Ana thinks that her job as a nurse is a dead end because she isn’t serving God “full-time.” Jose wants to leave the business world for the same reason. Many Christians today want to make their lives count for the cause of Christ, yet they don’t realize that their lives can count — everyday. They don’t realize the power of a profession. There are at least three ways you can release the power of your profession for Gospel transformation.

Image for post
Image for post

The Power of Proclamation

Jesus knew the power of a profession when He said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mat. 5:14–16) Light shines the brightest where it is the darkest. Chances are your workplace is a spiritually dark place. It needs the witness of your goldy life and it needs to hear your godly words. Paul understood this when he wrote “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. …

(This is part seven of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:25,36–38

KEY VERSE:

“What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.” (v. 38; NIV)

As the director of a mission agency, my experience over and over has been that it is not the missionaries themselves who have the most difficulty leaving for ministry, but their family and friends! It is not unusual to see well-meaning parents create obstacles “in the name of the Lord” in order to somehow prevent their loved ones from leaving for a new place, possibly far-away and dangerous. One father even tried to convince his daughter that “‘the 10/40 Window’ [where 80% of the world’s unreached people and peoples reside] is full of missionaries and doesn’t need any more”! But this was not the case for Paul and his dear friends, the Ephesian elders. For while they were pained to their souls, to the point of weeping and grieving at the thought of the possibility of never seeing Paul again, they nonetheless prayed with and for him, embraced and kissed him, and accompanied them to the ship to send him off with their blessing. Paul was not the only one making a sacrifice. Missionaries are not the only ones who make sacrifices (although they do, normally, make the greater sacrifices). Family members and friends are often called on by God to let go of their loved ones in order that God may become known and worshipped among peoples where He is yet unknown. Do you have a family member or friend who believes God is calling them to be a missionary? Have you prayed for them, encouraged and supported them in their calling? Have you let go of them, giving up “your right” to keep them near? If God is not calling you to serve Him cross-culturally, then it is your great honor and privilege to send others, including (especially!) …

(This is part six of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:18, 33–35

KEY VERSE:

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (v. 35)

In medieval times, there was only one “genuine calling”, the vocatio dei, the ecclesiastical calling. Martin Luther was the first theologian of that time to apply the term “calling” (vocatio) to “earthly” or “secular” activities. He understood that all work could be considered as a “gift” and a “calling” and it should be done well, for the greater glory of God (ad majorem gloriam Dei). But this wasn’t a new concept. Paul was already demonstrating and teaching this nearly 1500 years earlier! His attitude was, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10.31). Paul understood the importance of hard work, how it could glorify God and serve His Kingdom. He worked hard (he worked with leather, often to make tents; see Acts 18.3) in order to supply for his own needs, his companions’ needs, and to help those who were weak or poor or unable to work themselves. He followed Jesus’ own teaching, realizing that he was “blessed to be a blessing” and that giving is better than receiving. …

Image for post
Image for post

Editor's Note: In the following interview, I refer multiple times to "BAM", which means "business as mission". When I talk about BAM, here's what I mean:

I define BAM as

The doxologically-motivated strategic development and use of authentic business activities (especially small to medium sized, or SME) to create authentic ministry opportunities leading to the transformation of the world’s least-reached people and peoples spiritually, economically, socially and environmentally.

I describe BAM as

The natural and healthy integration of the concepts of business with the concepts of mission, the activities of business with the activities of mission, and the structures of business with the structures of mission, where the people of business are the people of mission. …

(This is part five of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:24, 28–31

KEY VERSES:

“I consider my life worth nothing to me…Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock…savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth…” (vv. 24a, 28a, 29b, 30a; NIV)

Last week I said that Paul was courageous in proclaiming (declaring, showing, speaking, telling, testifying, witnessing, heralding, preaching!) the Gospel to the people of Ephesus, one of the largest and most impressive cities in the ancient world. I say “courageous” because in Ephesus he was “severely tested by the plots of the Jews” (v. 19; NIV), and he had to contend with rioting worshippers of Artemis (Acts 19.23–41), and he even had to fight wild beasts there! (1 Cor. 15.32). Paul knew that his battle was not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. And he knew that in battle there are wounds, suffering, death. So his attitude was, “It doesn’t matter what happens to me — I’ll pay any price — if I can just glorify God by telling the Ephesians about the Gospel of His grace.” (v. 24) Paul had a warfare mentality. He knew that the church is always threatened, from outside and from within. Satan never takes vacations. Sin lurks at the door. Paul therefore commands the elders to be alert. The Greek word he uses in v. 28 means “pay attention to, be cautious about, beware, have regard.” The word he uses in v. 31 means “keep awake, watch, be vigilant.” Watch out! Beware! Stay alert! But to what? First, to the internal dangers (doctrinal negligence, moral carelessness, apathy, egocentrism, etc.), which is why he says to keep watch over yourselves (you, the leaders of the church), and also all the flock and the church of God. The internal dangers are real: “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (v. 30) We cannot take this lightly. But look out, because the spiritual battle also holds external dangers: “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” (v. …

(This is part four of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:18,20–21,24–27

KEY VERSES:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you…to testify to the gospel of the grace of God…for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” (vv. 18a, 24c, 27)

Paul was a corageous preacher of the Gospel. The word “Gospel” (the Greek word euangelion) is one that we use often, but perhaps without understanding the full weight of its meaning. Paul understood. He knew that it means “good news”, or “joyful news”. He knew that the ground of this good news is God’s grace (v. 24, 32). He understood and proclaimed this good news in its fullness, “the whole will of God” (v. 27). The good news that: there is a living God; there is a Savior and He is the Lord Jesus Christ; this Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; this Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven; the promised Holy Spirit has come; salvation is for all who believe; salvation is for people from all nations; salvation means reconciliation with God; salvation means eternal life. But what makes the Gospel finally and supremely good news, in John Piper’s words, “is the enjoyment of the glory of God in Christ…this supreme good is God Himself, seen and savored in all His glory.” (God is the Gospel, p. …

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Tim. 4:7)

Image for post
Image for post
photo © Adrian Sky

As much as I’d love to fight the good fight, I’m a lousy fighter. I barely lasted a month in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One day during sparring with the coach, in the blink of an eye I found myself dripping blood and spitting teeth. (Okay, I confess. It wasn’t much blood, just a small cut on my forehead. And it wasn’t a whole tooth, just a few little pieces.) Needless to say, when I got home, my wife asked in an oh-so-sweet-yet-barely-veiled-“I told you so”-sort of way, “are you suuuuure you want to keep doing this?” …

(This is part three of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:20–21, 28

KEY VERSE:

“…testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 21)

Paul had spent three years planting the church in Ephesus, declaring the Gospel to both Jews and non-Jews. Why was he concerned with non-Jews, since he himself was Jewish? He tells us in Rom. 1.5: “through [Christ] we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.” Paul understood that he was — and WE are! — called to take the Gospel to all “ethnic groups” (a better translation than “nations”) “for the sake of [Christ’s] name”, which is another way of saying for God’s glory. David, too, understood God’s worth and His desire to be known and worshipped among all peoples, which is why he wrote things like “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.” (Ps. 96.3–4) Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf and the Moravian Church also were convinced that God desires and deserves to be worshipped among all peoples, which is why they began a “round the clock” prayer watch (24 hours a day, nonstop) that lasted, unbroken, for over 100 years, and why they had an unparalleled missionary zeal, sending over 50% of their members all over the world as lay missionaries. …

(This is part two of a seven-part devotional series from Acts 20:13–38.)

Image for post
Image for post

BIBLE READING: Acts 20:19–25

KEY VERSES:

“…with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews…the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.” (vv. 19b, 23)

William Borden, a graduate of world-renowned Yale University and an heir to great wealth, gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions. But, much more significantly than that, he gave away his very life for missions, for God’s glory among Muslims. Having rejected a life of comfort and ease, he chose to face the trials and hardships of taking the message of Jesus to Muslims. After only four months of fervent ministry in Egypt, Borden contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of twenty-five. The epitaph on his grave is short but meaningful: “Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.” Apart from faith in Christ, it makes no sense to willingly face suffering and hardships, but because of faith in Christ, of love for Christ, trials and hardships are something we all must face: “Indeed, all who desire to vlive a godly life in Christ Jesus wwill be persecuted,” (2 Tim. 3.12) For the sake of the people of Ephesus and other places where he desired to see Christ’s Church established, and principally “for the sake of Christ”, Paul was able to write “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.” (2 Cor. 12.10; NIV). He even considered suffering to be a gift from God: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake…” (Phil. 1.29). A gift because it deepens us in faith and holiness (2 Cor. 1.8–9; Heb. 12.10), it increases the reward of our experience of God’s glory in heaven (2 Cor. 4.17–18), it makes others bold for Christ (Phil. 1.14), and principally because it shows the supremacy of God (2 Cor. 12.9–10), …

Image for post
Image for post

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Cor. 9:24)

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7)

I love running. I’m not exceptionally fast and I don’t run exceptionally long distances, but running serves me well for many reasons. My best times of praying, contemplating, evaluating and planning, for example, often happen while running.

Exercise in general, and running in particular, releases endorphines, which trigger a positive feeling of well-being. Some people call this feeling a “runner’s high.” It’s free and legal, so I’m all in! We usually have wonderful weather here in south Brazil, which is perfect for 10k (6.2 miles) runs and releasing those endorphines! I recently ran a 10k roadrace, and on the last 10k training run I did before the race, I wanted to push it a bit and see if I could just slightly beat my then-current 10k personal best. (I say “current” because at my age I won’t ever again beat my all-time personal best [PB]. But when I hit 50 recently, I reset the clock — at least in my mind! …

About

Joao Mordomo

Adorador de Jesus. Great Commission Entrepreneur. Spreading passion for God's glory in all areas of life & society, and among all peoples of the world.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store