Joseph had a tremendous calling on his life that ultimately resulted in his becoming a physical and spiritual provider over nations. However, God had to do extensive breaking and preparation in his life to make him ready.
Many pastors are sincerely searching for a better understanding of the critical relationship between the marketplace and professional ministry. Pastors are not alone in this search. Believers all over the world, whether they sit in the pews or occupy the pulpits, at some time in their lives, struggle with understanding just how God wants us all to fit together for the purposes of His Kingdom. People in the pews may have a call to ministry, but not professional, pulpit ministry. This kind of call can bring about a confusing time, particularly for believers in business, government, education, etc. (the marketplace). Many who feel this desire for a deeper life of effectiveness for the Lord are sincerely trying to hear the Lord. Do we quit our jobs and become pastors or join our church staff?
Exodus 33:16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?
Moses was having one of his personal, face-to-face conversations with God. His comments were profound, and they are just as relevant today as when they were first spoken. Moses was saying that by the presence of God and by His personal involvement in the details of the culture of this new nation of people, they would be distinguished from all other people on the earth. In Moses' day, all other nations served heathen gods. There had to be something that would differentiate God's people from everyone else.
It's 6:30 A.M., and CEO Jonathan Cooper is driving to work to meet with a management group in his technology company in San Marco, California. His six-year-old business is a leader in technology, with several award-winning products to its credit. It is known industry-wide for its quality products and superior customer service to its clients. Jonathan is humming to himself as he drives. Although in many ways he looks like the other early-morning commuters rushing along the highway beside him, Jonathan is different. For one thing, on top of his briefcase on the seat next to him, improbably, there is a shepherd's staff. . . .
Yes, this "staff" is invisible to the casual observer, but Jonathan himself is aware of it as he drives to his office. This staff relates to a story found in Genesis regarding the life of Moses. You see, Moses was a shepherd who was going about his normal workday when God called him to His Service. Since killing an Egyptian man 40 years earlier when he saw him
David was a man who knew pressure. Sometimes that pressure was a result of his own doing. Other times it was a result of the calling upon his life.
Everyone has times when pressure is placed upon them. It can bring the fires of adversity upon us when we least expect it. In the workplace, pressure can come in many different ways. A boss may pressure you for more sales. Conflicts may arise when a co-worker views things differently and you begin to accuse one another. A botched job may bring pressure on you to cut corners or to make allowances for other's failures. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Dr. Henry Blackaby • Workplace, City & Nation Transformation
Joseph of Arimathea is not one of the better known characters in the Bible, but maybe he should be. His is one of the few stories mentioned in all four Gospels (Matt. 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42). That cannot be said for Zacchaeus, the woman at the well or the Good Samaritan. Even Peter's famous confession, "Thou art the Christ!" does not receive the same degree of coverage. Clearly the Gospel writers all recognized something significant about Joseph's action. What Joseph did was not miraculous or headline news. He simply took Jesus' body and placed it in his own newly constructed tomb.
Your decision about Jesus Christ is the single most important decision that you will ever make. It will determine whether you will experience a life filled with purpose, or purposelessness. Why do we say that? Well, consider the following statements from the Bible. In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me," and the Apostle John declared, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). If it's true that Jesus and what He did for us on the cross is the only way to the Heavenly Father and eternal life, it makes your response to Jesus Christ something that will impact your life for eternity.
"God never gave you that property," said the man sitting across from me at lunch. I was in the midst of some major adversities in my business and personal life. "You will never see it," he went on to say. I was taken back by such a bold and brass statement. Quite frankly, I was very offended. He continued, "You will not keep it. You acquired it out of sweat and toil, not from obedience." I thought he was crazy.
Have you ever felt guilty making money? As a man or woman who operates daily in an environment that often appears to be after one thing-the bottom line profit-it would be easy to reduce our whole purpose for living to gaining a profit in our enterprises. There is much justification for criticism of the money focus in our society, because the ruling stronghold in the workplace is mammon that leads to greed and pride.