A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Practice the Presence...called to co-create part deux

God morning Sistren and Brethren! As we go through an entrepreneurial stage in our walk in the Lord just wanted to share some insight and encouragement...Especially from the Word and from others gone before us i.e. Brother Lawrence and the Apostle Paul...on the Co-mission, the Co-creation, and Co-mmunion....We seek Him in every aspect of our businesses and ministries...God is so good...in ALL things, in ALL ways, and ALL the time!
Perhaps Bro Lawrence was pondering Pauls writings when he wrote:
“That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful." 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)

...As we begin to integrate our faith and our works, we must be prepared for the journey that will most assuredly follow. A journey marked with highs and lows, good and ill, abundance and want...it's called life! A journey that at times is our greatest joy, and at other times, our greatest sorrow. For the decision to operate our ventures in accordance with the principles of God’s Kingdom will undoubtedly bring with it unique challenges. However, to not do so would be to deny our very responsibility as those who have been called to create.  Look and ponder the lives of the Apostles..each uniquely affected, effected, and changed....becoming a living stone, a beacon, and a testimony to the changed life that comes from a living relationship with the Lord Jesus!
For this reason, it is important that we understand our calling to create as also a calling to faithfulness. Every good endeavor that we take up is a work that is to be done unto the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31). As Christians, we recognize that profit is not the only bottom line of our ventures. We are followers of the First "Entrepreneur" if you will. We reflect Him in our creative endeavors. And like Him, we create, build, and nurture for the sake of His glory and the good of others. As such, our labors and practices ought to function out of our deep faith in God and in what He is doing in this world—building His Kingdom. This is to be our faithful practice and as Bro Lawrence calls our "common service".
“That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for GOD’s sake, which we commonly do for our own. That it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards. That the most excellent method he had found of going to GOD, was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men,1 and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of GOD.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

Accompanying this faithful practice will be a whole gamut of experiences. Some will be what appear to be blessings and God’s favor. These will be seasons of growth, joy, and exhilaration. It will seem that all is right with the world and that God is on the move in and through your work. However, there will also be those experiences which appear to be the ill favor of sin and evil at work against you. These will be times of sorrow, hardship, and doubt. It will look as if God has withdrawn from your labors. All might feel lost.

These are the realities of living and working in a world that is fraught with sin. A world that is in desperate need of reconciliation and restoration. A world that needs the faithful practice of those who have been called to create. God has gifted us and placed us to be culture-creators and attitude testifiers who faithfully practice God’s justice, goodness, truth, and love in all that we do. Our entrepreneurial endeavors become outposts of the Kingdom of God. They are places where people see and feel the presence of God in everything we do and in everything we create. This is why we remain faithful through it all...

How might we start to see our work as a faithful practice?  Start by praying! Pray that God would give us an understanding of His calling on our lives as co-creators and practitioners of faithfulness. Ask that He will help us see the need to remain faithful through every season. Ask Him to grant us strength to endure the highs and lows of following the call to co-create.

We are writing everything down as much as we can remember to...Writing a set of goals for our work that are not focused on outcomes, but are instead focused on faithful practice regardless of circumstances.
Stay faithful...Stay Strong...Stay Faithful...
Did I say Stay Faithful?  ;)

Rock and Roll!
Jesus is the Rock...and we ROLL!

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