Atlanta businessman Os Hillman has devoted himself to write a daily email devotional featuring four-minute meditations on faith and work life. They consist of practical help in applying Christian faith to the work environment, encouragement and support for people to exhibit their faith, and empowerment to be more effective in work. Whether for individual quiet times, Bible study groups or workplace groups, these daily devotions, available by email from Bible Gateway, help men and women fulfill God’s call on their lives in the workplace.
How did golf circuitously lead you to beginning a relationship with God?
Os Hillman: Golf was an idol in my life. My life in my early and late teens and early twenties was focused on becoming a professional golfer. I had a lot of success as a junior golfer and college golfer. I attended college on a golf scholarship and then turned pro from three years. However, my dream to play professisonal golf failed and it left me wondering about the purpose of life. I accepted Christ when I was one year out of college after realizing I was not going to fulfill a lifelong dream. I was impacted by my mom and a pastor who reached out to me and shared Christ with me.
An insight from the TGIF devotional
Tested for Abundance
“We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:12b
God’s economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God’s economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits. Wisdom comes only through experience. Real wisdom comes from the kinds of experiences that come only through the deepest tests.
Lessons of refinement, including prison accompanied by burdens, lead us through the fire and water. This is the territory that must be traveled to reach that place of abundance. It would seem strange that a loving God would use such means with His children. What we often fail to realize is that God’s measuring stick is the character and likeness of Jesus Christ Himself in each of us. This cannot be gained through a life of ease and pleasure. Ease and pleasure fail to refine.
What was your initial perspective toward the Bible? Why and how did it change?
Os Hillman: I began reading the Bible the very day after my conversion. I was a voratious student of the Word and have never not spent time in God’s Word daily, now 40 years later.
Describe your organization Marketplace Leaders, its mission, and why you started it.
Os Hillman: Marketplace Leaders mission is to help men and women see their work as a holy calling from God. I realized during my business career that many people struggle to integrate their faith lives into their working lives. They don’t realize God values their working lives and wants to manifest his life through all they do—including their working life.
An insight from the TGIF devotional
Seeing The Big Picture
“…Everything is against me!” Genesis 42:36
So often we believe our dreams are dead. There seems to be nothing left in our world to live for. Everything appears to be against us. During these times, God is doing His deepest behind-the-scenes work. During these times, God is performing a deeper work in each of us—a work that cannot be seen.
One of God’s methods for directing His children’s steps is through drying up resources: a job loss, a career change, or a disaster. In these times we are willing to listen more intently, and to seek God in ways we would not normally do.
What personal adversities prompted you to write TGIF: Today God Is First?
Os Hillman: I went through a seven-year crisis that began in 1994 in which I lost $500,000 through a “Bernie Madoff” type of scam and lost 80% of my business when a client left and stuck me for $170,000. My wife left me at the same time and my vice-president left and took my second largest account. This ushered me into a seven-year season. I began writing TGIF: Today God Is First during that season in an effort to find answers I desparately needed at the time. I began sharing my writings with others and now 150,000 people in 104 nations read TGIF daily.
What do you mean when you say “turn the Valley of Achor into a door of hope”?
Os Hillman: In the book of Hosea he speaks of the Valley of Achor. Achor means “trouble.” He says God will turn our Valley of “trouble” into a door of hope for those who will trust him.
How is TGIF organized?
Os Hillman: There’s no organized progression, but there are themes—adversity, calling, purpose, work life, prayer, trust, sonship—all spoken of in the devotionals.
An insight from the TGIF devotional
Knowing Versus Doing
“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection….” Philippians 3:10
If I asked you the purpose for which God made you, what might you say? You might give a lot of answers that required some action on your part. However, the simplest answer to that question relates to one primary thing: fellowship. The most important thing God desires from us today is to have a deep and intimate fellowship with each of us.
The apostle Paul said he wanted to know Christ, and by knowing Christ he could experience the power of His resurrection. I find this to be the hardest thing for many of us workplace believers to do. So often it is much easier to be busy with the urgent (or even Christian) activity than spending quiet moments before the Lord. Before we realize it, days have passed since our last quiet time with Jesus.
Are you taking the time to get to know Him today?
Why is it important for people to read the Bible?
Os Hillman: The Bible is our compass for life. No one can live the Christian life without spending time reading and applying the Bible into one’s life. The Holy Spirit cannot direct us if we do not have the Bible in our heart and mind. The Bible is the Christian’s everyday food. I cannot imagine going one day without spending quality time getting my spiritual food for the day.
For those who don’t currently read the Bible, what are your suggestions for ways they might begin?
Os Hillman: The TGIF devotional is a great way to get started. There’s a Scripture verse and an application to each reading. It only takes four minutes a day. That can get you started and when you form a habit each day, it becomes easier to make that commitment.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?
Os Hillman: I love Bible Gateway. It’s a trusted resource when I do word studies and need to find Scripture passages online. I use the app when I travel all the time to do my readings. What a wonderful time to be alive in regard to technology that allows us easy access to the Word of God!
Bio: Os Hillman is founder and president of Marketplace Leaders (@todaygodisfirst), an organization whose purpose is to help men and women fulfill their God-ordained calling in and through their work life. He’s president of the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries (ICWM) and Aslan Group Publishing. Os is an internationally recognized speaker on the subject of faith and work, and is a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute on Workplace Ministry. He’s authored ten books, including The 9 to 5 Window: How Faith Can Transform the Workplace, Change Agent: Engaging Your Passion to Be the One Who Makes a Difference, and TGIF: Today God Is First, and teaches leadership workshops titled Called to the Workplace. He lives in a suburb of Atlanta with his wife, Angie.