Cultivating Daily in the Marketplace: a few insights from an attorney friend living sent in the marketplace.

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Continuing today sharing some insights from a friend, this time about how he is cultivating daily in the marketplace. Rod is an attorney and a good friend of mine. I am very grateful not only for his friendship but also for how he encourages and challenges me to live to help others know that they are loved by the God who came near.

Below, my questions are in bold. Rod’s responses in italics. Hope they encourage you and others you know who are cultivating the near love of Jesus daily at work.
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:: why do you think it is important to cultivate the near love of Jesus daily in the marketplace?

Because He asked us to do so. Jesus wants us to love our neighbors, like the good Samaritan. In other words, love those that are on our paths. For those of us on the path daily in the market place, we need to cultivate love where we are.

:: what are two examples of how you have done this?

Being that I am a lawyer, I will give a general response to this specific question. At our firm we try to regularly engage in bible study together, to pray for each other and to allow our respective lights to shine. I think it is important for every Christian leader in the marketplace to try to encourage an environment that results in people feeling comfortable to share their Christian values, and at the same time, foster a loving environment that for those that are not Christian, they too would feel loved and encouraged. (How about that for a lawyer answer!)

:: what are three encouragements you would give to someone wanting to live sent in the marketplace, understanding the challenges that come with it.

1. Remember that you play to an audience of one. You should be less concerned with what those around you may think about you and strongly consider what He thinks about you.

2. Keep an eternal view. I think Solomon or one of those old testament guys said this life is all smoke. What we do in this life matters, but only in as much as it effects our eternity.

3. You never know what impact you could have on someone on your path, what you say and do can change someone’s life.

Thanks Rod. Much love.
-jason

Cultivating Daily in the Marketplace: Would like to hear from u – what makes living sent in the marketplace difficult?

Enough of my writing for a change :) I want to hear from you if you have the time to share a few thoughts. Here are the questions:

  • What makes living sent in the marketplace so difficult?
  • What do you notice to be some of the hindrances and fears? 
  • And can you share a story that might encourage others?

May we persevere as we cultivate daily the near love of Jesus in the marketplace, loving others as He has loved us.
-jason

Cultivating Daily into the Marketplace: is work your security blanket, or does your identity come from elsewhere?

Is work your security blanket?

If your identity and value and attitude and hopefulness is based in whether you work hard and work productively and work a lot, then work might be your security blanket. If you only feel important when you are needed at work or called upon for extra hours or leaned upon to lead work projects, then it might be. If you find yourself in the midst of incredibly significant family time unable to peel your thoughts away from work or your email or that last voice mail that notified you of a few more to do’s at work, then it might be. If you actually control your own schedule and have the say as to when and how much you work, but  you find yourself using the excuse, “I can’t today cause I have so much I have to do for work,” then it probably does.

Why does this matter? I mean doesn’t Genesis even say that Adam will work hard and derive much of his purpose from his work and accomplishments? YES. It does. However, this was a result of eating the forbidden fruit, not a description of God’s intended purpose for us.

Work as a security blanket is an indication of a hindering insecurity, which if left unattended can stifle what I was intended to be.

And that matters, because it impacts both how you are cultivating with and into your family as well as how you are cultivating the love of the near Jesus at work.

Jesus taught that we have life when we believe that we are loved by God in this way – that He sent His one and only Son. When we live loved, secure in Him, our identity defined by Him, with Jesus as enough, we then can daily give love into others that they might see and believe that they are loved by God. It is not that we all of a sudden have no insecurities. It is a daily journey – denying self, taking up my cross daily. Over time, I learn more and more the depth of the love God has for us and am compelled to love more and more the way I have been loved.

When work is my security blanket, then I am hindered in living loved, in living secure in Christ. I am too busy attending to the work that makes me who I am to even be who I was intended to be.

This hinders how I live in love and on mission to and with my family. And it hinders what is witnessed of God’s near love at work. Instead of people seeing someone whose security is based in something besides the day to day at work, which is very intriguing and attractive, people witness someone gripped by career demands and advancement. This is not that different from them, and so their search for purpose continues.

This isn’t just about being a work-a-holic. This is about our intended life and mission as followers of Jesus. The very One in whom our intended security should rest.

What do you think?

Praying that we will live loved at work, cultivating daily that others may be loved and believe Love.

-jason

Cultivating Daily in the Marketplace: do you work for money or for mission? Consider this…

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We make our mortgage payment every other week. Groceries for five kids and one on the way costs money. Gas. Tolls. Insurance. Oh yeah, and generosity. Lots of avenues for money to go out. Which means that there must be an avenue where money comes in.

And so we work.

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” [ Proverbs 14:23 ]

Other verses in Proverbs also make it clear that work is important, laziness is bad, and God gave us abilities and energies to use in the course of how He provides for us.

But that last statement is the key. He provides for us.

“Give us this day our daily bread…” [ Matthew 6:11 ]

So obviously, in answering the question WORK FOR MONEY OR FOR MISSION, it would be contradictory to say God will provide (affirming the Matthew 6 verse) but then to be lazy and not work hard in what your hands find to do (ignoring the Proverb). But is that the purpose for work? Just to make money?

I believe that most of us philosophically agree, if you follow Jesus, that you don’t just go to work to make money. But do we get caught in the snare of making more money rather than making more disciples?

So, let’s say we should make it a priority to work for mission’s sake. What would the mission then be?

What if the mission is to live believing that God loves us, which secures us to love others like He has loved us, in hopes that they will also believe that God loves them?

Could it be that simple?

Consider these Scriptures:

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” [ John 3:16-18 HCSB ]

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [ John 13:34, 35 HCSB ]

Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” [ John 20:21 NLT ]

May we work for mission, trust for money, and live sent to be a letter of His love into the lives of the people with whom we work. And not so that we can make a spiritual presentation to them. Rather, so that we can live a spiritual presence with them, that in our nearness, both in word and deed, they may believe that they are loved by the God who came near and considered them worth dying for.

Lord, please teach us how to live sent daily with You.
-jason