Den of Robbers

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”’” (Mat 21:12–13)

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild. We have a tainted view of Jesus handed down and watered down by generations of religion. It is reflected in the imagery we use of a pale, clean, somewhat feminine portrayal of Jesus.

He was a Jewish carpenter, rugged and masculine. He also got angry yet did not sin. In this Scripture, He threw many people out of the temple, and I am sure they didn’t want to go and did not go quietly.

There is a place for anger and strong action—in particular here when He was jealous and zealous for His House.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that there is a righteous anger and that it applied to protecting Your house. Amen.

 

Inheritance

“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” (Pro 13:22)

We are so interested in the now or the immediate that we rarely think too far ahead. When we look ahead, it may be for a few years ahead or perhaps to plan for retirement.

How many of us look beyond our mortal lives or even beyond the lives of our children? We may not, but God does. He looks to us to have some responsibility to build generational wealth. While many of us will not be able to do that financially, we can all do it spiritually.

As will live our lives and train our children the way they should go, we pass an inheritance on for generations to come. Take the time to share your walk with your kids and their kids when that time comes. You can bless multiple generations and create a legacy and inheritance of massive value.

Quick Prayer: You are a generational thinker; help me to have the same perspective. Amen.

Serving before Kings

“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Pro 22:29) We are all given a fixed amount of gifts and talents. They are allocated for a purpose, in that we all have a role to play and a part to fulfill. They do come, however, with some responsibility. Raw talent can only get us so far. The one with some talent will go way past the one with much unless the one with more learns diligence and applies him or herself. We are called to take what God has given us and to hone and develop it with the gifts He has bestowed on us. Training and learning are not self-interest pastimes; they are the building blocks of servanthood. If we are well equipped and prepared, we can serve effectively and be productive. Then we will be taken to new heights and given even greater opportunity to serve. Quick Prayer: I commit to developing the skills You have given me so I may serve You well. Amen.

Unequally Yoked

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness.” (2 Cor 6:14)

This Scripture, when taken to the extreme, seems to promote exclusion. We know this is not true because Jesus spent so much time with unbelievers and sinners that He was called one by the righteous folk of the day.

However, there is a point at which we can become entwined contractually or relationally in such a way that the diametrically opposed forces in the heavenlies are joined. Just as oil and water can’t mix, so the outcome of being unequally yoked in a partnership can be catastrophic. Make sure you take this truth into account before getting into bed with an unbeliever.

Quick Prayer: Please show me where this is relevant in my life, Lord. Amen.

Respect

“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” (1 Tim 6:1)

We are called to respect and serve those in authority; I think we are all aware of that responsibility that is inherent in our roles. However, we usually associate the eventual fruit of more authority, promotion, and blessing as the reason why we are asked to act in this way.

While these outcomes often accompany such an approach to work, they are not the primary reason. The key reason is reputation, and not only ours but also God’s.

If our witness and words are to be taken seriously, we need to demonstrate a changed life full of reverence and purity and a willingness to serve. These traits are in contrast to the prevailing behaviors of our day. We do not want to bring our witness, words, or God into disrepute.

Quick Prayer: I will honor those in authority over me, Lord. Amen.

Refreshing

“Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.” (Pro 25:13)

A cold, crisp, refreshing drink after a hard day’s labor is one of life’s simple and rewarding pleasures. In this Scripture, that feeling of being refreshed and satisfied is compared to a faithful person who serves us at work.

We all know how great it is to find someone who is motivated and capable who can get on with a job and do excellent work. It is refreshing to see and experience excellence in a task assigned to someone.

Likewise, we should refresh those who have entrusted a task to us. If we operate with excellence and integrity, we will be a blessing to those in authority over us. We are also more likely to be blessed if we are a refreshing blessing.

Quick Prayer: Let me refresh those around me. Amen.

Be Faithful

“The workers labored faithfully.” (2 Chr 34:12)

If someone were to take a poll on you and ask about your attributes would faithfulness make it to the top? I doubt it would even make my list, yet it is something we should value highly.

Faithfulness is best described as adhering firmly and devotedly to someone or something that elicits or demands one’s fidelity. The workers in this Scripture applied themselves to the task at hand with diligence and excellence.

We are called to a way that should compel us to integrity, devotion, excellence, and faithfulness. Fortunately, we serve one who is keen to see us produce such fruit and will ensure we do.

Quick Prayer: There is something wonderful in faithfulness—such an honorable trait. Keep me faithful, Lord. Amen.

A Faithful Employer

“Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.” (Neh 5:18)

Empathy is rarely held up as an important skill for leaders. To me it is all important that we not only relate as leaders to those around us but also to do so with a high level of empathy.

When we consider others in this light, we begin to get revelation of their concerns and motivators. We can place people in the right roles with the right responsibilities for their skill sets and temperaments.

Equally, when things are not going well or there is need to restructure or discipline, we will be able to do so with a level of understanding and respect that comes from a relationship built on empathy.

Quick Prayer: Help me to treat those You place under me with respect, dignity, and empathy. Amen.