Tag Archives: Robin Mark

God’s Work

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 4:34, NIV*

Monday I had a wonderful visit with two friends whose day jobs are in Christian social ministries. They’re involved in helping people through Opportunity International and the Salvation Army. It can be exhausting, but it fulfills them. When they share their stories, you can hear their passion.

Sometimes we can think of doing God’s work only in terms of recognized, organized ministry. We dismiss our regular lives. But I think the type of work Jesus talks about in today’s verse happens anywhere: on the job (sacred or secular), at home, in a chance encounter at the grocery checkout.

In context, the verse refers to Jesus’ talk with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. It wasn’t a planned teaching time or public event. Not on the group’s ‘official’ agenda. But it was part of God’s agenda, and it was His work.

Our days come pre-filled for the most part: work, home, appointments, whatever. If that’s where God has us, then that’s where He wants us to work with Him, however mundane the task. Or however inconvenient the interruption He allows.

There’s something about the routine and the everyday that dulls my attention. Meal preparation and household chores, even conversation around the family table, feel like the same-old-same-old. But shouldn’t each thing I do for my loved ones—for my employer if I’m working—be truly done for God? Isn’t each conversation a chance to show His interest in the other person?

In that case, it’s all God’s work if I can only see it. God’s work, an offering to Him. Even if it’s peeling potatoes or scrubbing toilets. Or taking a coffee break with a friend.

Father God, who sent Jesus into the world to do Your will and who has sent us to do the same, take us out of ourselves and make us mindful of You and Your ways. Help us live for You, and teach us to be on the lookout for Your leading in our daily lives. Feed us with the satisfaction of serving You.

This week’s song is “Jesus, All for Jesus,” from Robin Mark.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


I’ve read some interesting insights on change recently…

From Mary Waind’s Beech Croft Tales:

The changes in nature can be easier to cope with than new challenges we face in other realms. Joyce Meyer said this week that Satan continually tries to diminish followers of Christ. The word “diminish” impressed me. The Oxford Canadian Dictionary gives the definition “make smaller or less”. The enemy would delight to see us take our first steps toward a fresh project with apprehension and feelings of inadequacy. He would love for us to think the task is too great.

From Chad Lucas’ The Lucas Adventures:

My general view of life, and parenting, is that things are always changing, and very few things last forever. Kids are always going through new phases. Jobs, relationships, and responsibilities in life move in rhythms and waves.

I know there are people who have a hard time with change and probably find that idea difficult, but for me it’s a hopeful thing. When life gets crazy, I remember that it won’t always be this way.

Robin Mark‘s song, “All is Well,” is a good approach to change.

Love Letter

Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
2 Timothy 2:7, NIV*

Paul is writing to Timothy, a young pastor with a difficult charge—and perhaps the only man Paul can trust with this particular group of people. Timothy is gifted, but he’s prone to be timid.

Paul’s been encouraging him to be strong in Christ Jesus, not to try handling things in his own strength, to teach boldly. This letter carries a sense of urgency, as if Paul’s trying to cram in every bit of advice Timothy could possibly need.

It reminds me of when I leave home for a trip and I can’t stop telling my kids “one more thing….” I don’t have my regular Bible with me as I write this, but I think the notes in it say Paul knew he was running out of time.

He didn’t want to die without passing on everything he had to this young man whom he loved like a son. So he sent this brief but full letter, written with love.

It was more than Timothy could take in with a single reading. So, “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all of this.

Isn’t that what God has done for us, with the entire Bible? And isn’t it good that He doesn’t expect us to process it all on our own?

Father, thank You for loving us with an intensity greater than Paul’s love for Timothy. Thank You for that urgency in Your desire to communicate with us. Please give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to receive, to trust and to love. Help us reflect on what You say, and make us receptive to the Holy Spirit’s teaching. Thank You for not leaving us to find our way alone.

A number of artists sing Robin Mark’s song “Ancient Words”. Here he is to sing it himself.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Everything We Have

…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33, NIV*

This is the memory verse for Unit 8 in the Experiencing God Workbook (Henry Blackaby and Claude King), and it stopped me.

I kept trying to go on with the first lesson, but the verse pulled me back.

The NIV titles this section “The Cost of Being a Disciple” and the context is about recognizing the high cost to follow Jesus—and following Him anyway.

I’ve never taken this to mean a literal giving away of all my possessions, but more a call to “hold them loosely”: instead of clutching and saying “Mine!”, to share and above all to put God first. Not to make them idols.

Reading the verse this time, however, I realized Jesus isn’t just talking about things. Specifically what hit me was that He includes my time.

Time is something many of us guard jealously. A lot of it’s already spoken for, but what discretionary time there is, especially once I’ve made plans for it, is not to be messed with.

But God, as Henry Blackaby says elsewhere in the study, has the right to interrupt us. To redirect or redeploy us. I struggle with discernment to know whether it’s a distraction I should ignore or a redirection from God that I should heed.

This verse reminded me that the bigger struggle is to surrender my time to God when it’s clear He wants to redirect it. To serve Him willingly in the new place instead of begrudging how I’d planned to serve in the old place.

Father, Jesus is not only Saviour but Lord. I know Your way is best, but sometimes it’s so hard to let go. Please give me a willing heard, and help me follow and obey. Help me truly give up control of everything I have—including my time—because it’s all Yours, and You are good.

Robin Mark’s “All For Jesus” is a regular prayer of mine, and it certainly fits this week.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Remembering God is Near

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7, NIV*

Crowded, busy and stressed. That’s the short summary of the past week or so. It hasn’t been all bad, just full. When I was at my most tired, and anxiety hovered like those cartoon rain clouds, I kept reminding myself “God is near.”

He so knew I’d need this promise when He brought it to mind a month ago. Isn’t He good to us?

I’ve taken a lot of comfort and strength from knowing God is near, but that’s made me stop and think. He’s near in the good times too. The hard times press us closer to Him, but in the good times we’re in danger of forgetting Him.

He wants us to notice His presence and to delight in being with Him.

In his book, Hidden in Plain Sight, Mark Buchanan calls us to treasure our faith – to spend time with others who treasure theirs, and to beware the danger of sapping our faith through keeping bad company.

Circumstances may do the opposite: good, easy times may sap our faith more than the hard times that force us to cling to God.

Precious Father, thank You for promising to never leave us. Thank You for the privilege of abiding with You. Please teach us to delight in Your nearness just because of who You are regardless of our circumstances or need of comfort. How wonderful is each moment spent aware of Your presence.

A song that’s meant a lot to me this past month or more is “Give Me Jesus,” sung by Robin Mark.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

My Way or God’s Way

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11, NIV*

Right now what stands out to me is the prayer to “discern what is best.” To choose God’s way even in the small details. My way may be good or not so good, but His way is best. That’s a fact of life. God, who is all-wise, will see what is best, while my clouded vision can’t guarantee the same.

Instead of spinning in circles because I have more to do than time to do it, I need to commit each day to God and asking Him to help me see where I should choose to spend my time. I get distracted so easily it isn’t funny, and then stress sets in because things pile up.

I’ve also been taking God’s Girl’s words to heart about following His way in even the trivial things. It’s amazing how many of these little things that seem so innocuous are really “my way or God’s way” choices. No wonder I’ve felt out of sorts.

Discerning what is best can include not only the best use of time and resources but the best response to a given situation. My friend Elsie wrote about this the other day, and it really hit home: will I “live under the influence of the Holy Spirit and behave like Jesus, or … ignore and neglect Him and do my own thing?” You can read her whole post here.

When a comment or situation triggers an automatic hurt or anger, I want to stop and ask myself how Jesus would respond. Well, sometimes he showed righteous anger, but He never pouted, sulked, or snapped back a cheap insult. His identity was secure in the Father, and He chose not to give in to those irritants that we can take so personally.

This is hard work, but it’s getting my focus off myself and onto God and others. My spirit feels better, too.

Father, please grow my love for You and dependence on You. Deepen my knowledge of Your ways…to Your glory and praise, and for my own peace of spirit.

Our song this week gives us perspective: Robin Mark singing “All for Jesus.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

A Life of Praise

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:1-2, 21 NIV*

The active words in this psalm include “tell, speak, commend, meditate, proclaim, celebrate, sing, praise, extol.” And it’s all about God: His works, splendour, majesty, goodness, righteousness, graciousness, compassion, faithfulness, love, help, nearness, justice….

King David says he’ll praise God every day and declare His praise for ever and ever. The Apostle John says if we tried to write down everything Jesus did on earth, the world couldn’t hold all the books. (John 21:25)

This psalm first caught my attention before we went on holiday, and I was glad to find a copy of David Crowder’s book, Praise Habit, in a New York City Borders. More about the book later, but this is what he says about praise: “We have put on Christ. We are found dressed in His rescue, redemption, and righteousness and, aware of this rescue, we spew forth praise. We wear this very rescue into our relationships, into our interactions….”**

That’s how I want to live. Thanking Him for my daily food, enjoying solitude with Him, are part of it but not enough. I want to not only meditate on what He has done, but tell others—and hear them tell me what He’s done in their lives. That encourages our faith and invites others to trust Him.

Father, I don’t praise You enough. Please forgive me and change me. Please help me focus more on who You are and what You do—and help me share You with others. Open my eyes to see Your touch around me. Give me a delight in You that is natural and irrepressible and contagious. And bring glory to Your Name through the praise of Your people.

This week’s song is “Be Unto Your Name“, written by Lynn DeShazo and Gary Sadler and performed here by Robin Mark.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

**David Crowder, Praise Habit, TH1NK Books, 2004, page 38.