Worthy of Judgment: a Facebook Post

This is a post I put together today, first on my own Facebook page and then our Joppa Road Facebook page; hope you agree and believe.

…I promise you, usually, it wouldn’t seem like people were/are judging you, if you didn’t do things worthy of judgment…There are people in your life who say something because they care, they don’t want to see you destroying yourself doing what you want to do… but hey, you say they’re judging, criticizing, hating, everybody’s got an opinion on your life and you’re quick to try to shut them up, saying stuff like,

“Which one of my bills will you be paying this month?”

Please! We love you; we’re trying to help you avoid a SPIRITUAL BILL that you CANNOT PAY… if you’d put as much effort into believing and obeying Christ as you did railing on others, then you wouldn’t have to run cover-ups and avoidance with people!

“…only God can judge me…” hey, do you hear what you just said? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want God to judge me! The Bible says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10.31, Matt. 10.28, Luke 12.5

Most Christians act like they don’t know or don’t want to hear it but that stuff is wicthcraft, rebellion is like witchcraft [(I Sam. 15.23) meaning, you have another god]; and this is what the ministers and believers of Christ are supposed to do:

“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 1.23

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isa. 55:7

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezek. 18:23

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezek. 18:31-32

Possessions of the Kingdom

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, who created mankind in your image, you sure made a colorful world of people! As I stop and watch and reflect on the people I see, I notice how everyone is unique. Sometimes I’m frustrated by others’ personalities and actions; other times I am blessed; still other times I am amused. The fact is, though we were made in your image, you gave us each a will of our own and instilled different gifts, personalities, and potential within us. How boring it would be if we were all just alike! The “spice” of life is made up of all those different people, with different ideas, and various contributions. Thank you for caring enough that we are not your puppets, but are unique individuals, each called to fill special places in your great plan for our lives. I pray that you will keep my eyes open, my mind alert, and my will in tune so that I will use all you have given me–gifts, personality, skills, desires–to the best of my ability, for the edification of the saints, reaching the lost, and glorifying you. Please forgive my past failures and empower me today for all you want to do through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Possessions of the Kingdom
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

04-19-2014

But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” – Genesis 15:14

Whenever God brings you through a time of great adversity, you can expect to come out of that experience with great possessions, if you have been faithful through the trial. This is a universal truth. Wisdom comes from obedience, not knowledge. When we have been tested and proven, the reality of our faith results in possessions from God that we would never receive if we had not gone through those trials. These are precious in His sight and should be valued greatly. Those who know you will be amazed at the wisdom that comes from your mouth. It is one of those mysteries of the gospel that only those who experience incredible testing and hardship can explain.

God kept the people of Israel enslaved 400 years, but when the time came to free them from the bondage of slavery, they came out with great possessions. These physical possessions symbolize the spiritual possessions we receive when we come out of being enslaved to those things that have hindered us all our lives. These possessions are to be shared with others so that they also can know how they might become free.

What has God freed you from that allows you to share your possessions with others? Share what God has done in your life with someone you work with today. It may be the possession they need most in their life.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Planning For Success

Today’s Prayer,
God, I believe You are using circumstances and events to move me into a place of patient waiting as You put me in the place You desire for me. Help my soul to mature, my faith to grow, my life to be more pure and dedicated to You. James 1:2-4 tells me, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Lord, I praise You in the midst of it all–my special trials and daily challenges–knowing that I must learn to be patient and content as I wait upon You. Thank You for being with me through every trial, every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Planning for Success
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

04-10-2014

I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23

In business I hear a lot about planning. Every January I hear workplace believers establishing their planning for the year. Corporations establish plans that cover anywhere from one to five years. Individuals establish personal life plans. There is only one problem that I see with most planning done by well-meaning believers. If God is not the originator and director of the plan, then that plan is doomed for failure. So often, Christian workplace believers set out to plan something that seems good in their own mind. The merits of what is being planned can look great, and it can even be a worthy endeavor. However, that is not the point. When Jesus said He came only to do the will of the Father, He could not consider doing anything that was not what the Father wanted, no matter how good or righteous it might appear to be.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9). God must give us the vision for what He calls us to do. After we have the vision, we must ask Him if He wants us to take action on that vision and what the action steps entail. The Lord wants to direct each step of the planning process. David learned this lesson when he went to battle against his enemy, the Philistines. One day he inquired of God as to whether he was to go up against the Philistines, and the Lord said, “Yes, but only when you hear the marching in the balsam trees.” It is a mistake to reason and analyze in order to come to a decision on a matter. The Lord already knows the answer. It is our responsibility to seek Him to find out His mind on the matter. Our planning must be established in Him. Only when we remain so connected to the source can we be assured of putting God’s plan into place. Also, getting that plan confirmed through others will assure that we are not following the deceit of our own heart.

When you begin to plan next time, ask God for His wisdom for establishing the vision and action steps. You will be surprised how well He can plan.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Understanding Our Own Calling

Today’s Prayer,

Dear God, You have instructed me to not be anxious, worrisome, overly concerned for any thing…but instead to bring everything to you in prayer and thanksgiving. If I do this, you have promised me that your peace, which passes all understanding, shall keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). I come to you now for myself and on behalf of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those who suffer so much due to anxiety and depression. I pray that you will fill us with your peace; that you will touch our minds and remind us that we do not need to worry. You are our God and maker. You will handle it for us. Worrying does no good. May we lean into you, talk with you, spend time in your Word and before the throne of grace. May we fellowship with other Christians, those who will encourage us, even more so as the day approaches. Right now, this day, we give you our concerns and ask that you will work out all to our good and your glory. Thank you, Father, for loving us and carrying our burdens. Thank you, Father, for providing our needs. Thank you, Father, for Jesus Christ our Savior and the hope He has given. For it is in His name I pray, amen.

Understanding Our Own Calling
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

03-29-2014

“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” – John 21:22

Jesus was talking to Peter after he had just had a very important encounter with Him-one of the last meetings the two would have. This was the third time Jesus had shown Himself to the disciples after His resurrection. It is the famous dialogue between Jesus and Peter in which Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Jesus followed by commanding, “Feed My sheep.” Jesus went on to foretell of Peter’s future death. As they were walking together, John was with Peter and Jesus. Peter asked Jesus about John and whether he would die also. Jesus reacted sharply to Peter’s comment, telling him not to worry about what John’s role or purpose was in life. All Peter had to do was worry about fulfilling his own purpose.

As workplace believers we tend to measure our success on whether we have achieved a certain position or stature in life. Even as Christians the temptation to believe that someone is blessed if they have achieved prominence is always confronting us. In His discussion with Peter, Jesus was getting at the very heart of the matter of a person’s calling. Peter was worried about whether his friend John was going to get the same lot in life as he was. Jesus told him it should not be his concern. He was to concern himself only with one thing: his own calling before God.

Are you tempted to compare yourself with where others are in their life? Are you dissatisfied with where God has you right now? Be of good cheer-”[be] confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Knowledge that is Productive

Today’s Prayer,
God, I come to You seeking Your face, searching for answers so I can do something about the problems. There is so much turmoil in the world. There have been so many disasters, many beyond man’s control. I pray that You will broaden the minds the people affected by each incident and open their eyes to see what You want them to learn. And I pray that they will respond in the right way. I know that You sometimes allow pressures in my life to bring attention to an issue You want me to take care of too. I pray today, that You as my Loving Father will make known anything that stands in the way of fellowship between You and I. I want to turn from any wrongdoing, and “step up to the plate” to do the right thing, no matter how great or how simple it may seem. I praise You for Who You are, for all You do, and for the fellowship we share through prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Knowledge that is Productive
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

04-12-2014

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:8

Productivity is a term all workplace believers can relate to. It is the by-product of what we desire from our work. Without productivity, we do not make sales, we do not deliver goods, and we do not achieve our goals. There are things in our work lives that can creep in making us unproductive. The same is true in our walk with God.

The apostle Peter tells us that we can become knowledgeable of Jesus but fail to be effective and productive in our relationship with Him. We are a society that has great knowledge, but our comparable scale of productivity from that knowledge is extremely weighted to the knowledge side. The apostle Peter tells us there is a solution to this dilemma.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Is your Christian experience filled with knowledge, but little power? Is there staleness in your walk with God? Is there unrest in your soul? It may be due to a need to develop character that only the Holy Spirit can develop out of an obedient heart. Ask the Lord today to add these qualities to your faith so that you can be productive as a soldier of Jesus Christ.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Faith Experiences

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, Thank You for Your Word; Your Word that is like honey to my lips and balm to my soul. I pray that the words that go forth out of my mouth shall be “pleasant words, like a honeycomb,” to the people around me. I want my words to be like “sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” so that I may encourage others, build them up, and point them to You. If I may share just an inkling of the love and sweetness You give to me…I will be blessed and will be a blessing. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Faith Experiences
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

04-07-2014

“These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:7

One of the great tragedies of the Christian life is that if we fail to enter into a relationship with God that is born of the Holy Spirit, we are left with a religion, not a relationship. Many a person today lives with an intellectual belief in God, but without a relationship that is based on two-way communication. This is the greatest tragedy of all. It’s like having a brand-new car but never having the gas to run it. It can’t move you anywhere. It only looks pretty, but one cannot enjoy the ride or smell the newness inside.

Peter tells us that until our faith is proved genuine, we will never be able to give praise, glory, and honor to Jesus, because until such testing He will not be revealed in our lives. Peter describes this in the verse before: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Pet. 1:6). Trials are designed to bring us to a level of trust and experience with God that we would never know otherwise. These “faith experiences” with God allow us to know firsthand the faithfulness of God, the love of God, and the personal nature of God. If you cannot recount several instances when God has met you personally, then chances are your faith has not been born of the Holy Spirit into a living relationship with God. It is easy to fall prey to a relationship to God that never experiences His real presence; rather, it is based on knowledge only. This is a tragic place to be.

If this is where you have been in your Christian experience, ask God today to make Himself real to you. Ask Him to show you His personal nature and love. He desires to do this. Those whom He has called know His voice. He will show Himself to those who are His. “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him” (Jn. 14:21b).

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

…since this is a bit of a storytelling kind of blog here at Joppa Road, I hope to soon have ready a pair of stories for you all to read: one will be “Can You Reach My Friend,” where I tell about a near chance path-crossing that occurred between an old beloved friend and I, and two will be called “True Grit” (after the movie of the same name) talking about the really tough work week I had last week; it may be posted here or on Word Play, Joppa Say and then reblogged here. Keep following the Road…

Opening Our Spiritual Eyes

Today’s Prayer,

Oh God, I know you love me. You have shown me in so many ways, the greatest being sacrificing your Son to become my Savior. I know you must be concerned about even the little things in my life, and you want to direct me in all my ways. Please forgive me when I don’t listen and when I stumble and stray. Please, I’m asking you, to lead me by your Spirit today. Make me a blessing to you and to others. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Opening Our Spiritual Eyes
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

04-01-2014

“And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
– 2 Kings 6:17

Elisha was counseling the nation of Israel against the impending attack of the king of Aram. The Lord supernaturally gave Elisha the plans that the king was implementing, and in turn, Elisha warned Israel of each intended attack. The king could not understand why his plans were continually foiled. It seemed there was a secret informer in his midst. He was furious when he was told it was the God of Israel who was to blame for this inside information. The king decided the only way to resolve the situation was to get rid of the problem – kill Elisha.

The king’s forces arrived and surrounded Elisha and his servant. Elisha’s servant became upset and fearful when Elisha was not upset. Elisha immediately prayed that his servant’s eyes might be opened to see that there was no need to be afraid, because the angels were protecting them.

And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these people with blindness.” So He struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked (2 Kings 6:17-18).

Who is the Elisha in your life? Do you have a mentor friend who can see the activity of God in your life when you cannot see it? We all need to have somebody we can trust to help us see the activity of God. It is often difficult for us to see what God is really doing because we are so consumed by the circumstances of the moment. Ask God today to help open your spiritual eyes that you might see Him in your circumstances.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Embracing the Lean Times

Today’s Prayer,
Dear gracious, merciful, loving Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day. Thank you for your never-ending love and your tender mercies. I pray for those today who are in need of a special touch. Those who are facing challenges, obstacles, consequences; those who need favor from a spouse, an employer, a friend, a judge, an insurance company, a hospital, a landlord, a financial institution, or any other person or organization with whom there may be a special situation. Please work in these situations, in these lives, in these places to bring about good. Please grant favor, touch hearts, move mountains if necessary for your will, your glory, and in the best interest of those who need your help. May you be honored. May lives be changed. May souls be rescued. May needs be met. In the name of Jesus our Savior I pray, amen.


Embracing the Lean Times
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

03-30-2014

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” – Jeremiah 17:7

Have you ever considered at what point a test becomes so difficult that you decide you can no longer trust in God and you must take over to solve the problem? The prophet Jeremiah describes a situation in which the temptation to solve a financial problem can become so great that we trust in man’s way to solve it.

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

Jeremiah drew a sharp comparison between the man who trusts in his own effort to solve his problem and the man who trusts in God when he cannot see the outcome. The man who trusts in God bears fruit despite the circumstances in his life. He does not shrivel when the heat comes; in fact, his roots go deeper into God’s grace. He continues to bear fruit in spite of his circumstances.

Recently, a friend from South Africa explained to me that whenever a plant lives in an arid climate, the roots drive deeper and deeper into the soil to get the water they need. This forces the plant to develop a root system that is far beyond the normal plant because it is forced to go deeper to gain the water it needs. Sometimes God forces us to go deeper into the grace of His love in order to build a greater foundation in our own lives. These lean times are designed to accomplish this in us. If you find yourself in this condition, ask the Lord who provides the water for our soul for the grace you need today to continue to bear fruit in the desert.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Living a Life of Conviction

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, I admit that I have not always lived a “blameless” life. Please forgive me of that. I pray that You would make me a person who lives a life above reproach, one who is blameless, who keeps a good testimony and reputation. I want to become more like Jesus and grow closer to You every day. Thank You for covering me with the blood of Jesus, for forgiveness of sin, and for giving me a new life. I praise You, the most “blameless” of all, who is always good, full of grace and love. Have mercy on me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Living a Life of Conviction
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

03-26-2014

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” - 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5a

Everyone lives a life of conviction. Whatever we give our greatest time, our greatest energies, and our greatest resources to is a good indication of where our convictions lie. Some live a life of conviction about sports. Some live a life of conviction around pleasure. Still others live a life of conviction about very little that matters at all.

Whenever God chooses to do a deep work in a life, a strong conviction is born of the Holy Spirit. Conversions in the early Church resulted in changed lives that held to a deep, life-transforming conviction regarding what they believed and how they lived out that belief. Paul explains that the gospel they received came not just in words, but also in power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

In order to impact the workplace for Jesus Christ, each of us must be reflecting a faith that is demonstrated through deeply held convictions. Are you living a life of deep conviction that spurs you on to reflect the power of Christ in your life and the lives of others? Paul was willing to suffer great persecution for his faith in a living God. God calls each of us to a life that is supernatural, not simply a good, moral life. The early Church understood the role the Holy Spirit played in demonstrating this power of the gospel. It was this deep work that resulted in living the gospel with great conviction. If you are not living the gospel with great conviction, ask the Holy Spirit to so fill your life today that the power of His Spirit is truly reflected in your life so that you may impact others in your workplace.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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