God Thought 6/21/23

and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

Acts 9:20-22

 'You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.'
Galatians 1:13-24
You Version Devotional
Serve at Work Day 1
Shift in Priorities

Saul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, from a noble lineage and instructed in the Jewish religious system. His allegiance was so strong to the traditions of his fathers that he would cut down anyone who threatened that system. And that is just what he was doing – persecuting the Jews who followed Christ. The old system gave him power, and his priority was to fight to keep that power. His zeal for his own agenda blinded him to the truth.

Unfortunately, people in the workplace today are often just as zealous to protect the systems that have given them power and authority. This blinds them to God’s design and purpose for their work. The world teaches us to look out for number one – meaning ourselves. We are taught to climb the ladder of success, to excel in our professions. Title and salary are how we know we’re making it. If we want to follow God at work, this thinking needs to shift.

God wants us to make Him our priority and see success according to His definition. Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus to open his eyes to God’s way – one of caring for others and serving. As a result of having his eyes opened by Jesus, Saul, who was renamed Paul, shifted his priorities from his own self-interest to what God wanted.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 20:26-27 that those who want to be great must be servants. It’s not about our own glory, but His. And we bring Him the greatest glory when we serve others through our work.

In what ways has your work culture blinded you to God’s priorities for your work? What can you do to shift your priorities from self-interest to interest in others?

Father, thank you for sending Jesus to open our eyes to your purpose for our work. Your ways are not the world’s ways. Help us to recognize when we are focusing on ourselves. Give us the strength and conviction to shift to the interests of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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