The Christian Public Servant – “prisoners on either side”

Good Friday1

March 30, 2018 – Friday

Reading

Mark 10:34 [NIV] who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.

Luke 23:43(b) [NIV] I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.

Romans 5:6-10 [NIV] You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Reflection

Today is Good Friday. The day Christ died for the ungodly. The day Christ was crucified for you and me. Mocked and spit upon. Flogged before nailing to the cross. He died with two prisoners on either side. One had faith. The other did not. The one with faith went with Jesus to paradise. The other did not.

At one time, I was the ungodly. I did everything to end up on death row. Yet He died for someone as ungodly as I was. And if He died to save someone like me, He surely died to save someone like you. That’s the Good News. He died to save all of us. All we need is faith.

Today is Good Friday, the day the Good News happened. Today Christ died for the ungodly. You. Me. The coworker next to you. The one down the hall you cannot stand. People coming in and out of your building. The ungodly. And we are saved because of His death – if we have faith.

Today at work, when you see someone you think is ungodly, look in a mirror. For you and that other ungodly person are the prisoners on either side of Christ. Paradise is an option for both of you. All is needed is faith in Him.

Will you have faith?

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. I thank You for Your Son dying to save me. I thank You for keeping my faith strong. I pray others today will hear the Good News – and have faith. Amen.

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

recent

The Christian Public Servant – “not an island”

 

island2

March 29, 2018 – Thursday

Reading

 

Romans 8:15 [NLT] So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

 

 Reflection 

 

Yesterday a coworker appeared troubled all morning. When we finally had time to talk, she told me it was the anniversary of her father’s death. She went on to say he died unexpectedly, and she often thinks of him. Right before we prayed, I had a quick flashback of my own father dying shortly after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I thought I was an independent and resilient woman, but it was through his illness and death that I realized he was a pillar of strength for me and my daughter. After my father’s funeral, like my coworker, I was broken and afraid. I realized that people are not an island unto themselves. Those who think differently are only kidding themselves. Like me, my coworker was not kidding herself

 

In my own grief, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am adopted into the family of God, my Father. Through God’s grace, I am set free from the bondage of grief and fear. I miss my worldly father every day, but my Heavenly Father has given me an eternal inheritance. He continues to love, comfort, groom, help, and guide me according to His plan for my life.

 

So I prayed with my coworker that she, too, is set free from the bondage of grief and fear. That she understands she is adopted into the family of God, her Father. That she is not an island unto herself.

 

Today, in your workplace, reach out to a coworker experiencing the loss or illness of a loved-one. Remind that brother or sister, we are all members of the body of Christ. That we are all adopted into the family of God, our Father. Share the love of Christ by reminding that coworker, regardless of worldly loss, Abba Father will bring comfort and support in time of grief.

 

Prayer

 

Father God, thank You for being a Good Father to me. Thank You for adopting me into Your family through Jesus Christ. It is in His name that I pray. Amen.

 

Kenya Douglass-Spencer

MPA Candidate

Belhaven University

Jackson, Mississippi USA

 

The Christian Public Servant – “a higher standard of efficiency”

listening1

March 28, 2018 – Wednesday

Reading

Matthew 22:37-40 [NKJV] Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Reflection

At a training session, the facilitator asked an incredible question: How can we show others – coworkers and citizens we serve – we are actively listening? She explained that, too many times, we act like we’re listening when we’re really not. We fake it. Those in the session agreed. Each had tons of examples of not actively listening: the rude customer, the oblivious manager, the selfish coworker. And as taxpayers, I guess we are happy when government is efficient – even if efficiency means sometimes not taking the time to actively listen.

But God calls me to a higher standard of efficiency. Scripture reminds me that I am to love my neighbor, and that includes my workplace neighbors. I must stop faking it because I am required to love and value others – just as God loves and values me. While I may not always like my coworkers, or that rude citizen seeking service, Jesus provides amazing examples of how to love with my heart, soul and mind. With Christ, I don’t have to fake it to be efficient. What I must do is imitate His love for my workplace neighbors.

I came out of that training session, and out of the Word, committed to make today different. I will actively listen because I value and love the person talking. I will listen to others just as I want others to listen to me. I will actively listen just as God actively listens to me. I will love and value my workplace neighbors and, in doing so, I will reach a higher standard of efficiency.

Today will you join me? Or have you been faking it in reading this devotional? I pray you are actively reading as you must also actively listen. You and I cannot glorify God, obey His commandments, and reach a higher standard of efficiency by faking it today.

Join me!

Prayer

Jesus, I need to see my coworkers and the citizens I serve the way You see them. I need to be willing to love them as You do. I lay down my selfishness and offer my life to You today. Please have Your Holy Spirit fill me with Your love, wisdom and strength so I will love all for Your glory. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Doug Meyer
District Engineer
Office of Drinking Water
Virginia Department of Health
Richmond, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “not just textbook knowledge, but wisdom”

mentoring1

March 27, 2018 – Tuesday

Reading

Deuteronomy 34:9 [KJV] And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him

Titus 2:3-4 [KJV] The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness…teachers of good things;… That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…

Reflection

Many people spend their formative years seeking knowledge. Some follow pathways taking them to college, and even graduate school, while others learn a trade. Yet, does this truly prepare them for what may lie ahead in life?

Obstacles often present great uncertainties. In fact, the one dealing with the problem becomes so emotionally involved that he or she cannot clearly see a pathway to address the problem or the remedy. They research various options looking for the right answer. Yet, sometimes it is not just textbook knowledge, but wisdom that one needs.

Scripture emphasizes the importance of the wisdom of the elders. Joshua was a grown man and proven warrior yet he still submitted to the prodding and guidance of Moses.

So what about you? Do you have a mentor? Better yet, as a Christian public servant, are you willing to provide mentorship? Are you willing to impart from the gifts and talents that God bestowed upon you – not just textbook knowledge, but wisdom?

Today look for a coworker who may need more than a simple answer. Offer not just textbook knowledge, but wisdom.

Our Lord is looking for you to help, and others are looking for your help!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, please give me wisdom to speak into someone’s life when an opportunity presents itself. Please reveal to me who to mentor and guide as I build a relationship that glorifies You and keeps You at its center. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Angela Arbitter, MPA
International Justice Mission
Gulu, Uganda

The Christian Public Servant – “those who have no defender”

homeless1

March 26, 2018 – Monday

Reading

Proverbs 23:10-11 [NKJV] Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: for their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

Matthew 18:10 [NKJV] Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

Reflection

My work took me to a larger city where I witnessed homeless children on the streets. Young teenagers and it was a school day, but none were waiting for a bus. It was around breakfast time, but none looked like they had anything to eat. What shocked me the most were the adults walking by them without a glance. How could this happen, I thought? And what could I do?

Scripture warns about mistreating children, especially those who have no defender. We are reminded that their redeemer is mighty and their angels see the face of God. Hence, Jesus cautions not to despise any of them.

This morning, when you are on your way to work, do not forget those who have no defender. What I did was to take a little more time and buy those children a fast-food breakfast. I wasn’t late for work and, even if I was, I know was pleasing Christ. You can, too.

Today, search and protect those who have no defender. Like you, their salvation comes from the Lord. And you will still get to work!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending me to defend and protect those who have no defender. I know You are Defender and Redeemer to all of us. In the name of Your Son, I pray. Amen.

Noah M. Griffing, MPA
Worldwide Flight Services
Belgrade, Montana USA

The Christian Public Servant – “searching for a quick fix”

quick fix1

March 23, 2018 – Friday

Reading

2 Kings 5:9-11 [NIV] So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.

Reflection

Some of my best moments – moments when Jesus reveals Himself to me – take place when I stay faithful in carrying out His will. But what does it mean, to stay faithful? Where I live and work, this is not always an easy thing to know. Brothers, here, have a lot of anxiety knowing time is running out. They tend to be searching for a quick fix, and they somehow hope the search is tied to faithfulness.

In scripture, we find the king of Israel unable to cure Naaman of leprosy. Elisha was then put in a position to tell Naaman about God and reveal His great grace and love to him. Naaman was to wash seven times in the Jordan River to show healing only comes from God. But Naaman was searching for a quick fix, thinking Elisha should just call upon God to cure Him. Elisha, however, was faithful in carrying out God’s will. Naaman was not faithful and went away angry and uncured.

God places you and me where He wants us – including the workplace. His reason is not the worldly reason for us being where we are, and my worldly reason is certainly not the same as yours. But God places us in great positions to reveal His love and grace. He wants us to be faithful, like Elisha, and not anxious, like Naaman. He wants us to convey this message to those around us who are searching for a quick fix.

Today at work, join me in revealing God’s love and grace to everyone – especially those who do not understand that only faith in Him can address a problem.

Yes, today show faith to that anxious person searching for a quick fix.

Prayer

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Thank You for revealing Your love and grace. Your will is for me to be faithful in Your love and grace, and my faithfulness will take away my anxiety. Let me show this to others throughout the day. 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 – “to do right”

do the right thing1

March 22, 2018 – Thursday

Readings

Deuteronomy 6:18(a) [KJV] And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee

Acts 18:10 [KJV] For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

Reflection

I once worked in an office where trade agreements were intentionally constructed unethically. A bit over-dramatization? Not really. Seeing what I saw each day, my conscience bothered me to the point where I had to do something. And so, I prayed. Should I stay involved with an organization that chooses this kind of path? Should I take a stand, like filing a complaint? What will happen to me?

According to scripture, the Lord wants us to do right because it pleases Him. The Word also affirms He is always with us and, in fact, will supply others to lend support. Granted, others may choose not to show up when needed, but that is between them and God. All you and I need do is have faith, do good, and know He is there.

So with much prayer, I decided to leave that organization – after I made clear the wrongs I saw committed. And once I resigned, a few others followed. And all found better paths.

God may never lead you to quit your job, but rather, handle the situation in some other fashion. God may never present unethical wrong-doings to you – but wrong-doings based, perhaps, on breaking the law or violating internal policy. Nevertheless, the wrong-doings He presents to you today will force you to decide if you will follow the actions He wants you to take.

Today at work, don’t wait for someone to do right. Jesus is waiting on you to take the lead.

Prayer

Father, thank You for guiding me through a life-changing event at work. Your word has taught me to have faith in Your power, love and grace. Thank You for being near me and placing other followers in and on my path. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Tracie M. Beller
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
and Candidate, Online MA in Homeland Security
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA