We are talking about how the fruits of the Spirit can help you in business.

It’s based on Galatians 5:22-23 which reads:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Today is the last fruit: “self control.”

The word used here is ἐγκράτεια or enkrateia

It means self-mastery, self-restraint, or self-control.

The word used hear means a significant amount of self-mastery.  It is a mastery from within that is so strong it is automatic.

It is only used three other times.  Let’s look at these and see how we can grow in our self-control.

The first one we find Paul teaching Felix, the governor who listened to Paul when Paul was imprisoned.

“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’” Acts 24:25

Paul was arrested and put in prison.  He had to defend himself.  In the midst of his defense, Paul talks about righteousness that can only come from an internal guidance.  He then, turns the conversation to the Judgement that is to come for all people.

It is funny how Paul was defending himself and used self-control as a defense.  Paul was intelligent and knew the court systems.  He knew how to use words and how to get the attention of Felix.

Yet, right in the middle of his case he presents how righteousness leads to self-control and without those things in our lives, we find ourselves in a time of judgement before God.

Now, let’s see what Peter has to add to that.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

Peter knows the value of growth.  He went from being a simple fisherman to leading the church.  He was a business man first, but aligned his life with God and became an apostle and a direct disciple of Christ.

When we are growing in Christ, we will not always be perfect, but we should always be striving to move forward in our relationship with Christ.

We won’t go through the whole list, but let’s look at the general run down.  We always must start with faith.  Self-control comes in the middle only after we gain knowledge.  It is this self-control that leads to godliness and ends in love.

Without self-control there could be no godliness.  We cannot live a holy life unless we surrender who we are to who Christ is working in us.

Without self-control there can be no godliness. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

We may think that Peter quit fishing, but all through scripture, we see Peter following Jesus and fishing.  He was always a business man, but he moved his business to God’s business.  We see him catching a fish to pay taxes in Matthew 17 and even see him fishing awaiting Jesus to return after the resurrection in John 21.

It is amazing to see the influence one person can have on all of eternity when he turned his life and his business over to Christ.  All of history was changed by a carpenter, who taught a fisherman about the kingdom of God.

You are a business owner and you are called to be a Christian first.  Grow in your faith and do business the way God wants you to do business.  Ultimately, when you lay your business at the foot of Jesus and step up as a person of faith, you will always be on the right track.

If you have self-control, you can easily align your business with God and take the step of faith you need to will bring your business to the next level.

For our exercise this week, and the last in this series, I want us to read John chapter 21.  Put yourself in the shoes of Peter.  He had walked with Jesus for years and watched him die, then standing at the shore is a man who speaks to you.  What would you think?  How would you feel?

Take time to read the three stories in this chapter as a whole, then reach each one, one day at a time.  I have included a worksheet below this video as a guide for your reading. (click here for the worksheet)

  • Day 1: Read the whole chapter and put yourself in Peter’s shoes.  What did he learn?  What would you do in that situation?
  • Day 2: John 21:1-14  How would Jesus find you if he showed up at your place of business?  Would you listen to Him even if it did not make sense?
  • Day 3: John 21:15-19  When have you felt like you let Jesus down?  Have you forgiven yourself and allowed Jesus to restore you?
  • Day 4: John 21:19-25  When have you looked to what someone else is doing rather than paying attention to your own life?  Has your business ever suffered because you were comparing yourself with others?
  • Day 5: ReRead the whole chapter. Do you follow Jesus with all you have and all you are?  Have you aligned your life so much with Jesus that you act in self-control, full of the fruits of the spirit?

 

I hope this study has been a blessing to you.  I know it was a blessing for me to open God’s word up into your life and your business.  This is Rev. H. reminding you to be blessed and be a blessing.

Introduction video for our series on Using the Fruits of the Spirit in Your Business.

Business Bible study based on Galatians 5:22-23

 




Love takes a business beyond profits and aligns our hearts with people the way God sees them. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

Introduction video for our series on Using the Fruits of the Spirit in Your Business.

Business Bible study based on Galatians 5:22-23

 




God will grow businesses whose leaders are growing the Fruits of the Spirit. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

On the nagging thought that there may be a whole lot more spiritual potential to your business/career. (Guest Post by Dave Kahle)

Almost every Christian business owner, salesperson and executive has a firm grasp on the idea of stewardship – that everything in this world including our businesses, belongs to God, and we are just temporary stewards of it.

“Everything,” of course, means everything – our families, our gifts and abilities, the position or job that we hold, the influence that we have, the people in our lives – just to name a few.

Once we understand that, we are just naturally led to this question:  If that’s the case, am I making everything of this business (or my career) that God wants? What exactly does stewardship mean?  Is there a greater good, a bigger impact for His kingdom that I’m not seeing, or not yet realizing?

That’s a pretty important question.  What if we spent the rest of our working life in this business, and in the end realized that we had missed it?  That there was a larger dimension to the business — a bigger purpose — and we missed it? That would not be a good day.

For almost all of my adult life, I have had a sense, at a very deep level, that the Lord had something larger in store for me.  I never quite understood what it was, and rarely got a glimpse of it beyond the deeply embedded idea that I was meant for something else.  At times, that idea raised to the surface and was a part of career decisions.  At other times, it receded into the depths from which it came. But, it has always been there – for decades. It was one of the things that sustained me and gave me hope in some pretty desperate circumstances.  It is only in the recent couple of years that I feel like I am seeing a clearer and more detailed picture of what that larger and deeper purpose is.

I don’t think I’m unique.  While God may have something larger and more spiritual in mind for me, He probably works that way with everyone – including you!  You are, of course, His child.  Could it be that He has something larger, deeper and more spiritual in mind for you?

There is this verse: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Could it be that God has prepared a ‘good work’ for each of us — uniquely and personally — to do?

If so, then could it be that there is a deeper, larger purpose for your career and your business than you currently see?

Instead of just a means of making an income so that you can support your family and make money, could it be that your business is a spiritual entity, with a significant role to play in God’s ultimate plan?

During the research that I did to write The Good Book on Business, I discovered that the answer to that question was a booming, emphatic YES!

In brief, here’s a short list of what I discovered about business in the Bible and the purpose of your business:

  1. Business is the venue that God has chosen as his first choice to interact with             mankind.
  2. Business is where we develop our faith.
  3. Business is where God develops the next generation of Kingdom leaders.
  4. Business is where spiritual gifts are exercised.
  5. Businesses provide economic security for their stakeholders.
  6. Businesses are spiritual entities, and sometimes morph into churches.

 

Business is far more important to God and to the Kingdom that almost anyone in our contemporary society have realized. Click To Tweet

 

Business is far more important to God and to the Kingdom that almost anyone in our contemporary society have realized.  Unfortunately, the common idea that business is where we make our money and church is where we do our ministry is 180 degrees different than the picture of businesses in the Bible.  Business is ministry, and the Bible clearly teaches that businesses have far more potential than just making money.

Alas, most Christian business people have never realized that, because we have never looked for it.  What prevents us from seeing that is often the blinders that we have put on ourselves – the ideas and paradigms that tell us that our business and careers are purely secular, and have no spiritual impact.  As long as we believe them, we will be oblivious to the greater spiritual potential that lies in that which we do for a living.

As a result, we miss it.  We spend our entire lives and business careers pursuing goals that are not in alignment with our spiritual purposes.

And that is incredibly sad.


About the Author:

Dave Kahle has been a Bible teacher, elder, house church leader, short-term missionary and Christian executive roundtable leader.  For 30 years, he has been an authority on sales and sales systems, having spoken in 47 states and eleven countries.  He has authored 13 books, including The Good Book on Business. Sign up to regularly receive insights and wisdom from Dave at  www.davekahle.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. Proverbs 9:7-9

Listen as you Read

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Have you ever known someone who overreacts when things don’t go their way?  Here in America, we are used to getting out way, but life does not always work that way.  There are times when we need to sit back, take some instruction to become a better person.

Quick story . . .

I have been creating videos for over fifteen years.  I have recorded plays, short biography sketches and lots of business videos.  Recently, I was doing some behind the scenes video for a fashion project.  I am not a ‘fashion’ kind of person and I am slightly out of my comfort zone working in that environment.

The lead photographer saw my first video and gave some pointers.  I corrected the video and she loved it.  Then, on another call she made some suggestions about the way I was shooting.  I immediately got defensive and did not want to listen. When I got off the phone call I had to remind myself “the wise listen to instruction.”

To make a long story short, I listened to what she had to say and my next fashion video was the best so far.  I set my pride aside and listened to what she had to say.  I became wiser because I was willing to listen.

God puts people in our lives to help us get to new levels.  We are either helping someone else grow, or we are growing from them.  It is a concept we see throughout the Bible: i.e. Moses and Joshua or Paul and Timothy.

As business owners, we are leaders.  That does not mean we can’t learn from anyone else.  I had a wise Christian man tell me, “You can learn something from everyone no matter how insignificant you think they are.”

Firstly, no one is insignificant. We are all Children of God.  We all stand at the same place before the cross whether rich or poor.  To put it in perspective think about this humbling thought: Everyone is better than you at something.

When we go into business with the idea that we know it all, our business flat lines and we become stagnant.  When we enter our business with the openness to learn, we have a business that thrives and grows.

Even though you are the leader of your business, don’t be afraid to listen to your employees, vendors and customers.  They all have a different perspective than you, and they may see a blind spot that you cannot see from your leadership role.

The question is simple, are you teachable?  If you are teachable, you will be wise and your business will grow.

“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:7-9

Amen

I hope you enjoyed this business Bible study from Christian Business Revolution.  We’ll see you next week.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Listen as you read along

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I am sure you have heard this verse if you have been in church for any amount of time.  I want you to look at it in context and hopefully you can see how powerful it is for you and your business.

Matthew 6:33 reminds me of a chorus in a current Christian song called “First” by Lauren Daigle that says, “Before I bring my needs, I will bring my heart.”  Those words really get to the depth of this verse.

Too often we make our business and personal plans, then try to fit God into them.  That is the exact opposite of what the Bible says.  I know we have to have a vision and we want to set goals about in our business, but look at the context of this Bible verse and see how everything lines up.

This chapter starts out talking about some of the common practices a good disciple: giving, prayer, and fasting.  The next section talks about where our treasures are: in our heart or in the bank.  Then, we come to the last part where the Bible talks about worry and ends with the fact that if we seek God first, our lives will work out the way HE wants them to.

If you look at the progression, it gives us some great insight.  Let me break it down.

First, in verses 1-18 the Bible says our actions must be in line with our faith.  Our habits and practice are physical actions that we take because of our faith. When we have good spiritual habits, it is easier to hear from God and stay in His will for our lives.  How’s your spiritual habits?

Second, verses 19-24 talks about how our heart must be lined up with spiritual things.  After our outer actions reflect what God wants, then our inner actions start to come into line with God’s direction.  It talks about how we think about money and what we put into our brains. The verse talks about how the eyes let things into our brains. So think about what you are letting into your brain on a regular basis.  Does it honor God?

Lastly, verses 25-34 talk about worry.  It gets into the depths of our emotions, feelings from our past and fears about our future.  I love the last verse “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.  Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”

Yes, we must plan, but we must not worry beyond the right now and what we can control.  We must release what we don’t have control over to God.  When we start with God and put Him first with our whole hearts, we will find the rest of life falling wonderfully into place.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Go and be blessed and be a blessing!

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

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You may realize this passage is two sentences below the passage that reads, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  This whole chapter is about love.

As a teenager, I heard this verse.  I thought to myself, “If all the Christians are dying for other people, then there wouldn’t be any Christians around to tell others about Jesus.”

That is a good point until you read the next verse, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

We must read scripture in context and see the meaning as a whole, not in just one random verse separated from its context.  In this passage, we are not talking about dying necessarily, we are talking about laying down our hearts and caring for others with our actions.

Jesus laid down his life because of His love for us.  Jesus took love to the farthest degree by laying down His life for us.  While we were yet sinners He died for us.  He asks us to love one another because of that love.

Let’s put this in the real world in our business for a moment.  When the budget gets tight in our business do we ‘lay down our life for our brothers and sisters?”  The reality is that when we truly care about those whom we lead in our business: employees, contract laborers, etc., we should be thinking about their lives as much as our own.

I know we are getting deep, but when we dive into the God’s word it digs down to the core of who we are.  If every Christian business owner had to read the verse about laying down their lives before making budget cuts, our businesses would be a lot different.

Now, back to our core verse for today.  We love not in words or speech but in actions and truth.  It is not enough to use your words only, but your actions must follow what you say.  We must act in love and in truth.

We are not always perfect, but people who know we are Christians look to us to see the way we run our lives.  For instance, if you get cut off in traffic, do you do the one finger wave or do you pray for that person?

We must realize that we live in a fallen world with a lot of hurt people.  We must rise above the hurt in our own lives to help others and love them as Jesus loves them.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:9

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You may remember this passage from a song in church.  I have heard it quite a few times myself, but I want us to get past the song and into the meat of what really happened in this story.

To summarize, Jesus was coming through town and a tax collector named Zacchaeus wanted to see Him. Zacchaeus was short and could not see over the crowd, so he climbed up a tree to get a good view.

Jesus stopped and looked at him.  He called Zacchaeus by name and told him that He was coming to eat at his house.  Zacchaeus came down and welcomed Jesus.

Let’s break this down.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector.  Tax collectors were known to rip people off to line their own pockets.  They were shrewd businessmen who were considered sinners by profession.

Here we have a business man who was hated in his community.  He wanted to be close to Jesus, but he had some limitations.  He took action to overcome those limitations and got a great view of the Jesus.

Jesus blessed this man by asking to eat with him.  Rarely do teachers, or Rabbi’s, eat with sinners, lest they become unclean.  Everyone muttered.

We don’t know the conversation, but because of the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus wanted to make his business right.  He wanted to be honorable and offered to pay back any money he had cheated. He paid back four times, which was a customary recompense.

Zacchaeus overcame his limitations and his reputation.  He took action to get as close to Jesus as he could and because of that encounter, he lined his up his business to be in line with Jesus’ teachings.

I don’t know if you have ever thought about Zacchaeus being a business owner.  If we look at it in that context we see a man reaching out to Jesus.  Jesus comes into his house and because of that one encounter his life and his business is changed forever.

How often do you reach out to Jesus and push past your limitations?  Have you allowed Jesus into your house and into your business so deeply that your actions are changed?  If not, call out to Jesus and let Him into your business partner and your house.  Make your business a kingdom business and hear Jesus’ words:

“Today salvation has come to this house.” Luke 19:9a

 

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52

Listen to the lesson as you read along:

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Today let’s look at a snapshot of Jesus when He was young.  Starting in verse 41 we see a Jesus as a 12 year old.  Let’s see what we can learn about growth from Him for our lives.

The setting of this story is a yearly festival called Passover.  Jesus went through the festival just like everyone else.  Yet after the festival young Jesus stays behind.  He is found in the temple courts listening and asking questions.

His parents come back to find Him there and they are concerned because they missed Him and were worried.  Jesus’ answer was profound, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Jesus may have only been 12 at the time, but we can learn a lot from this small passage of scripture.  Even as a child He knew His purpose was to do God’s will.

First, Jesus followed the customs of His people.  He readily joined in the celebrations and worshiped God along with His family.  But, this tradition was not enough for Jesus.  He wanted more.

He stayed behind to learn more.  He sat among the experts who knew more than He did.  He listened to how they taught.  He even asked questions of those people and expected an answer.

As Christian business owners, we are usually the top-dog in our businesses.  Everyone looks up to us.  If we want to grow, we must get out of our comfort zone and get around those from whom we can learn.  We must find the experts and those who are in line with God.  We must commit to learn always.

Jesus asked questions.  Even as an adult in the midst of His ministry here on earth we see Him always asking questions.  There is power in questions.  We seek to understand, learn and grow.  We help others see the truths around them and we are found to be open to what God is doing.

We must not get caught up in doing what we have always done.  We must open our lives up to God and what He wants for us.  Jesus went directly to God’s house.  He asked questions and listened for answers.

If you want to grow, ask questions, listen for answers and always be about your Father’s business.  Find time to really seek out what God wants for your life and your business.  Follow these steps and you will grow like Jesus did here on earth.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Listen to the lesson as you read along:

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This is one of my favorite Psalms.  It really gets to the heart of who we are in our relationship with Christ.  It is a cry from David about repentance, but it is more than that, it’s a raw peak into a life calling out to God.

David starts out asking for mercy.  He reminds himself of God’s great compassion.  He then confesses his sin and recognizes that his sin is ultimately sin against God.

In verse 6, he acknowledges that God wants faithfulness even from birth.  He asks to be cleansed whiter than snow so that he can hear joy and gladness again.

In verse 11, he wants to be in God’s presence and asks for a restoration of his salvation.  He will use this restoration to teach others.  He will open his mouth and praise God.  His sacrifice will be a broken sprit which will restore his righteousness.

I suggest reading this Psalm over a few times to really capture the richness of David’s plight before God.  He had no way to restore what he did when he sinned.  He cried out to God in total rawness of who he was before the God of the universe.

In our broken world, it is easy to get discouraged or even to become depressed.  Sin can distract us from our relationship with God and all that we do in our lives will become tainted by that action.  Our goal should be to release that sin in repentance and line our lives up with God once again.

As business owners, we lead others.  God wants us to have a right spirit so that we may ‘teach transgressors’ God’s way.  He wants us to declare His praises with everything we are and all that we do.

God knows we are not perfect, but we must be perfect in coming back to our right relationship with God.  We must constantly make those mid-course adjustments to get on the path God has set out for us.

If you fall down, get up, dust yourself off and get back on God’s path. He wants to guide you and restore the joy of your salvation.  You must only turn to Him with all you are and like David, cry out for restored righteousness.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10