image bearers resonates like a plucked string when we create something new and original, something for the glory of God that serves the common good. And, there are many ways for us to express our imagination.

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The hands of many different people at work on the same project.

Help Me Help You: Stewarding a Diverse Team

Is your team ideologically diverse? Can you say that each of your team members brings a unique flavor to the work? Do all your team members feel respected, valued, and appreciated as they are, or do they feel the need to assimilate to the dominant culture? As the leader of the vision, you should ensure that all your team members feel welcomed and supported as they are—not as you would prefer them to be.

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A Celtic cross made of stone.

A Legacy of Leadership

Though I’m no scholar of Saint Patrick, I know his legacy leaves a rich bounty of lessons to consider in our modern context that go far beyond the superficial and commercialized ways that we are far too familiar with. St. Patrick, like the Apostle Paul, had a life worthy of emulation that speaks to us today… Suffering didn’t paralyze him, selflessness guided him, and sensing God’s direction was a priority.

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A person sitting on the ground eyeing the fulfillment of possibilities as represented by a crown.

May We All Grow Tall Today

Begin this day knowing Christ is for you, God is with you, and the Holy Spirit lives in you. Grow tall into the truth of what it means to be a child of the living God. And, with this truth bubbling over and spilling out on those you meet today, give others the gift of believing them into the fulfillment of their possibilities, too.

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A old clock in a rustic room.

Your Labor is Not in Vain… in the Lord!

Our labor, whatever it might be, is not meaningless or worthless because God gives it meaning and worth.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:58, we can have confidence in this truth, and this confidence inspires us to give ourselves fully to our work. We know that, in God’s future, the work we do will take on eternal significance. It will matter to God and will be well-used in God’s plans.

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Plastic sheeting separating itself from a building frame.

Give Yourself Fully to the Work of the Lord

As people inspired by the hope of God’s future, we are to be “abounding” in God’s work. We “abound” in God’s work when we “give ourselves fully to it.” But “abounding,” especially given its usage elsewhere in Paul’s letters, also implies that God’s work is happening in us. We are able to give ourselves fully to God’s work only because God is working in us. God’s Spirit motivates and empowers us for all of this work. In a sense, 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because the Lord is already fully at work in you.”

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Colleagues meeting over a coffee counter in a casual manner.

Your Daily Work and the Work of the Lord

What we see first in Genesis is reiterated through the Bible. The “work of the Lord” includes but is not limited to things like evangelism, discipleship, worship, and prayer. From a full biblical perspective, the “work of the Lord” encompasses all that we do to embody God’s purposes for us. It includes what we do for most of our waking lives, as we labor in our workplaces, raise our children, invest in our neighborhoods, and gather with God’s people for weekly worship.

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The sun high in the sky, shining on a rolling landscape with a car on a road.

Seeing Our Labor from an Eternal Perspective

1 Corinthians 15 reveals life beyond what can be found “under the sun.” In this chapter, human life matters. Physical life matters. Our bodies matter. But there is reality beyond material reality. There is more to life than the life we experience today. One day, in God’s future, “the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (15:52).

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A person unbuttoning their shirt to show their hidden Superman shirt.

What is Your Work?

Defining your work is very specific to your context. Using my work as an example, that means 75% is church, 20% is home and 5% is other. Your work proportions will look different, but the important thing is to not limit your understanding of work to only that which you get paid for or have a title.

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Sparks and trails of light capture in a photo of a dark night.

Surrendering to Mystery

God is mysterious. That sentence is difficult for me to write. Writing that sentence is an act of surrender. It is an admission that I have to let some things be and trust God anyway. I cannot know the answers to all my questions about why God allows some things, yet seems to intervene in others. Apparently, I don’t need to know all the answers if my faith is meant to mean anything at all. The mystery, it would seem, is the habitat in which faith thrives and grows strong.

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Choices of falsity or truth to choose from.

The Big Reveal (Faith & Work Integration Finale)

I would however like to offer a different perspective on the main goal of marketplace ministry. Could it be that God’s plan is to simply provide irrefutable evidence in the most public spaces of his Sovereignty, which would give every person and system the ability to clearly choose or reject his Lordship?

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Reimagining Human Work, Part 2

So what has been forgotten and lost? What can we learn from an older, biblical vision of human work? In today’s text, Paul picks up the original creation story imagery of human work as gardening. While Paul didn’t work in an actual garden, he saw his gospel work imaginatively within that framework.

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