Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


Feature Photo of Dead Sea Israel By Dave Herring Upsplash.com

Walking in Godly Principles is a bi-weekly scripture of encouragement, subscribed by “…time with the master…”. Previously published on the front page of the site, it will now appear additionally, as a post.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Walking in Godly Principles


If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The King and His Kingdom – Part Seven


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 7

Welcome to Part 7 of the King and His Kingdom, where we ask the question – ‘Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom’?

This session is primarily aimed at Christian business owners. ‘Kingdom business’ is seen as the work of the Lord, in other words sharing the gospel, praying for people or situations, Lord; and helping to meet the needs of others. ‘Business in the Kingdom’ on the other hand, can be seen as doing business in the worldly realm in the name of the Lord.

Today’s business market is extremely competitive. There has never been a time in our history when all aspects of the business need to be so well-honed in order to merely just stay ‘afloat’.

We believe, by faith, that God can do anything, but can we trust Him to take our businesses to a level where He can freely bless us?

In reality, what is our personal motivation for God to help us in our businesses?

                Is it – To have a business where we would like God to be a partner with us?

                Is it – A business where we can bless the less fortunate through proceeds?

                Or is it – A business we can use as a vehicle to share the Gospel with others? 

There is nothing wrong if we’ve answered ‘yes’ to some or all of these questions.

Let’s Look at some Scripture

Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). He says that if we want to bear good testimony to Him in our daily lives, we need to abide in Him and He in us. We need to be spending time with Him in prayer, in His Word, and with other believers. (Spending time with other believers for fellowship and encouragement – not for times of criticizing and judging one another!).

Paul tells us in Romans 8 that those who are sensitive to and obey the Holy Spirit, are His children (Romans 8:14). Again, we need to spend time with Him, if we want to learn how to hear Him through His Spirit. We learn God’s character through reading the word, meaningful fellowship, and praying in our closets, as well as praying in groups.

Jesus says that we will be able to recognize believers by their actions (Matt.7-16-19;20). Our actions reflect the depth of our relationship with the Lord. How are we behaving in our business place?

Types of Businesses

Let’s have a look at some fictitious examples of business types we see in the world today:

Business Number 1…

Worldly Business

A person who does not know the Lord and owns a business will pass on their character through that business. The following ‘fruit’ normally categorizes business in the world without God:

                They are – 100% self-centered

                Management normally – Not Caring about Staff/Suppliers/Customers

                And it’s – Profit at any cost

Business Number 2…

A.L.A. Agencies (Pty) Ltd

After the Lord has touched a repentant heart, change begins to take place in the business owner. When the first part of the salvation process, ‘sight’, has come to the individual (John 3:3), they become enlightened about the things of God and their personal sinful nature. However, at this point, they have not ‘entered’ into the Kingdom of God, because although they are aware of God, they still walk daily in their old nature.  

For the purpose of our session, let’s say this business owner has a business, which we will call “As Long As Agencies (Pty) Ltd.”

Some ‘fruit’ of this business would be:

                They – Pay Staff fairly (Min Wage) – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

                There is – Fair Exchange of Value – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

                And they – Give resources to Kingdom work – AS LONG AS it’s comfortable

And finally Business Number 3…

A.L.L. Consultants (Pty) Ltd

However, once the second part of the born again process takes place – being born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5) – then true entry into the Kingdom of God takes place. At that point, the repentant heart realizes their old nature has died with Jesus on the cross and they now start to operate from the new heart of Jesus. This business owner has a business, which we will call “As Led by the Lord Realties Inc.”.

Some of the ‘fruit’ of this business would be as follows:

                – Pay Staff fairly   –  AS LORD LEADS

                – Fair Exchange of Value –  AS LORD LEADS

                – Give resources to Kingdom Work –  AS LORD LEADS

                – This business will go over and above to make sure Godly principles apply throughout.

Our Measure

If we use Matt. 28:19-20 as the Kingdom ruler to measure business success, this is what we will see:

                                Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • Worldly business is not involved at all in sharing the Gospel and making disciples.

Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • “As Long As Agencies (Pty) Ltd.” is involved in sharing the Gospel and making disciples as long as it is comfortable for the business.

Sharing the Gospel and making disciples

  • “As Led by the Lord Consultants (Pty) Ltd.” is completely committed to making sure ALL aspects of the business operate according to Godly principles. Sharing the Gospel and making disciples will be a ‘fruit’ thereof.

In Conclusion

Therefore, back to our question – ‘Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom’?

 Kingdom business and business in the Kingdom are the same things – one is not possible without the other. Jesus said that apart from Him we cannot do anything (John 15:5). In 1Cor we see we are transformed from our old nature to our new nature in Christ, on a daily basis (1Cor.1:18). As this happens, the fruit displayed in our lives is more reflective of the Lord. If we are business owners, then this fruit is carried down through all aspects of our business.

Thanks very much for joining me over the past 7 sessions – as always my hope is that the Holy Spirit has opened up some new insights for us all and that these sessions have drawn us that bit closer to Him. May the Lord bless you all – until we meet again.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The King and His Kingdom – Part Six A


Our Role in His Kingdom.

The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 6a

In previous sessions we’ve looked at the Kingdom of God and how it is that as we obey God’s principles, (or His Government), we are blessed by Him (Psa.1:1-4). We also saw that as we drift out of His principles in our day, God is not able to bless us – this is because His Government is indisputable, irreversible, and final. We see in the books of Zechariah and Daniel, that His government, or another expression for His word or law, is beyond debate or question, whether we agree with it or not! (Zech.14:9; Daniel 2:44).

God desires to bless you and me on a daily basis, but if we don’t adhere to His principles, His own government prevents Him from doing so. If He were to bless someone who is acting outside of His Government, then He would be obliged to even bless the accuser of the believers, the devil – a situation He cannot have!

If God’s principles are close to our hearts, then we will be more aware of them during the course of our day. In this session, we are going to look at some of His principles that can apply specifically to our behavior in the workplace.

Please remember, there are many more principles in His word than what we are looking at in this session. Let’s try and prayerfully sit with the Lord on a regular basis, asking Him to reveal more principles to us, so that we become more aware and more blessed.

Eph 6:5  Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

How obedient are we to those in authority over us? Do we carry out our tasks with a sincere heart, as if we were doing the work for the Lord?

Eph 6:6  not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Eph 6:7  With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

We should be working as though we are working for the Lord – not trying to please mankind but to please the Lord.

Eph 6:8  knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

As we work diligently as if for the Lord, His promise is that we will receive blessing back from Him.

1Ti 6:1  All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.

Are we able to treat those in authority over us with honor? This, so that the name of the Lord is not scoffed at.

1Ti 6:2  Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren but must serve them all the more because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

Are we blessed to have an authority figure over us who believes in the Lord? The scripture says they are brothers or sisters in the Lord and therefore we should serve them. We should encourage this behavior in our workplace – not criticize it.

1Pe 2:18  Servants, you must obey your masters and always show respect to them. Do this, not only to those who are kind and thoughtful but also to those who are cruel.

It can be very easy to show respect to those who treat us well, but the scripture says we also need to show respect to those who are not kind to us as well.

1Pe 2:19  God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him.

As we respect others in the workplace we adhere to this Godly principle and therefore the Lord will bless us.

1Pe 2:20  You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you if you have to suffer for doing something good.

Have we been wrongfully accused of doing something – God says He will bless us if we are persecuted for wrongs we did not do.

1Pe 2:21  After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

The Lord allows situations of suffering to come to us in order that we will change. If we had perfect lives – there would be no need for us to know or seek God.

1Pe 2:22 Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.

Have a time of reflection about our day today. How many times did we lie or be deceitful? In our old sinful nature, we will continue to be deceitful but in our new Christ-like nature, His character will flow through us.

1Pe 2:23  Although he was abused, he never tried to get even. And when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly.

We need to trust in God more throughout our day. If wrongs have been done to us, God knows about it and it is His place to judge and bring vengeance – not ours.

In this last section let’s read out some scripture together as we did previously in part 2a. At the end of the section, pause and discuss for 10min what you have read together.

However, VERY IMPORTANTLY – please note here:

We have put in brackets some words in the following scriptures for the purpose of highlighting them for employees and employers. We are not trying to change God’s word.

EMPLOYERS

Col 4:1  Masters, (EMPLOYERS) grant to your slaves (EMPLOYEES) justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

Eph 6:9  And masters (EMPLOYERS), do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

Col 3:25  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

1Pe 3:7  You husbands (EMPLOYERS) in the same way live with your wives (EMPLOYEES) in an understanding way, as with someone weaker…….. and show her (THEM) honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

1Pe 3:8  To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

1Pe 3:9  not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

EMPLOYEES –

1Pe 3:1  In the same way, you wives (EMPLOYEES), be submissive to your own husbands (EMPLOYERS) so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives (EMPLOYEES),

1Pe 3:2  as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

1Pe 3:3  Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

1Pe 3:4  but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Remember – as we adhere to these principles daily, we will be blessed. I pray that the Lord has ministered some ‘pearls of wisdom in this session. These Godly principles for our daily lives are very difficult to adhere to if we try in our own strength. Let’s call on the Lord daily, to help us with the power of His Holy Spirit.

As we enter into the Kingdom of God here and now, we have acknowledged that our old sinful nature (the engine that drives us to sin), has died and been buried with Jesus. Let’s begin to walk in the new resurrected nature that God has given us.  This is the nature that is able to walk daily in God’s principles.

Please join me next week, for PART 7, where we will be looking at Christian businesses, to see how God would like them managed. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The King and His Kingdom – Part Six


The King and His Kingdom Video
Session 6
 
Welcome to Part 6 of the King and His Kingdom, which we’ve titled the Working Believer.
 
Having had a closer look at the roles of the family this week, we want to see how God’s principles apply to us in our workplace. As believers, we are guilty of seeing the ‘church’ place as different from the ‘work’ place. God’s kingdom principles apply to us all the time – whether in church or out – whether at work or home.
 
 
 
In the Beginning
Adam was given free rein in the Garden of Eden and was told by God, “…I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth…to you it shall be for meat”. Everything was placed at his disposal. As we have today, there was certainly no need for him to ‘toil’ for his food. (Gen 1:29)
 
The result of Disobedience
They were effectively cursed when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil.’ Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long (We can get more detail of this situation in the ‘Gospel Explained’ sessions). Gen.3:19 shows us that humankind’s work (or Job) would not be easy, because he had lost his wonderful ‘image’ of God (Gen.1:26 5:3), and would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage to working in – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
 
Humankind’s Part
In the book of Psalms, the author wrote in Ps.104 about creation, showing how God had laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. In verse 23, we see one of fallen humankind’s parts in the plan – to labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
 
What about Christ’s Body (Church)?
Within the actual body of Christ (the bride of Christ, in other words), it is evident that not all members will receive gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Only those God has destined will grow in those gifts (Eph.4:11). These gifts cannot be obtained by studying at a school or bible college, but are given free by God to those He has ordained. As the body (church) grows, some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world (although not be part of it) to generate funds for furthering the gospel.
 
How will they Work?
In Romans, Paul exhorts the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in their daily tasks – as unto the Lord (Rom.13:1). That means all jobs – whether liked or not liked, agreed with or disagreed with (Eph.6:5-8). Work done daily should not be done ‘halfheartedly’ to make it appear as though a good job has been done but should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done (1 Timothy 6:1-2). We’ll all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He’ll want to know why?
 
Set Apart
Our behavior as Christians in the workplace is always under the watchful eye of the world. (“…and he calls himself a Christian!!” – heard the expression?). It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord. We should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
 
Who must Listen?
This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but those who disobey cannot be blessed, and this without partiality (Col.3:25).
 
Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings
At times it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! (1 Pet.2:18-22).
 
Some might say – “Why should I obey those in authority when they mistreat me?” Well, we need to remember that firstly, the Lord requests us to obey. Secondly, the scripture in Ephesians tells us that those in authority over us are accountable to God, so if they mistreat anyone under their jurisdiction, they will answer to God (Col.4:1 Eph.6:9).
 
Points to meditate
In previous sessions, we’ve been dealing with the roles of the husband and wife. Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Let’s have a look at these scenarios:
 
What would happen if we take the marriage scripture of 1 Peter and applied it to the workplace scenario, in other words:-
 
– The employer treated the employee with understanding – loved and honored them as fellow heirs of the grace of life? (1 Pet.3:7).
OR
  – The employee was obedient and submissive to the employer? (1 Pet.3:1-6).

AND FINALLY…
                – Both employer and employee focused their eyes on the Lord? (Taking the pressure off each other)
 
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
Right, let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:
1.       In the Beginning – In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given free rein. Humankind looked like God and had the exact nature of God. Everything in the Garden was placed at their disposal. There was certainly no need for them to ‘toil’ for their food. (Gen 1:29).
2.       The result of Disobedience – When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil,’ they were effectively cursed. Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long. Their work (or Job) would not be easy because they had lost their Godly ‘image’ (Gen.1:26 5:3). They would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage in which to work – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
3.       Humankind’s Part – God, laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. Fallen humankind’s part in the plan? – to
labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
4.       What about Christ’s Body (Church)? – Within the actual body of Christ (the bride), it is evident that not all members will receive the gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world to generate funds to further the gospel.
5.       How will they Work? – Paul urges the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in all their daily tasks as unto the Lord. Work done daily should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done. We will all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He will want to know why.
6.       Set Apart – It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord – we should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
7.       Who must Listen? – This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but without partiality, those who disobey cannot be blessed.
8.       Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings – At times, it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! The Lord said He would reward those who follow His word and deal with the superior who has been acting outside of the His principles. To the employer, Paul says that they should treat their subordinates with fairness and justice. If they take advantage of subordinates, “…you also have a Master in heaven”.
9.       Points to meditate
Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Compare the marriage scripture of 1 Pet.3:7 to the employer/employee relationship in the workplace.
 
LASTLY…
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
 
Please join me soon for the next session, where we will look closer at examples of some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers. Be blessed during this coming week – until we meet again soon
 
 

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)