“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”  Proverbs 15:22

For many people, work is a form of worship.  They put everything they have and everything they are into their work.  Work should not be our worship. God didn’t intend for it to be.  Jesus deserves your worship, and work should and can be a way to worship the king! I hope that you can be encouraged by returning to your work each day.  To simply see the opportunity that is in front of you everyday to make a kingdom impact. Don’t let your work become the primary source of your satisfaction, you might find that your worship is in the wrong place. Rather, find hope and strength in Jesus each day to return to your work and see Him worshiped through your life.
It is important to have wise counsel in your life in all areas of your life.  Work generates a huge amount of stress due to deadlines, failures, relationships at work,  changes in your career or the careers around you, and you will need to have someone around you who is willing to give you wise, accurate, appropriate advice.  You can’t be a perfect employee, and you can’t always succeed in life and at work, so don’t try; just relax and let Jesus shine through you.   Find God’s purpose for you at your place of work.  Live transformational.

Respond:

Do you have someone in your life who will give you wise, Biblical advice about your career?  If not, pray about who you can ask.

If you do not talk with someone around you about WORK, what do you do with the frustrations and questions that build up?

Reflect:

List your prayer requests:

 

Randy Beggs

SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS PASTOR & ADULT 1 MINISTER

office: 972.359.7777 x4020

randy.beggs@cottonwoodcreek.org

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”  Proverbs 2:6-7

We work for someone beyond our boss; His name is Jesus!  The reason this is very important is it keeps in perspective how much bigger our career is than simply the job itself. I know this seems to be a surprise for many people, but the job is important, very important; but the king is “most” important.  When we deal with our day this way it helps us accomplish freely what God intends for us as employees.  Vocational health is the overflow of a healthy spiritual walk with Jesus.

Work matters, and I’m not here to dispute that, but working for the king matters more.  If we desire to see our paths made straight, and our daily efforts rewarded vocationally, we much lean on the one who has gifted us, not the gift itself.  We all have gifts and talents, but it’s very important that we lean on His understanding for utilizing them. This perspective will help us discover the bigger purpose in life, Christ.

Respond:

How can this Christ-centered perspective help you at work situation?

At work, are you leaning on your own gifts and talents instead of leaning on God’s wisdom and power?

Reflect:

List your prayer requests:

 

Randy Beggs

SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS PASTOR & ADULT 1 MINISTER

office: 972.359.7777 x4020

randy.beggs@cottonwoodcreek.org

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We serve a master! He was a master of sacrifice. Jesus constantly served others. Matter a fact one of the more puzzling scriptures in the whole bible is where He says, “I have come NOT to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom.” (Mark 10:45) Jesus set a precedent in servant leadership. He came to serve us with his perfect life. His atoning work on the cross has literally bridged us back into life with God through relationship. So as we work, we serve, and this service is in relation to the perfect servant who has become our savior so that we represent God now as ambassadors of the faith (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We must understand that our work is related to the gospel. It is not simply a meaningless place we spend the majority of our life, a place to make a means of income for our personal gain, but it is a vein, an avenue, an opportunity to see Christ supremely glorified through us as a humble servants.

In Colossians 3, Paul tells us to serve as if we were serving the Lord, not people! So we must invest our hearts whole heartily. Why? Because work is not just a way to pass time, make money, climb the ladder, gain respect, be noticed, but it is actually a service that you render to the Lord himself! So no matter what career is in the past, the present or the future- remember, we are serving the Lord. Think differently today as you toil in your work, and give it to Him today!

In Him,

Randy Beggs
SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS PASTOR & ADULT 1 MINISTER

office: 972.359.7777 x4020

“But Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:18

Once sin entered the world, the reaping of God’s abundance was hindered and fractured! We had rebelled against God. His perfection and His will for us was forever altered, and this meant that Adam’s sin and God’s curse against it affected the soil of the ground. This is significant to how we view our work and our work makes us feel. Work has become painful and hard. Sin has fractured the original plan.

Understanding that work can be difficult is crucial for us as Christians; we gain perspective and understanding on why work will be marked with difficulty. It is hard because both the work and the people enthralled in it are players in this fractured world. So where does that leave us? It leaves us with an understanding of what we are against. Work will always wear you out, and if it does not, you are probably not working hard enough. Work will always have highs and lows; it will occasionally be painful, spiteful, and deceitful because we are all people have an underlying sin nature.

This corroborates the fact that we should not live our lives for our job. What we need to do is constantly ask God what He intends to teach us through our work. The difficulty and the refining process of work should sharpen believers each day. It is a place that we can be sanctified and have our character tested. Your place of employment can be a primary area for God to make us more Christ-like. If you can learn to serve Him in your everyday work environment you will be able to serve at church, at home, and in your community. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to be loving, patient, and diligent in your work so that you can shine Christ’s light to those who may never come into contact with God’s love in any other area of their lives. Be obedient today and beg the Lord to make this plan known.

Respond:

What changes can you make to improve your work situation?

Are you being an example of Christ at work?  If not- how can you change this?

Reflect:

List your prayer requests:

 

Randy Beggs
SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS PASTOR & ADULT 1 MINISTER

office: 972.359.7777 x4020

 

“Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Most people spend the majority of their lives at a job! They are constantly thinking about: what to do next for the job, how to make the most of their efforts, how to solve certain issues, or how to communicate to people effectively? These thoughts dominate the mass majority of folks in the Western hemisphere. This is a way of life; however, some people ask a different question- Why do I do this? Why do I get up every day and go to this place and give one hundred percent to this job?

These are all great questions that need to be answered;  however, for Christians we should simply ask- How does our work fit into God’s plan and God’s will for our lives. How does God intend on using us each day at work?   Is God glorified through us each day in our work?  For many Christians, the answer to this last question may be “no” or
“I am not sure.” For many Christians this is potentially something we are being refined in daily to see Jesus shine through us as we do what he has gifted us to do.  We are told to be a good steward with work!  Unfortunately, a lot of people (including Christians) only see work as something for our personal gain or simply something to do to make-a-living, but God has given us work to Glorify Him, to see His name lifted high, and to see much made of Jesus through our obedience to Him.

We have always worked. Adam and Even worked, and it was good. Work is actually not a result of sin–from the beginning God gave us work to do. We have to view our work through this God-centered lens; it is about obeying the calling He has put on our lives to serve him daily. We should no longer look at work for selfish gain.  When Adam and Eve stood with God in a perfect relationship they desired to work. They were fulfilled in their work. They were satisfied by their work. They did not see it as a means to the end or a place to climb a ladder, but their labors were viewed as a holy thing that brought joy to them and glory to God.

Respond:

So, as you go to work today, ask yourself…Are you working for your glory or God’s glory?

What changes can you make to honor God at work?

Do people at work know that you are a believer?

Reflect:

List your prayer requests:

 

Randy Beggs
SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS PASTOR & ADULT 1 MINISTER

office: 972.359.7777 x4020

 

 

 

Stop that Thief!
Not too long ago, I was inside Market Street grocery store and I purchased a cup of coffee. I grabbed a newspaper to read for just a few moments and intended to put it right back. However, I got caught up reading the sports and business sections and ran into some friends and talked with them for awhile. After a few moments, I stood up to leave and walked out the door. Almost to my car, I realized that I was carrying the newspaper that I had not paid for!
In fear of seeing a headline ‘local minister shoplifter’ my heartbeat escalated as I quickly turned around and trotted back into the store to replace the newspaper. Thankfully, I was able to get it back into place before I became an official ‘robber’.
We all know that robbery is bad. We teach our kids to be honest and not to steal. This is so important to a highly functioning society that we have numerous laws at every level of government to prevent and punish stealing. God made His instruction very simple in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not steal.”
We consider ourselves honest people and wouldn’t dream of robbing someone and breaking that commandment or any laws. But, are we being honest with God about our money? Are we robbing God of what we owe Him?
According to Malachi 3:8-11, we have a problem and a promise. Let’s look at the verse:
Malachi 3:8-11, Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, “How do we rob You?” “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
Problem-
According to the Bible, we rob God when we don’t give Him 10% of what He has given us. Ouch.
Promise-
The good news…This same verse has a great promise. God says that if we do give 10%, also called a tithe, then we can expect Him to “open the floodgates of heaven” and to bless like crazy.
Financially, we are given a choice. 1) Give 10% and get incredibly blessed, or 2) don’t give a tenth and rob God, which has its consequences as well.
Let’s choose to get blessed!

Scott Sanford
EXECUTIVE PASTOR (STEWARDSHIP AND OPERATIONS)

office: 972.359.7777 x2021

Eat Your Veggies!

We hear “eat your vegetables” from everywhere…parents, doctors, nutritionists, the government, the FDA, magazines, TV shows, and nutritional websites. Why do we continue to hear this message? Because veggies are good for us, but we don’t get enough of them to be healthy, and we need to make changes to get the full benefit and blessing from eating our veggies.

A minister loves the church and wants the very best for the people that make it the church. Our desire is that everyone learns and lives out the teachings that God gives us in the Bible. Why? Because it’s best for you; it’s best for everyone. We understand that when we live by the truth of scripture, then,and only then, can we begin to experience the abundant life that Jesus said He wants us to experience because of our relationship with Him.

So, when it comes to money, what’s best for you? I want the best for you and your family. I want you to see God move in your life and for you to experience the thrill and joy of living a life of faith and trust.

To be honest and true to the Bible, then I’ve got to tell you that the best thing for you is to give…to give a tithe. Why? Because that is what the Bible says that we should do, at the very least. If I were to say anything else, or anything less, then I wouldn’t be telling you the truth, and you wouldn’t be able to experience all that God wants to do in your life.

Tithing is especially interesting because the Bible has a very unique promise associated with it. Now remember, a tithe is a tenth or 10% of all you are given. Along with the promise is a very unique problem. So, let’s look at the promise:
Malachi 3:10-11, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough to store it.”
This verse is the only place in the Bible where God says “test me.” He says to test Him by giving at least 10% and see what happens. He says that He will bless you so much that you won’t be able to store it all.
What’s best for you? It’s best to get so many of God’s blessings that you can’t even hold them all. That would be awesome! I want you to experience heaven’s floodgates opened up in your life. Therefore, my very best advice regarding you and money, is that you tithe…give 10% of all that God gives you.

Scott Sanford
EXECUTIVE PASTOR (STEWARDSHIP AND OPERATIONS)

office: 972.359.7777 x2021

Have you ever opened up a box of cereal or a bag of chips and noticed that it was only half full? It happens all the time. As a matter of fact, on the package itself, there is a statement about how the contents are sold by weight, not by volume, and some settlement may have occurred in shipping. In other words, you may only get half a box!

In Jesus’ time, things were sold by volume. In other words, if you bought a container of grain, you would expect a full container. What you really wanted was the seller to fill up the container completely, then press it down and put more in. Then, you would want him to shake it to get even more air out, then fill it up again. You would want this to repeat until you got every possible grain into the container. And…you really wouldn’t mind a little extra for free!
Jesus said that is the way it is with giving:
Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Jesus says that when you give, what you will receive in return is fair. Actually, it’s more than fair. He says that when we give, then we will receive a lot of extra stuff worth more than what we gave in the first place.

Amazing! Where else can you get that?
Give…and it will be given back to you…and then a little extra!
God’s generosity doesn’t settle to the bottom leaving a lot of empty extra space.

Think about it, and have a blessed day.

Scott Sanford
EXECUTIVE PASTOR (STEWARDSHIP AND OPERATIONS)

office: 972.359.7777 x2021

Working Hard for the Money

There is a sense of satisfaction when payday comes around, isn’t there? Honestly, it feels good to get paid and to receive recognition and reward for work. We were designed to work and to be productive. When we fulfill that part of our design, it feels good, and we feel a sense of pride in what we have accomplished and in what we have received.

However, let’s consider something a little deeper. Where did we get the ability to be productive? How did we receive talents and skills that would result in someone paying us in order to use them?

The Bible tells us pretty clearly that when we begin to congratulate ourselves on a job well done, we also should remember the source of our abilities.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 says, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth…”

And then, I Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

When God created us, He gifted us with productive abilities. He gave us tools for us to produce wealth.  When God created Adam, He gave him abilities and skills and then gave him a job to work in the Garden of Eden. This was not a curse; it was given to him before he took a bite of the forbidden fruit. The opportunity to work, to create, and to produce was a gift that was reflective of God’s image as One who works and creates.

Sure, we work hard for the money, but we are God’s creation using God’s gifts to produce God’s paychecks.  And, don’t forget- we must go back to Deuteronomy, “But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth…”

Thing about it, and have a blessed day.

Scott Sanford
EXECUTIVE PASTOR (STEWARDSHIP AND OPERATIONS)

office: 972.359.7777 x2021

The Father’s Ranch
My father has a small cattle ranch in Central Texas and over the years has developed a nice herd. It’s a neat experience to watch them on the side of the hill as they do what cows do, which is mostly just eat grass and take it easy. It is really fun when the calves start running around chasing each other like puppies. We enjoy getting out in the pasture with them and feeding them hay or vitamin snacks.

My father lets us visit any time we want.  We can help with the cows and other ranch chores or just simply enjoy the outdoors. We feel at home, just as if we owned it ourselves.  But ultimately, this is his herd. He owns everything on the ranch…even though   we sure enjoy it.

Our heavenly Father also owns a few cows. He says:
Psalm 50:10-12, “For every animal of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are Mine … for the world is Mine, and all that is in it.”
King David in the Old Testament lead his people to give, and they gave generously knowing that whatever they had really was God’s to begin with. This was his prayer:
1 Chronicles 29:14,16, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand. LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name comes from Your hand, and all of it belongs to You.”
God is the owner of everything. So, whatever resources that we ‘have’, we are really only enjoying by His grace. Do we have any cattle? They are really His. Do we have any money? It is really His. A home, a job, a car? It’s really His; we just get the privilege of using it for awhile and using it for His glory.
So, when we give, we are just simply letting go of what already belongs to Him.

Think about, it and have a blessed day.

Scott Sanford
EXECUTIVE PASTOR (STEWARDSHIP AND OPERATIONS)

office: 972.359.7777 x2021

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