TWC 20111026: Called to the Marketplace

Wednesday 26 October 2011

We expect every pastor to be able to share about his or her calling to serve as a pastor when we ask them, but we do not have the same expectation for those who work in the marketplace. Why not? Shouldn’t a marketplace professional have a sense of divine call as well? Some years ago, as a new staff in a local church, I visited a young adult cell group. During the time of sharing, a young man thanked the group for praying for him the week before and said that he had finally made the decision about taking one of three job offers. I was interested and curious – so I asked how he arrived at the decision. He said plainly, “oh, it was easy, I just chose the one that pays the most.” His reply took me by surprise and everything in me reacted against it! But since I was new in the church, I refrained from speaking my mind. I had many questions – did he hear from the Lord about which job offer to take? did he even take time to seek the Lord about it? how could he just assume that the highest paying job was the right job for him? did someone teach him these things? why is it that no one in the cell group said anything to correct his decision-making process as  a follower of Christ? did they think and act the same way? are they all like that? There is no sense of God’s call here and I believe this young man is not a rare exception amongst believers. I suspect there are many more who are working in the marketplace without knowing God’s call, without following God’s leading and without fulfilling God’s destiny. Are you called to the marketplace?

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer.1:4,5)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: We are called to be a royal priesthood that will minister to God ….

We Are Called by Steve Fry

We are called to be a royal priesthood that will minister to God
Declare the wisdom of His ways, exalt His character in praise
We are called to yield unto the Spirit that He may form in us
The beauty of the life of Jesus
We’re called to bear His presence and manifest His glory
Called to feel His heart and know authority
And give to Him undying devotion, our full adoration that He may be pleased
And set our hearts on this one endeavor, to worship forever His majesty

We are called to keep the Father’s Word and meditate upon the loveliness of Jesus Christ
and offer praise – our sacrifice
Our worship is responding to the revelations of His Name
Bringing pleasure unto Him whose heart is broken over sin
We’re called to yield our minds, our body, soul and spirit
Worship Him the way He wants to hear it
And give to Him undying devotion, our full adoration that He may be pleased
And set our hearts on this one endeavor, to worship forever His majesty


TWC 20111025: Godly Ambition in the Marketplace

Tuesday 25 October 2011

When asked, “how much money is enough?”, one of the richest man in the world, John D. Rockefeller answered, “just a little bit more”. Multi-millionaire Hal Steger typically works 12 hours a day and logs an extra 10 hours over the weekend. He said, “I know people looking in from the outside will ask why someone like me keeps working so hard. But a few million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Maybe in the ’70s, a few million bucks meant ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ or Richie Rich living in a big house with a butler. But not anymore.” Many young people want to be doctors, lawyers and businessmen not because they want to contribute to society but because they want to make big bucks, they want to live a comfortable life. Are you in the marketplace primarily for the money? What is your ambition? You may be someone just starting out in the marketplace or you maybe someone who’s been at it for a while, but the one question that applies to all of us is, how much money is enough? Our answer to this question determines the course we’ll take and the course we take will determine our final destination. Is your ambition a godly ambition? One that leads you to always do what’s right and have a clear conscience, always touching lives and honoring God? Think about that today, your life depends on it! Have a God-filled day!

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well.” (Mt.6:33)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Money money money …

TWC 20111024: Integrity in the Marketplace

Monday 24 October 2011

I wonder what God thinks when He looks at the daily activities, transactions and negotiations in the marketplace. What about the scurrying for just a little more profit, a little more recognition and a little more power? Would the Almighty be glad or sad, smiling or angry? Well, I think God feels all of that. Sometimes He is glad because there are some who maintain an impeccable sense of godly integrity in all their business dealings. Sometimes He smiles because holy innocence does triumph over wicked plotting. But sometimes God is sad because of those who do things in the office that injure others and themselves. Sometimes He is angry when evil men and women are bent on employing destructive means and methods for personal benefit. What we need in the marketplace today are Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered and Spirit-led men and women of God who would demonstrate godly integrity, strong convictions and uncompromising boldness amidst an oft-confused and dark world of commerce. As you begin your day today, pray and ask Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit and empower you to be His representative in your workplace. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through the myriad of things you have to do and enable you to stay holy through it all. Have a God-filled day!

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Mt.5:8)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Allow this amazing song to inspire you to serve the Lord in the marketplace …

TWC 20111023: Grace in the Marketplace

Sunday 23 October 2011

The marketplace is all about the bottom-line. Every decision, every move, every ounce of energy is spent on raking in the profits, with few rare exceptions. The better you are in making money for the company, the higher you’d climb on the corporate ladder. With the glass ceiling for women removed in most, if not all companies, men and women are now on an equal playing field, intensely and desperately fighting one another to climb that corporate ladder. When we become so fixated on material success, we give up too many things and amongst them, grace. As believers, we are in the world but not of the world. While everyone around you and me is stepping all over each other, we must show them a better way – the way of grace, God’s grace. You and I may not always know how to respond to a tough situation with grace, that’s when we should ask the Lord for heavenly wisdom – ask, wait for Him to prompt your heart and act according to the revelation you’ve received. If there’s a ladder you should climb in the marketplace, it would be the ladder that leads you to connect with God and heavenly things. Approach Him (climb up to Him) for wisdom and grace, then come down, and go to the people you work with to show them God’s grace and wisdom. See what God will do when you reflect Him in your workplace – try it. Have a blessed day!

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col.3:1-3)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Ethical dilemmas in the workplace – there is always pressure and hostility against the Christian faith in the marketplace. Do we shrink back and put a lid over our faith or do we seek the Lord and then act as He leads us? Sometimes, the Lord may say, “shrink back this time”; at other times, He may say, “go all out”. The Lord will help us choose our battles to fight. Problem starts when our default position is to always shrink back in fear, demonstrating an utter lack or absence of true Christian faith.

TWC 20111022: Grace in Marriage

Saturday 22 October 2011

You must have heard this before, “when you see a man open the car door for the lady he’s with, either the lady is new or the car must be new”. Grace, care and passion between man and wife appear to be inversely proportionate to the number of years of marriage. There are exceptions of course, thankfully so. I like what Charles Swindoll said in his article on marital grace, “Grace releases and affirms. It doesn’t smother. Grace values the dignity of individuals. It doesn’t destroy. Grace supports and encourages. It isn’t jealous or suspicious.” Swindoll also said in his book, Grace Awakening, that a marriage must be oiled with grace. The grace of God is that important ingredient that makes a marriage great. It is all about unmerited favor, unconditional love and undeserved kindness. The next time you feel like saying something hurtful or indelicate, the next time you feel like yelling at your spouse, the next time you feel anger and frustration rising up from within you, please do everyone a favor, including your children, just shut up, walk away and ask God to fill your heart with His grace. You’d be amazed what God can and will do for you when you turn to Him. He’s a God who always respond to desperate cries. Have a day full of grace!

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph.5:22,25)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: This is an all-time classic …

TWC 20111021: Grace At Work

Friday 21 October 2011

My wife and I met a young lady who has autism recently – let’s call her Lydia (for the purpose of this article). Lydia is 15. She shared with us how she came into contact with a church at 9 years old through a children’s event. She loved what she experienced and was subsequently picked up every week by one of the children’s leaders to go to church. Her parents had thought that it was just some fun kiddy thing and thus didn’t make an issue out of her going. One day, her father realized that it was church and she had become a Christian. He disciplined her physically and stopped her from going to church again. Lydia said, “I was very sad that I could not go to church to worship God anymore. Months passed and I missed going to church. I kept praying, ‘Lord, please let me go to church again, any church, I just want to go to church.'” Years passed, Lydia continued to pray and her love for Jesus did not waiver. At the age of 13, Lydia met a friend who invited her to church, a different church from the one she first went to. She said, “I’m older and stronger now, so I decided to go and not worry about what my father would do because I really want to go to church.” Her father found out and immediately picked up a cane to hit her. “I prayed and asked God to protect me, that my father won’t hit me. Suddenly, he stopped and put the cane down and just walked away without a word.” Since then, Lydia continued to go to church every week. I asked her, “Lydia, do you love Jesus?” She answered readily in her tender voice, “Yes, I love Jesus very much.” Throughout the entire time as Lydia shared with us her story, our hearts were deeply moved and our eyes welled up in tears. Before we said goodbye to Lydia, she said, “When I grow up, I want to be a pastor. I want to help people and tell people about God.” We were totally taken by surprise in a most pleasant way. We prayed for Lydia and she went home, leaving May and I totally amazed by the grace of God at work in Lydia’s life. Let’s begin today with thanksgiving, thanking the Lord for His amazing grace in Lydia’s life and our lives. Have a great day!

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jer.31:3)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Jesus loves the little children …

TWC 20111020: Grace in Me – Pool or River?

Thursday 20 October 2011

Whether you’re looking at a list of the Top 100 Hymns or Most Loved 10 Hymns, you’d find Amazing Grace listed in them. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved  a wretch like me! I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” It is not difficult to see why this hymn is possibly the most well-loved hymn in the world. We are all grateful to God for His amazing grace. But what do we do with it? Is God’s grace in you and me like a pool? Received, collected, stored and contained? Or is God’s grace in us more like a river? Flowing from the Lord to us, and from us to those around us? The reality amongst God’s people today is there are those who behave like God’s grace is only meant for them to enjoy. To them, Jn.3:16 probably goes like this, “For God so loved me …”. They love God, love the grace of God, but somehow do not seem to love people and show grace to those around them. For them, grace is a pool in them. Given time, it turns into a cesspool. On the other hand, there are those whose version of Jn.3:16 is just as Scriptures say, “For God so the loved the world … “. They know that God’s grace is amazing and they pass it on to those around them. For them, grace is a river of life within them that flows from above into their hearts, and from their hearts to all around them. Which are you? Pool or River? As you go about your business today, why not slow down a little and pour out some grace so that those around you may experience God’s amazing grace too? Have a grace-filled day!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn.3:16)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: 7-year old gospel singer, Rhema Marvanne, sings Amazing Grace … truly astonishing!