Wednesday, January 25, 2023



Big Idea: Being a hard worker, often mentioned in the Bible, is a highly valued trait for the Christian.

"Work Harder"

Our family was watching the news one day in the 90s when Pope John Paul was addressing a South American country. Someone made the comment – interesting sermon… “Work Harder!”

Pope John Paul was known for his belief that God has inherently put it in the heart of mankind to work, and that all who can, have a right and a duty to work. The Apostle Paul would heartily agree.

 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 NLT

Elbow grease

The book of Proverbs tells the importance of hard work and diligence. There are quite a few references. Here are a couple examples.

A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense. Proverbs 12:11 NLT

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4 NLT

The Old Testament talks a lot about the Sabbath rest; that even God rested on the seventh day. But that is based on the premise that for six days there has been diligent work.

Working for the Lord

The Apostle Paul often mentions working hard physically, as the above verses cited in 2 Thessalonians. He clearly states how hard he worked for the Lord. He also given a lot of shout outs to co-workers because they have worked really hard for the ministry.

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 11:12 NLT

Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your beneft.  Romans 16:6 NLT

Paul’s ability to work is coupled with the strength God gives him.

 I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. Colossians 1:29

Hard work does not get you into heaven

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:22 CSB

Hard work for the Kingdom of God reflects our gratitude to God, and proof that faith has produced a changed life. It is not to earn our salvation.

 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. I John 3:7-9 NLT

Work hard for your boss

The Apostle Paul tells us that we should work hard in whatever we do as if it is for God Himself. We might be tempted to think our job is all about pleasing the boss. 

 In reality, how we act shows that we now belong to God. All we do is to honor Him.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord, rather than for people. Colossians 3:23 NLT (also Ephesians 6:7 NLT)

This passage in Ephesians 6 talks about slaves obeying their master respectfully, as if they were serving Christ. Now we are not literally slaves, so why should we not consider being respectful and hard working for our boss in this world?

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Ephesians 6:5 NLT

We live in a era that values me. Me-time. Chilling. Time to enjoy life, not just work, work, work.

But remember our true home is heaven. On this earth, life is an effort. We honor our heavenly Father by being diligent for His sake!


Up next: Five Ways to Love a Friend Well
Previous post: Move


1. Take a moment to reflect on your work ethic. In your mind, has there been a difference between working for your company vs. doing ministry at church? Why or why not?

2. If you consider everything you do as being for God does that make a difference to you? Should it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2023



Big Idea: God has created us to move, and it does not matter what your starting level of ability; just do it.

On the Move

I hate working out. I don’t even like walking on a treadmill. With a broken foot still healing, I know I need to keep active to be healthy. 

The older I get the more I realize balance and flexibility is important.

In Bible times with no electricity or running water, people worked hard unless they were the rare wealthy ones with  servants to do the hard work, 

We work hard today too, but with modern conveniences, life isn't as physical as it was in Bible times.

The role of self discipline

The Apostle Paul, lived in Greece for a time near the site of the Greek Olympic games. He used physical training as an example for spiritual training.

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I Corinthians 9:25-26 NLT

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. I Timothy 4:8

The Bible doesn't tell us exercise is important for the Christian. But in the Apostle Paul’s writings he shows that self discipline is important. Shouldn’t that be true for all areas of our life, not just self control against sin?

Keep doing what you can

Most people know Isaiah 40:31 about soaring with eagles. It is wonderful to think that God carries us on eagle’s wings when we are exhausted.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 NLT

Did you ever notice the second sentence in the verse? Why would it even mention to run and not grow weary and to walk and not faint if the epitome is to soar?

This verse is a prompt for me to keep moving as I am able. There are different stages of life, and different seasons. And God helps us no matter where we are at.

Have you lost someone close to you? Have you ever gotten bad news or a disheartening diagnosis? At times like that you may feel like you will never soar like an eagle again.

I don’t think God wants usto get into a frenzy, trying hard to generate trust so we can soar like an eagle. He wants us to trust Him and take one more step. 

Soaring is good. But maybe you can't soar, but you can run. Or perhaps running is out of the picture for you. You can bearly walk without fainting. But with the Lord’s help take that next step.

Physically, keep moving. With my broken foot I will keep on. Movement is important. God has created us to move! 

So let's get moving!

For in Him we live and move and exist. Acts 17: 28a


Up next: Work
Previous post: My Body, My Temple


1. Do you love to work out or do you tend to find any excuse not to? Have you ever thought of movement as a gift from God?

2. Do you think you honor God with your level of movement? Take some time to meditate and pray on what God might want of your body.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

My Body, My Temple

My Body, My Temple

Big Idea: Since God has masterfully created us we need to respect and take care of our body as God’s temple.

My Body, My Temple

Perhaps you have heard the joke or meme, “My Body is a Temple, It’s just old, creaky and falling apart.”

What does it mean when people say, “My Body is a Temple?” Arguably some people worship their body working hard to keep tight muscles and creamy skin.

The phrase comes from the Bible in I Corinthians. The Apostle Paul teaches that we are God’s craftsmanship and we honor and respect Him by taking care of it.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT

If we love God and belong to Him then we should care for it by getting rest, exercise and nutrients to stay healthy. We shouldn’t introduce what’s bad for it like recreational abuse of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Or excessive fatty foods! Gasp!

The Practical Proverbs

The book of Proverbs says a lot about God but also has a lot of practical everyday advice. It speaks of health. Bodily health ties in with a mindset of peace and kindness.

These verses in Proverbs reflect that!

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. Jealousy is like cancer to the bones. Proverbs 14:30 NLT

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. Proverbs 15:30 NLT

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 NLT

A doctor recently told me that for years the medical profession thought educating patients led to better health. They now see that attitudes and beliefs have a much greater impact on healthy living, than they previously thought.

There is a classic book called None of these diseases. It asserts the Bible is useful for health guidelines. It also emphasizes that worry and stress cause so many illnesses.

Take-a-ways on our body

1. We are created by God. We are carefully crafted. We don’t want to treat His fine handiwork as junk.

2. We are set apart by God to honor Him. We would not want to pollute our body or mistreat it. 

3. Cultivate a heart at peace. Our emotional state has a big impact on our health. Embrace peace, joy, kindness and rely on God.

We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT


Up next: Move
Previous post: Breathe


1. Have you ever considered the Bible has advice for good health? Why or why not?

2. What role does stress and discord play in your life, and do you notice that it has an impact on your health? If so, how might you address that?

Wednesday, January 4, 2023



Big Idea: Our breath is from God, and taking deep breaths is useful to keep us healthy.

Deep Breaths

When I worked in West Africa, I got sick. I don’t even recall what ailed me. However it was perplexing enough that I consulted with German Aid doctors in the region for medical advice.

“Diane, breathe,” the woman said to me. “I’ve been watching you as long as I’ve known you. You don’t know how to breathe.”

“I breathe,” I retorted. “How else would I keep living?”

“No, like this,” she sucked in a deep breath. “Deep breaths. You need to get air into your lungs.”

God’s breath in me

From the very beginning at Creation, God breathed the breath of life into human beings (Genesis 2:7) and all living creatures.

For the Spirit of God made me, and breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 NLT

As a nursing student, the hardest dying patient to care for was at the end stage of emphysema. Each breath was difficult, and each breath was smaller and smaller. It was painful to watch.

Thanks to my German doctor friend, I have become more aware of my need to take deep breaths and get air deep into my lungs.

For our health

Breathing is an essential part of life. We want to live healthy, physically and emotionally.

20 years ago when I needed chemo, stress busting measures were introduced to me. A basic component of that was slow deep breathing.

Take a deep breath. Hold it. Let it out slowly, breathing out stress, pain, anxiety. Letting go.

I love how the Bible version called the Message presents Psalm 34:1-2a
I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with His praise. I live and breathe God. Psalm 34:1-2a MSG

Key Word in Scripture

The word for breath and breathe is powerful in both the Hebrew and the Greek languages of the Bible. The Hebrew word of the Old Testament, ruakh refers not only to breath but to wind, and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Greek word for breath and Spirit in the New Testament, is pno-ay and is where we get the word pneumonia which has to do with the lungs. It describes the breathing puff of air and the ferocious wind.

Breathing is a powerful image in the Bible for the work of the Holy Spirit. ‘

Take-a-ways on breathing

1. Relax. Use deep breathing to focus on God and trust Him.

2. Remember the source. God has created you and given you the breath of life. Praise Him.

3. Holy Spirit in me. As you think about breathing, breathe in the Spirit of God into your life, and breathe out confession of your frailties and sins. Breathe in God’s help to live for Him.

He Himself gives life and breath to everything and He satisfies every need. Acts 17:25 NLT


Up next: My Body, My Temple
Previous post: Mary: The Dark Days of Winter


1. Have you ever tried the relaxation technique of slowly breathing in and out? Why do you think it works?

2. Practice breathing out your anxieties, fears and sins, breathing in the strength and presence of God. Out. In. Out. In...