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Christian Men at Work Podcast


Apr 11, 2022

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I recently gave a talk at my church and I really enjoyed preparing for that and giving the talk and thought the topic would be a good one for us to discuss on this podcast.
 
I'll provide a link to the entire talk which was streamed on Youtube and lasts over an hour. I encourage you to check it out since there's a lot more discussion in that than we'll have time for you on this podcast.
 
My intent with this Selah episode is to hit the main points from that talk, and to make some application to the workplace.
 
So let me start by giving some context on this talk.
 
In our Messianic congregation, we have worship and teaching similar to most churches.  A few things that are different than what I was used to before attending this church include that we publically read a couple chapters before the Pastor gives his teaching, then we have what we call Oneg, which is basically a potluck meal, and then we have what we call Torah Talk, which is another teaching that normally involves a lot of participation from those attending and often allows to go a little deeper into certain topics from the reading that there wasn't time for in the main teaching.
 
We call the readings the parashat.
 
Wikipedia's definition of a parashat is "a section of the Torah (Five Books of Moses) used in Jewish liturgy during a particular week. There are 54 parshas, or parashiyot in Hebrew, and the full cycle is read over the course of one Jewish year."
 
So we follow that Jewish tradition.  Every parashat has a traditional name which is normally a Hebrew word found in the parashat that kind of sums up the overall message from that Parashat.
 
My talk was based on Lev 14-15 and the Parashat was called "T'zria".  These passages are primarily about T'zaraat which is often translated as leprosy but really refers to a skin disease. 
 
This lesson had both physical and spiritual lessons.
 
The first lesson was that Disease is usually contagious and therefore for the good of the whole, the infected person is quarantined. 
 
The scriptures talk a lot about keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.
 
Ps 1:1 says "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;”:
 
In 1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV Paul says “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

  James 1:27 NKJV says “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

There was a lot of discussion during this talk about how we should apply these in our lives.  It reminded me of how so often the Christian walk is filled with tension, in a good way.  In this case, we should not mingle and be spotted by unbelievers, but at the same time we are to be like Jesus and love on unbelievers and those who are entrapped by sinful lifestyles that we're not currently struggling with.

I think the key in working this out is to know where we are in our walk.  If we're spiritually weak, we need to be very guarded not to let the world impact us.  If we're spiritually strong, relatively speaking, we need to be salt and light and be about the Father's business while there is light during the day, sharing the Gospel, and blessing others.

This is certainly true in the workplace.  There can be a lot of temptations in the workplace and opportunities to sort of blend in and be worldly and sinful.  Our job is to be set apart, but to also always be ready give an answer to everyone who asks us the reason for the hope that we have.

 

In  John 17:15 NKJV Jesus said “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

 

One of the great things about working in the marketplace and not in "full-time" ministry is that it's so easy to live out this prayer from our Savior.   Going to work each day, we are in the world, but our job is to keep ourselves from the evil one while at work.

That's just the first lesson I discussed and there were 6 lessons, but I'm going to keep this short so I can get to other parts I usually cover in my Selah episode, especially I didn't do that in the last episode.

Again, if you want to hear more check out the full teaching at the link in the shownotes.

https://youtu.be/ySVAHjI-hLI

 

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I want to use E portion of the Selah episode to stat a new series calling Essentials, scriptures we can all look to when we’re frustrated, confused in our world, asking ourselves “what do I do?”  These essentials will not be specific to the workplace, I’ll try to continue to reference those work specific passages in the L or Logos section. I guess you could say what's special about the passages I've selected is that they help us narrow in on what should our Christian walk look like, to serve as a guidepost for us to reflect, assess, and adjust as needed.
 
I’m not going to teach or comment on these scriptures but will try to let them speak for themselves and ask you to spend time meditating on these each week and ask God to show you how He wants you to apply them to your life now.
I also ask you to look into the context for these passages, what comes before and after them and the mindset the original writer had.  I will intentionally keep these brief and leave it up to you to pursue and investigate the context of each.
 
Titus 1
For an overseer,  as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Titus 1:7-9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Titus%201:7-9&version=ESV
 
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Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
 
You often this passage used at weddings, but I'd like to talk about teamwork in the workplace.  Do you value the members of your team at your work?  Are you a good team member?  You may be thinking, "I'm not part of a team" and my response to that is that you may be part of a team but aren't thinking about it and trying to do things on your own.
 
I had the priviledge to attend my 2nd Nascar race yesterday with one of my daughters and her fiance at the Martinsville Speedway, sometimes referred to as the paperclip since it's one of the short tracks still regularly used.
 
It was a lot of fun overall.  It rained a little when we got there but it stopped quickly and didn't delay the race very long.  One comment I have to make is that just about everyone there seemed like they were at some level of drunkeness.  The first time I went to a Nascar race I went with some people that chose to get drunk.  At the time I was still a tee-toteler and had been for a number of years, so that was awkward.  I now drink in moderation but I guess my comment was that for the most part the people I saw didn't seem very happy, and I was driving to the event and chose not to drink and it was a joy to not feel the need to include that in the event.  Just something I was thankful for in addition to having a good time with daughter.
 
But the main reason I bring up the race was to make an application from the verse today from Ecclesiastes. I was rooting for Chase Elliott.  He was leading after the first 2 stages of the race, which made up over half the race.  Then in the beginning of the third stage, Chase's pit crew had a slower pit time than William Byron, #24 and so coming out of the pit William Byron took the lead and he never let it go and went on to win the race.  Unfortunately Chase Elliott got kind of lost in the pack and ended up, I believe in 10th place.
 
This reminded me how important teamwork is.  Whether it's with our wife, or at our job, or other parts of our life, we should resist the temptation to be the Lone Ranger and take the time and effort to work well with others, which may include giving them credit or helping them to develop their skills.

It will pay off for them and for us, and it's biblical, meaning it's God's way. 
 
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Jokes
 
My friend told me he couldn't afford his water bill - I sent him a get well card