GOOD WORK

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

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What is good work?

We all can recognize it in our field of specialty. But to explain it to an “outsider” becomes another story.

In carpentry, it is where the corners and measurements are precise and the look is picturesque. In parenting, it is having grown children that are mature, responsible, and accountable in the eyes of God and mankind. In business, it is providing a service or product that benefits others while maintaining a profitable operating model. In whatever occupation or vocation, good work is recognized by those who are involved in the same challenges each and every day.

However, does good work guarantee a productive outcome? The simple answer is no. You can have developed the best “widget” on the planet, but if there is no demand for widgets, no one is going to purchase the item. Even if there is a demand for the item, if no one is aware of your widget, no one again is going to purchase the item.

Your peers may marvel at it; the product may be the best ever, and it may truly represent the genius and godly character expressed through you. But no demand, no awareness, leads to no sales, and therefore no profits. But good work!

Good work is only the reflection of the person or persons involved in the project. It is a reflection of the inner character and mind of the person expressing themselves through their actions. It is what each of us can control, change, and improve upon. The final outcome though involves others. It takes others to participate in sharing their good work that may lead to a more favorable outcome.

God wants us to follow His example and do good work. The outcome though involves more than our contribution. It involves others. God created the world which is a reflection of His good work. The outcome of its care though He has placed into the hands of others: humans. Isn’t that the same thing we need to learn?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

Business is a Ministry

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 ESV

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There are days when I sit in a church service the preacher seems to indicate that the only place God is working is in their church community. That God’s special blessing is only upon those who serve within their faith community. Somehow, what I do between Monday through Saturday is spoken like a lower-level necessity with the only real meaning to life lies between the four walls of the congregation. Now maybe it’s me, but after all these years I long for ministers whose pastoral is larger than their micro faith world. Somehow it seems we forget that God is attuned to the world and our faith community is only a microscope of a much larger picture.

Take service for example. I get tired after forty some years of listening to preachers emphasize church service over any other type of service. It’s like “church service” is the only service that is approved by God. Whatever else one does outside of the “church” doesn’t compare. Again, maybe it is me, but the Bible doesn’t delineate service into sacred and secular. Humans do. I have witnessed and been included with people who serve to satisfy a personal ego within the faith community. Instead of having God’s Spirit fill the void, they seek status, power, prestige, money, or fulfillment in the name of service.

Within the religious world, we call it ministry. In the marketplace, we call it service. The goal is the same; to provide and care for the people who have needs that we can satisfy. However, “ministry” makes it sound holy; “customer service” makes it sound self-serving. Yet haven’t we seen people within the ministry glorify themselves in service to others? And again, in the marketplace, haven’t we seen the same? Yet within the ministry haven’t we also seen (more than the other) people who serve for the glory of God and for the sake of others? Likewise, haven’t we also met people within the marketplace who serve their constituents and customers for the glory of God and for the real sake of others?

Am I too bold to say that God also created business? That business is a ministry for the economic benefit of others? Jesus quoted that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” In the church world we emphasize God’s Word. Outside of the church world, people emphasis the economic necessities. Is one more important than the other? Doesn’t it take both, the Spirit of God and the physical necessities of life to live a full, meaningful life? Maybe it’s time we stop segregating the world into us versus them. That we are more important than them. Maybe it is time we realize that the Triune God considers all labor and service important. That ministering the Word and ministering the food (clothing, shelter, transportation, entertainment, etc.) are both important and necessary. That one without the other leaves a person poor, hungry, and blind.

Therefore the next time someone asks if you want to participate in their ministry because you don’t seem to have one, let them know that you already are in a full time ministry: your business is a ministry for God’s glory and for the sake of others. Or is that just being too radical in Christ for you?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Kingdom of God in the Marketplace

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“And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-22 ASV

Where is God’s Kingdom in the Marketplace? For most of us we witness a taste of God’s Kingdom within the faith community of our church. For others, the Kingdom of God is found within the four walls of home. Again, for others it may be the one morning each week Bible study where the fellowship and sharing sparks enthusiasm for the rest of the week. Yet where is God’s Kingdom in the workplace?

The above scripture use to puzzle me. How could Jesus speaking with unconverted Pharisees tell them that the Kingdom of God is found within each of them? Isn’t the Kingdom of God the rule and reign of Christ? These Pharisees didn’t believe Jesus was who He claimed to be. He wasn’t their King. So how could they be under the authority of Christ?

There lied the problem. The Kingdom of God is the authoritative government of God ruled through the Spirit of God from the heart. It is the soul that submits to Christ’s authority that is a willing subject. All souls are under the authority of Christ. However, the soul that rebels against Christ is walking down a dangerous path. The connecting point is a matter of the heart. The heart that mutually submits one to another in service to the King of Kings is a servant of the Kingdom. The heart that rebels against the King of Kings is a lost and confuse child of God waiting to discover the riches of a meaningful relationship with the Triune God.

The Kingdom of God is found in the marketplace through the hearts of believers who are subject to the King. Wherever two or three are gathered, Christ is among them hearing their prayers (Matt. 18:20). The Kingdom of God is not limited behind the four walls of a faith community. The Kingdom of God is active within every organization, every business venture, and every marketplace transaction where two or three are gathered in His name. Where leadership and ownership profess and subject themselves to the King of Kings, the Kingdom of God is alive and growing. How about your marketplace? Is it too radical to allow God’s Kingdom an entrance into your workplace?

We are rooting for you!

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

The Principle of Three

The number three is an old friend. Over the years, I have witnessed whenever (s)he shows up, life becomes better. (S)he not only is my friend, but I have seen over and over again how (s)he also relates with others in similar favorable circumstances.

We have witnessed our old friend three from the beginning of creation, through Christ’s life on earth, and into the far reaches of the marketplace, Three is a proven friend that continually gives greater assurance for one’s choices, accomplishments, and relationships.

You first notice three in our Creator God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: One God IN Three Persons. The Lord instructed Israel under the Old Testament to gather together in an assembly three times a year for a Holy celebration (Deut: 16:16). When Job lost his entire health, family, and fortune, his three friends came to him (Job 2:11). Daniel was educated for three years and prayed three times a day (Dn:1:5,6:10). You notice that Christ faced three temptations in the wilderness (Lk.4:4-12). Jesus was most intimate with three of his disciples (Mk. 5:7, 9:2, 14:33). When Peter denied Christ, he did it three times (Jn.13:38). When Christ extended his grace and mercy to Peter after the resurrection, he ask Peter three times whether he loved Him. Jesus died and was resurrected after three days (Jn.21:15-19). Whenever two or three people are gather together, Christ is among them (Mt:18:20). The best is to have two or three witnesses (Mt:18:16) whenever someone is being accused. Even the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven is pictured in the Book of Revelations showing each side of the city to have three gates (Rev 21:13).

Three became a closer friend when I traded the stock market. I successfully learned to trade technically by viewing three different time frames of the same chart: a long term view, a short term view, and the current trade view.

In measuring work performance during the day, the number three became a productive friend. How does one focus on the important issues of the day while dealing with urgent emergencies all day long? By trusting your number three friend. For over thirty years in various leadership roles, I was able to focus on the important goals each day by accomplishing three of them while also juggling the daily routine and urgent matters that happened during the day. We were able to accomplish much simply by focusing on the top three most important priorities every day. It also contributed a sense of self-worth on those days when it felt like nothing got done but the movement of paper. It also let me know when I could quit for the day – after our three objectives where done.

Even when seeking God’s Will in life, we have learned to invite the old friend into the equation. For we seek to align God’s Word with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and outside circumstances in determining direction and choice. The Bible instructs us that a threefold cord isn’t easily broken (Eccles:3:4).

So why not take time out this week and look up the number three in the Bible. View the world around you and see how often the number three appears in decisions, circumstances, and relationships. The number is not a magical genie; just another way to deal with life. Maybe God’s imprint of Father, Son, and Spirit is more prevalent in our everyday created world than we realize. Or is that just simply too radical for you to believe?

OUR PRAYER

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Holy Father, Lord, and Spirit: thank you for revealing your character and attributes through creation. Whether we view the sky, mountains, and valley, your presence and traits are open for those who want to see. When we look at the oceans, rivers, and streams, your order and interactive approach to life shows us more of who you are. Even when we look in the mirror and at others, your creative and imaginative work inspires us to know you even more. Help us to join you in your work each and every day. Help us to reveal your Kingdom government in our relationship with others. Let your love, grace, and truth be in all we think, say, and do.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Bless My Business

How many business operations do you know that actually glorify God in their service to others? How many of those are operated/owned by believers? How many are operated/owned by non-believers, but their work exemplifies quality of godliness? These questions challenged me when I completed my dissertation. The final results ended up in a book entitled “Great Business Emulates a Good God.”

One of the items that surprised me the most was how many non-Christian business operations practiced godly principles and exercised eternal values that magnified the qualities of the Triune God. Yet the main difference between the two pertained to motive. Christian-focused business’ operated to glorify God. Faith-neutral operations focused on glorifying their brand. Yet both sides operated businesses that the world would say were successful. At least from the outside looking in.

Why bring up these facts? Simply because we know people, if not ourselves at times, that want and desire God’s blessings on our business, but still operate with self-centered motives. We want God’s favor, but refrain from being honest with Him in our dealings with others. We typically haven’t come to a place yet where we have surrendered the business under the domain of King Jesus.

How do we know if we have surrendered the business to God’s domain? Do we actually operate under Kingdom economic principles or follow the ways of the world? Do we practice decision-making that benefits ALL stakeholders of the enterprise; that means partners, employees, vendors, government agencies, and investors. Do we actually seek God’s will before making decisions that impact the business’ mission? Is the business’ mission and aim to glorify God, serve the common good of others, and promote the well-being of all parties, or simply too benefit a few insiders?

These may be tough questions, but how can one expect to be blessed if one is conducting business outside of God’s character, nature, or will? The transition doesn’t happen overnight. But God is merciful and if our heart is open he will lead us to the economic promise land. For most of us, it is a process of repentance, change, and redirecting our hearts to see the world as He does. And even though we may fall far short from perfection, God rewards and blesses those that fulfill His purpose in life. Yes, catch His vision for your life and business and even your business will learn to rest in the favor of God and His graceful blessings.

OUR PRAYER

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Holy Father-Holy Lord-Holy Spirit: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pursue a business that will create opportunities that will glorify you, serve the common good of others, and reward us for the risks that are taken. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all ungodly decisions. Help us to inspire those around us to follow your lead. Help us to walk with you through each business process, strategy, and client to glorify you. Help us to be true to you, our self, and others in building eternal relationships that buildup your Kingdom now. Help us to surrender our business for your glory. Bless us so we may be a blessing for others

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

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