The Christian Public Servant – “choose not to harm the faith”

August 31, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 31 [ESV] “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.  Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor… So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Reflection
Going out after work with colleagues and coworkers can be fun, and perhaps productive, but it can also test the will of any follower of Christ. While it may be a welcome opportunity to stray from your diet, and that second or third alcoholic drink may be a welcome opportunity to let your hair down, remember others are watching. Some wait for you to trip on your faith. You want to have fun like everyone else but, in doing so, you don’t want to hurt the faith-building of someone just starting to look to Christ.

Scripture verifies this predicament is nothing new. The ancient Christians of Corinth knew that the eyes of others may interpret one’s eating and drinking as worshipping things other than Christ. Like you, the Corinthians wanted to have fun, but they learned to choose not to harm the faith of the on-looker.

So when you go out with coworkers, do as your brothers and sisters in Corinth did so long ago. Have fun, but don’t make selfish decisions. Have fun, but remember: just because you “can,” doesn’t mean you should. Have fun, but make sure your behavior glorifies God and edifies others for Jesus. Have fun, but build others up.

Yes, have fun and let your hair down. But choose not to harm the faith of those around you.

Prayer
Father, especially when having fun with coworkers, let me always glorify You and let my behavior teach others about Jesus. Let me be more concerned with the helpful and less with the legal. Let me seek not my own good, but the good of the coworker watching me. Let me choose not to harm the faith of a coworker who looks at me in the hope of seeing Christ for the first time. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

Chris Summers
Chaplain
W.C. Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “become truly free”

chains broken2

August 30, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Galatians 5:1, 13 [NIV] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Reflection
Have you ever notice how much we all look forward to holidays? Doesn’t matter the season of the year, you can always tell when a coworker is getting ready to go on vacation. He seems lighter somehow, like just the thought of getting away is liberating.

Why not? It seems during the rest of the year people are shackled to their jobs. Often the pressures of the everyday grind just get to them, and they cannot see the freedom that is right before them. The Christian public servant has a responsibility to share that freedom with others and to share in a responsible way. Scripture reminds us that we must not use freedom to indulge in worldly anticipation. Rather, we are to use the freedom Christ gives us to humbly love and serve one another.

It is in the serving of others that you become truly free. You are no longer just an employee working on a menial task. You now have a mission – His mission – and that mission brings freedom.

Today at work, don’t let the pressures place its “yoke” on you. For the sake of all you come in contact today, love others humbly and show others what it means to become truly free.

Yes, a vacation is nice. But today, stand firm for Him at work and become truly free.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I am free because You have redeemed me. Help me not waste the high price You paid for me. Help me reach others who are bogged down at work. Help me live free for others and as a witness of what a life in You is all about. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Stan Best
Training Manager
Apprentice School
Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “take the rest God has set aside”

resting with God1

August 29, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading
Genesis 2:3 [NIV] Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.

Proverbs 19:23 [NIV] The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Psalm 62:5 [NIV] Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Reflection
It seems like the more days tick off during the week, the more restless and tired I become. I “go and go” at work only to realize that, at times, the progress made is for naught. After work, I run all over creation doing things with my family, yet never spend any quality time with them. It is just “go here” and “go there”. The weekend comes and I am so spent that I forget to take the rest God has set aside.

Can you relate?

You know, we only have to turn to the Word to get the appropriate guidance. Scripture reminds us that God made the seventh day holy, and, most importantly, He rested. Scripture is mindful that He wants us to rest, too!

The most important time you and I have, aside from spending time with Him in His house, is when we take the rest God has set aside. But when we take our weekends to “rest” in our own selfish way, we negate time to truly recharge with Him.

After each day of work, do not forsake your time alone with Him. On Sundays, do not neglect gathering with the body of Christ to learn, refresh, recharge, and prepare your heart for another workweek.

This coming weekend, take the rest God has set aside. Then you will truly be able to serve Him and others better come Monday morning!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for showing me where I need to focus my time. Thank You for the constant reminder that You love me and I need to rest. I pray this in Your Son Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

Gilbert O. Craven, M.A.
Civil Engineering Technician
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic (NAVFACLANT)
U.S. Department of Defense
Norfolk, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “delight in”

delight in2Deights in

August 28, 2017 – Monday

Reading
Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV] For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

1Timothy 4:12 [NLT] Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Reflection
My good friend and coworker belittles her accomplishments so as not to offend those around her. She was first in her family to go to college. She worked hard and made the dean’s list, was inducted into a National Honor Society, graduated a semester early, and was accepted into graduate school. And now, with an MPA degree, she has an excellent job and is doing well. These are her successes. And she deserves to delight in her accomplishments.

So, I took her on a weekend vacation to honor all her hard work. She cried because she didn’t believe she deserved to be celebrated. But she started to realize that, even though not everyone has walked the same path or experienced the same successes, these remain her moments and trophies to delight in God. And each success is a way God takes delight in telling her she is on the right track. God is using her to show others they can do anything with Him.

As a Christian public servant, recognize that God has ordered your steps. Every big or small success at work or school is a part of the plan He has for you. Remain humble, but delight in His blessings. Each accomplishment is a stepping stone on your journey ordained by God.

Today realize what my friend and coworker now knows. As you go to work, delight in the tasks God has trusted you with. At work, delight in the plans He has for you. Then come home with delight in your heart at having discovered He is with you each step throughout the day!

Prayer
Dear God, thank You for guiding my steps and leading me on this journey. I delight in the opportunities You have blessed me with. By following Your will, I can accomplish many things. Use me as a vessel to show others they can achieve their goals. I appreciate each accomplishment, big or small, and I am honored to glorify You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Logan Dickens, MPA
Special Projects Analyst
Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
Richmond, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “that righteousness”

love one another1

The Christian Public Servant – “that righteousness”

August 25, 2017 – Friday

Reading
James 1:20 [NLT] Human anger does not produce the righteousness of God’s desire.

Reflection
Where I live and work, righteousness can sometimes be hard to find. It’s there, but you really need to search for it. Anger, however, can be found just down the row. If you are not careful, anger can be found in your own cell. Anger can block both vision and relationships. It can block the heart and, more importantly, that righteousness of God’s desire.

As Christian public servants, regardless of where we live and work, it is our job to keep a check on anger. Because of who we are and Who we represent, anger produces the wrong image of our Heavenly Father.

Today at work, produce that righteousness of God’s desire. Do so even when others have wronged you, even when others don’t do as they say, and even when others show hate. That righteousness will show others what God really wants. And that righteousness will not block the heart.

Where I work and where you work, do not let anger block the heart. Produce that righteousness instead – the results will bless many.

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for Your righteous love of me. Let me show Your desires to others today. Amen.

 Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Death Row
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA

The Christian Public Servant – “in the most unlikely places”

right attitude2

The Christian Public Servant – “in the most unlikely places”

August 24, 2017 – Thursday

Reading
Genesis 28:16 (ESV) “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”

Acts 13:1, 52 (ESV) “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Reflection
Recently I had the opportunity to visit some brothers in a place which most of the outside world forgets about – prison. Even though these men were incarcerated, I realized that we had much in common.   These men who made mistakes, and some of those mistakes were horrific. However, God’s love became very clear during that visit. Together with the brothers, I rejoiced in the splendor of God and that His presence was there – revealed in the most unlikely place.

How often do you celebrate the presence of God, and for that matter, do you celebrate His presence in the place where you work? Is God there with you even as you fill out paperwork, sit at the computer, answer that phone call, or meet with that citizen? It can be so easy to overlook the fact that the Spirit is with us at all times, even in the most unlikely places.

As Christian public servants You and I should rejoice in the presence of God, because He is with us always, even in the most unlikely places. His presence should always have an effect on our actions.

Today, acknowledge the presence of God wherever you are and remain focused on Him. You will come into His presence even in the most unlikely places.

 Prayer
Lord, thank you for never leaving me. Your presence surrounds me and guides my steps each and every day. I pray that today I will be able to see your glory in my life, so that the world around may as well. Help me to honor you with my every action. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

A Child of God

The Christian Public Servant – “to do list”

God's to-do list2

The Christian Public Servant – “to do list”

August 23, 2017 – Wednesday

Reading
Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV): Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

 Reflection
I, like many people, have a full calendar and an even fuller “to Do list” at work. I often find it difficult to commit to memory all of the tasks and meetings that I am responsible for so I use my computer to build and track my “to do list.” I find this to be very useful as the list is ever present with tasks and due dates. It also gives me satisfaction whenever I am able to cross an item off my list and move on to the next one.

Recently, as I examined my “to do list,” it occurred to me that nowhere on it was a reminder to serve Jesus today or to put Him above my needs. How did I let myself get so busy that I did not remember my Lord? Where was Jesus in my day? Did I serve Him in my workplace today? If so, what have I done for my Lord today specifically? If Jesus is my best friend how will I get through my day without Him? From that moment on I resolved to put Jesus at the top of my “to do list,” permanently!

I have a job that is sometimes stressful and always busy, and there are many days that I can feel overwhelmed. Nevertheless, it is important that I always remember that my most important task is serving Jesus. As a Christian public servant the responsibility of serving Him is always with me, particularly at work where it is usually the most needed.   What about you?

 Prayer
Dear Lord, help me to always remember that my most important task is serving You first and advancing Your kingdom. Help me to deny myself and put You first in everything I do. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Paul Theroux
Maintenance Program Manager
U.S. Department of Defense
Naval Base Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia USA