Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.

This morning we are going to discuss our treasured core value Family — we balance family and working hard, from the perspective of individual personal development.

Once upon a time there was a man who attempted to find peace by developing his personal physical life, but ignored his spiritual life. This man developed his body, achieving all of the prowess that he searched for — setting records for weightlifting and performing feats of strength that other people probably still talk about to this day, but found no peace there. This man also developed his personal intellectual life by achieving advanced degrees and certifications, going to incredible schools and getting nearly every promotion that he ever went after, yet still found no peace. This man built a small empire by his own strength and intelligence, but he never found peace and he was at a loss for why — he had everything anyone could ever want, except peace. . .(testimony)

You see, this man’s real problem was that he met God in the Mountains of Colorado when he was 14 and he experienced a love and peace that is without description and then failed to follow where God was leading; yet, he still yearned for that peace and love. He was God’s portion, bought and paid for, but he was living as if he had a life of his own. Yeah, you might say that I was lost for a long time. That incredible experience gave me a glimpse of what my Spirit yearned for and I thought I could find it in worldly things. Twenty six years later, after this world nearly killed me, I learned that what I was really searching for was “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding. . .” (Phillipians 4:7)

It takes what it takes, I guess. I had to experience a prodigal life to be able to find the simple peace of a moment of silence with God. Thankfully, not everyone has to experience life in the same way that I did. I have learned as well, though, that many people experience their own version of hell on earth at times and that the purpose of it all, is to point us back to our own self-insufficiency.

The Bible never says that we should not develop our physical or emotional lives; it does, however, point us to the fact that our real development is Spiritual and that we should never ignore it in favor of any other development. So our task is to “seek ye first The Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

The Bible tells us that we are all given a “manifestation of The Spirit for the common good” (I Corinthians 12:7). God gave us our gifts and talents to serve others with, our families chief among them. So, we should develop our gifts to become better stewards of them and in turn being better at serving others with our gifts.

I leave you with two questions (hint: get the first one right first. . . ): Are you seeking God above all else? If so, can you develop your God given talents to better serve God’s Kingdom?

We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.

Tanis Jamar
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