“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” I John 4:18
There is a certain amount of fear and trepidation in business. If you are just starting; the fear can be very high. But even after years in business (or on a job or an enterprise of any kind) there are changes that come that cause us to fear. When you cannot see the answer and know of so many possibilities; fear will come. That is a reality, but it is a reality that Father God knew about in advance and has given us a powerful weapon to defeat it.
“Each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. If you think your talents are simply for you to make a lot of money, retire, and die, you’ve missed the point of your life. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you.
We’re all a part of the body of Christ, and each part matters. There are no insignificant people in the family of God. You are shaped to serve God. Whether you are a musician or an accountant, a teacher or a cook, God gave you those abilities to serve others. Today’s verse says, “Each of you should use
whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
“Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Jesus in Mark 11:24
When you read that verse it appears that Jesus is teaching a prayer principle, but in reality He is teaching a faith principle. As we look back in verse 23 Jesus says this:
“…does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
”He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:6
Depression is a powerful tool of the enemy that has caused many gifted and anointed leaders to fail to reach their full potential. The sources or cause for depression are varied; and the season is often long and burdensome.
“And David perceived that the Lord had established him as king over Israel.”
II Samuel 5:12 KJV
Dale Mast has written a powerful book, “And David perceived he was king.” It speaks to a time in the life of David, even after he had defeated Goliath, and after seven and a half years as king of Judah; and after he was anointed as king of Israel; and after numerous victories; he still did not realize who he was; that God had called him to be king.
“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Have you ever felt like the wall in front of you was too high to climb? That the daily problems in your business or personal life were weighing you down? Have you ever felt like success was out of reach and you might as well give up?
“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12
Walking through the dining hall of a summer Christian camp on the coast of Oregon, he thought he recognized the man sweeping the floor. But it could not be him: for the man he recognized was the President of a prestigious Christian organization, and this President was one of the most classy and immaculate dressed men he knew. Yet this man in overalls, with a sweaty cap on, and a broom in his hand sure looked like him. He approached him:
“The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.” Psalm 89:11
I know that we often talk about “my business”, “my house”, “my car” etc. We all use those terms, even when the bank still owns it. But the reality is that we are stewards of God’s good earth, His world and whatever He might have given us the responsibility to watch over for Him. We are stewards: and in stewards faithfulness is required.
“The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father’s point of view, is the one who takes care of orphans and widows, and who remains true to the Lord—not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.” James 1:27 The Living Bible.
There is a lot of talk in the business community about ethics. It is important for us to note that God does not have one set of ethics for the church community and a different one for the business community. No; just ethics.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
There is so much power in faith: it allows you to look into the future and “see” the very things you are hoping for today. In fact, as this verse tells us, faith is evidence! Evidence defined: The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Several years ago, Norman Vincent Peale wrote the phenomenal bestseller: The Power of Positive Thinking. By applying the practical techniques outlined in this book, millions found a way to energize life and gain the initiative needed to carry out their ambitions and hopes.
“But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk…” I Cor. 7:17
There is research that shows that as high as 80% of Americans are unhappy with their job. Interestingly, the number only goes higher with more pay or even with management or ownership positions. I have found that these statistics remain consistent within the Christian community as well.
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” I John 2:27
We have all faced those situations where the answer is just not readily available, and where there seems to be no way to find it. Your training did not prepare you for this, the manual does not address it, and those around you are as confused as you are.
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1
One of the great temptations for God’s marketplace ministers is to get so involved in the task, to be so sold out on the work itself, that God is somehow forgotten. It is: “Thanks Lord for calling me, and I am so grateful to know that work is from you, and I know I can be a minister for you….so now I’ll do it. And by the way Lord, I’ll call on you if I need any help along the way.” Of course, none of us would be so blatant as to put it that way, but nonetheless, that is what the result is. And so there we are, sold out to God’s call, but doing it in our own strength. And equating busyness for obedience, a full calendar for full understanding, and hard work for God directed work.
“And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.” Luke 19:17
The Parable that starts in verse 12 of Luke 19 is a business parable. It teaches both the ROI principle and the reason that God wants you to succeed financially. Here Jesus is talking about a businessman who was going on a trip and leaving his finances in the hands of his servants. He gave them each the same amount of money and he honored the ones who brought the greatest return on investment.
One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers--Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew--throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" And they left their nets at once and followed him. — Matthew 4:18-20
As you build your business, one of the most important tasks you will face will be building your team. That was also true with Jesus: He had only three years to put a team together that would be able to carry on after He ascended to heaven. And He was building a team that would accomplish something that had never been done before. So, here is a powerful truth: God is calling you with a one of a kind calling as well.
Every day things happen around us that have an impact on our lives, but often we do not know the full ramification of these things as they happen. The truth is, many opportunities to receive the full blessing of the Lord are missed because of our disobedience. Not disobedience in outward rebellion, but the failure to quickly obey His daily promptings.
The owner of a large multi-national company asked me if I would provide leadership training for his employees. When I asked him specifically the areas he wanted me to address, he said: “that is your area of expertise, just tell them all about Jesus.”
I was talking with the author of the book, "God is my CEO" and he was telling me about the problem he had in getting the book published. As I recall, 20 publishers turned him down before one would finally “take a chance” on such a project. The fact is, the book became a best seller.
When I first started studying the role of the Marketplace Christian, I believed the main role of this leader was to bring in provision for the endtime harvest. I still believe that is a major role; I just don’t think it is the major role. It is obvious that we need the Christian business leader to bring in provision; most churches and ministries lack the resources they need to fulfill their God given call. So, we need for you to succeed financially and to be faithful in your giving.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and attain their position in any number of ways. Some are selected by popular choice; some gain their position through deceit and treachery. Some work hard at becoming a leader, while for others it is very easy and natural. Some gain leadership through wealth; others gain wealth through leadership.
"Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31.
What a tremendous statement: “the people believed the Lord and His servant Moses.”
Not only does God want to use your business for Kingdom advancement, He really does want to bless you, and prosper you in your business venture. We can see that clearly in the life of Jesus. Whenever He came in contact with a business venture, He focused on blessing the business.
John Wesley famously said: “The world is my parish.” He was being criticized for taking the gospel outside of the local church, but he recognized the need to impact all sectors of society. From the time Jesus spoke the Great Commission until today, God has had a plan to reach the entire world with the gospel. And to do so, He raises up pastors and missionaries, and worship leaders and prayer warriors.
We know from Ex. 31 that the Lord cares about your work so much that He desires to fill you with His Spirit for your work. While that is an awesome thought and powerfully motivating idea, I want you to consider exactly what this might mean for you.