Devotionals

2020 EM Global Day of Prayer Devotionals

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2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 11

Where is God when it hurts?

For a good portion of my life, I shared the perspective of those who rail against God for allowing pain.  Suffering pressed in too close.  I could find no way to rationalize a world as toxic as this one. 

My anger about pain has melted mostly for one reason: I have come to know God.  He has given me joy and love and happiness and goodness.  They have come in unexpected flashes, in the midst of my confused, imperfect world, but they have been enough to convince me that my God is worthy of trust.  Knowing Him is worth all enduring.

Where is God when it hurts?

He has been there from the beginning, designing a pain system that, even in the midst of a fallen world, still bears the stamp of His genius and equips us for life on this planet.

He transforms pain, using it to teach and strengthen us, if we allow it to turn us toward Him.

He lets us cry out, like Job, in loud fits of anger against Him, blaming Him for a world we spoiled.

He allies Himself with the poor and suffering, founding a kingdom tilted in their favor.  He stoops to conquer.

He has joined us.  He has hurt and bled and cried and suffered.  He has dignified for all time those who suffer, by sharing their pain.

He is with us now, ministering to us through His Spirit and through members of His body who are commissioned to bear us up and relieve our suffering for the sake of the head.

He is waiting, gathering the armies of good.  One day He will unleash them, and the world will see one last terrifying moment of suffering before the full victory is ushered in.  Then, God will create for us a new, incredible world.  And pain shall be no more.  
 

Phillip Yancy, excerpt from “Where is God when it hurts”

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 10

The Goodness of God

Either He is authentically good, or He is not. I would never suggest that we pretend He is different than He is. Nothing is accomplished by allowing our imagination to create our own image of God. He would then be no better than the gods made out of wood or stone, also created by human initiative. Inventing Him in our minds or building Him with our hands is a similarity that is both vain and ultimately destructive.

Discovering who He is and what He is like in reality is the only possible way to discover His true goodness. This eternal journey into His infinite goodness is the one we are privileged to embrace. It’s impossible for us to create a concept of what He is like that is greater than He really is. He is either greater than we can understand, perceive, describe, or imagine, or He is not God—we are.

His goodness is beyond our ability to comprehend, but not our ability to experience. Our hearts will take us where our heads can’t fit. Understanding is vital, but it often comes through experiencing God. Faith for the journey of walking with God leads to encounters with God. It results in a growing knowledge and understanding of truth, as in “ by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3).

Having said that, one of the great commands of Scripture pertaining to the experience of His goodness is “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). If you’ll taste it for yourself, you’ll see it more clearly. Your perception of truth will increase as you experience truth more deeply.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that I don’t have to understand before I put my trust in You. You are good all the time.
 

Bill Johnson

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 9

Peace in the Dark Places (Isaiah 24:1 – 26:21)

In the midst of life’s difficulties and extraordinary challenges, Christ is the empowering presence who brings us peace.

‘Perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) makes me think of a beautiful, calm summer’s day, sitting by a deserted lake with not a care in the world and no temptations, no problems and no difficulties to cope with. ‘Perfect peace’ in such circumstances would not be at all surprising or extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible, it is clear that this promise of ‘perfect peace’ is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace may come to us even in the dark places – in the midst of our most difficult struggles and challenges.

Isaiah writes, ‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast [‘whose mind is stayed on You’, AMP] because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal’ (26:3–4). This is the secret of perfect peace. It comes from trust in the Lord, in spite of the trials and temptations: ‘We trusted in him, and he saved us’ (25:9).

When we think too much about tomorrow – the problems, challenges and responsibilities we are going to face – we can easily become worried and anxious. Yet, in all the trials and temptations of life, God promises to keep you in perfect peace if you turn your thoughts to God and keep your mind ‘stayed’ on him, trusting in him.

Isaiah seems to be foreseeing the end of the world. There is going to be a devastating judgment (chapter 24). Yet it will also be a day of triumph (chapter 25).

He foresees a heavenly banquet: ‘On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines’ (25:6), ‘he will swallow up death for ever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth’ (v.8).

Isaiah appears to get a glimpse of the new heaven and the new earth spoken of in the book of Revelation when God ‘will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ (Revelation 21:4).

Indeed, Jesus has conquered death and thereby defeated the fear of death and with it every other fear and anxiety. Because of Jesus, your future is totally secure. You do not need to be worried or anxious about death or anything else. Trust him with your future, turn your thoughts towards him and begin to experience his constant and perfect peace.
 

Nicky Gumble

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 8

Creating good works in danger

Jesus taught His followers to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt5:16).  What is often not noticed is that being the salt of the earth and the light of the world in this way was more salty and the more bright because the good deeds were to be done even in the midst of suffering. 

Jesus has just said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matt 5:11-12).  The without a break, He says, “You are the salt of the earth…..You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:13-16).

It is not mere good deeds that give Christianity its tang and luster.  It is good deeds in spite of danger.  Many non-Christians do good deeds.  But seldom do people give glory to God because of them.

Yes, the danger in Matthew 5 was persecution, not disease.  But the principle holds.  Deeds of love in the context of danger, whether disease or persecution, point more clearly to the fact that these deeds are sustained by hope in God.  For example, Jesus says: “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:13-14).”

Hope in God beyond death (“you will be repaid at the resurrection”) sustains and empowers good deeds that hold no prospect for reward in this life.  The same would hold true for good deeds that put us in danger, especially the danger of death.
 

John Piper, excerpt from “Coronavirus and Christ”

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 7

Speak to God about your anxieties

Do you know what it is like to experience great anxiety?

The psalmist certainly did.  He writes, ’You grant…relief from days of trouble…When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul’ (Psalm 94:13a, 18-19). He goes on, ‘But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.’ (Psalm 94:22)

When surrounded by great anxiety, turn to the Lord for help.  ‘When I was upset and beside myself you calmed me down and cheered me up.’ (Psalm 94:19, MSG)  In God’s love we find relief, consolation and joy.  God provides ‘a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil.’ (Psalm 94:13, MSG)
 

Nicky Gumble

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 6

Tale of Two Wisdoms

James 3:13–18 draws a clear contrast between two kinds of wisdom: earthly wisdom and “the wisdom that comes down from above”. Fortunately, our Father is an exceedingly generous giver, and He loves to respond with favor when we humbly petition him for wisdom. It is good to pray often for wisdom for yourself — and it is one of the most important things you can pray for your leaders. James 3:17 may be a guide for praying for what our leaders would be.

1. Pure

We pray for our leaders’ purity – that they would be pure in their conduct, blameless, meaning “above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6–7). Pray that their motives would be pure, not mixed (2 Cor 7:11). Pray that their minds would be pure, not distracted (Phil 4:8).

2. Peace-Loving

Pray that your leaders would love peace. Leaders in the church and in authority should not be quarrelsome (1 Tim 3:3), and they should not be indifferent to peace (peace-neutral), but rather peacemakers.

3. Gentle

Wisdom from above is gentle. In a world that says you must assert yourself and grab the bull by the horns to make a difference, divine wisdom runs in a different direction. Knowing that our Lord is sovereign, enables the Lord’s servant to “not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:24–25).

4. Open to Reason

Good leaders are good listeners. “Pray that your leaders would have enough confidence in God to trust his will and ways.”

5. Full of Mercy and Good Fruit

True wisdom is inevitably practical. It comes out in action. “By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). Leaders who are simply just, and not merciful, have no place in the church. “Judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

6. Impartial

Impartiality is an especially important virtue for leaders.

7. Sincere

Sincerity now brings us full circle to purity at the beginning of the list. The term literally means “without hypocrisy.”
 

David Mathis, excerpts from DesiringGod devotional

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 5

You are not alone

When you‘re going through difficult times, it’s so important to remember that God is right there with you, and you can trust Him to help you through it.

God never promised us a trouble-free life, but He does promise to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  In the hard times, we can take comfort knowing that He loves us tremendously, He has His eyes on us, and He is already working behind the scenes to help us (Romans 8:38-39).

I’ve also learned from experience that we can trust God to use these times for our benefit.  When everything seems uncertain and unstable, He helps us draw closer to Him and hang on to the rock of our salvation – Jesus Christ – who cannot be moved or shaken!

When we’re hit by life’s storms or experience things we don’t understand, that’s when we have to remember that God is always with us – no matter what we think or feel, and no matter what our circumstances look like.

Jesus is with you through every stomr, and you are going to come out stronger on the other side.  He’s the One Who loves you unconditionally, and He’s the One Who can turn your difficult times into something great.

And as you trust God through it all, He will give you something stable – He will give you more of Himself.
 

Joyce Meyer

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 4

Learning to Trust

God’s sovereignty functions to assure us that things are not getting out of control.  Coupled with His love, God’s sovereignty assures the Christian that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

We repeatedly learn from Scripture that the scale of time during which God works out His purposes for us is far greater than our incessant focus on the present.  Toddlers pester their parents with their urgent cries of “Now!” From God’s perspective, we adults cannot appear greatly different.

If God is the God of the Bible, then for Him there are no surprises, no insuperable problems.  Far from breeding fatalism, in the Scriptures that truth breeds confidence and faith.  It teaches us to trust.  It teaches us to read and reread Hebrew 11.

The modern, frequently unvoiced view of God is that He is in charge of the big things, the major turning points; it is less clear that He is in charge of anything beyond that.  Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount argues just the reverse (Matt 6).  Jesus assumes His heavenly Father sovereignly watches over each sparrow and each flower, and argues from the lesser to the great: if God cares for even these things – surely of relatively little account on the eternal and cosmic scales of things! – should we not trust Him to provide men and women, made in His own image, with all that we need?

D. A. Carson, excerpt from “How Long, O Lord?”

2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 3

God is the Rock

He opened the rock, and water gushed out; like a river it flowed in the desert – Psalm 105:41

That’s a picture of God’s provision for His people, Israel. In the forty years of their wandering through the wilderness, a dry and barren land where there were no pools, no rivers, no streams, where water was almost non-existent. God provided water for them in abundance. He provided it in a most unlikely way. He provided it out of a rock.

When you look at a rock in the desert as I’ve looked at it countless times, it seems so hard, so unyielding, so little good could come out of it. But in the disguise of the rock we understand that God Himself was with the people. God Himself was the rock and out of Himself there came His provision for His people in abundance.

It was important that Israel knew how to approach the rock. At one time Moses was commanded to strike it. At another time he was commanded to speak to it, and when he approached the rock in faith and obedience, out of that seemingly hard and unyielding rock there came an abundance of water that flowed like a river in the desert.

It’s often so in our lives, where in a time of barrenness when provision seems lacking, but God is there. He’s there in the form of a rock. He’s there in a form of something that seems hard and unyielding, something that we could complain about. But when we recognize God in it and approach Him in faith and obedience, then the rock becomes the source of our provision.

– Derek Prince Ministries

 2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 2

Let your heart take courage

If we consider all the things we could be afraid of, we can quickly see why don’t be afraid, in one form or another, is one of the most repeated commands in Scripture.  Put positively, God calls us to “be strong and of good courage” (Daniel 10:10).

Scriptures is full of men and women of remarkable courage.  Each of the biblical saints had to take the courage their actions required.  They took the action they believed was right, in spite of the fear they experienced at the thought of taking it.

What fueled their courage?  Faith.  Courage is an act of faith, because the courageous person acts on what he believes to be right despite the threat of real or apparent danger. 

What does “good courage” look like”?  Paul gives a clear illustration: “So we are always of good courage.  We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:6-7).”  Good courage is fueled by faith in ultimate reality: what God promises His people.  We are to be encouraged by God’s promises to forgive all our sins (1John 1:9), to never forsake us (Hebrew 13:5), to cause light to dawn in our darkness (Psalm 112:4), to provide for all we really need (Philippians 4:19), to provide an escape in every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), to work all things, even the worst things, for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28), to cause us to ultimately overcome our worst enemies (Romans 16:20), to make us live, though we die (John 11:25), to someday wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4), and to give us fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in His presence – because of His presence (Psalm 16:11). 
 

– Jon Bloom

 2020 EM GDOP Devotional Day 1

The Purpose of Prayer

Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man.  We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that.  What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer.  When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life.  Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished.  Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament.  We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God himself.

“Ask, and you will receive…” (John 16:24).  We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things.  Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask!  Our Lord said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3).  Ask and God will do.  Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work.  The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end.  When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself.  Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems – the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end.  But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.”  God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things.  Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.
 

– Oswald Chambers

Historical CCEM Devotionals

2016 – 1st Quarter:

““For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you so that you would follow our example.” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9, NAS)

In business, a key strategy for the development of an employee is mentoring. Typically, an employee is paired with a more seasoned veteran. The seasoned vet’s job is to provide insight, guidance, and wisdom to his/her protégé. The mentee’s job is to watch how the seasoned vet acts, how they talk, how they conduct their business. The mentee is soaking in the verbal wisdom, as well as the non-verbal behaviors of their mentor. The end goal is for the mentee to develop professionally and be in a position to become a mentor to less experienced employees.

For many believers, we also have a spiritual mentor. This is someone who is a little further along in their walk; someone who provides spiritual wisdom and guidance to promote our spiritual growth. However, often times our professional mentor and our spiritual mentor are not the same. In fact, often these two aspects of our world are so far separated, that even the thought of combining them seems awkward and uncomfortable.

Paul absolutely shatters that sentiment in 2 Thessalonians. When Paul was in Thessalonica he worked in a “secular” job. It is often believed that Paul and his companions worked making tents; however Paul does not mention his specific job here. Why is that? Because the job itself was not what was important to Paul; it was the opportunity for ministry that attracted him. As a spiritual leader, Paul had more than enough reason to collect monetary support for his spiritual ministry, however for the greater good of his converts in Thessalonica, Paul forfeited that right. He wanted to provide a model of how to live the Christian life in their daily business and routine. He wanted to provide spiritual mentoring in a business environment.

What does it look like to be a spiritual mentor in a business environment? What model did Paul set for us to emulate in the workplace? The text doesn’t say, but we can draw some conclusions from the rest of the Bible. I imagine that Paul strongly reflected the character of Christ in everything he did in business. The way he loved his coworkers, the way he demonstrated leadership, the way he defined success. These are all things we can do that reflect Christ appropriately in the workplace. It is a way of working in ministry, while working in business. It is a way to mentor those younger in the faith about how to reflect a Christ-like character even if conventional culture doesn’t.

The start of the new year always brings about resolutions. Promises we make to ourselves that are aimed at making us better. In 2016, CCEM wants to encourage all of us here on campus to partake in the ministry opportunity we have here every day. This does not mean we need to verbally preach the Word to everyone we meet at all times. This does mean that we need to reflect on the character of Christ, and on our own character, to determine where the gaps are. If you are anything like me, I am sure you may find more gaps than you were hoping. Identifying those gaps, and acknowledging them, is just one step in our Christian walk as we aim to become more like Him.

In light of this effort, the Living Your Faith at Work video series (mentioned above) will provide examples of ways some of our peers have found to live their faith, and to reflect the character of Christ, here at work. It is a form of knowledge transfer, lessons learned, and mentoring. The series is meant to inspire and encourage each of us as we reflect on how we may become more like Christ here at work.

2015 – 4th Quarter:

“It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and will present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:13-15 NIV)

Have you ever reflected on why you go to church? Why do you show love to your neighbor? Why do you help a brother or sister in need? The quick and easy answer is, “because we are commanded to,” which is true, but let’s look at that a little deeper.

How do you feel when you are commanded to do something? To me it feels like I am being forced to comply. Do you think God wants us to feel like we are obligated to follow His commands? Do you think Jesus’s death was one big guilt trip that God is playing on us so that we would finally obey Him?

Of course not! The truth is that was never God’s intention. Jesus’s death was an act of immense love and mercy on a sinful people. God does not want us to have that hanging over our heads to guilt us into obeying, or to do good deeds in His name. So then why should we obey, why should we do good deeds in His name?

The answer lies in what Paul wrote to the Corinthians. God showed us grace so that we would be overflowing with thanksgiving. In fact, the word Paul uses for grace in Greek is charis; the word he uses for thanksgiving is eucharistian. Grace is literally at the heart of thanksgiving (how cool is that!). This was not an accident; Paul was trying to show the Corinthians the vital connection between grace and thanksgiving.

It is with intense thanksgiving that we respond to God. It is with intense thanksgiving that we obey Him; it is with intense thanksgiving that we carry on His will on earth. I know this may sound like semantics, but having a subtle change of perspective will change the way we interact with God. A change of attitude will change how we feel. How we feel will affect our demeanor. A change in demeanor will impact how we reflect the light of Christ to the world and bringing glory to the one who is full of unlimited grace.
So as we enter this season of thanks and giving, let’s all reflect on how we respond to the amazing grace that our father has poured out abundantly on us. Merry Christmas!

2015 – 3rd Quarter:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2: 42-47 NIV)

Acts chapter 2 gives us a beautiful picture of the early church in Jerusalem. Believers (New and Old) would come together daily in fellowship to eat, teach, pray, and praise God. The early Church’s persistence in these activities demonstrated that they felt a strong need for these activities in their daily lives. They were in awe of the works that God was doing through the Church, deepening their faith and fellowship. The early Church members sold their property in order to help each other and lived in community. They enjoyed unity in the Spirit and God added to their numbers daily.

This passage not only gives us a glimpse into the history of the Church, but it also should serve as a model for us to emulate. Now I am not suggesting we all sell everything and live communally and neither is the Bible (you can all exhale now!). Communal living was voluntary and temporary in the Jerusalem Church. No other New Testament Church practiced communal living as intensely as the Jerusalem Church did and the New Testament never commands such a thing. The purpose for Luke’s mention of this is to emphasize the love the members of the Jerusalem Church had for one another and the sacrifices they made for their brothers and sisters.

What I am suggesting is that we should take note of the love each member had for one another and how they relied on each other. The body of Christ is designed for community! We are designed to be in fellowship with our brothers and sisters, not to go at it alone. We need each other for encouragement, to study together, to praise God together, to sanctify and edify His body. We need our brothers and sisters in our times of need, our times of joy, and our times of apathy… and they need you. The body of Christ grows stronger with each member working in unity with one another; it needs every part!

Are you connected with the body? Are you in fellowship with your brothers and sisters on a regular basis? Do you see a new face (maybe a new face to campus!) who looks lost and could use your fellowship and prayer? Or is your “Christian Fellowship Time” only reserved for Sunday mornings? One hour a week was not enough for the early Church and I suggest it is not enough now either. The more we live/work/praise/cry/pray/sing together as a community, the more we will see the amazing things God is doing in the body.

2015 – 2nd Quarter:

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12)

He is risen!…He is risen indeed! Every time I hear those words shouted the Spirit inside of me jumps a little with excitement. And how appropriate it is that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior in the spring. A time where the dark, cold, lifelessness of winter suddenly turns into sun, warmth and a renewal of life.

With the world coming to life again around us, I can’t help but think about the spiritual life of a believer. How is your spiritual life? Are you in the spring season with a sense of renewed hope that comes when we reflect on the resurrection? Or are you still stuck in the coldness of winter?

The truth is every believer will go through spiritual cycles throughout this life. David knew that and he pleaded with God for a more faithful, stronger spirit than that of his own natural being, which had an inclination to run from God (Psalm 51). Fortunately for believers today, the justifying work of Christ on the cross has us, “marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13) that will never be taken from us. Though we may “quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), we will always have God with us and can rejoice in the joy of His salvation.

Our prayer this quarter is that our community would have a heart like David’s, a deep desire to know God and draw nearer to Him, to feel a sense of renewed hope because of the work that Christ has done for us; and the faith to place the control of our lives in the hands of our Creator. So once again I leave you with a question, how is your spiritual life?

2015 – 1st Quarter:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10: 24-25)

Do you feel encouraged at work? I am not talking about encouragement that comes with the praise of your supervisor for your thorough report, or from your work mentor who is helping you drive towards your career goals. I am talking about spiritually encouraged. Do you feel like you’re free and open to express your faith at work or is that something that needs to be checked at the door?

Whose responsibility is it to spiritually encourage our brothers and sisters at ExxonMobil? It’s not your pastor’s responsibility, and it’s not just the responsibility of the small group leaders on your campus; it is a mutual responsibility for all of the members of the body here at ExxonMobil. We are all called to be the spiritual encouragement for our fellow brothers and sisters around us, exhorting them towards love and good deeds; that they may reflect the light of Christ here at ExxonMobil.

How can you encourage your fellow brothers and sisters on your campus? That is something that each of us need to prayerfully consider each day as we walk through this life. It starts with building a community of believers; a community that is more than just a smile as we pass in the halls, but one where we genuinely care for one another. Maybe that means taking just 1 hour a month to meet with brothers and sisters for lunch, maybe it means getting coffee every Friday morning, maybe it is attending a small group.

There is no prescribed formula on how to build a genuine community, but it can be a great blessing to those involved.

How can you help our community grow? I don’t mean by numbers, I mean how can you help grow a genuine Christian Community at ExxonMobil? As our community grows, others will take notice. When the light of Christ is being reflected it is hard to ignore its impact. As our community’s reflectiveness increases, so will the encouragement. As our community grows genuinely, the gospel will be spoken without the use of words.

2014 – 4th Quarter:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

As the year approaches an end and our days get shorter, it seems as though our “To Do” list begins to get longer. At work, we have year-end project deadlines, reporting requirements, and 2015 planning approvals that need to be completed. At home, we are attempting to coordinate holiday logistics, find the perfect presents for our family and friends, and brace for the “cold” weather approaching. Yes, it is the end of the year and once again it seems as though our stress levels are at an all-time high.

At this time, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle of the world and our daily schedules. However, now more than ever, it is important to ensure that we have put aside time to be with God. Whether that time is spent studying His word, praying, enjoying fellowship with other Christians, etc., it is amazing the true “rest” that the Lord can provide and just how refreshed you can feel after truly connecting with Him.