Showing Jesus on the RunDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and..."
One of the first things I learned as a chaplain was to stop telling people in today’s culture to “slow down.” It’s not that this isn’t good advice; it’s that the people who need to hear it already know it, but often don’t know how to do it, or can’t because of real obstacles. Being told to slow down by someone else only heightens the stress of their pace.
Added to that stress is the reality of our dwindling attention spans; while at the same time, the number of things vying for our attention is increasing exponentially.
With all of this pace pressure, where do we find the time to let others see Jesus in us? How will the people in our lives ever meet Jesus if neither they nor we slow down and talk? But what would make them choose to talk to us if they did slow down?
Surprisingly, simply following the words of today’s Scripture will help intersect our faith and work lives, the two biggest segments of time and attention consumers for working believers. The words written in this passage are delivered to the people of Israel after they’ve been blessed by seeing the power of God as demonstrated by their freedom from oppression. They’re intended to help Israel avoid a major mistake we humans make: forgetting who God is and what he’s done for us. Like Israel, God expects us to know him intimately by knowing his Words, and this means incorporating daily interaction with the Bible, however brief, into the stream of our daily lives. Even five minutes a day spent reading the Bible will produce remarkable dividends, as the Holy Spirit promises any time spent in the Word will be used to accomplish God’s purposes (Isa. 55:11). In other words, we don’t change to satisfy Scripture’s commands; Scripture changes us as we read them.
This regular time spent in Scripture will have a transforming effect on even the newest believer, as the Holy Spirit uses it to connect eternal truth to the practical world we live in. Suddenly the kind words spoken to a beleaguered barista, the generous tip left to wait staff—easy ways our faith shows around the edges—become tiny acts showing similar patience to the people we work alongside every day. An interaction with God through his word grants us more patience with difficult people, helps us show mercy to those missing deadlines or making other mistakes that make our jobs difficult as we reflect on the boundless mercy we experience every day.
So how do we show Jesus on the run? We let the “words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable” in his sight (Ps. 19:6) by opening the link that leads to change: Scripture.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you have a regular time when you read God’s word daily? Or do you replace it with books about the Bible written by authors of today? What is the difference between reading these authors (including yours truly) and reading Scripture? What power does Scripture possess that we human writers cannot claim?
PRAYER: Even now there are Christians reading this who find themselves near tears, near exhaustion, from the pace of life. Grant them the opportunity for rest, even if it’s only a respite, and draw other believers to them to sustain them in their stress. Help others to carve out margin they don’t think they have to squeeze in moments—however brief—that are filled with the reading of Your Word. Stamp those words into our very being so they become the conduit for the new creation you are making of us even now. Then slowly shift our eyes from ourselves to those around us, and infuse our vision and compassion with Your vision and compassion, so we see and serve others as You would—gently, patiently, with heavy doses of grace and mercy. Let the meditations on Your word become daily parts of our walk, and let others see You in our lives. Amen.
If work is God’s gift to us and an invitation to participate with him in the work of redemption and restoration, it makes sense that we would experience grace and also be the conduits of grace in our work and workplaces. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good work. So, in this season of gift giving and celebrating the gift of grace through Jesus, join us as we consider how to find grace in our work this Advent, in this series, Advent Works.