Are You a Promise Keeper?
“It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”
(Ecc 5:5 NASB)
Our integrity is always demonstrated by what we say. Do we offer more than we can deliver? Do we paint a picture that is overly rosy? Do we dangle a carrot in front of our staff that will be hard to meet? The Scripture says our yes should be yes and our no, no (see Mat 5:37). There is no grey, just black and white.
Sometimes it is not easy to say it like it is. Often when circumstances change, we struggle to meet our commitments. Perhaps we should do what we said we will do and let God sort out the consequences. He will honor a stand that is done in line with His requirements of us.
We can live by the Word of God, keep our promises, and run a successful, growing, profitable, influential business.
Quick Prayer: Jesus, You always demonstrated absolute integrity. Help me to walk like You. Amen.
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’” (2 Kin 4:1)
My God is a generous God. He does supply all my needs. But if I squander his provision, if I am flippant with His generosity, or if I do not have an attitude of stewardship, I will quickly live beyond my means.
The temptation to keep up with the Joneses is a strong one. We live in a material world where we are continually bombarded with messages of the new and the greatest.
While God is fully aware of the society in which we live and what we need to partake in society and be effective, must be careful to be wise with what He has given us. The price we can pay for being out of control and falling into the hands of creditors is too high.
Quick Prayer: I know there is a price to pay for living outside my means. Give me wisdom. Amen.
“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.
“It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” (Matthew 24:46)
Faith is one thing but it is actions that really count. Works are evidence of faith. Faith without works is dead. Some could do well to stop talking about it, and get on a do it. We have so much teaching and input, how about a little output? How about a lot of output? Of those who have been given much, much will be required.
Work is intrinsically good; a business does not need to justify its existence through support of non-business outcomes. However, all that we called to be, and to do, needs to be done well and in keeping with God’s principals.
Our lives should be evidence of an encounter with the living God, transformed and unrecognizable from what they were.
Quick Prayer. “Please remind me of the need to work for your Kingdom Lord.” Amen
“Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” (Mark 1:20)
Will we be ready for a word from God? Do we spend any time with Him to allow us to hear? An instruction from God can come suddenly, swiftly and without warning. We would do well to spend time with Him, and to become familiar with hearing His voice.
Often we will need to act in the confidence that we have heard from Him. Our hearts should be tuned and our lives surrendered, so that when we hear we will be obedient to His word, and act swiftly. What could we accomplish if we were truly surrendered to God?
Quick Prayer. “Here I am Lord ready to obey.” Amen
“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
“The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.” (Proverbs 15:25)
We are not proud are we? Maybe we are just proud of our humility? Pride comes in many forms. Are we self reliant, too proud to ask? Do we feel a sense of entitlement in our roles at work? Surely it is the work of our hands that have built this business, family, wealth, or whatever just came into your mind.
When our pride affects our thinking it will ultimately impact our lives, and those in our sphere of influence. He will protect us, and the people in our lives, by tearing down that which is built on pride.
Look at your heart and examine it before God. Best we deal with pride, than fall into a sin with consequences.
Quick Prayer. “Keep me from pride.” Amen
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19)
Where do wealth and possessions come from? From our hard work? We would toil in vain without God. It is He who gives us the ability to create wealth and His hand that distributes blessing. Alongside material possessions sometimes come a priceless gift—one that eludes so many who do not know God and many who do.
There is the gift of an ability to enjoy wealth. The wealthiest people are not the happiest. The enjoyment of what we have comes as a gift from God.
The second part of that blessing is a release from striving and looking for the next thing. The trap of materialism is the unending cycle of desire and dissatisfaction. Enjoy, accept, and be happy; it’s a great gift.
Quick Prayer. “Allow me to enjoy what you have given me Jesus.” Amen