Category Archives: Christian Stewardship

Foundations of Christian Stewardship Part II: It’s about God’s Agenda

The second element in understanding Biblical stewardship for Christian business owners is a natural follow-on to the first element, which was God owns everything and it is this:

All events are orchestrated by God to serve God’s agenda

This can be a bit disconcerting to us Type A people who like to control everything. We like to roll up our sleeves and get stuff done. But Proverbs 16.4 is clear: “The Lord works out everything for His own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster.” (There are other passages that could be cited beyond this one)

As Christian business owners, we need to understand that trusting in God and replacing our agenda with His is the essence of trusting in God. Garrett writes:

“Biblical righteousness is fundamentally an attitude of trust in God, an attitude implicitly and explicitly demanded in 16:1, 3. Wickedness, too, is more than simple disobedience to the commandments; it is above all manifest in an attitude of pride” (Garrett, D. A. (1993). Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of songs (Vol. 14, pp. 152–153). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers).

It is natural for us business owners to think about our agenda for our business. But have you ever taken time to learn from God what His agenda is for His business that He has entrusted to you? This directly goes to the core purposes for business: Passions, Products, Profits and Philanthropy. The four core purposes for business, collectively, need to be the organizing principle to which our businesses – our entrustment from the Lord – are tethered.

What is the Lord asking you to do with His business? How is He asking you to manage it, grow it, use it to further His kingdom? Are you developing the passions and talents in the people God has brought to you? Are you developing new products and services that will enable your community to flourish? Are you using your profits as directed by God – perhaps giving away more than is normal because God wants to bless you as a giver and wants to bless others engaged in other ministries? Does God’s agenda for your business drive your strategy and tactics?

Take time today to do an inventory of your person and work. Remember that God owns everything – including your business – and He will orchestrate the events of your life and your business so that you are working in concert with Him to accomplish His agenda.

Bill English

Foundations of Christian Stewardship Part I: God Owns Everything

I’m starting a series I’m titling the Foundations of Christian Stewardship. This series will codify what I believe to be the foundational passages and principles for Christian Business Owners to adopt and follow if they are going to be faithful stewards of the business that God has given to them.

The first foundational principle is this:

God owns everything.

Corollary: We own nothing.

The Scripture that teaches us that we own nothing and God owns everything are numerous:

Psalm 50.10-12: for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

Deuteronomy 10.14: To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

Exodus 19.5-6: Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

1 Corinthians 10.23: …for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…

Psalm 24.1: The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters

Job 41.11: Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.

Psalm 89.11: The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it

There are over a dozen more passages like this in the Bible. God owns everything and we own nothing. Regardless of our current legal systems which bestows on us ownership of material goods, in God’s economy, we’re merely stewards of that which he has entrusted to us.

Application

I think there are several applications:

  1. Any wealth that we create through business is not ours to spend as we see fit. Instead, we should be asking God how He wants this wealth utilized.
  2. Our business is to be managed as well as possible. Our overriding goal should be to fulfill the four purposes that God has established for business: Passions, Products, Profits and Philanthropy
  3. Our identity, self-worth and security should be found in our relationship to God as His steward, not in our temporal positions as a business owner
  4. We should hold our businesses with an open hand, being willing to give up ownership should God call us to other entrustments

US Faces Another Debt Crisis

Congress and our President is planning to raise the debt ceiling again (here and many other stories). Debt continues to be a huge bondage to our country that we ourselves don’t appreciate or recognize. This is a huge issue, in our opinion here at Bible and Business.

As of September 1, the national debt is 19,844,621,643,528.62. $5.4T is intergovernmental debt, so the Federal Government’s debt to outside parties is ~$14.4T. Using the lower figure, our national debt translates into ~$45K/person in America. Our total economy (GDP – Gross Domestic Product, which is the sum total of our national output of goods and services) is $18.6T for 2016 (in 2009 chained dollars, the GDP is $16.7T – “Chained dollars” is adjusted for inflation in 2009 dollars.)

Our total debt that is owed outside the Federal Government is approaching equality with our annual GDP. If we include the total Federal Debt and compare it to the “nominal” (think “not chained) GDP, our debt exceeds our entire economy’s output for a single year.

We are drowning in debt – literally the frog in the frying pan. Consider this:

  • The 50 states combined have a total debt of $5.1T or ~ $16K/person
  • The unfunded estimated future liabilities for Medicare parts A, B and D plus Federal Employee and Veterans benefits totals ~ $87T (here too).
  • USdebtclock.org estimates current and future Federal debt liabilities will equal $890K/taxpayer in the US.

This entire structure is unsustainable. We have no one to blame but ourselves. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it is an American issue that affects everyone equally. If we don’t start living within our means, our entire economy will collapse under the weight of this debt. This is both undeniable and unavoidable.

At some point in the future, the US will not be able to meet its’ obligations to pay debt when it comes due. Americans will miss their government checks. Direct deposits will not happen. Tax refunds will be missing. The Federal Government sends out over 80 million checks each month. We have created a government that knows how to license, regulate and redistribute wealth, but it doesn’t know how to say “no” to it’s citizens when it should.

The social unrest that will ensue when these checks stop coming will be directed, we believe, at the rich – really anyone perceived as having something someone else needs. Black markets will quickly develop and violence will erupt, IMHO. We hope we’re wrong.

When (not if) we go down, the entire world’s economy will go down with us. This just might trigger a series of intense wars as leaders try to protect their own countries and lash out at the US for being so greedy and reckless.

It will be a time for the church to be effective like never before – but only if we’re prepared and ready to give it all away to help people find Christ.

What can you do?

  1. Stop electing people to Congress who vote for budgets that increase our debt regardless of party affiliation
  2. Stop blaming others – each of us are responsible as voters for this situation
  3. Inform yourself – Concord Coalition is a good place to start
  4. Start saving hard goods that can be bartered – not precious metals – but things people will need in the areas of safety and basic needs
  5. Pray that God will bring revival to this country – unless we turn back to Him, we *will* continue down this unsustainable path
  6. Get out of debt as much as possible

Bill English

2 Chronicles 7.14

This post is only for my Christian brothers and sisters. Seriously – if you’re an atheist, agnostic, or something else, then this post isn’t for you. It’s only for those who see themselves as followers of Jesus Christ.

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

In short, this verse links our personal holiness (sanctification) with our success in life. There are four parts (including verse 13):

  • Bad things are happening: the land is bare,  production/growth is lousy and people are hurting (vs 13)
  • “my people” (followers of God) – “called by my name” (our public identity is that of being a Christ follower)
  • If Christ followers will become humble (opposite of pride), pray (not just words, but come to God as the source of all that is needed), seek God’s face (adopt his ways of thinking and behaving) and turn from wicked ways (old-fashioned repentance)
  • Then God will hear from heaven (think draw close to us in relationship), will forgive our sin (cleanse and purify us) and heal our land (restore productivity and health in every aspect).

The healing of our land is directly tied to the quality of our personal walk with God.  For our purposes here, the success and quality of your business as a Christian Business Owner is directly tied to the quality and intimacy of your walk with God.  If you’re living in private sin, God will not allow you to be as successful as you could be in the business He has entrusted to you.

Christians needs to take seriously our responsibility to repent of our sins and turn our attention to God.

If your business is struggling, then the first place to begin diagnosing the problem is on your knees before God.  Start there and let God transform the business He has given you.

Bill English

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