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Four Types of Evil (Part 3)

Four Types of Evil (Part 3)

The Lecture Hall or the Schools

The next verse says, “But some of them became stubborn. They didn’t want to believe, and they talked badly about the Way in public.” Paul then left them. He took the disciples with him and talked with them every day in Tyrannus’s lecture hall. This went on for two years so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia could hear the word of the Lord. (Acts 19:9–10, added emphasis).

Paul tried for three months to get people in the synagogue to change their minds, but he ended up with a bad reputation. The people in the religious community said terrible things in public about what Paul was teaching. When Paul moved his ministry to the lecture hall of Tyrannus, which was in the education sector, everyone on the subcontinent heard about Jesus.

Tyrannus’s lecture hall was a regular school. It was a private school where the next generation learned how to be leaders in their culture. Paul did not become a teacher at the school; instead, he rented a private room there. But he was able to help students who had a lot of money. How do we know that these students came from money? If you were poor at that time, you didn’t go to school.

Access to the Political and Business Leaders in the Schools

Lecturers taught the next group of political and business leaders in the lecture hall. Affluent families sent their children to school to prepare them for essential lives. Paul was there to teach in a space that he rented. People were paying attention to Paul, and they could hear what he said. After doing this for two years, everyone in Asia listened to what the Lord Jesus had to say because people were coming through the school. They were going back to their own cultures and countries to spread the message that Paul had given them.

When he went to the synagogue for three months, he got only arguments and persuasion. When he went to school, word started to get around. Let’s look at this analysis today in light of our ministry. Does God want you to argue or get caught up in trouble? Or does God want you to make a difference in the world? Does He want you to shape the next generation of leaders?

When you hit a pillar of power and touch it, you start to affect that area. You will meet principalities and powers as this occurs. The term”meet” means you talk to someone face-to-face. I’m not talking about seeing demons or getting rid of them. I’m talking about a fight between the spirit and the flesh.

Wrestling is a fight that is done face-to-face. It is in person. It’s personal and close, and it takes place in an arena. You can’t be on this side of the hall while the enemy is on the other side, and you both shoot at each other. It isn’t wrestling. We have to get in touch with each other and get into the arena.

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four types of Evil

Four Types of Evil (Part 2)

Four Types of Evil (Part 2)

The Marketplace

Most battles in the past happened because two groups wanted a particular piece of land. The land is given to the people of the army or tribe that wins. In the same way, we are “Insiders” who have been sent into these industries to win them for the Kingdom of the Lord.

The marketplace was where business, education, politics, and religion all came together in the past. When we talk about “marketplace” ministry, we mean the work of becoming Insiders to these four pillars of power and being God’s agents.

Paul said, “We were not fighting against people when he said, “We are not wrestling against flesh and blood.” We’re not fighting against people.” You are in the wrong fight if you are fighting people. Quit. Back away from that fight. You are not supposed to fight with your boss at work. You are not fighting against the court. No one is fighting you. This is where the battle is. The fight is with principalities, which, if you look at the word’s roots, means that the spirits in your area are in charge of the politics. The business world is what the powers refer to. The rulers of darkness are in charge of education, and spiritual wickedness is about religion.

Let’s rewrite the passage as if Paul were talking to us today: “When I went to Ephesus, my message was opposed by political, business, cultural, and spiritual factors. Religion, culture, business, and politics all worked together to put an end to the light of my message.

Synagogues

When we read Acts 19:8, we get a fascinating picture of the beast of Ephesus. It says, “Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly about the kingdom of God for three months.

” As far as arguing and persuading go, that’s about as far as you can go regarding religion and “religious people.” If you only use God’s gifts inside a church, your ministry will be limited to arguing and trying to convince people. Paul tried for three months to help the people in the synagogue, which should have been an easy task. But the Bible says that he failed to help them.

Don’t you think that’s a waste? You want to tell someone about some good news. Jesus is still alive, and you know it.  Don’t you want people to know this? Maybe you think to yourself, “Let’s start with the religious people.” But what went wrong? Paul argued and won people over for three months. Well, if that’s what you want to do, go ahead. But what happened when all the arguing and persuading was over?

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Redemption of the Work Life

Redemption of the Work Life

Redemption of the Work Life: 

When you look at your work, you should think: “It’s not my secular work. It’s a sacred calling.” When we realize this and take this to the core of our being, we redeem our time. If, in the past, we considered our work secular and somehow we have been deceived that it is not under God, making a shift in our perspective redeems our work life. Making a shift creates an opening wherein our work life is redeemed.  

When you redeem your time, you re-label your time. 

The word “redeem” means to purchase or to buy back. “Redeem” comes from two English words. “Re” means “do again” while “Deem” means to label.” For example, if you deem something worthy, you label something according to its worth. When you consider an object, you frame it. When you see consider something, you put a name on it. You give it a new identity. Thus, when you redeem your time, you re-label your time.  

How much time are you re-labeling to be “sacred”? We are talking about a whole third of your life. How many hours have you been driving the bus? Have you been pushing paperwork for hours? Perhaps, you’re a teacher and spend a good four to six hours teaching students. As a chef, how long do you spend each day in the kitchen? Work usually averages eight hours a week, five days a week. This is about 160 hours each month that you are re-labeling.    

What would the Devil want you to do with these 160 hours? To call these 160 hours a month a drag will be to call a significant period of your life to be a drag.  When you redeem your time, you dedicate it as ministry time. You begin to see how you are a minister in the marketplace for 40 hours a week or 160 hours in a month. 

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The Favor Upon God’s Insider

The Favor Upon God’s Insider

The Insider works six days a week and is the most well-liked and accomplished group member. The fact that you are taking this stance allows your coworkers to investigate and learn more about what makes you so favored. This creates a window of opportunity for influence.

According to the principle God has laid out for you here, you are required to work on, in, or through things for six days. On the seventh day, you take the opportunity to rest, recover, and review your progress. Recuperation is an essential component of the work experience. People who don’t take time to rest become exhausted. The length of your sabbatical can range from one day to a week and even up to a month. There may even be a sabbatical year in your life, but the most important thing is to take time to step back and recharge your batteries.

We have constructed an entire religion around the seventh. When we look at it, we see it as a religious tradition, according to which you should not work on Saturday and Sunday. When, in reality, according to the Career Mandate, Sabbath is a necessary part of your job duties, you should take it. This is the part of your job where you take a step back and relax a little. Because rest is an integral part of one’s work, it can be considered a religious act and a work-related activity. The fact that you can rest indicates that you have faith in God enough to follow His commandment.

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Shabbat

“Shabbat”

“Shabbat”

You are required to have a career. “Shabbat” is the Hebrew word for the Sabbath. Where did the Sabbath start? It did not begin when the Lord passed down the Law to Moses. No, it started right there in Creation. When God chose to create the world the way He did, He was creating a model. In six days, He made everything, and on the seventh, He rested. Having said that, God already presented a model for our Career Mandates, wherein the Sabbath is a significant part of the process.  

The Sabbath is not a ritual. Moreover, it is not a traditional practice. The Sabbath is a spiritual law. Furthermore, it is a principle. Moreover, it is not how you religiously observe the Sabbath. It is why you do it. Why do we keep the Sabbath? 

Keeping the Sabbath is Our Obedience to God

We keep the Sabbath to obey God. We support the Sabbath holy to show Him that we work because of Him and for Him. Moreover, we keep the Sabbath holy to create an opening for people to see that God gives us the grace to get things done even when we do not work seven days a week. God gives us the grace to be productive in the six days allotted for work.  

People cannot accomplish all the tasks they can do in seven days. How can you, who only works six days a week, be able to do it excellently? Your officemate will wonder, “I’m here 24/7, working until my back breaks, but you only work 5-6 days a week, but you are the one who gets promoted! How does that make sense?”  

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Shabbat

Your Commitment To Your Mandate

Your Commitment To Your Mandate

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” 

Maya Angelou 

Power Truth 

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 

Leviticus 23:3 

Have you ever heard of people saying, “You know what, I’m waiting, Bishop. When I find out what my ministry is, that’s when I’m going to give it 100%”. You will find your ultimate ministry in life as you serve, not as you wait. As you serve the church, as you serve your workplace, as you serve your family, you will see what you are good at. You will recognize your gifts and your passion. You won’t see it, sitting on the couch all day, waiting for the Lord to reveal it to you. 

Personal Application 

  1. What is keeping you from worshipping God with your work? 
  2. How can you make your work your worship? 
  3. Have you discovered your faithful ministry in life? If so, what is it? 

Mandate: 

Points to Ponder on 

  • Each one of us has a career mandate.  
  • God assigned Adam his “Career Mandate,” Adam worshiped God through his obedience. 
  • It is unnatural to have no work.  
  • The job of pastors is only to equip every believer to conquer the field or industry they are assigned to be Insiders in.  
  • Ministry is service. Your work is your service.  

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You Were Designed for Your Career Mandate

You Were Designed for Your Career Mandate

Where are you taking God’s Kingdom?

We are so interested in where God is, while He is interested in where we are. We should understand that God’s presence is not limited to the church facility. He is where you are.  

Our pastors are not the only full-time ministers. However, the job of pastors is only to equip every believer to conquer the field or industry they are assigned to be Insiders. That is what we are trying to do here. Moreover, we are trying to equip you to be God’s Insider in the industry you are working in. All of us are called to be full-time ministers in our workplaces. 

Mandate: 

There is a mandate. You are required to work because God designed you for it. Each person who goes according to their design to glorify and worship the Lord ministers to God. Thus, if you are working and doing it primarily to honor God and secondarily earn a living, you are a full-time minister. 

Being the Salt

Do you know what happens to anything that doesn’t fulfill its purpose? Like the salt that loses its saltiness, everything that does not fulfill its purpose will be thrown out. Jesus said this, didn’t he? Why keep the salt if it has no saltiness to show for it? 

Think about it. What would you do if you ate dinner and saw salt and pepper on your table? The salt looks like salt, but it’s not salty. What would you do? You would see it to have no purpose for it to be on the table.  

How many times have you asked God, “I’d like to know what my purpose is in life? What is my purpose?” If you have asked this before, I want you to say to yourself: “Ministry is my purpose.” It’s so simple. Ministry is service. Having said that, your work is your service. In fact, your purpose on earth is to serve, contribute, and make a difference. In the same light, you are called to service. That’s it. This is your purpose. 

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Battlefield

Your Work is Your Battlefield

Your Purpose and Your Battlefield

Your workplace is your battlefield. God said, “Sir, you’re going to find your purpose, your career calling. Then you’re going to find Eve.” In most cultures, this is normal. Unfortunately, we live in a twisted culture in the United States that accepts unemployment as a norm. No father would have ever given his daughter to a man that did not have a career calling. In most cultures, this would not happen. But it’s happening to most of us in our twisted rendition of the American culture.  

If you think about it, low self-esteem and high levels of desperation push people into unnatural and unspiritual relationships. This false mindset is what the enemy is doing in our culture. Mighty men of God, no woman is going to despise you for not being able to get a job. But she is going to hate you for still being in bed when she’s gone out.  

Paul supports this Career Mandate. Paul tells us, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). How can you provide for your household? You provide by having a job. If you don’t have a job, your full-time job is finding a job. Get up and find a job.  

Where is your battlefield? 

If there is a Career Mandate, this means that our Commander, Jesus Christ, has already revealed to you where your battlefield is. The work you have is where you conduct your wrestling match. Your workplace is your battlefield. 

God goes to work with His people every single day. If you work in a school, God goes with you there. Let’s say you work in a mall. God goes with you there. What if you work in a law firm? God goes with you there. If you work for the government, God goes with you there. Wherever you are working, God is there because you are there. 

Many of us want to go into full-time ministry with the church because our career calling is not equivalent to full-time ministry. Because of this theology of separation that we are used to, we see our work to be unrelated to ministry work for God.  

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Battlefield

Work

Blessed to Have Work

When God made Adam, the first thing he does is work. During this time, the world was perfect because sin had not entered the world yet. The perfection that Adam and Eve had experienced was not reflected in the absence of work. There was work.  

Work was not the punishment. Hard labor was the punishment. The question is, what are you experiencing right now? Are you placing yourself in the position of fulfilling your career mandate or in the position of the curse of sin? 

Adam’s Job Was a Blessing

Adam had a job. He had a business. First, God told him to keep the garden. In fac hobby that God gave Adam to help him pass the time until game consoles are created. Have you ever tried to keep a garden or even just a single plant? You know it’s a job, especially when the garden is the size of a country.  

The second job Adam was given was to name all the animals. This is intended to be a mental exercise. Moreover, the task also requires a mental database. Similarly, God intended for Adam to exercise his creativity to name things, put them into categories, and label everything.  

If you think Adam had it easy, Scripture reveals to us how he had a lot of work to do. Nor does he wake up in the morning thinking, “Oh, what to do today?” Adam wakes up in the morning with a purpose.  His first thought of the day would be: “Got to get on with my work. Got to do like my daddy does. We’re going to rest on the seventh day, but I got work to do.”  

The purpose of Adam’s existence was to worship God. How did he do it? By working. Moreover, this is true that work is even the basis of his marital relationship. If you read on, we see that it is stated, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him help, meet for him (Genesis 2:18).” The whole idea here was to help.  

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The Career Mandate

The Career Mandate

Each one of us has a career mandate

You have a career mandate. Did you know that? Let me guide you through Scripture to show you what this mandate is about. First, let us start with the most obvious. Is there a difference between a human being and an animal? 

No matter how “human” an animal looks like, they won’t be able to write this book, not in a million years. Our intelligence, creative capacities, and dynamic nature set us apart from animals. 

No other creature has these debates because we are worlds apart from the nearest looking human being in terms of intellect and creative capacity. This is what the bible calls the image and the likeness of God. The Bible tells us that we were created in the image and likeness of God. We are God-like beings.  

Some passages will call you a God because you are His offspring. Your spirit came from Him. Your body was made from the dust. According to Scripture, although your body was made from dust, it was only through God breathing into Adam’s nostril that man became a living soul.  

Image & Likeness

It’s not our nose that makes us like God. It’s not our hair. It is our unlimited creative capacity. Our creativity makes us unlike anything else in the world 

The first chapter of the first book in the Bible opens with this, “In the beginning, God created….” How does God introduce Himself to us? At work. What clothes was God wearing when He introduced Himself to us? Working clothes. He is working on a plan to materialize His own idea in six days, representing stages. 

How do you represent yourself?

God has introduced Himself to you. Let’s focus on that. The opening chapter of Genesis is like God saying, “This is my introduction. This is how I want you to think of me.”  

When you introduce yourself, you’re telling someone how to think of you. “I’m introducing myself to you in work clothes.” He’s Almighty. He does not have to spend six days on anything. He could say, “That’s all there.”  

But He did that for us. He did that so that it could make sense to us. God was doing something foundational for us. God created the world and everything in it to show us something. It is like God saying, “No, we’re going to stage this out. We’ve got a plan. First things first. We will do what we have got to do in the first stage, then we review the first stage, and God saw everything he did and said, ‘It is good. Okay, now the first stage is good. We can move to the second stage.’” 

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The Career Mandate

Prevent-Contamination

Prevent Contamination

Prevent Contamination

Salt can lose its saltiness

Jesus gave us a warning:  “But if the salt loses its taste, how would its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”  This is not to say that we lose our salvation. Instead, he said, we can lose our saltiness. We can lose our purpose. When salt is contaminated, it becomes corrosive and poisonous. 

When salt is contaminated, it cannot even be used as fertilizer in the field. It needs to be thrown out on the road. The question here is, are you preventing moral decay, or are you allowing it to continue in your workplace? Worse, are you producing or speeding up the moral decay in your office? 

Allowing apathy, disobedience, carelessness, and indifference to rule our lives, especially our work lifestyles, causes us to eliminate our saltiness. There is a need for us to realize our roles so that we do not lose the purpose for which we are called. Let us not miss the primary purpose by which we are placed in the position we are placed in. We are in the companies or businesses we are in so we can be the salt in that company or business. Do not miss the point. Let us not lose our saltiness. 

Does your light shine bright?

Jesus also called us the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). As the “salt,” we counteract the power of sin. On the other hand, as the “light,” we illuminate where we are. When a place is illuminated, darkness ceases to exist. Whatever exists in darkness—the rulers, authorities, and powers—cannot survive in the light. 

Our lives and this widely includes our work lives, must testify to the reality of Christ’s presence. The light we possess is not our own. It reflects the Light of the World, Jesus Christ Himself.  

As Insiders, we represent Jesus. We are his agents in the world. We cannot reflect Christ’s light if we are not in contact with Christ when it comes to our day-to-day lives. The problem most Christians have is they compartmentalize. Jesus belongs in the Sunday and Church drawer. Thus, he cannot touch the Mondays to Saturdays—Work-Fun drawers. When this happens, when Jesus is not Lord over all of our lives, we fail to reflect His light into every area of our lives.  

Theology of Separation

We are taught a theology of separation. We separate our careers from our faith. Most of us struggle with the idea that our careers are in fact, our ministries. These careers we hold directly serve the interests of heaven on earth. However, we miss this point when we separate Career and God from each other.  

Most people say, “If only they were in full-time ministry” with the church then, they can help advance its mission. They see their jobs as a measure to pay their bills or get ahead in life. We can understand that God has placed us primarily in our workplaces to be His agents, His access, and His advert in the system. 

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Prevent Contamination

The Salt and the Light

The Salt and the Light

A Command for Believers

Jesus declared that those who follow him are the “salt” and the “light” of the world. These were not suggestions. These were not options. Jesus did not say, “You can be the salt” or “you have to potential to be the salt.” He is talking about your very being. Christ was describing your nature as a believer living in the world. He said you are the salt and the light. 

We cannot underestimate the value of salt. In the ancient world, the context by which Jesus used the term “salt” metaphorically refers to Roman soldiers who received their wages in salt. The Greeks even considered salt to be divine. God required all offerings presented by the Israelites to contain salt under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 2:13).  

When Jesus called the disciples to be the salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13, they understood the metaphor. They understood their job description as Insiders. Did you know that salt was not readily available in the modern world during that time? In the same way, what you offer as believers is not readily available in your industries. 

The Distinction of Salt

What are the characteristics of the salt that caused Jesus to use this symbol? Salt preserves food. Before people created the refrigerator, they used salt to keep food in ancient times.  

Salt had a property that stopped decay. The disciples were aware of the value of salt. Without salt, the fish they had caught will spoil quickly. They needed to pack it in salt to preserve it. Jesus intended you to work as an Insider in the industry you are in to stop the moral decay in the sin-infected world of that area.  

Salt needs to be lavished on the food to be preserved to stop the decay of this food. Salt, as a preservative, is only helpful if applied to meet that is riding. If you place to fish in one container and salt in another, the salt cannot preserve the fish. We see the pattern here, don’t we?  

Insiders

We see that Jesus intended for us to be Insiders. There needs to be close contact between the believer and the world to impact the world and prevent moral decay. Moreover, the spiritual health and strength of the Christian are to counteract the corruption in the system. As Christians, we were never intended to exist in our own “holy” bubble until the time when Jesus came again. Therefore, we are called to be the salt of the earth. 

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the salt