The Christian Public Servant – “comfort and rest “

The Christian Public Servant – “comfort and rest “
May 31, 2016 – Tuesday  

Reading
Matthew 11:28 (NIV) Come to me all who labor and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) – “…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Reflection
A few days ago, I looked over at my coworker’s desk and saw little prayer calendar. It had a verse that really struck me. It said we must be exhausted for God and go to Him for all of our needs. Now many people look to the world to supply the comfort and rest for exhausted hearts. What do you do when you are tired and have too much to do? Who do you turn to for help?

I hate to say it, but the last thing I want to do when I’m exhausted is to pray and dive into His Word. I rather sit on my couch and watch TV, or listen to music that makes me feel good. But, I know that is my flesh battling to go to the world for my needs. Many people seek comfort and rest in worldly things rather than resting in the Lord.

Today at work should you become exhausted, do not grieve – know that He will give you true comfort and rest. Download a Bible app for your smartphone so that whenever you’re feeling pressure from you supervisor, frustration with a co-worker, or struggling to meet the needs of a customer, you can pull up the verse of the day and seek solace in God. Involving God throughout your day in this fast paced world will definitely help you find joy in the Lord and true comfort and rest.

Now go have a great day!

Prayer
Lord, I have not been exhausted for You in a long time, and I desire to change that. Provide me with the strength to rebuke the ways of the world and truly come to You for comfort and rest. I ask this in Your Son’s name. Amen.

Sara Garth
M.A. Candidate
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Christian Public Servant – “in over our heads”

The Christian Public Servant – “in over our heads”
May 30, 2016 – Monday 

Reading
Psalm 143:1 (NIV) LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

Matthew 25: 20-21 (NIV) Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more. His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Reflection
Each day we are tasked daily with completing different things. Some of those tasks we can accomplish very quickly and with little effort. But there are those times it appears that we are in over our heads. Nothing appears to go right and we stumble across road blocks at every turn. In those times the Lord may be testing you.

You and I have been given gifts – talents from God. Some people have the gift of writing while others have the gift of organization. Some have the gift of counsel. Some have been blessed with the gift of leadership, and the list goes on. You and I are entrusted to use the talents given to us in order to show Christ working through us.

The realization either at home or at work that we are in over our head can be quite terrifying. David had it right when he cried out to the Lord asking for mercy. He essentially asked the Lord for help. You and I need to follow David’s example especially when we get in over our heads.

All throughout the Bible we are given countless examples of God’s love for us. If we acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. God provided rest for David’s spirit. He helped him in his time of need. He can, and will, do the same for us if we are faithful to His Word even if we get in over our heads.

Prayer
Lord, Thank You for bringing these verses to me and reminding me to be faithful to Your Word. Thank You for being my Rock. I pray that I will remember to acknowledge You and call on Your Name especially when I get in over my head. Thank You for Your faithfulness and righteousness. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen!

Gilbert O. Craven
M.A. Candidate
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, VA

The Christian Public Servant – “tremendous victory for Christ”

The Christian Public Servant – “tremendous victory for Christ”
May 27, 2016 – Friday

Reading
Romans 13:8 [NLT] Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

Reflection
Last summer two brothers on Life Row started talking about me.  Every day for several months they spread false statements about me. I had not done anything to them. They knew I loved Jesus but thought I did not love them. They viewed me as a hypocrite. That hurt me because I try really hard each day to give God, not me, all the glory.

Then one morning, one of these brothers was troubled – very troubled. Everyone on Life Row knew about it, so I passed along a scripture to help with his situation.

That evening, he passed back a note to me. Now, I was a little leery about opening that note given how he’d talked about me for some time. But when I opened it – oh, what a blessing! He wrote: “I want to say I am sorry for how I acted toward you. In what you did today, I saw Jesus!”

What a tremendous victory for Christ – showing the love for your neighbor. And this victory over Satan came about only because I trusted Jesus’ ability to show His love through me.

Today, as you get ready for work, ask Jesus to open your heart and eyes — to love someone like He loves you. No matter what is said about you, have the heart and eyes to carry out your obligation to love that one coworker who has been talking about you for months!

Yes, today at work, carry out your obligation to love that one coworker and see what a tremendous victory for Christ really looks like!

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Today give me Your grace and mercy so I can show others the same love Your Son showed me when He died for my sins – that same love Your Son shows me each minute of my workday and each second of my life. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “your giving service”

The Christian Public Servant – “your giving service”
May 26, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Luke 21:1-4 (NKJV) And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Reflection
The other day I stopped by the local market. As I was walking in a man asked me for some change for food. As a graduate student I don’t have a lot, but I do have enough. So, I reached in my pocket and handed him the loose change. He smiled and said “God bless you.”

Entering the store a lady stopped me. She told me that the man outside was always begging. She said that she never gives to beggars because they just try to play on people’s sympathies. Her comments gave me pause, because no one ever really wants to be taken advantage of. However, I also never want to harden my heart toward those in need. I thought of the widow in the temple, turned to the lady and said, “Don’t worry, I didn’t give it to him, I gave it to God, so God is in charge of what happens to His money next.”

As Christian public servants we all face people who are trying to take advantage of us. Sometimes it is the public and other times it is our co-workers. But, we should never harden our hearts. You and I should put in all the livelihood we have.

Think about it – have you hardened your heart toward someone in the workplace or in your daily life? Think about who your giving service is really going to? Are you serving people or are you giving an “offering to God” by your giving service? That difference can make all the difference in your day and, more importantly, in the day of the people you meet.

Take a moment and search your heart. Your giving service is needed to further the Kingdom!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, please help me to remember how merciful and patient You have been to me especially when my coworkers and the ones I serve press my patience. Help me to remember that it is You, my Lord, that I am ultimately serving. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Crystal Featherston
MPA Candidate
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “the One who counts”

The Christian Public Servant – “the One who counts”
May 25, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
Psalm 118:28-29 [HCSB) You are my God, and I will give You thanks. You are my God; I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.

Reflection
A successful coworker of mine moved up the ranks quickly, and is now a well-known professional. This person never boasted or displayed any arrogance. Far from it. After each step of success, this unique individual always gave the credit to co-workers and supervisors. This professional knew that giving credit cost nothing, and giving credit edified the workplace and was conducive to team moral. But in the ten years I worked with this Christian public servant, I never heard God get any of the credit.

We tend to give thanks to everyone and anyone except the One who counts. When we recognize God for who He is, thanksgiving begins to flow. Giving thanks and exalting God creates a desire to share Jesus so others can also experience His faithful love.

Image the kind of workplace spirit that could have been created if this co-worker’s desire was to share Jesus. Imagine the kind of workplace you can create if you acknowledge the One who Counts.

Today at work, give thanks to Christ – not “just” for saving you, but also for being with you each minute of the workday. Make sure others hear and know about the One who counts when it comes to your successes. It’s really good to give credit to the entire team. But at work today, don’t forget about the One who counts.

Let others experience His faithful love!

Prayer
Father, I give You all the glory at work today. And while I will give credit to those who help, I will not forget that only Your love transcends all my workdays and all my work. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “the race for Christ”

The Christian Public Servant – “the race for Christ”
May 24, 2016 – Tuesday 

Reading:  
2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NLT) My life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  

Reflection:
In my country, when a person is guilty of a crime, they may be offered a plea deal by the prosecution, a figurative “race” in order to avoid the courtroom proceedings. This often results in a sentence whereby the criminal receives a lesser punishment if he fully cooperates with the police and the prosecution. The guilty person becomes active in the legal process essentially running a “race”.

Eternally speaking, every human has been offered a plea deal by Jesus – run God’s race by obeying the commandments and by actively spreading the gospel. The righteous judge, Jesus, has stepped into the eternal sentencing process and showed mercy. However, this also takes action on our part. You and I must accept His mercy and actively live our lives according to His word. Without daily actions, a follower may become passive missing out on his or her chance to run the race for Christ.

Some Christians conveniently exclude the concept of putting the Word into action. However, God doesn’t want us to be passive followers. He is looking for someone like Paul; ready to act – running the race and pursuing Christ no matter what obstacles the world may throw at us.

For Christian public servants, running the race for Christ comes with a unique set of challenges. We must pour ourselves out as an offering to God each and every moment of the day.

As you go to work today, look to be active in spreading the Good News. Set a goal to be authentic in your faith so when the day comes that you stand before God, you can proudly claim you were active in your life and ran the race for Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, You are the righteous judge Who has given me the choice to avoid eternal punishment. Give me the strength to run Your race and actively display Your glory in my daily activities. Show me how to avoid being the passive Christian and actively help spread faith in You.   In Your Son’s name I pray. Amen!

Chip Harrell
M.A Candidate
Robertson School of Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

The Christian Public Servant – “gifts from God”

The Christian Public Servant – “gifts from God”

May 23, 2016 – Monday

Reading

Proverbs 31:10-11 (NIV) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Reflection

Last week, I was contacted by the nurse at my son’s school and informed that I needed to pick him up because he was not feeling well. She contacted me at work because she was unable to reach my wife at that moment.

By the time I made it to my son’s school my wife had already arrived, picked him up, and took him to the doctor’s office. After a brief appointment and diagnosis we were sent on our way with a prescription to help cure my son’s ailment.

When I returned to work the next day I began to think about the events of the previous day and realized how blessed I was to have such a gift from God – my wife. Then I also began to think about gifts from God in the workplace as well.

You and I have each received gifts from God. God placed us in our jobs specifically to share His love – His gifts that He has given us with the people we come in contact with. As Christian public servants you and I are His instruments in the workplace as well as anywhere else we may go. It doesn’t matter whether you are an office worker, a teacher, a police officer, an accountant, or even the CEO, each of us have received gifts from God to use in service for Him.

Today, as a Christian public servant, give thanks for your spouse and helpmate who looks well to the ways of the household while you are at work. Also give thanks for the gifts and talents that you received from God and use them to serve others.

Prayer

Dear Lord, Thank you for your provisions and all that you do for my family. I go to work with confidence in the assurance that you have provided me with a suitable helper – my wife. I also give You all of the glory and honor for my gifts and talents which allow me to do my job well. In Your Son’s name I pray. Amen!

Samuel Henry
M.A. Candidate
Robertson School Government
Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA
and Deputy, Training, Readiness and Exercises
United States Transportation Command
Norfolk, Virginia US

 

The Christian Public Servant – “things from the vending machines”

May 20, 2016 – Friday

Reading
John 4:34(b) [MSG] The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the one who sent me, finishing the work he started.

Reflection
The only food you get in a lock-down is bologna sandwiches and hotdogs. And for the last several weeks, we were on lock-down. Now there’s nothing wrong with bologna and hotdogs – but three times a day for several weeks? You get a little tired of it.

Well last Friday the lock-down was lifted – just in time for my scheduled visitation. I get two each month, and a good brother travels many miles to visit me — he is my only visitor for over 10 years. And when he comes, he follows the custom here of bringing in a large bag of quarters so I can eat things from the vending machines: hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hoagies. I probably eat five or six sandwiches during our four-hour visits, and the food is really good.

But the True Food accompanying our conversation – the food that keeps both of us going – is the food the Holy Spirit brings to our table! Oh sure, we talk about a lot of things – sports, family, friends, news, his challenges and mine – but all is anchored in Jesus’ heart. Everything we talk about – the fun and the serious stuff – always leads to Him. And this True Food helps keep me and my friend on the path of working on the work Jesus started in both of us.

And so the True Food is great! Last week there was no room on my plate for an order of anger at those who caused the lock-down or even a side of bitterness about being stuck in my cell for those many days – eating only bologna and hotdogs. No, I was nourished with much more then things from the vending machines!

Today at work, no matter how frustrated you get – no matter what kind of lock-down you find yourself in – the only thing that will keep you going is the True Food from doing the will of the One who sent you. Your nourishment will not come from bologna or hotdogs. It will not be things from the vending machines in your breakroom. It will come from His table, not yours.

And you will have need on your plate for nothing more!

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray. Continue to feed me Your nourishment, not mine, so I can keep working on the work you started in me. I thank You for Your banquet! Amen.

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

The Christian Public Servant – “with justice and mercy”

May 19, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Matthew 23:23(b) [NIV] you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Reflection
Public servants are often implementers of the law. In fact, my country’s constitution requires administrators to execute the laws of the land. And we certainly try to do that, as I’m sure you do in your country. But is that enough?

We tend to think of upholding the law as just following its legal intent. But scripture says it’s more than that – it must be entwined with justice and mercy. Sure, faithful to the intent of the law, but mercy and justice must also be served. Now that is a big challenge in any country – implementing the law faithfully but with justice and mercy.

As you rush from one task to another, from one crisis to another, it’s easy to forget doing so with justice and mercy. But you are a Christian public servant.

So today at work, don’t just give a tenth to your tasks. Remember what Christ expects. Don’t just implement mechanically. Implement with justice and mercy.

In your office or in your community – in the committee room or on the street – don’t be a hypocrite in the eyes of Christ. Go do your job with justice and mercy.

You are, after all, His servant and worker.

Prayer
Lord, Creator of the Universe and the foundation of the Law, thank You for giving me knowledge that the law and regulations must be administered with more than just mechanics. Help me remember this in my busy day as I go forth to perform my vocation. May Your Spirit fill my heart and my tasks today. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Allen Stout
Director, Inland Empire Campus
University of La Verne
Ontario, California USA

The Christian Public Servant – “no matter what is said and done”

May 18, 2016 – Wednesday

Reading
Psalm 55:12-14 [NLT] It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.

Luke 6:27 [NLT] But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.

Reflection
A few years back, a coworker and I were very close. But something happened – we lost our way and decided to go our separate ways. I was hurt for a long time, and a part of me wanted to apologize. But I didn’t apologize. I couldn’t because I felt I did nothing wrong. And besides, this former friend started to spread rumors about my family. It was dreadful.

I wanted to lash out and defend myself. I wanted to tell everyone she was lying and trying to make me feel bad since we were no longer friends. But then Jesus took my hand and asked if I were listening. He then reminded me of His love, and instructed me to pass His love to that former friend. So no matter what is said and done, I must love that person.

At work today, is there a coworker hurting you? A supervisor? Are rumors flying about? If you listen to Him, you will hear this: no matter what is said and done, you must love that person.

So today at work, it’s not going to be easy. You and I both must find a way to walk in fellowship no matter what is said and done. You and I must be willing to listen to Him.

Prayer
Thank You, God, for allowing me to listen to You. Give me courage to love those who do not love me. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen!

Maureen Bereznak
Research Analyst
State House of Representatives
State of Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA