Slavery – Proverbs 22:7

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Pro 22:7)

I don’t think I would like to be a slave. Despite us thinking that it is an ancient trade, there are more slaves on the planet today than there have ever been. It is a tragic industry trading in human misery.

Yet here in Proverbs, a borrower is described as a slave to the lender. The power a master has over a slave has no end. It is a good reminder about God’s attitude toward debt. When we are in debt, we are literally owned by the person we are in debt to. Think twice and think again before entering into debt.

Give due heed to this Scripture when you look to enter into any debt contract. When we are in debt, we lose a piece of our freedom.

Quick Prayer: Teach me how to live with minimal debt. Amen.

Pay Attention

The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” (Deu 28:13)

Wow! What a promise. We will always be at the top, never at the bottom. We will be at the head, not the tail. That means we are the initiators. We are the ones who will dictate terms. We are the ones in control. We are leaders, not followers. Is that our experience? It is not mine—not all the time.

So what is the condition of the promise? We will be the head if we pay attention to the commands of the Lord and carefully follow them. If we do this and stand in faith, we will receive all that God has for us. We will no longer be pushed around by circumstances but living in victory.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that I am the head and not the tail. Amen.

Multiplied

“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 25:29)

Ouch, this is quite a warning. We all have been given a set of gifts, talents, personality, an allocation of time and resources. The question is how have we taken what we have been given and applied it to being effective in the Kingdom of God? Have we reaped a return from what we have been given?

These are big questions. Do we have adequate answers? It is worth taking some time to take what we have been given before God, and to ask Him for His wisdom in applying what we have, to seeing His Kingdom established.

Quick Prayer. “Help me to be faithful with what you have entrusted to me Lord.” Amen

Intimacy

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)

Would you like to share in the happiness of God? He is the creator of all happiness, pleasure and joy. Shared happiness is sign of intimacy, and of a close relationship. What a beautiful picture of our Fathers love for us.

It is out of an understanding of that love and the overwhelming gift of His sacrifice, that our faith and works are grounded. Not out of appeasing an angry capricious being, but in serving faithfully a loving and giving God.

Plus, when we have been proven faithful with a little, we will be given much more. It is spiritual principal that is outworked so clearly in our work in the marketplace.

Quick Prayer. “I want to share in your happiness Holy Spirit.” Amen

Authority.

“The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.” (Psalm 115:16)

I do have a soft spot for environmentalists. They tend to have a different worldview, and often a different political agenda, but we do have one view in common. We do not own the earth, but are just stewards of it. Avoiding damage, correcting wrongs and increasing awareness of issues, all are positive; as we have a duty of care for God’s creation.

The earth is a gift, and a somewhat fragile one at that. Why not shed our differences and make sure we pass on this incredible gift to our children in better shape than it is right now?

Those who want to protect God’s creation, even if they don’t call it that, are doing a good thing and should be encouraged. It is the politicization of the agenda and the often radically liberal views that have hijacked a worthy endeavor.

What can you do in your business to help protect and sustain God’s creation?

Quick Prayer. “Help me to be aware of the need to steward the planet well.” Amen

Facing Stubbornness?

“But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.” (Deuteronomy 2:30)

God has a much better view than we do. Our ways are not his ways. Sometimes He will allow people to go the way they have determined to go. Even this is for a purpose.

All we may see is obstinacy, blindness and stubbornness, yet God is at work even in the greatest of opposition. How easy would our lives be if we learned just to trust and watch His hand at work?

Resistance is sometimes to be pushed, and other times it is a way to divert us to a higher path. In this case it was ordained to give victory at a later date. Not all resistance is from the enemy.

Quick Prayer. “When I see stubbornness let me know if it is to overcome, or is the work of your hand.” Amen

Eaten your words recently?

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

You are what you say. God spoke the world into being and we are created in His image. how many have been damaged by having negative words spoken over them by a parent, teacher or minister?

Describing the tongue as having the power of life or death is about as strong a term as you could use. God is obviously placing a massive emphasis on the importance of what say, so therefore, so should we!

Watch what you say, be measured in your words, encourage, build up and edify those around you and yourself. You will inhabit the world created by your words.

Quick Prayer. “Help me to be aware of my words and the power they hold.” Amen

Do you have a Plan?

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5.)

The old adage goes; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Cliched, yes, but it is none the less true, and the scriptures agree. I have seen many business plans that have been so long and so complex, as to render them useless. They go straight in someone’s bottom drawer, only to see the light of day at the next ‘strategic review.’

Planning in its purest sense is clearly identifying what you want t look like in the future. Taking a view, say three years hence, and very clearly, and more importantly, demonstrably and empirically, writing down in the simplest measurable terms, what your business should look like. My personal view is to do this as an “ideal sweet spot” in your industry, regardless of your current state.

The second phase looks at how you will get from where you are now, to where you want to be. Just the significant things that need to be done. A short list broken down into 90 day segments. A list of no more that ten things that will build you toward your stated goals. Again these should be measurable, demonstrable and allocated to a specific resource. Review this every 90 days and set your next goals, taking into account any changes in the internal or external environment over the last 90 days.

This is a one page, goal driven planning process that is flexible, easy to understand, inclusive and moves you toward where you want to be. You will be amazed you quickly you can move. The planning process ensures you focus on what is important, rather than what is urgent. That you focus on what will make you great, rather than just good. That is a vital distinction.

Quick Prayer. “Lord, help me to plan, and as I commit these plans to you, bring them to pass according to your word. Thank you and Amen”