Copyright 2012 by Mike Connell Ministries
1. Bridging the Gap
2. Businessmen at Work
3. Responding to Your Calling
4. God Loves Rich Men Too
5. Jesus and the Businessman
6. Planning Ahead
7. The Issue of Ownership
8. Can’t Serve Two Masters
9. Don’t Buy into the Lie!
10. Embracing the call of God
11. Ethics in Business
12. Pastor Peter Mortlock
13. The Presence of God
14. Principles of Success
· Purpose in coming together – not to ask you for money.
· Experience in Asia: Businessmen – FGB – Tony Tseng.
· Experience in Africa: Capetown
· Experience in NZ: Gap between spiritual and natural. Ignorance of Kingdom of God – purpose of God for businesses.
· Goal: Bridge the gap – help businessmen discover purpose and destiny in marketplace.
· Stimulate advance and success in personal and business life.
· Example: Rachel – Heinz Watties
Example: Victorian era attitude to sex: Do it but don’t enjoy it. Produce but not too excited – become carnal.
Majority of key people in Old Testament not mystics but businessmen:
· Abraham – Father of faith – wealthy businessman
· Jacob – Prospered in business
· Job – Wealthy businessman – active socially and government (Job 31)
· David – Shepherd
· Joseph – Prospered in Egypt in spite of injustices
· Daniel – Most influential man in Babylon – in spite eunuch
· Prophets – Esther – Proverbs 31 woman
· Peter – Fisherman (Luke 5)
· Levi – Tax collector
· Luke – Doctor
Each person had unique destiny – mostly fulfilled in market.
· God is a God of investment and increase.
· Example: Genesis 1 Increase and multiply – be fruitful – productive.
· Example: Luke Tree not bearing fruit – cut it down.
· No athlete enters competition to lose – enter to win.
· Profit motive is stimulation to take on challenge.
· Problem: Profit at any cost – no matter how do it. Win or profit without God’s principles – devastating.
· Example: Luke 19 Parable of pounds
· How much each gained by trading.
· Unprofitable servant rebuked and disqualified.
4. Example of David
· 1 Samuel 17:26 What is in this for me: riches, kings doing what they like and no taxes.
· Shepherd businessman vs. professional soldier.
· Did not separate business and spiritual – same God who helped business helped now.
· God central to both!
· Attempts to disqualify:
(i) Eliab – wrong motives
(ii) Saul – no experience
(iii) Goliath – not soldier
· David’s bold response: Anointing that worked in business – work here too!
· No separation or gap in his natural and spiritual life.
5. Men in the marketplace
Examples: Joseph / Moses / David / Job / Esther / Elisha /
All men who impacted businesses through walk with God.
· See marketplace as evil but do all can to hold ground.
· Goal is survival – like POW.
· More positive outlook.
· Principles enable them to overcome temptation.
· Settle for a draw – won’t change marketplace/marketplace will change them.
· Seek God to hear Him – do what He tells them.
· Expect hand of God blessing personal and business life.
· Have experienced power of God personally and in business.
· Have apostolic mindset – on a mission to transform.
· See that the flock they pastor is marketplace of business.
Luke 19 - Servants prospered in business
· Periodic breakfast meetings to inspire – keys.
· Connection – other businessmen – pray and encourage, share word.
· Profile businessmen in church.
· Opportunities for mission experiences.
· Can’t change anything if you are hostile to it.
· God’s intention is that His people penetrate and alter the business community.
· Business Community – core of city life – must penetrate.
· Requires that we change paradigm = mindsets, ways of thinking.
· Business breakfasts – want to change way you think and live.
So business life overflows with life and blessing of God.
So your influence on people in business increases.
So you become empowered to spread the Gospel.
Four things that speak:
1) Money (Eccl. 10:19)
2) Character (Dan 6:3)
3) Power of God (Acts 19:10)
4) Community (Jn. 13:35 – relationship)
Daniel 1: 4-8
a) Circumstances he lived in
· Nation Israel invaded and defeated by Greatest World Empire
· Babylon = Confusion – picture symbol of World System
· Takes capture – probably made a eunuch – lived in Babylon
· Lived in King’s palace – in training
b) Pressures upon Daniel
· Taught the ways of Babylon – contrary to the Bible
· Name changed to Babylon gods – attempt to change character
· Daily portion – constant temptation to defilement, corruption
· Lived under possibility of execution
c) Decisions Daniel Made
(i) Purposed = Made quality decision – not to be defiled
(ii) Centered life on relationship with God – living according to His ways
(iii) Refused to take in things that would defile
(iv) Respect and love for enemies
(v) Controlled tongue – no hasty word
(vi) Provided constructive alternative
(vii) Constantly prayed and depended on Holy Spirit
(viii) God gave him success
· Jesus intentionally recruited business people – not members of a religious organization.
· Jesus goal was to penetrate community to change the culture.
· Business is one of the key aspects of community life.
· Culture of city is revealed in how money is handled.
Examples of People Jesus Recruited
1) Disciples – Key Apostles
· Professional fishermen - Peter/Andrew (Mt 4:18)
· Partners in fish business - James and John (Mt 4:21-22)
· Tax collector – Matthew (Mk. 2:14)
· Farmer – Nathaniel (John 1:48)
2) Authors of New Testament
· Doctor – Luke
· Tax Collector – Matthew
· Food business – John
· Wealthy man – Mark.
Mark – from wealthy family. (Acts
Church met in mother’s home.
-Rhoda – maidservant opened the gate.
-Knocking not heard = big home.
3) Birth Place of Church.
· Acts 1:13 – 15 Church birthed in upper room – not in a church building.
· Large place = 120 men and women stayed there, meals, sleeping
· Probably large chamber owned by wealthy man
4) Key Converts
· Fabric Wholesaler – Lydia (Acts 16:14)
· Clothes Designer – Dorcas (Acts 9:36)
· Tent Makers – Aquila & Priscilla (Acts 18:2)
· Government Official – Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:27)
· City Treasurer – Erastus (Rom. 16:23)
5) Fresh Revelation
· One of Most important revelations – Church included Gentiles
· Came not to theologian
· Senior Military Officer- Cornelius
· Church centre of operations moved from Jerusalem to Antioch = major business centre.
6) Apostolic Co-Workers
· People have wrong concepts of “deacon” = low level helper
· Acts 6: Criteria
o Holy Spirit Anointed
· Put in charge of business – never says waited on tables.
Our vision: “How I see Businessmen”
i) Passionate in their commitment to Christ
ii) Growing and succeeding in their personal life.
iii) Growing and succeeding in their business and finance.
iv) Releasing resources to the local church and the Kingdom of God.
v) Impacting and influencing business people by personal life.
vi) Mentoring the next generation = to success in life and business.
vii) Growing in faith and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Our key objectives:
i) Stimulate growth and success in your personal life.
ii) Stimulate growth and success in your business life.
1 Corinthians 7:20-24
i) (v20) Your workplace is your God given calling.
· “Calling” => purpose, part of design, a plan of God.
· “Abide”=> Remain where you are.
· Business success and Christian Life not apposes, incompetent.
· Becoming Christian lifts your work to a new level, dimension.
· Have access to life resources of God and purpose.
· Your work is a God-given calling, not a “burden”.
ii) (v23) You are of great value personally to Christ.
· Men find value/ identity in work – defines them.
· E.g. “What do you do?”Creating!
· Work can place demands that steal personal value.
· If value comes from work, their business will have a poor source of value.
· New source of value – unchanging.
· Value based on what God is willing to pay to busy you.
· You must re-centre your life – value based on Christ’s sacrifice.
iii) (v23) Every believer is a fulltime worker for Christ.
· Not a slave to systems or people.
· “Slave” = person bound, no freedom of choice.
· Can be in ‘business bondage’ – workaholic!
· You are the servant of Christ => freedom from bondages.
· Who are you servant to? One whose voice you hear and obey.
· You must see yourself as a fulltime servant of Christ.
· To serve Christ you must take time to listen to Him, commit to obey the Word of God.
iv) (v24) Every believer is called to make a difference in the workplace.
“Abide with God” => bring the presence of God into your business.
a) Ambassador = represent, speak on behalf of Christ => New set of Values, Principles, Lifestyle. (2 Cor. 5:20)
b) Advance come of Christ => increase and influence (Genesis 1:27)
To make a difference you must start at the centre of your life. E.g. Judges 6: “Gideon – business – agriculture – fear.”
· God calls him mighty warrior.
· God sees potential, possibilities.
Gideon fearful, saving self – God’s plan was bigger.
1) Listened to God
2) Personally Responding
3) Cleansed personal life
4) Obeyed the voice of God.
· Jesus was raised in business environment – fully acquainted with business.
· Jesus ran His own business – carpentry and understood what it takes to succeed.
- God despises rich people
- Christians can’t handle success, money
· Bias among Christians against wealth, rich people.
Missions – Uganda OK, Hawaii No! Flaxmere OK, Beverly Hills No!
Ex business people – Christians avoid and focus on poor and needy; intimidated.
i)Bible warns about misuse of wealth/money: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
ii)Bible clear that God loves the world: John 3:16 “God so loved the world that who so ever …”
· Jesus equally loved and ministered to poor and to rich.
Luke 18-19 Jesus at Jericho ministered to both poor and rich
a) Blind Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35)
· Bartimaeus = beggar, poor – neediest man in town.
· People rejoiced and celebrated when he was healed/blessed (Luke 18:43).
· People celebrated when his need was met.
b) Zacchaeus (Luke 19:2)
· Zacchaeus = wealthiest man in town.
· Business man who prospered.
· People angry, reacted to Jesus’ acceptance and blessing Him (Luke 19:7).
· People found it easy to believe poor deserved miracle, God’s help.
· People openly despised rich man – called him sinner – Jesus never did.
· People found easier to believe rich man is greater sinner, less deserving.
c) NZ Attitude to Rich
· “Poor are most deserving”.
· Roots of envy, bitterness, tall poppy syndrome, ‘all equal’.
· Person who prospers is considered “corrupt, less deserving”.
· Luke 19:9-10 This man (Zaccheaus) also (as well as Bartimaeus).
· Both in equal need of salvation
· Jesus confronted a clear prejudice against rich, successful people.
· Confronted mindset; God wants to help poor not rich.
· Mindset: Poor people more deserving – rich can take care of self.
· Note: Jesus came to seek both!! Poor and rich alike need salvation.
· Jesus seeks Bill Gates as well as poor widow!
Luke 19:11: Jesus added and spoke a parable
· ·To address crowds prejudice against rich.
· ·To make clear – Kingdom manifests progressively in all cities through world.
Luke 19:12: Parable of nobleman going to a far country to receive kingdom and return
· ·Jesus = nobleman who entrusted money/resources to His servants.
· ·Citizens rejected and rebelled against him – hostile to the king and kingdom.
· ·His servants prospered in business in spite of hostile environment.
· ·His servants rewarded by authority over cities on his return directly on basis of return on investment.
Note: Key issues that Jesus raises
i) Servants loyal to Jesus need to enter market place and use whatever He has given them to gain authority in spite of hostile opposition.
ii) King’s servants prospered because work place given them was essentially good.
iii) King disappointed in servant who failed to invest or even have savings account.
iv) Kings approval on basis of servants willingness to use capital entrusted to him in spite of opposition.
v) Kings reward was authority over cities as result of business’ success on his behalf – proper use of wealth.
Luke 19:8-9: Impact of his actions
i) Gave to the poor generously
ii) Restitution generously where any financial injustice done
· Consider impact in nation if people did this!
· Zaccheaus’ wealth came under power and authority of Jesus Christ.
· Wealth was used to advance the Kingdom of God.
· Note: Zaccheaus would have been one of first to receive.
· Zaccheaus understood wealth entrusted for purpose – extend kingdom of God and cause of Christ – bless people.
· c.f. New Testament Church – Acts 4:34-35.
Luke 18:22-23: Rich young ruler
· Young man owned much property (Mark 10:22) and was very rich (Luke18:23).
· Jesus felt love and compassion for him (Mark 10:21).
· Key issue = man’s life was controlled by money.
· Why Jesus tell him to sell and give to poor?
· Because wealth evil and poverty good?
· Because willing to trust God as source and replenishes of wealth as means to bless people.
· Note: Young man viewed wealth as means to prop up insecurity and establish identity rather than as means to benefit the poor.
· Purpose in coming together
o Help business people discover their purpose and call of God in marketplace.
o Stimulate advance and success in personal and business life.
· Attitude determines altitude – how you see something affects what you do.
· Must address and overcome wrong thinking – anti Bible – based on wrong concept.
o Separation of spiritual and natural
o Concept of church primarily operates within building
o Concept that people involved in businesses are less spiritual
o Concept that primary role of Christian businessmen is to fund Christians
· New Testament Þ Every believer is minister of God with unique call.
Marketplace = centre of business, education, government.
Traditional Concept of Jesus:
· Pictured as hostile to business and wealth.
· Pictured as monk more than manager.
Reality: Jesus was a businessman, a coach, a leader.
Jesus’ Birthplace – Marketplace:
· Luke 2:7 Jesus was born in a place of business – local inn.
· Luke 2:8-14 Angelic celebration – nearby feedlot for shepherds.
· Luke 2:15 Jesus’ first visitors – local small business owners –shepherds.
· Stable = equivalent of modern service station – fuel and parking.
· This was done to show God’s heart for marketplace – where sinners are.
· Age 12 – must be about My Father’s business.
Jesus in Business – Marketplace:
· Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? – offended at Him!
· Tend to see Jesus as Teacher and King (Ruler) – difficult seeing as businessman.
· Jesus neighbors described Him: “The Carpenter” – offended because could not see local businessman as knowing spiritual things.
· Jesus taught carpentry from teens Þ 20 years in business.
· Jesus took over and operated Father’s business.
· Jesus a skilled craftsman with His own business – made tables, chairs, doors, yokes etc.
Jesus – Successful in Business:
Professional carpenter – earned a living from His business. Had to run
shop at a profit.
- costs goods/labor
- supply and demand
- competitive pricing
- return on investment
- maintenance and replacement
- Called the “carpenters son” (Matthew 13:55) and “the carpenter” (Mark 6:3).
- As firstborn male – Jesus ran family, owned business.
- Family all had roles.
- Business able to support eight or more.
Jesus was thoroughly familiar with business life and spoke on it often.
- Construction Matthew 7:24
- Wine making Luke 5:37
- Farming Mark 4:2
- Management and labor Matthew 20:1
- Family owned businesses Matthew 21:28-31
- Hostile takeover of vineyard Luke 20:9
- Return on investment Matthew 25:14
- Crop yield Mark 13:27
- Management – promotion Luke 12:35
- Misuse of money – bankruptcy Luke 15:11
- Leverage Luke 16:1
Jesus – Business Miracles:
Many of Jesus’ miracles concerned everyday matters – cutting edge.
- Boys fishes/loaves – fed thousands Matthew 14:13
- Water into wine – solved catering problem John 2:10
- Huge catch of fish = insider trading profit for Peter Luke 5:1-14
- Advice to Peter paid tax bill of both Matthew 17:24-27
Jesus – Financing His Ministry:
Many people think of Jesus as broke – not true.
· Supported by group of wealthy women Luke 8:1-3
· Seamless tunic: modern equivalent of Armani suit
· Enough money needed for treasurer John 13:29
· Marketplace = where Jesus recruited His disciples (followers).
· 1 Corinthians 7:17 “As God has distributed to every man, as the Lord has called everyone, so let him walk.”
· Do you have a job or a calling (invitation from God to fulfill purpose).
· Every believer has a “call of God” to serve Him uniquely.
· Called to: computer, car selling, capacity, police, and business.
· Example: Exodus 31:2 Bezaleel
· Call of God carries with it anointing – empowering to prosper.
· You don’t change job when become Christian – fulfill God’s purpose where you are in the front lines of business.
· God has a plan, a destiny, a purpose for you to fulfill.
· Personal response to Jesus Christ
· Commitment of life – including business to Lord
· Good principle: Start with the Finish in mind – or you will go off course.
Applies to every area of your life:
e.g. Building a house
e.g. Establishing Business
· Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man foresees the evil & hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished”
Question: How would you advice this man about his finances?
· He lived in one country but retires in a different new country
· The currency in his present country cannot be used in the country he retires
· What should he plan to do while he is alive?
E.g. Indonesia - money cannot be used in N.Z.
Jesus taught on this issue, Matthew 6:19-24 - Note contend “Reward”.
i) “Lay up Treasure”
· This is the plan of God for every person – think ahead with your finances
· Lay up = 2343 Strongs = Thësaurizó = to amass, accumulate, heap up
· Treasure = wealth, riches, valuables
· Clear direction from Jesus to consider the future and plan to amass wealth
ii) “Lay up – for yourself”
· The sole beneficiary of their treasure to be laid up is yourself
· What you do will benefit you in the future
· No one else can do this for you – you personally responsible
· Not talking about selfishness, but being wise or being a fool
- does not think and plan ahead for his future
- lives in the hope that somehow it will work out OK!
- does not think with eternal perspective
· Luke 12:13-21 *“You fool!” - failed to plan for eternal future
So is everyone who is rich to self – not rich to God
The issue is not having money – it is really a issue of perspective
a) The money cannot be taken with you
b) The money can be used to create future eternal
iii) “Lay up Treasurers in Heaven”
· As they say in Real Estate—location is everything
· E.g. If you build an expensive home on land and then find it was a dump and is subsiding steadily—value drops immediately
· Treasure on earth is uncertain—theft!
· Treasure on earth must be left behind
· The only place where treasure is safe, is in heaven
· Treasure in heaven will be enjoyed for eternity
iv) There is a Rival Master
· v13 “No man can serve two Masters”
· Master = supreme ruler/Lord
· Key issue is one of loyalty – which one do you serve, listen to, yield to?
· Both masters talk to you and seek your attention
· Your behavior will reveal which master you serve
· Attitude: Love/Hate - loveless, detest
· Hold/Despise - think against,
· Where your treasure is there will be your heart.
· If not purposefully interest in the Kingdom of God – heart is not there
· Key question: How can I develop/ accumulate wealth on earth?
· How can I transfer it ahead so that I can have a eternal treasure?
· Must do something with finances now
· Your behavior will reveal what you believe?, what your priorities are?
1 Timothy 6:17 “Command them that are rich!”
“Command” is a directive – comes from Superior Commander
i) Not High minded – arrogant, self important
ii) Not trust in money – uncertain!
iii) Trust in the Living God – bring, generous, kind, rewarding
iv) Enjoy what you have – celebrate life, enjoy all your possessions
v) Do good = Acts of kindness under direction of the Holy Spirit
vi) Generous= Use money to advance Gods interests!
vii) Communicate = Connect in vital relationships with other believers
· Lay up treasure for time to come!
· Seize hold of something that lasts forever!
Core Issue = Faith!
· Faith that God is good, God is just - His word can be trusted!
· Faith that God will reward and the reward will more than compensate!
· Majority of your life is spent in the work place
· How can you integrate your life with God and your work in the market place?
· How can you make Christ the centre of your business?
· Luke 5:3-8
§Peter an experienced fisherman experienced frustration, failure.
§When yielded to Word of Jesus experienced miracle in business.
§Experiencing miracle in place of work transformed his attitude.
§God also wants you to experience ‘blessing’ upon life and work.
§Requires 1) Perspective 2) Priorities
b) You are a Steward not an Owner
1 Co. 19:20 “You are not your own – you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s”
· Believer is in covenant relationship with God.
· We are not owners – only temporary residents on earth.
· Lk 19:13 called his servants and delivered them 10 pounds and said to them to ‘occupy till I come’.
· You are a servant of God – an ambassador for his Kingdom.
· You cannot change this – you must recognize and fulfill its requirements.
· The talents, gifts you have are an entrustment.
· You are to occupy = trade, do business till he comes.
c) You must Give an Account
Luke 19:15 “When he returned … might know how much every man had gained by trading”
· All stewards will give account how productive in extending the Kingdom of God.
· God’s intention is to reward, promote faithful servant.
· You must give an account for life and how ran your business
First step of making Christ centre of businesses is gaining
a)The Kingdom of God is Eternal: Mt 4:17 – “Repent the Kingdom of God is at hand”.
· Kingdom of God – kingdom where God is the centre.
· It is not temporary – it is eternal, it endures forever.
· It is not a kingdom that changes and disappoints like Kingdoms of men.
· Kingdom becomes as its King – its Ruler.
· Kingdom of man – full of strife, conflict, ambition and abuse.
· Kingdom of God – reflects nature and character of King.
· “Repent” – Kingdom of God places requirement for us to change if we are to experience its benefits.
Application to the Businessman
1) Make Peace with Your Work
· Easy to become resentful, angry, anxious with work situation.
· Accept it as God’s assignment for you.
· E.g. Daniel; Esther; Joseph
· Each came to terms with hardship, injustice and discovered God’s purpose.
· Placed God first – arose above the ordinary and excelled in the market place.
· Accept and declare your work as God’s gift to you.
2) Embrace Your Work
· You cannot change something you are reacting to.
· You are god’s ambassador, representative
· You are the pastor of all those people within your business
· You will speak peace, fellowship, pray for miracles, and share Christ.
3) Improve Your Work Place
· Disciples were instructed to heal, repair damage, and meet needs – is your business in bondage?
· Joseph, Daniel and Esther were a source of divine blessing.
· They prayed and operated on divine principles.
· You can improve the processes/working conditions.
4) Advance God’s Kingdom
· Pray over people, bless them, and speak work of God over them.
· Look for opportunities to make Christ known – Word and Deed.
Mt. 6:33 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added”
· God’s intention is that we experience His blessing and not strive and struggle with anxiety, as do unsaved people who do not know Christ.
· Key is priorities – Seek first – place Christ and His Word at first place.
· E.g. peter – Lord we have toiled – nevertheless at Your Word.
· Consider Jesus instructions to His disciples.
Jesus was a man with a mission purpose – seek and save the lost/destroy dead works.
Lk 10:3-9 “Jesus commissioned 70 disciples – they impacted the region”
He gave four key instructions:
i) Speak peace to people/circumstances he called “wolves” (v5)
ii) Fellowship (v7)
iii) Care for needs (v9)
iv) Proclaim the Kingdom (v9)
The focus of their effort was to bring lost people to Christ.
I believe every one of us is capable of far more than we realize. We need principles, we need guidelines, and we also need others around us that can encourage us to go a little further. In fact just this week I was with someone and he was asking me to evaluate what was happening in his area of ministry and business. The biggest thing is for you to believe in yourself that you carry giftings in your life that enable you to have a far bigger influence than you realise. Every one of us needs people that can help us and encourage us to go up to another level. At almost every level of life we need those who are our peers that we can run our ideas by, those who can help us come up a little higher, and those that we’re investing into to bring up. Whatever stage we’re at, in business or in our business life when we walk with the Lord, there is always someone you can give a hand up to, you can encourage who would value greatly what you’ve got to give.
“I was in church in Indonesia a little while ago, one of the key businessmen there said I was talking to some businessmen one time and he said pray the pastor gets a big vision for the church, and I said why would you tell them that for, and he said, well if God’s going to give a big vision then it’s going to need a lot of money, He’s going to have to bless the businessmen and the businessmen will have to prosper and earn a lot more money. That’s smart wisdom, I like that sort of wisdom”.
You hear that in Asia, you don’t hear so much of that in the West. We separate up our life with God and our life in the business field.
It’s been a great joy to me to hear from you individual testimonies:
· How as you’ve started to connect your life with God
· Your business world
· How you conduct yourself
· That some of you have seen some quite significant leaps practically and you’re making a lot more money than you were before
· At another level your influence and your understanding that God wants to work through you is growing.
· I’m committed to really help us in the business field change our thinking in a lot of ways so that we actually get an understanding of our calling into the business field.
Matthew 6: Jesus had spoken “Where your treasure is, where your money is, where your valuables are, that’s where your heart will be also.”
· Practically speaking, if you’ve got ten dollars invested in some shares and the company goes down you don’t worry at all but if you put all your life savings there it’s another story altogether.
· You’re heart is there, you are very concerned who’s managing it; you pick up the shares every morning and read them, why? It’s because your heart is there, you invested with something valuable to you.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters for he will hate one and love the other or he will hold one and despise the other.
· ·Everyone of us is included.
· Jesus said you can’t serve God and serve mammon.
· Jesus made it very clear that there are two masters in the world that every one of us, me included, has to choose between.
· Not to choose once but continue to choose.
He says on the one hand, you’re going to serve one or the other but not both. Sometimes we’ve tended to think we can have a bit of both. I’ll have a bit of God and I’ll have a bit of the other as well. Jesus is saying in this very clearly you can’t do that, it doesn’t work for you, no man can have two masters, and you will have one or the other. There are two masters, and one of them is God. God is a Spirit, so you can choose to have God being in charge of your business or you can choose to have money being in charge of your business. By default money will be the god of your business and the god of your life.
a) It’s a choice that’s needed to consciously allow the Lord to become the centre and the senior partner of your business, not just once as a little prayer but on a day-to-day business.
b) God isn’t concerned just about blessing you; God is concerned about advancing His kingdom in the world.
c) He doesn’t need the money He’s got all that, the bible says all the silver all the gold is Mine, He formed it all, heaven is full of gold so you don’t need to bring any there.
d) He’s not needing the money, the money is needed to get work done in the earth which is the real mission reaching the lives and the hearts of people.
I’ve just been over in the USA to a Chinese church conference there, part of a stream of churches called the “River of Life”, and they’re church planting all over the world and I was with them there and also some of the church group in Canada, the passion for the Chinese to reach the world is just outstanding. They have inside them a sense of destiny that God’s called them as people to reach the Muslim world, the Buddhists world and the Hindu world in this generation and so through China there is a very, very strong sense of mission that God is raising the Chinese up to do that job. When we see what President Bush is doing, we can see how ill qualified we will be to even go to such places without the risk of losing our life. So the Chinese have tremendous sense of mission, and with that thinking behind them, businessmen are at the forefront of what God is doing. Everywhere I go where there are Chinese you will find there will be businessmen making things happen and they are quite unashamedly carrying a sense of call and destiny,
- I’m called to be a businessman,
- I’m called to serve God in the business field,
- I’m called to make an impact with my life.
So Jesus made it very clear that you can serve God and He is then the One who leads or directs or guides or influences a whole range of things in your business or you can serve money. And if you serve money then there will be a number of side effects that you will experience.
i) If money is driving you, you will find you’re never satisfied.
- The bible says very clearly, it’s never enough. No matter how much you have there never seems to be enough. I can remember when we had very little it was never enough, and then you get more and that is still not enough. People basically will live up to exactly what they have. If you’re getting $500.00 a week coming in then you’ll live to $500.00, if you’ve got a $1000.00 you’ll live to $1000.00, if you’ve got $1,500.00 you’ll live to $1,500.00.
- Learn to be content, whether you’ve got very little or very much, learn to be content with where you are it is a huge gain in life. So when money is our god, we can’t be content.
- No matter what we’ve got we haven’t got enough, someone’s got more, we’re dissatisfied all the time.
So if you find continually there’s never enough, crying inside you, you’ve got to really ask yourself, what is really motivating me. Because to be content and to be Godly is one the greatest gains you can have in life. I’ve met people who were multi-millionaires with no peace in their heart, absolutely tormented and troubled, funnily enough they reckoned they didn’t have enough. You see in the magazines movie stars, you think they’re beautiful looking people and right through you hear the same kind of cry, there’s things about themselves they want to change. The problem is in the heart, the problem is a spiritual one of not being satisfied inside, not fulfilled.
ii) When money drives people they actually forget God; really it’s all about me and what I’m doing, and look what I’ve built.
- The bible warns us very clearly about that, about forgetting God who blesses us and gives us benefits.
iii) When you become anxious and stressed:
- Mark 6 Jesus said don’t be anxious and up tight.
- You find that when money is ruling your life you become stressed about how it’s going to work out, whether it’s enough, what’s going to happen.
- So stress and pressure are always an indication that something’s coming out of kilter inside and internally because Jesus said He’s offered us peace in the midst of pressure.
- Finally, there’s a tendency as things financially grow, you tend to trust it and you trust in the Lord less and less.
Now that’s what the bible calls the deceitfulness of riches, as money increases and as your wealth increases, after a while your need for God diminishes because you don’t actually have a need. You buy what you need. So one of the things I’ve noticed with people, I’ve seen many people start off well God prospered them and then they lost their heart for God. When there’s trouble I call on God, but when I’m going well I forget about God. I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to be in relationship with anyone who related to me in that kind of way. I’ll call you when I need you but the rest of the time, leave me alone Jack. What kind of relationship is that? That’s not satisfying to God, to be in a relationship like that with you and me. He wants to be our partner in life, in every aspect of it. So Jesus spoke very clearly, put first or seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In other words make your first priority in life, there are lots of things, but the first one is to seek to advance the interests of God’s kingdom. That means literally to discover what’s in His heart and put it first in your life and seek to live a right life before Him, everything else will come into your life. Everything you need. It’s a real challenge.
Bill give me a fascinating book about a Chinese man living in China and how he lived his life for the Lord, the day he got married he told his wife to be, if you marry me you have to understand that most of my life I’m being pursued by the police. The story tells of the miracles that God did and you see the amazing miracles that God did to deliver him and the many times he escaped. In fact in their training program for missionary’s they teach them how to escape from a moving car with handcuffs on, isn’t that interesting, how to leap with your hands cuffed behind you how to leap out of a second storey building and run away.
One of the stories was the authorities were so glad they caught him that they beat him so severely they actually broke his legs, and the man who broke his legs said, “now see if your God can help you escape!” He had to be carried everywhere in the prison because his legs were broken, they weren’t tended to at all. One day God spoke to Him and said, today get ready to leave, you’re going to leave tonight. Someone else came to him and said I believe God’s telling me that you’re going to leave tonight; another came and also said I believe God’s telling me that you’re to leave tonight. The Lord gave him a vision and showed him in the vision him walking through open doors and out on to the street there were no guards around and a yellow taxi coming which he got in and the Lord showed him where to go.
He said I’ve got to obey God so he said to the guy I can’t walk so will you help me. The guy helped him to his feet and virtually carried him, he had his arm around his shoulder, walked him until they got to the first door. The doors in the prison were such that the lock was on one side, you could open them from the outside you couldn’t open it from the inside, so anyone could come in but they couldn’t go back out unless they had a key. He got to the door, and as he got to the door a prisoner came through the other door and he was able to hold it open and walk through the door. That’s door number one!
Then they came to another door, what he hadn’t realised was as he walked God healed his legs, and as he was doing what God told him to do the power of God came around him but he was focused on getting out, and he didn’t even realise that God had healed his legs, he didn’t realise till after he’d got away that he’d had a miracle healing in his legs.
He gets to the next door and another prisoner is being escorted by a guard who came up to the door, pushed the door open for the prisoner to get through and just as the prisoner walked through the phone rang for the guard and he turned around with his back to the door, walked back into his office to get to the phone and the guy caught the door and when the prisoner came through. He is through door number two!
He reached the gate, which amazingly were open and there were no guards there and as he walked through the gates and stood out in the street a yellow taxi came up, he hopped in it and told him where to go, when he got there the people said, we’ve been expecting you. God told us you were going to come out tonight. And of course in the prison there was this consternation that the man who was crippled escaped from a maximum-security prison, they couldn’t work out how it could happen.
The thing that impresses me the most is the tremendous spirit of sacrifice for Christ and His cause. The contrast between the life in the East, where people are suffering and dying for their faith, and the life in the West, where you’re seduced to death is huge.
Eventually he became so wanted throughout China he had to get out of China and a guy said to him, well I’ll give you my passport and he said, well it doesn’t look like me, and the Lord said take it and go. So he got the ticket, went to the airport. Now you know you have to show your passport, the Lord spoke to him and said, in the multitude of words there lacks no sin. So He said don’t speak unless I give you something to say.
When he got to the airport he presented his ticket and the passport. They looked at the passport and laughed and said this is not you. He said nothing, he just looked and stared at them and they said you’ll never get into the next country, they’ll just put you on a plane and you’ll have to come back again and they stamped it and let him through. He went to Germany and was received into Germany, they had heard already about him he was welcomed in there and eventually even got citizenship.
But what he didn’t realise was when he met a guy later on who said what you didn’t know was I was called on to set up a computer system at the airport and there’s a voice recognition system being set up, they have the voices in the computer of people that they know they’re after and when you come in and if you start to talk it immediately goes into the computer and they will match it up against a known voice print. If you had spoken it would have come up on the computer exactly who you were and they would never have let you out because they were still hunting for him, because he had escaped from a maximum security prison.
The book is full of those stories, the book is called The “Heavenly Man”, a great book for you to get. When he came to the West he thought the West would be open to the Gospel, what he found was people were lukewarm. In the East you knew who you’re enemies were, in the West it was the Christians who criticised and put false rumours around against one another.
He saw the greatest dangers were in the West were people were overwhelmed by a sense of being at ease and had no passion. All they wanted was to live comfortably.
So I found the book incredibly inspiring about how people today lay their lives down for Jesus Christ and in the West it is a great challenge for us to live above the crowd and to be a man of purpose or a woman of purpose.
To do that we’ve got to decide where Christ will be in our life day after day, when everyone around us is actually pulling the other way and led by another god. When Jesus said you serve God or mammon, He is saying literally God is a spirit, you either serve the person of Jesus Christ or you will serve the spirit that controls the world by manipulating it’s money systems. But one way or the other you will serve someone, so it’s better to put our hands in the hand of the Lord and let Him direct us, than it is to allow ourselves by default to come under another spirit that creates huge problems throughout our lives. So who is it going to be? So who is in control?
The real issue is the control of your life, Proverbs 16:25 says, there is a way that seem right to a man, it always seems right for me to be in charge. Because you’re in business, one of the reasons you’re in business apart from making profit and making a lot of money is you actually like to run your own show. That’s part of the big benefit of being in a business, there’s no boss you’re the boss. They have a Chinese proverb; it goes something like this, Better to be the head of the chicken than the tail of the ox. In other words, they would much rather run their own businesses even if it’s small than be a little part of a big business.
In Taiwan they have the greatest number of entrepreneurs per head per capita. In the Full Gospel Businessmen over there just in Taipei there are about 300. 150 or over are CEO’s of big corporations, everywhere you go Chinese all want to be in business for themselves. It makes a huge problem when you try to bring them together because they all want to be in charge.
One of the things of course is we enjoy the feeling of being in control part of the fall of man is every one of us fears that if I let go control of my life what will happen to me? Who could I trust with my life? And so we conclude I really can’t trust anyone but me, so the only one who is safe to run my life is me and I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do or direct me I don’t even want to consult too much, I want to run my life my way, this is the way that seems right unto me. The bible says that’s the way of the world, that’s the way people without Christ live their life. The dilemma is of course is where do you stand when you become a Christian?
In deliverance a person is set free from a demonic power that holds them in bondage, they’d like to be free they can’t be free, they got into that trouble because they do their own thing, sin, and a spirit came into their life. Inevitably one of the things I have found over a period of time is the only way a person can be free from a demon is actually to turn from what empowered it and to submit to the leadership or lordship of Christ in that part of their life. That is the only ground to be free, and I can tell you now I’ve heard literally hundreds of demons cry out and say, “I will not go he belongs to me.” To put it another way, I have a right to be here and control this life. So of course we learnt over a period of time that there a number of things that give legal right and in order for us to have a person set free from that kind of bondage they must submit or yield to the leadership of Jesus Christ. So when we talk about the word “Lord”, we’re meaning the one who has the final say, the one who is in charge, the one who’s supreme, He is the authority.
So to be saved, the bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is the Lord. The issue of becoming saved is really acknowledging that Jesus Christ truly is the one who is Lord over everything, that’s what positions you to get saved. Now to walk with the Lord it requires us to actually let go trying to control our life. What we want to do is, we don’t mind trusting Jesus to save us, but we’re not so happy about Him having any influence or running the business.
The difficulty is for many Christian businessmen in New Zealand is the separation of their personal life with God and the way they live and conduct their business life. It’s what’s called dualism, you have two lives, you have a life on Sunday you come to church, pray, read your bible, sing to the Lord, bless God, have fellowship, all that kind of stuff. Monday through Saturday is a different life and it’s a different life because God actually has nothing but superficial say in anything that’s done in that part of your life. In other words, church is Sunday that is God, but the rest of my life I’ve got to get on and just do the best I can. It’s actually not a biblical framework of thinking. Biblical framework of thinking is Jesus is the Lord of all; He is entitled and capable and able, more able than me, to direct my affairs. He wants me to walk in a partnership with Him so that every part of my life He has an influence and a say in.
In Uganda 20% of the nation has come to Christ, in New Zealand about 3% are active Christians, that makes us worse off than Uganda in terms of Christian influence in the nation. We have to see our own nation, it is a secular, unreached nation, and it is not a Christian nation. It’s not Christian in government, it’s not Christian in education, it’s not Christian in social policy, it is not Christian, and it is secular!
When you marry, the true biblical marriage is a covenant to be partners in life, it’s to share your life to do one another no harm, it’s to be friends, it’s to share life with its ups and its downs, for better or worse, richer or poorer, till death part us. God’s desire is for a relationship where richer or poorer, better or worse, whatever comes we are bound together. Can you imagine what kind of a marriage you’d have if during the week you lived somewhere else and came home for just one day of the week and you talked a little bit on that one day and the rest of the time your wife had no idea what was going on, she had no involvement, you’d have no marriage. If you can’t make a marriage work what makes you think we can make our relationship with God work with a one day a week basis. It’s never intended to be that way, God wants to be a partner with us.
So the crucial part is allowing Him to become the Lord. Now if you have called Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, in 1 Corinthians 6:20 it says, you are not your own, you are brought with a price, it cost Him to redeem you, therefore glorify God with your body. If your life is the Lord’s so is your business, it is a part of your life, one of the biggest parts of your life. If you belong to the Lord then your marriage belongs to Him. If you belong to the Lord then your children belong to Him and therefore because they belong to Him if you will acknowledge that and work with Him, He will take the greater weight of responsibility and will help you to ensure you don’t carry the same anxiety about your marriage, family, finances and business that the world does. Everyone out there is “dog eat dog”, but you’re not like that, you have a partner.
If God is in control of your business He can then accomplish His own plans through you. Have you ever thought that He put you into business, gave you a dream for business so He could accomplish something through you? Did it ever occur to you that God might have a plan, when he designed you with a desire for business that was a God given desire?
As a businessman you have a greater capacity to have influence and to affect the community and to release resources to the work of God than any other person. The only question is whether you see that as your mission in life and then begin to align yourself for that to happen. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, I know the plans that I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future, something to look forward to. So in business God has a plan for your business.
God is willing to direct you in all major decisions, so if you have important decisions to make, significant decisions, God wants to direct you. He says in Psalm 22:8, I will instruct you and I will teach you in the way you should go. You might say well what does God know about business? Well Peter thought that way too. Peter had a whole night without catching any fish and Jesus said, just go out again put the net out the other side, he said we’ve been out all night, nevertheless at Your word we’ll do it, so at the end of the day, in spite of doubts, he actually let the Lord direct him and when he did he got the biggest catch of fish.
They didn’t have tax money, how are they going to pay the tax? Jesus said okay, drop the line in over there, I know something you don’t know, and they hook up a fish that’s got a gold coin in it. He is able to help us in these areas. But we have to seek His direction and advice.
Let me ask you this, do you actually submit what your plans are or the things you’re planning to do. The people you’re considering employing, the contracts, do you actually ever talk to God about these things? It would be a real help if you had inside information wouldn’t it? You’ve got to know that God has got the inside information, He can give you the cutting edge but you’ve got to listen to Him. There is a price to pay for listening to Him, but the benefits are enormous if He gives you a cutting edge insight and you start to produce a product just ahead of when it’s needed.
You start to actually move in a new area in your business just at the leading edge of the market instead of waiting till everyone else is there and you’re just following up the field. We need to be leading edge people not tailing edge people trying desperately to cope. We’ve got to actually expect God, You are the God who knows all things to give us the leading edge, and you can show me where I should put my efforts. But often because of fear we are reluctant to let the Lord help us - there’s a way that seems right to us. So God will be as involved in your business or uninvolved as you like.
You choose, it’ll take more than just praying and saying God I give my business to You. There’s a little more in it than that, most people pray that prayer but then when you look at the way they run their life you can tell their business isn’t in God’s hands at all, they’re just doing their own thing just like they did before they prayed the prayer. I’ll show you what will happen when your business is in God’s hands. There will be a number of things that will start to change over a period of time.
God won’t enforce Himself on your business, if you’re willing to put it in His hands and allow Him to lead you then He’ll realign your business. Every area of your business life which is out of alignment He will start to bring it into alignment, in other words, He’ll change some things that you do so they’re better. He wants to be a partner with you. When God gets a hand on your business what will change? Nothing initially, but as you let Him talk with you and consistently bring your plans to Him and talk them over with Him and pray over what you’re doing, the first thing you’ll notice you’ll find people will become important. Why? Because God’s into people, He’s not into money, He doesn’t need your money, what He wants is to touch people so He wants you to value what He values, He values people. So what kind of people? Number one, you!
I had someone tell me God is a senior partner in my business, I said well, not doing too good a job then is He? The point was if you’re stressed out, overworked, you’re a workaholic, if you have no time for anything, if you can’t be involved in anything, can’t do anything, you’re nothing but work, work, work I don’t believe that God’s in charge at all, He would never treat you that way. I was a workaholic at one stage, working seven days a week and still not enough time in the day and I was complaining to God, and then God just spoke to me and said who told you to do all those things? Who set your diary? Who set the goals? He said you never talked it over with Me, you never asked Me to give you a balance in your life, you never did that at all and so you’re stressed out because you set the goals and He said I want to make some changes.
The first one I’ll look after is you, so He said I want you to take a day off, and then He said now I want you to take two days off and one day you’ll invest with your family the other day, because you’ve got ministry obligations, you’ll invest in serving in that kind of area, and then He showed me how to bring balance around what I do. And do you know what? My work did not go backwards it went forwards. I actually went from strength to strength because the fear is, if I’m not getting it all done now then how can I get it all done if I take a little less time, but isn’t that the same way with our finance? If I can’t make ten tenths go, nine tenths definitely won’t make it.
In the end He showed me I could do a lot more than I thought just by prioritising and saying no to heaps of things and saying yes to what really counted. And He had to tell me what really counted. So the first person He’ll deal with is you. He wants to care for you because He loves you and He doesn’t want you beaten up by your business, He wants you to actually be enjoying what you do in your work. So He’ll bring some priorities around your life.
The second people He wants to look after is your employees, if you’re a Christian employer the bible’s got heaps of things to say about your employees and how you treat them. Your employees should actually think, it’s a great thing to work for this man rather than, he’s tight and mean and rips me off. What kind of a blessing is that? God wants you to look after your employees. Why? Because God looks after people who serve Him, He wants you to as well.
The next thing He’ll do is He’ll get you to look after your customers. Isn’t that amazing? If you will look after yourself, your workers and your customers wouldn’t go a lot better in business? I was talking to someone the other day who said, I make heaps of money and don’t advertise whatsoever, I said, I’ve noticed that I got your phone number off someone else. He then said, well that’s how I do all my business. I actually treat the customers well, I give them a good deal, a fair price, I look after them because I want them back and I want them to tell their friends.
God wants you to guard your name and have a good reputation in your business. So people are important. Our principles are become important, there are certain principles you’ll find will be very important to God. Integrity, that you’re not two-faced. That when you say you’re going to be there, you’re there. You keep your word. Honesty will be very important.
Service, give good service, quality service. If God’s in charge that’s the kind of business He runs. People are important. First you, second the ones you employ, third the ones you serve. Principles are important. Integrity, honesty and good service. Why? Because that’s how He runs His business, and it’s how He wants us to run it as well.
Here is another thing too, growth becomes important. Everything that God has His hand on grows. So growth is natural and normal. So financial growth is something that I’d expect to happen. With God’s hand of favour I’d expect you to grow financially. Why? Because God increasingly wants to use you as a channel to bless others. I bless you, that I might bless the nations through you. And not only in the areas of finance but also your influence. So God would expect your influence over a period of ten years in business in Hawkes Bay would financially grow and prosper and that your influence would increase. You’d become well known, well respected and because of the way people see your life, you’re able to talk to them and share with them about Christ, not because you’re Christian but because they see your life is lived differently. They see you in good times and bad you’re still different.
The good times it is a little harder to keep God in the front, in the bad times everyone was crying out to God and running to Australia but now the good times are here, where’s God and how are you honoring God? Start to think about those things, those things are very important for you.
Finally God will require that you be obedient to His promptings, so He’ll teach you about the lessons of obedience. One thing I loved when I read about a Chinese man who God was trying to speak to on two occasions through his wife. In his ministry he’d got burned out and insensitive to God and filled with his own importance. He didn’t listen to his wife and one day ended up seven months in jail. He knew immediately before he got thrown into jail that he’d not listened to his wife’s promptings and he’d not listened to the Lord. As a result he was going to face time in jail. I liked his attitude when he said he accepted the punishment because he deserved it and he just asked God to be merciful on him. When he went to jail he said, I’ll only be here for as long as God wants me to be here after that I’m out. I won’t be in a day shorter or a day longer, the day God wants me out I’ll be out. I’ve got a job to do.
In jail God spoke to him too fast and I’ll tell you when to stop, so he fasted off food and water, now you know you can’t live more than three days without water or you’re in severe trouble, well he fasted 73 days without food or water and God sustained him all through that time.
Now don’t you try that, in 73 minutes you’ll be hungry again. But he said he had a whole cell full of people and they were abusing him and the guards had tried to bribe the prisoners saying we’ll make it easier for you if you make it hard for him. So they’re all making it hard for him and after 73 days he said the Holy Ghost came on him even though he was weak he suddenly stood up and he spoke to them straight. He said, you’re looking at a living miracle, have you ever heard of anyone who lived 73 days with no food or drink? He said, I command you now in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, get on your knees, repent and come to the Lord, the whole lot including the Muslims got saved.
That’s why we’re here, we’ve got to learn how to listen to God’s promptings it may just be not to trust a customer, not to enter into a certain deal, it may be to wait a certain period of time, it may be to quickly pay something. God will speak to you about lots of little things, learn to be obedient rather than say I’ll make up for it later on. God wants you to do something now not wait for later on. Just do it now while you’ve got the chance.
So where do we start? Number one, just evaluate, where am I? Is money my god really? Or is God the Lord of my life? Is Jesus Christ the one who calls the tune?
The second thing is, make a commitment daily, just every day take time to pray and bring your business before the Lord, just like you pray for your family and you pray for your marriage and pray for other things, just consciously bring your business before the Lord, lay your hands on the plans you have, talk over your plans before you enter into them.
I found as a Pastor one of the most frustrating things was when people come up to me and say, God’s told me to do this what do you think? Or they say I’ve decided to do this what do you think? Could you pray your blessing on it? Well you’ve already decided, you don’t need me, the time for my advice was before you decided, not after you decided. So you just figure out whether it’s right or wrong by what the fruit of it is. So lay your plans before the Lord. The business deals you’re in, the prices to charge.
To get land for religious purposes is really difficult in Singapore; they just don’t have the land. They use a ballot system, a piece of land would come up for religious purposes and all the churches have to compete with one another for the land by bidding. It’s a closed bid, you don’t go to an auction and bid, you have an envelope, you put in your amount, so much per square foot and you’ve got to outguess the other bidders. One church there bid for a certain property and was a million dollars more than the nearest bidder. Imagine going back to your board and saying we got it but we bid a million more than the next bidder. They publish all the bids.
If you bid too low you’ve got no land, if you bid too high you end up with this huge gap between what you bid and the next bidder and you feel like I could have put that million into the building if I’d only bid one dollar more.
A pastor in Singapore a friend of mine said, their church prayed what they were seeking to do; they felt God had led them to a certain price. When he put his bid in he got the land and now they’ve built a multimillion-dollar church and facility. He said we bid only one dollar per square foot more than the nearest person. He said they couldn’t believe it, that’s the closest in all the years we’ve ever done it, it’s never been that close before.
I said, how did you do it? He said, well I knew I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out myself, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me the figure. I said what happened? He said, well I sweated over it I put an amount on paper, and sent it in, of course I went through very a difficult time but when it was announced, they’d never got it so close before. In other words he just paid the minimal edge to get it and the rest of the money could go into the building. How would you like inside information like that? When you hear stories that inspire you, it actually begins by listening to God in the little things and if you’re not listening to the little things you probably would miss or you’d freak out over the cost and not do it at all.
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil is as a roaring lion walks about seeking whom he may devour, whom resist steadfast in the faith”.
· You have a personal adversary – totally committed to rendering you ineffective as a Christian and stripping all God’s provision from you.
· There is no peace in this battle – 24/7 – stakes are eternal.
· Be sober; vigilant; resist!
· Greatest weapon used against people is Deception – Lie!
Lie No. 1 – There are two worlds – spiritual life and secular life (dualism)
· ·Dualism separates natural and spiritual areas of your life.
· ·Work life during the week and then God on Sunday.
· ·Work life is viewed as “not spiritual”.
· ·Spiritual life is viewed as “not related to work/business”.
Lie No. 2 – Only a few Christians are ‘chosen’ for Full Time Service
· You have a secular job or a religious job (full time ministry).
· Rest of us are free to work in secular world – money.
· No real responsibility for ministry – that is for “spiritual people”.
Lie No. 3 – Secular life is a public matter but spiritual life is ‘private’
· Don’t talk about ‘religion or politics’.
· Don’t intrude into people’s ‘private’ life – focus on secular.
· Keep quiet about ‘spiritual matters’ Might Offend!
· Spiritual life neglected
Devil has own agenda: e.g.
(i) Reaction to ‘enough is enough’ call, dangerous, Tui Advertisement.
(ii) Legislation against ‘Hate Speech’ silence and control ability to speak.
Truth No. 1 - Your spiritual life impacts all that you do!
· Prov. 4:28 keep heart with all diligence for out of it is the issues of life.
· All that you do flows out of what you believe.
E.g. Muslims – pouring $50 million a month to finance mosques worldwide. Goal is to penetrate and take over the world.
E.g. Humanist – agenda to totally alter family as we know it. Civil Law’s bill – gays – then polygamy.
E.g. Hollywood – media impacting the world.
· Dualism strips you of ability to bring life and power of God into business.
· Mt. 6:24 – cannot serve 2 masters – God/money
· Serve God and make money your servant!
· Money speaks! How can you make it your servant?
· Money has a voice – do you listen to $$ or to God?
· Master tells servant what to do – Do you master money or does money master you?
· If money speaks and you obey then money masters you!
e.g. Oprah Show – ‘Credit Card’. A
woman had amassed $120,000 debt on 12 cards – advice – give 10%.
Advisor =Poor are poor because money controls them.
When money has power over you – repelled from you.
· Looked for keys to power over money – 1 key – give it.
· When you give it away – you master it.
· Oprah began to give over 10% away –earnings rose from 3 mill to 100 mill. When God tells you to give it seems like he doesn’t know the state of your account.
Truth No.2 – All Christians are called to be full time ministers of God!
· 1 Pet. 2:9 – You are a royal priesthood you have access to God at any time for wisdom, empowering.
· Rev. 6:10 – Kingdom of priests and we shall reign on earth.
o We are called to extend the kingdom of God everywhere – Advance!
o Kingdom of the world media/finance/government/health/education.
· At no time in the day do you stop being a minister of God.
· Holy Spirit anointing given to enable you to extend influence – impact lives.
· He has made us ministers – servants of God full time (Is. 61:1-6)
Truth No. 3 – All Christians are called to reach people for Christ!
- ·When you make God senior partner, God can get his business done through yours.
- Lk. 19:10 God’s business is people.
- Jn 3:16 God is fully committed to people to serve and build them.
- Called to do more than make money called to penetrate and impact people.
- Jesus was constantly criticised because he was involved with people. (Lk 15:1-2).
- People hide pain, fear, and disappointment behind prosperity.
- You are called to pastor them (Mt 4:19 – Fisher of men)
- Who? Employees, associates, business connections, competitors.
1) Lifestyle – attitude, speak, present self, care, consistency
2) Business practice – honesty, integrity, service, presentation.
2 Timothy 1:9 “ He has saved us and called us with a holy calling not act to works but act to own purpose.
Gideon was involved in agriculture. (V11)
Distrusting of God’s power. (15)
He was a hard worker, not lazy - successful. (V6)
He had servant’s ð Employer. (V27)
His father/family was well known in the community. (V25)
His father deeply compromised spiritually.
He was fearful.
(V11) – Business environment.
(V27) - Men of the city.
(V27) – Father.
Finding – not in normal place – threshing floor.
- concealing what he was doing.
- He was alone – that’s the time God speaks to us.
Mark 1: 35
God sees us differently to what we see ourselves.
God sees our potential – sees past failures – past victories.
God calls us according to his vision of our life.
Ephesians 2:10 Created in Christ – unto good works.
(1) Identity – who he was. (V12)
(2) Standing – the presence of God with him. (V12
(3) Purpose – assignment of the purpose of God for his life. (V14)
(4) Power – The ability to fulfill the calling of God. (V14/16)
3 Objections that God ignored:
(1) Lack of any observable activity of God – Focus on problem. (V13)
(2) Lack of ability to financial prosperity and struggle to make ends meet. (V15)
(3) Lack of experience in standing.
Obedience and surrender are more important than excuses.
What excuses are you making to avoid the call of God on your life?
Gideon’s first response was to make an offering/sacrifice.
Offered a Kid ð expensive offering.
Brought it under the OAK ð CROSS
Romans 12:1 “Therefore present your body, a living sacrifice”.
“I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God” – That is your Spiritual Act of Worship.
a) God has demonstrated great love, kindness to each of you.
b) God desires us to respond to his love in practical ways.
c) God is pleased when you present your own body to him.
- Body ð Your life – wherever the body is, so are you.
- Body ð Practical gifts, talents and abilities.
d) Living sacrifice ð your life is dedicated to pleasing God.
- surrendering what you do to God’s control.
- Obeying God’s word – direction for your life.
- yielding out comes to trusting God.
God wants to be the CEO of your business!
(i) (You must) resign from being in control and let go. (Pride)
(ii) (You must) seek His direction daily in decision-making. (Prayer)
(iii) You must represent Him in your lifestyle. (Daily Appointment) - (dedication)
- Attitude to people.
- How you run your business, principles.
(iv) (You must) embrace His purpose for your life and business. (Purpose)
- Your business is your ministry.
(a) Purpose of Group:
· Empower you to succeed in personal life and business life
· Teach how to bring Christ, the Word of God into every area of your life personal and business.
· Motivate you to embrace your calling as a businessman to serve Christ and make impact.
· Connect you to other businessmen who you can encourage and support.
· Impart anointing Holy Spirit needed to make an unusual impact
(b) Making Christ Senior Partner:
· When you give God ‘controlling’ interest in your business – He is able to accomplish his goals through you – His business then your business i.e. Make him the parent company (1Cor6:19-20)
· God wants to prosper you – every area of your life – business, home, personal, relationships Jer29:11 I know the plan I have for you – a plan for good not evil.
· God promises to guide and direct us in every aspect of personal life and business. Ps 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you shall go.
· Gods’ business purpose – to reach people with the Gospel through you and your business. Lk19:10 Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
· Your business is your mission field – full time ministry! Matt 4:19 follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
(a) Gods principles of business are not offered “cafeteria style”
· Can’t pick and choose what you like and ignore what you don’t like.
· Must build a foundation – not for quick riches but long term growth.
· Underlying moral principles, guiding the decisions you make
· What is the underlying foundation for your decisions in business?
(c) Situation Ethics (Philosophy developed by world as basis for decision making)
· A flexible standard of ethics that is altered to suit the situation or transaction.
· There are no absolute standards when doing business so do what “seems best” in each situation.
· Total rejection of Bible standards, authority of right and wrong.
· Total rejection of accountability to God for decision making.
(d) How People Justify
· Whatever you do to me – I have the right to do to you (Rom12:17)
· End justifies the means
· Everyone else is doing it – that makes it OK (Rom12:2)
· OK to do it so long as you don’t get caught
· So long as we agree – then whatever we do is right
· Have to do it or wouldn’t survive in business (Rom12:21)
· It’s ‘dog eat dog’ out there
· Don’t want people to think I am weak.
· End up directly violating the Word of God
(a) Gods business purpose
· Reach people with Gospel through you and your business. = action speaks louder than words.
· Matt. 5:14 you are the light of the world – Let your light so shine before men.
· Must break out of ‘dog eat dog’ environment and treat people differently.
· Do this so people “see your light” and are attracted to Christ.
(b) How to know what Biblically ethical?
· There is no way you can open the Bible and find simple answers to every problem.
Bible emphasizes principles but requires relationship – have to
E.g. Ex 20:15 Shall not steal – totally clear.
Ex20:8 Keep Holy Sabbath – how? Everyone has different idea.
· Jesus solved this by having a list of rules passed on – lost relationship
· God gives principles – wants us to talk with him how to apply.
“Golden Rule Principles”
(1) Matt 7:12 All things whatsoever you will that men do to you, do to them for this is the law and the prophets
· All things =Every business dealing
· Employees, customers, suppliers, friends, competitions, strangers.
· In all places at all times.
· Treat people the way you want to be treated – honestly, fairly
· Law and Prophets this summarises all the Bible I.e. is a foundational principle
· What does it mean to treat them fairly?
(2) Matt 5:39-41 “Second Mile Principle”
· Goes against or natural tendency, human nature.
· Always be committed to giving beyond what people and the law require of you.
· Don’t just do what people and law require – even unsaved can do this (Matt 5:46-47)
· Everyone expects you to do what is required
· Second Mile Principle – do more then what is expected
· When you exceed expectations you stand out in the market
· Deepen Relationship with God
· Developed Bible Foundation for decisions
· Make Impact on people in business field
· Experience blessing and favor of God and people.
I understand business people; I’ve been in business myself. By the time I was 20 I’d had about 40 different jobs, but I figured when I got saved that if I couldn’t beat the system I’d join it. I started selling as a career and God really blessed my life. Every sales company I worked for I broke every sales record which wasn’t bad for a kid who couldn’t speak English till the age he was seven. I became a top real estate salesman for six years running in new housing and had my own sales company and had my own businesses and everything else like that. But I always knew that the call of God was on me to preach the gospel and I gave it all up to pioneer a church some 20 years ago and I’m enjoying the journey. I won’t say that there haven’t been days when I’ve wanted to go back to selling Real Estate, I think it’s a lot easier but enough to say that I want to do what God’s called me to be and so therefore I really have got a desire to also encourage business people to be all that they are to be too in God. And something I share this morning I hope and pray will gel and make sense to that.
I really want to inspire you and your business and the purpose I want to do that is because I have such a heart to see people prosper but even more so to see the kingdom of God prosper. Most of you will be well aware that in the Old Testament you’ve got this dual role of kings and priests working together and you may have heard something about that in the past but I’d just love to introduce a thought to you today. Every time there was a Godly king and a Godly priest the nation prospered, God’s people prospered. Today we’re talking about the church prospering. Kings and priests worked together in the Old Testament, every time there wasn’t one of those roles functioning the nation went into decline. I believe the two roles have to function again today. Most of you will be well aware of the scripture where it says, there is a time for kings to go to war but David stayed behind. And that is the time he got into trouble with Bathsheba. He didn’t go, and the reason he was supposed to go is found in the following chapter and it says that David went to war and bought back great plunder and so kings in the Old Testament would go to war and basically bring back provision for the vision of the nation. You can read the story in 2 Sam 11 and 2 Sam 12. These kings and priests would work together. Now the interesting thing of course is every time a king tried to become a priest or a priest tried to become a king it didn’t work out. Myself knowing what it’s like now if I use a term to be a priest have endeavored over the years to go back and try to be a king when I’ve got frustrated there hasn’t been enough provision for the vision and so therefore I’ve endeavored to go out into the marketplace and I would do what I used to do but I found that the hand of God, the blessing of God was not there for that. And so often I would end up frustrated or burnt. Most pastors I find are very frustrated because there’s no provision for the vision. You can have all the vision in the world but if there’s no substance and nothing to bring it about, it’s not going to happen. I also find that a lot of kings (business people) those people who are supposed to go and get the provision for the vision often they want to take the role of a priest, they want to do spiritual things. If you look in the Old Testament, Isaiah of course he was a soldier he tried to put his hand out and touch the cart and he got struck dead, Saul was a king he got frustrated waiting for Samuel and he tried to do the sacrifice thing and he got the kingdom taken off him. And I often find that business people often in the church life, we kind of say well there’s a good business person they’ll make a great pastor or they’ll make a great cell group leader and even though they’re successful maybe in business they can’t even gather 15 people. It’s because they’re not operating in their anointing or in their function or in their gifting. And God has placed individual members in the body as He would see fit and so the whole thought is that we need to work together, pastors and business people need to team up together if the kingdom is going to prosper.
You’ve got a wonderful pastor and I’ll be talking more about that on Sunday as I was sharing with the core leaders last night, you may not realise how respected your pastor is, not only in this nation but in other nations, and I get the privilege to travel a lot. But the thing is that he is not going to see this church built by himself, obviously not. But he’s not going to see it built without some people bringing in some big finance to fund the vision. And as much as I love the widows mite because the principle there is sacrifice, not how little she gave but how much she gave. And so unless there are some people who are big thinkers, and that’s hard in Kiwi land, but who understand that to fund the kingdom doesn’t take thousands of dollars but takes millions of dollars and if it’s going to take millions of dollars then God’s going to have to entrust somebody with that sort of wealth. And He’s going to have to trust somebody with it who is able to bring it in for the provision for the vision. I often say to people that if you don’t have a pastor then you’re on your way to disaster. And so business people without a pastor or Godly man to speak vision into your life, wealthy people end up in ?????. Millionaires get caught in hotel rooms with hookers, rock stars hang themselves. People who have got a lot of money without Godly vision end up in ?????. But when people have a purpose in life and a vision that’s greater than themselves and they understand that there wealth can bring it about. Where did David get the billions, it was billions in today’s economy, to build the house of God that Solomon built? He got it from plundering, now when kings went out to war in the Old Testament the Bible says that the wealth of the world is laid up for the righteous. Now I know you don’t put on your swords and go out on Monday, but you take your computers and your diaries and you go out, the war today is in the market place. And the wealth of the world is laid up for the righteous but it’s not going to come in unless somebody goes and gets it. And that’s your privilege and your responsibility. If the church is not prospering it is not Pastor Mikes responsibility, it is yours, the business people of the church because as I said, as much as I love the widows mite that widows mite is not going to build the house, it is going to take millions of dollars to build the house. Business people, of course, are the people who’ve got the opportunity to do that. And so going out into the marketplace, going out into the battlefield on Monday morning is, and if you can get a hold of this that you are just as important and a business meeting like this is just as important as a Sunday service. Because if you can get the vision that you are in ministry on Monday to bring in the increase for the vision the house of God will prosper. And of course this is I believe the most important thing in your life, we are talking about God here, we are talking about the kingdom of God, extending the kingdom of God.
Kings and priests, when you don’t have a pastor or a Godly man to speak vision, instead of buying one Rolls Royce you buy five Rolls Royce’s. Godly people have something good to give to, ungodly people kind of just waste their wealth. What would happen in the Old Testament is that the kings would go out to war but the priests would come out and bless them. And I believe that’s the pastors role is to bless the business people, that’s one of his roles. It’s to pray for you and to believe God for you and to bless you as you go to battle. Now you may say that’s pretty Old Testament but in the New Testament in the book of Revelation the Bible says that Jesus has made us a kingdom of kings and priests. See a lot of things carry over, not everything kind of finishes at the book of Malachi. And in actual fact it is interesting from Malachi to the New Testament 400 years there was no priests there, no vision. Without a vision people dwell aimlessly, carelessly. And so we need to have kings and priests working together. And it’s a very, very important function I believe in the church that today is missing out. So can you get a grip of that? Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho and he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude. Blind Bartimaeus sat by the road begging and when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth he began to cry out and say Jesus Son of David have mercy on me. I want to be straight up this morning, first of all, I believe for every person to get, as it were, on the road to life we’ve got to recognise the Lordship of Christ. If He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all. He’s got to be Lord of your finances, you’ve got to submit them to Him. We’ve got to recognise the Lordship, that we are stewards, that we are servants of God. In verse 48 as he is crying out many warned him to be quiet but he cried out all the more Son of David have mercy on me. It is true that often people are the biggest hindrances to the blessing of God, it is like people in church saying why do you have to play that loud music God’s not deaf. I just find that it is the radical that gets God’s attention. And so here was Blind Bartimaeus and you can imagine people saying just settle down, you don’t have to get so emotional about it, well the kingdom of God is quite an emotional thing to be honest, heaven or hell, you don’t get more emotional than that. In verse 49 it says Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called and then they called the blind man saying be of good cheer. Amazing how fickle the crowd is, I never trust a crowd, for God so loved the world he didn’t send a committee right? He’s got a plan, it’s called a Man and people can be one thing one day and one thing the next and so the crowd won’t win you any favors. And so throwing away his garment he arose and came to Jesus so Jesus answered and said to him, what do you want me to do for you? And the blind man said Rabboni I want to receive my sight. Then Jesus said go your way your faith has made you well. Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. I just want to give you this morning some thoughts to help you with your business, endeavoring to be a blessing to you and a blessing to the church because if you’re blessed then the church should be blessed. I want to give you ten thoughts this morning, ten decisions of a blind man who I believe had more vision than most people who can see.
1. Bartimaeus understood that his past did not disqualify him from a faith filled future. In other words friend I don’t really care where you’ve come from. I do care where you are going to. See the Gospel is come as you are but the Gospel is not stay as you are. And as much as God accepts you as you are right now, He loves you too much to leave you as you are. And so we’re all on a journey of growth and of change into Christ likeness and to become bigger people really. To become a people of capacity that don’t get upset when the pastor talks about money. Who don’t get upset when he doesn’t get to say hello to us or whatever it is. I’m amazed at how stinking thinking and small thinking some Christians are. And so we need to understand that your past no matter where you’ve come from, you might have come from a small town like I did, you might have come from a farming community, you might have come from a background of low education or low economics it doesn’t really matter. Your past does not disqualify you from a faith filled future. And Bartimaeus understood this. His name means the son of Timaeus, he did not even have a name, he wasn’t even named. It’s just like when he was born the mother kind of gave him to the father and said he’s yours I don’t want him. He didn’t even get a name and you can imagine the crowd because people can be very cruel and he would have been called the boy with no name, kids would have said you’re blind. It’s like as if he didn’t already know it. And you can imagine this crowd was saying well Jesus isn’t going to stop for you. Just sit down, shut up, be quiet this is your lot in life and so forth. But friend I want to tell you that if Jesus stopped for Blind Bartimaeus He’s going to stop for you. And so your past no matter where you’ve come from does not disqualify you from a faith filled future. You can become all that you and God decide you to be. I believe that.
2. Bartimaeus understood how you’ve got to stand out in a crowd. There was Bartimaeus and then there was a crowd. Only one person stood out that day and it was Bartimaeus. And so too many business or even too many churches just blend into the status quo, just another church just another business. And they don’t do anything to change and they just blindly carry on doing the same thing. In order to change we’ve got to be changing some things we do, we’ve got to change the seed that we sow. If you’re not happy with the crop that you’re reaping today, you’ve got to change the seed you’re sowing today. You can build your own destiny. That’s one of the things that I love about God. A farmer does not go out and think about well how much crop do I want next year, he plans it and prepares it and he sows for it. You know you can sow for your financial future. The thing is I believe that we understand the principles of God and we know them but do we do them? So if you want to prosper the only way to prosper is to sow. Jesus said give and it shall be given to you. So if you want more money you’ve got to give more. So Bartimaeus understood that you’ve got to stand out from the crowd, there’s got to be something different about you. There’s got to be a distinction about you.
3. Bartimaeus knew that you’ve got to seize your opportunity. Opportunities come and go all the time in life, normally in the form of hard work, normally if the form of overalls. That is why most people don’t see opportunities coming they only see them when they’re gone. Missed opportunities. But the opportunity of a lifetime only exists in the lifetime of that opportunity. I’ve had some wonderful opportunities in my life, some I’ve taken and some I’ve missed. All opportunities demand risk, faith demands risk. Now faith is not absolute risk but it demands risk you don’t get much by staying in the boat you’ve got to step out of the boat. They say that when people end up in a retirement village and their number one regret is that they didn’t take enough risk. Whether it is in property, whether it is in business, whether it is in church life. We have got to take more risk. And I believe that Bartimaeus did that, he seized his opportunity. See the fearful never really see the opportunities, a lot of people waste this life on the planet, they just sit by it’s incredible how people miss life really. You have to live life, you’ve got to live life to the max, you’ve got to enjoy the journey. So the fearful never see the opportunities they just complain about the ones that they missed. So you see most opportunities come in the form of hard work because it’s true that God is El Shaddai not El ShutEye and a lot of people sleep their life away. Bartimaeus in this story we never read of Jesus passing this way again and so was this his one and only opportunity to reach out and change his life forever.
4. You’ve got to shout louder than your opposition. You’ve got to outlast your critics in life. You will get critics, if nobody is talking about you you’re not doing too much in life. Notice that he didn’t listen to the negativity because it’s true that other people will steal your destiny if you allow them to, if you let them speak those things over you. But you’ve got to stay focused in life and chase your dreams. The crowd will pull you down and tell you to sit back, sit down, shut up, who do you think you are, don’t make a wave, why do you need a church that big for, why do you want to go on television for, who do you think you are putting your photo all over the place, do you think you’re some rock star or something like that. We just need to be bigger thinking, get on God’s page. God is an extravagant God, he has got mountains that no man has walked just filled with flowers that only He can see, He is an extravagant God, every snowflake is different every one that falls from the sky is different, He is a very creative God. And so often the majority is not right and so to shout louder than the opposition you’ve got to call the hard shots in life.
5. You’ve got to travel light. Bartimaeus he flung off his jacket which was basically his social security number, his security and he flung it off and he got up and so in business life and in church life don’t get into positions and titles just get on with the job, just do the job and if there’s a bit of paper on the floor pick it up. We’ve got a saying in our church excellence without extravagance and we need to do things with excellence because excellence honours God and inspires people. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you’ve got and I believe that is an important principle in life.
6. He left the past behind him. We’ve got to let go of the past. Too many people live in the past, they think the good old days were the good old days but I believe the best days are ahead. In fact today is the only day that I’ve got to live and so I want to enjoy this day because this is the day that the Lord has made and salvation is here today. And so we need to enjoy the moment.
7. Never lose sight of the big picture. It is amazing how poor visionless people eat their seed. I think a lot of business people unfortunately do eat their seed. The seed that God gives you to bring into the house of God they think I’ll start giving when I get this next employee, I’ll start giving when I get that new building, I’ll start giving when I get this increase and that increase. Friend if you’re not faithful with what you’ve got now you will never be given more. You’ve got to start from where you are today and start sowing for tomorrow. That’s just the way it works in the kingdom of God. The worlds idea of course is take and hold to yourself but God’s way is to give. So we need to get into that principle. So never lose sight of the bigger picture, it’s very important.
8. Bartimaeus knew what he wanted. You’ve got to know what you want in life, you’ve got to know what you want out of your business you’ve got to be clear and precise. When Jesus said to Bartimaeus what do you want, Bartimaeus didn’t ask for a Big Mac! He said I want to receive my sight he knew what he wanted. And I believe that if you don’t know what you want then you’ll just wander aimlessly in life and you won’t get what I believe is your dues as it were, because I believe that God has got good things in store for you. So what are you asking for, because one of the laws of answered prayer is ask and you shall receive. Half the time we are the answer to our own prayer and I do believe the miracle is in your mouth. And so we’ve got to speak to our mountain because the mountain knows your voice. Jesus said speak to your mountain and of course there will be problems and challenges that face you, but there is no problem or no challenge too big that we cannot overcome and as long as we are prepared to speak to the mountain. You see in everybody’s garden there is a serpent but you’ve got to name the animals that come towards you in the garden, like Adam named the animals. You know the devil is out to rob, destroy and kill you. If you are a business person and you’re bringing in finance for the kingdom you’ve got to understand that the devil is against you but God is for you and God has called you to be a God kind of person and do God kind of things and so you can speak to your mountain, you can speak to your challenges and problems and you can cast them into your sea and plough right on through. But you don’t have to leap over the mountain you’ve got to take it a step at a time.
9. Every step gained is an improvement. You don’t arrive while you’re alive, we’re on a journey together and so it’s a new starting point if you like it’s not a destination. When you reach one goal you’re on to another one and a lot of people have such a big thing about reaching goals and they reach it and they give up because they’ve got nothing else. You don’t have to die old you’ve just got to die finished. Jesus said He was finished. We need to be aggressive I believe in our purpose in God in our purpose in our business because it is like heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by storm. So there has got to be some tenacity, to get the purposes of God out and into you. I guess everybody has certain fears but God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. A lot of people are afraid of failure, a lot of people are afraid of what other people will think of them and they have a go and it doesn’t work out. I believe that a lot of things that we’re afraid of Jesus Christ the Rock of all Ages has already walked the path that we are walking gone ahead of us and smashed the head of the serpent so we have nothing to be afraid of. So the devil wants to put all these what ifs into your life thoughts, what if this doesn’t work, what if I buy this property and the market goes down. People won’t step out and have a go on a what if. People miss opportunities because of what if this happens, well what if it doesn’t happen. As I say Christ has gone ahead of us and He’s made a way and I believe wiped out all the what ifs and we just need to embrace the future with faith and with hope because I believe the future is so bright for Christians we need to invest in a sunglass company.
10. It’s not a matter of falling on your feet it is a matter of getting up on to your feet. A lot of people of course live by chance; we need to live by choice. So many people are lining up by the Lotto shop hoping that something will come their way. Friend if those people’s ship came into the harbour you can guarantee they’d be out of town the day it came in. You don’t have to wait till your ship comes in, you’ve got to get out there and make it happen. It’s not a matter of falling on your feet, it is a matter of getting up on to your feet. So many people today they want hand outs and of course they get them from our government, many people today they want to kick it up in life and of course I always say sin is a real sucker, sin sucks the very life out of people, sin can make you look old at 40. It is so true that there is not one alcoholic in the world that wanted to end up an alcoholic it started with one glass. There is not one drug addict that when they were a little child said I want to be a drug addict, it started with one joint. No girl when she was two or three said Mummy I want to become a prostitute, no. And so all these things happen line upon line, precept upon precept. Likewise we can build a great future line upon line, precept upon precept. It all starts out with one decision, one choice today. And so we need to understand that the world can offer so much but deliver so little but when we’re in the kingdom of God when we’re born into the kingdom for such a time as this when we’ve got a purpose that’s bigger than ourselves to work for to get out of bed on a Monday morning to say hey today I’m going to go and get provision for the vision. And so decisions whether it is hard work or hard calls you know the thing is Bartimaeus could not see Jesus in the natural, he was blind we read the story but he could hear them, he could hear Him call his name. Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible. Bartimaeus had never had a miracle happen to him before he had only heard about what Jesus could do to others. But friend what He has done to others He can do for you. What He did for Bartimaeus He’ll do for you. If your eyes this morning are closed to the Gospel He can open up your eyes. This morning He can give you incredible keys to help you to flourish in your business because I know that God is interested in blessing you. You know a lot of Christians have a wrong mentality they think that poverty is next to holiness. Poverty and sickness go hand in hand with religion, that is why I’m not in to religion I’m into a relationship with God. Jesus came to give us life, and life abundantly. Prosperity is having enough for you and also having enough to help somebody else. We are called to be a blessing. Christianity is not about being blessed it is about being a blessing the lowest form of Christianity is being blessed, the highest form is being a blessing.
· Genesis 28 - Home of God – The Presence of God was in these places.
· Acts 10:8 - Emmanuel => God with us.
· Acts 10:8 - The anointing of The Holy Spirit – doing/healing.
· Pursue – overtake – Recovered all => Breakthrough.
· Acts 10:38 - “ .. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and Power, and how he went around doing goo and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, because god was with him”.
· Emmanuel = “God with us”.
- Be empowered, lead and anointed by the Holy Spirit to do good and carry God’s power wherever you go and healing all.
- Arise and push through to God.
- God want us to ‘Breakthrough’ to Him.
- This nation carries a spirit of unbelief = rise above that. T is for our city, region and nation.
- Heaven needs to come to earth through us.
· Acts 1:8 - The Anointing of the Holy Spirit => has a great impact on people.
· Jesus – Family and Friends, Jerusalem – City and Region, Samaria – Other Country (World)
· Galatians 3:13-14 - Blessing of Abraham
- Touched others
- Not about me
- About God’s purposes
· Receive power – anointing of the Holy Spirit. He is a person. Gather and draw God’s presence, be filled with the Holy Spirit to go out and change the world/atmosphere around us.
· You carry something the world needs – The Holy Spirit.
· We should be a witness to all. Every person needs the Blood of Jesus to set them free.
Galatians 3:13-14 - “Christ redeemed us from the curse y becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ’Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the Promise of the Spirit”.
- A breakthrough is not just for you, it’s for everybody. The need to hear your testimony – you Glorifying God.
- Our Culture = Self-centered. You were called to bring/give glory to God. Be a Ambassador/Witness.
- Release what you have - in faith. “The Presence of God”, items or whatever you think is yours.
- “His Presence Manifest” – when this happens, things change.
- Get to know the Holy Spirit, don’t quench Him. Impact all around you, be alive and bright to the world.
- Only the thing people should see in you is ‘The Glory of God’.
- Acts 3 – People need to see and hear about miracles – Bring it to them.
(i) Distinguishes True Believers:
· Exodus 33;14-16 - Distinctive
· Luke 4:18 / 33-34 - Emmanuel/God with us
- Holy Spirit miracles
- Spirit World real.
· Mark 16:17 Signs – Miracles – Supernatural. Get connected to God. Don’t be scared and nervous.
- To have the presence of God is to have a relationship with God.
- Have the tangible presence of God = living a life connected to Jesus Christ and His anointing.
- He has anointed you with the Holy Spirit and you need to stand up inside yourself of whom God says you are. People will get mad at you – they feel the presence and don’t always like it. Feel uncomfortable within them. Bringing their sins to the surface.
(ii) Blesses those He Touched:
- Genesis 30:27 “The Lord has blessed me for your sake”.
- 1 Chronicles 13:14 “The Lord blessed his home and all he had”.
- Methods don’t bring God’s presence – People carry the presence of God. We have a responsibility for God’s presence.
- Not Methods: 1 Chronicles 15:12 – 15
- Members: * Sanctify* Carry* Team* Joy
Genesis 39:3-5 - The Lord blessed the Egyptian for Joseph sake.
- Ezekiel 47:8-9 - Everything live when waters come.
(iii)Empowers us for Impact:
· Exodus 3:10-12 - I will be with you * confront Pharaoh
· other people
· Jude 6:16 - I will be with you – same.
· Matthew 28:18-20I will be with you – disciples.
· 2 Samuel 6:16 - Michal / Isaiah 6:5
· Matthew 5:14 – light of world.
(iv) Uncovers and Exposes:
· Freely receive = freely give
· What you have received – give it away.
· Everyone in business wants to be a success! Who wants to “fail”
· What is success? How to define it? How you know when you succeed?
· Dictionary: - To obtain the result you desire.
Seminars advert: “Come and learn the Secret of Success”
(i) Success defined as ability to “buy things”
- Success judged by possessions – house, car, type, money.
(ii) Success defined on ability to achieve
- more you are able to accomplish = more successful
- success = “progressive achievement of world worth goal”
J Paul Getty: “All my wealth and success was not able to produce happy memories”
Gods values and principles are completely different to world views.
- Is 55:8-9. My thoughts are not your thoughts – my ways are higher
- Luke 12:15. Beware coveting, man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things which he possesses.
Not wrong to have things – Note Gen 13:2. Abraham was very rich.
Not wrong to pursue goals and value achievements. Note: King David
· Luke 12:20-21. Food – lays up treasure for self, not rich toward God.
“Discovering Gods purpose for my life and pursuing it with passion and diligence”
- John 17:4. “I have glorified you on the earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do”. PERSON
(a) Glorify Father = make renounced or famous, to exalt or magnify
(b) Finished Work = discovered what called to accomplished in life and completed it. PURPOSE
- Foundation of true success, lasting success is knowledge of God.
Principle 1: Always put God 1st in your life and business.
- Mark 12:20. Love the Lord with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.
- 2 Reasons for this:
(a) God will not settle for 2nd place.
“You can’t serve 2 masters – will
hate one and love the other”. Matthew 6:24
Don’t let anything in life become an idol – come before God.
- not business, money making, families – nothing
(b) Putting God 1st in everything you can expect good things to come
Matt 6:33. Seek first the Kingdom
of God…all these things shall be added to you
- i.e. The things unsaved seek and focus life upon will be given to you.
- When God is not 1st you have to
depend upon own ability resources.
- This is the key foundation in life for success that lasts.
Principle 2: Get to know Gods word and apply it to your life and business.
- Josh 1:8. Meditate therein day and night that you may observe to do all that is written therein – for then shall you make your way prosperous and shall have good success.
- Bible contains principles on every aspect of Life.
- Spend time daily – meditate – think about it.
- Psalm 19:7-11. Law of the Lord is perfect – desirable – warn us and in keeping them there is great reward.
- Gods principles are perfect – never change as other theories do.
- Desirable – more than gold – result in fulfillment.
- Warns us – reveals things that will damage us.
Principle 3: Expect big things from God.
- Once we put God 1st and begin to order our life we can have confidence and expect to receive good things from God.
- Eph 3:20. “He is able to do more exceeding abundantly then we ask or think…”
- Expect = to look forward to something happening, anticipate.
- Mark 5:36. “Do not be afraid – only believe”
- Mark 9:23. “If you can believe – all things are possible to him that believe.
- Law of Belief – whatever you truly believe with feeling will become what you experience.
o ·Fears; self limitations tend to be self fulfilling
o ·Biggest hindrance doubt, fear – must feel confident
- Law of Expectance – whatever you expect tends to be self fulfilled.
o ·Expect the best of yourself and of others
o ·Positive expectations bring out the best in people.
- Develop Goals – steps to your future surround with expect of success.