“I will utterly consume everything
From the face of the land,”
Says the Lord;
“I will consume man and beast;
I will consume the birds of the heavens,
The fish of the sea,
And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked.
I will cut off man from the face of the land,”
Says the Lord.
-Zephaniah 1:2-3 (NKJV)
Consider yourself warned. God will have a day of reckoning. he prophets spoke of it. In particular, Zephaniah spoke explicitly about it. It would be the type of day that no one would want to see in their lifetime.
Think you have had a bad day? That’s nothing like what will happen when this day comes about. The Lord will not be slow to anger on that day. He will set forth His wrath like it has never been unleashed before.
Take care of business, brothers and sisters. Know that how you manage your business affairs is part of how you reflect God in your daily life to others, especially those who are not of the faith.
- Are you viewed as shrewd and crafty, ready to cut costs at the expense of the livelihood of your employees and vendors?
- Do you readily examine the bottom line or the heart of the matter when making decisions?
- Do you pray over your business decisions and seek godly counsel from other Christian business men and women?
Consider how you handle your business. Others are watching you. Others take into account that you say that you are a Christian. God is watching. God will not always be waiting. One day, and we we do not know when, God is going to call us on what we have done and what we haven’t done as His children.
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Commit your works to Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
– Proverbs 16:9
I don’t care if it’s a business or a ministry, even a small group or just some friends getting together to do some good work within the community, you need to start from your heart. That’s where you get the commitment that you will need to endure any such work. It will have to come from deep within you. It will have to start in and come from the heart.
The Bible says so in Proverbs as we see in the verses above. It comes up in other places in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Don’t get it wrong. The Bible is certain to cover such a matter as this due to its importance to success of any such venture in faith. After all, the Lord’s name is on the line any time that we step out there with the blood of Jesus Christ covering us. Other folks are looking.
Other writers have shared the importance of a leader having a heart for his or her work. Check out how Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell deal with matters of the heart. Steve Marr used Proverbs to publish a daily devotional for business professionals called Business Proverbs.
No matter how much you may try to rationalize otherwise, if your heart isn’t in it, you can bet the rest of you isn’t too into it either. Get your heart into it or get out of it.
God doesn’t want you giving Him a half-hearted effort. What He did that towards us? Would we praise Him with our whole hearts still? Would we still sing songs of Zion
to His glory? Think on that.
Get your heart into before you even get started. Let God have your best by putting your whole heart into it. He has already give you His best in Jesus Christ. Go on and get your heart into whatever you will do in His name.
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According to 2008 U.S. statistical data from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)
, 34,169 people claimed “no religion.” That includes atheists and humanists. That is almost 5,000 more people than in 2001. In 2008, according to the same survey, over 173,000 people identified themselves as “Christian.” That’s over 13,000 more than in 2001.
Obviously, Christianity grew and expanded during this period. That sounds good. However, the adult population surveyed increased by approximately 20,000 during this period. We gained 13,000 and the “no religion” folks gained 5,000. That means 2,000 people became Muslims, Jews or some other religion. Or, the same 2,000 just did not dare claim any religion at all. Either that or it is some mix between the two of them.
The world has its own standard. It may not be one that we, as Christians, desire to follow but it exists. It is alive and well within the world. That’s suitable for those who do not know the Lord. It works for those who live in the darkness of unbelief.
It doesn’t work well for Christians.
For us, things are just a little different. We answer to a higher calling in Christ Jesus, seeking to mature in Christ as we walk with Christ. We are to live by a different standard than the world.
So what is this standard of living for Christians and where does it come from?
- The Lord sets the standard. He lays it out based upon His supreme reign over all things as the Creator, the Maker and Elohim. He answers to no one.
- The Lord shares the standard in the Scriptures. Christians have the upper hand because we have been provided the play book. We can read it. We can reference it. It is for our consumption. The Lord gave it to us.
- The Lord demonstrated the standard. The Word became flesh. He dwelt on earth and dealt with some serious troubles like being born to poor parents and living in a society where foreigners ruled over His people. He showed us the standard and expects us to live up to the standard.
Live it up. Live a life of influence that inspires others from interacting with you and your business. Live up to Christ’s standards as you work, as you play golf and as you go to and fro. Handle your business and live up the Lord’s standards.
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- Only 5% of nonprofits list fund raising as a “board strength”
- Nearly 50% of nonprofit board members are 50-64 years old
- 92% of boards have an external financial audit
- 87% of nonprofit organizations made governance policy changes
- 70% of surveyed nonprofits established a policy for board members to review the IRS Form 990
So where do you stand?
Do you even know?
Get informed on what you need to get your board back on track.
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“The greatest self-delusion is the belief that the outlook for a product improves the more resources are poured into it.” – Peter Drucker, Managing for Results
Pet projects present a problem. You can find yourself pouring good money after bad time after time. You can lose your mind as you lose your shirt. That can really shake up your ego, especially if your ego is tied into the project.
Drucker pointed out the failure of the Ford Edsel in Managing for Results. He considered the automobile “the most publicized American product fiasco.” He shared the Edsel as an “investment in managerial ego” amid six other “problem children” mentioned within the eleven major categories of business products. Forget the Edsel as poor example of American ingenuity. Think of it as an endeavor in egotism. Ford kept trying over and over again, but America was not buying the Edsel.
Imagine what would happen if the CEO decided to oversee a project that he felt intimately attached to despite the all of the analysis and findings by the research team. What would become of the nonprofit that allowed its chairman of the board to serve as the lead on a youth mentoring project without ever having mentored a single soul? Think about how it would be if your pastor decided to run the culinary ministry when he could never manage to boil water without scalding himself.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Ego can cause some real disasters. It can get us into some territory where we do not belong at all. Watch yourself before your ego leads you down the wrong road.
Try reading some of the titles listed below to keep you on track with your goals:
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“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9 (KJV)
You can get more done when you partner with others. Partnerships allow you to leverage your resources. You come together and bring what you have to the table for a mutual benefit. You make the most of what you both have to offer and make it work for the benefit of both of you.
Your best may be made better by adding with what someone else brings to the table. You can gain market share. You can limit expenses and overhead. You can trim or cut costs, lowering your expenditures. You can also gain exposure beyond your primary audience. Additionally, you can build your brand’s reputation if you partner with a reputable partner.
For instance, if you have a youth arts project, you could partner with local youth-serving agencies. Add to that partnership by coalescing the participation of a local arts council that supports such programs as a fiscal agent or media/ publicity sponsor. The youth-serving agency provides the audience and the venue, while the arts council provides infrastructure and support for spreading the message about the program to the media and expanding press coverage for the program. The arts projects gets to the youth and the media sheds light on the project because of who you have partnered with and what you are doing.
Think about the concept of partnership. See how it can benefit you beyond simply sharing lessons learned and best practices. Get connected with people who can propel you and your work beyond where you have already been. Build better and bigger partnerships.
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Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7:20 (KJV)
The world knows some things about Christians. The world knows what they hear about Christians. The world knows what Christians say about themselves and their beliefs. The world knows when what we say and do fail to match up with one another.
Multiply that by one hundred when it is revealed that you are a Christian in business.
You can run a small business or run a faith-based nonprofit agency. It doesn’t matter. The world knows what the world knows.
- Develop business practices that are in line with and based upon the Scriptures
- Keep God’s Word as your daily guide; read Proverbs or Psalms daily
- Evaluate your words and deeds by what the Lord says in His Word
Don’t forget that the world knows you by your fruits.
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