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

Serving God in Business

how to serve God in business imageHave you ever thought about your business as a way to serve God?

Your business is where you put your time and where your treasures build.  It is the main place where the actions in your life and spirit of God impact your community.

The Bible says we are called to make disciples. (see Matthew 28:19) It is an ongoing action.  In other words, we are to make disciples as we go.

When we own a business all that we do becomes a way to serve God and spread His word.  We are making disciples by being in business.

Take time today to reflect on your impact for Christ.

  • Are you striving to honor God and serve Him with all that you do?
  • How are you honoring God each day with the way you run your life and business?
  • What actions are you taking to make disciples as you go?

 

Take 10-30 minutes to really reflect on each of these questions. You may even want to adjust some of the day to day routines to better align with what God wants from you in your business.

In business, we serve God with the impact we make in changing lives. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

how to set goalsSet goals that work.

As Christian business owners, we must set goals in order to accomplish what God has in store for us.  God wants us to succeed and He will give us the vision if you ask for it.

Below is a simple 3 step process to create goals to actually work.  Though we don’t talk about business goals because each business is significantly different, these principles can apply to any business goal you may have.

 

Focus on one goal at a time

If you have ever set New Year’s resolutions, you that too many goals at once will not work. You must set one goal and stick to that goal until it becomes a habit.  It is that simple. Pick one goal and make it a habit.  Take time to pray about your goal and see what God has in store for you.

Let’s say you want to lose weight, make more money and take a vacation.  That is three goals.  Pick one and create habits to help you accomplish that one goal.  If it is losing weight, you may want to start exercising, eating better and drinking more water.  That is three habits for one goal: focus.

 

Break Your Goal Down

Though I do not suggest eating elephants, the ol’ saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant?”  The answer, “One bite at a time.”  Once you have one goal, break it down into ‘bitesized’ chunks.

Let’s say you want to go to the gym as part of losing weight. Set up the simple steps you need to get started:

  1. Find a gym close by.
  2. Apply to the gym.
  3. Set up a routine at the gym with a free session from the staff.

Or maybe you want to stay at home for a fitness routine:

  1. Set up a place to work out.
  2. Get an outline to basic exercises you plan on doing: Youtube, Online Print Out, App, etc.
  3. Buy any needed basic supplies: weights, mats, etc.

 

Those three simple steps just got you started.  If you get those accomplished in week one, you have some momentum to get you to the next week.  Write these down and check them off.  The sense of accomplishment will help you stick to that goal.

Then, as you start going to the gym, start every other day, or twice a week.  Then add a day each week until you are doing some exercise each and every day. You just need to schedule your day and make it a habit.

 

Take Action on Your Goals

Now that you have you goal broken down.  Start taking action.  Make it easy for yourself to take action.

If your goal is to eat healthy, take time once a week to prepare and plan healthy meals.  Get rid of all unhealthy foods so you are not tempted.  That is a step one.  Check it off, see what you have already accomplished!

Let me give one more example, let’s say you want to go to the gym more regularly.  Set a specific time each day.  Put an alarm on your phone for a reminder. Set out your workout clothes each night for the next day.  Get a partner to hold you accountable or hire a fitness coach.  All of these become routine and routines become habit.

Conclusion

The more you can make your action steps a simple routine, the more they become a habit.  When a goal goes from ‘I have to do this’ to “Oh, this is what I do” you have won the game of setting goals.

Goals are simple if you make them part of who you are.  Praying and setting goals that would honor Him is always a good start.  God wants us to be healthy, we just have to believe we can be healthy.  God wants us to be successful, we just have to believe we can do what God called us to do.

God called you into business.  Set your goals, focus, break them down and take action.  The rest will fall in line.

 

Successful goals become habits. Habits become routines. #resolutions #goals #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Listen to the lesson as you read along:

(Running Time 2 minutes 14 seconds)

(Right click here and “save as’ to download MP3 audio – 2 minutes 14 seconds)

 

You have probably heard this verse before, but you may not have taken time to go through the whole Psalm.  There is a rich wealth of wisdom from this one passage that you may miss if you just stick to this one verse.  Let’s look at the rest of this chapter.

We are immediately reminded that those who do evil will not last.  You can look at the news to see how many corporations tried to get away with things and got caught.  We live by a higher level integrity.  We trust in God and have our delight in Him not in money.

In verse 5, we are told to commit our ways to the Lord.  That word in the original language means to ‘roll away.’  Think about that for a moment. We are to roll away our problems, our business and our worries to God.  Let Him take care of the things we cannot because ultimately it is His business.

In verse 7 we are reminded to be still before God and wait on Him.  We are to entrust ourselves totally to Him so that He can guide us.  We are not to worry about others who succeed.  We should not get angry about the success of others because we know that if people truly succeed it is because God allows it.

In verse 11 we are told to be meek.  The original word was more akin to being bowed down.  We are told when we bow down before God and submit to Him we will enjoy peace and prosperity.

Don’t get distracted by the word prosperity.  We are to put forth the effort that God tells us.  We must take action and be obedient to God.  When He says move, we should move.  You can read verse 14-15 to see what God does to those who rely on wicked schemes instead of solid biblical principles for their business.

In verse16 we are reminded to be happy with what we have.  We may not be ready for millions, but when we are, God will uphold us in His righteousness.  Our inheritance will endure forever.  Even when times get tough those who trust in God will enjoy plenty.

In verse 21, we are told to be generous and always pay our debts.  God will guide out steps when we stay on path with Him.  Though we stumble, we will not fall because God’s hand upholds us.

David continues the next section with His observations about how much God blessed those who trust in Him.  I verse 34 he sums it up, “Hope in the Lord and keep His way.  He will exalt you.”

All success comes from God.  He will bless us when we fully trust in Him.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Prayer for the Beginning of the Year

 

beginning of year prayer for businessDear God, my CEO who knows my future.

Thank you for bringing me to a new year.

Thank you for the blessings and lessons from last year.

I want to consecrate this year to you.  It is Your year.

Every decision I make will be guided by your wisdom working in my life.

Help me to set goals that line up with Your goals.

Help me to set plans that put me on the path where you want me.

Guide me to step only when You say and not get ahead of what you have for me.

God, you are my CEO.  I will meet with you every morning for your guidance.

Please help me to hear you ever clearer as I grow in my business and my faith.

With this new year, I honor you, God.

To You be the glory, honor and praise.

Amen

 

God knows the future, let Him guide your business. #prayer #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet new year business prayer

end of year prayer for businessPrayer for the End of the Year.

 

Dear God of my life, you are the CEO of my business.

You are the Commander in Chief of all that I do.

You are my only boss.

First let me apologize for leaving you out of my business plans in any way this year.

I release my business to you.  Everything that happened this year is finished.

As I review this last year, let me see how you guided me and what lessons I need to learn.

Every good thing that happened is because of you.  I give You the honor.

Everything rough is because of the world I live in and the decision I made.

Let me see your guiding hand in the rough times and take wisdom with me into the next year.

Let me learn from you how I can do better this next year.

Thank you for allowing me the blessing you gave me this year.

Amen

 

Let God guide your business so the past does not hinder your future. #prayer #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

business prayer

Christian business Christmas prayer

 

Christmas prayer for businessDear God, You are the CEO of my business.

You are the reason we have Christmas.

Thank You for sending your Son.

I want to thank You for what you have done for me.

I want to thank You for my business, my family and my community.

As we get closer to Christmas, may I focus on You even more.

May my business always honor you, especially in this Christmas season.

May I not focus on sales, but may I focus on souls.

May I not focus on gifts, but focus on the gift of Christ.

Allow me to influence others for you.

Let me be your peace, hope and love to the world around me.

Help me to understand your plan for me at Christmas.

Thank You for leading me.

And, thank You again for sending Your Son that we may celebrate Christmas.

Amen

 

At Christmas, focus on souls, not sales. #ChristianBusiness #Christmas #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet Christmas business prayer

sharing Christ at Christmas partiesHonestly, this is a tough one.  My first impulse, is yes, share Christ anywhere you can.  If you have created a culture within your business that allows you to openly share Christ, then go for it.

But that is not the rest of the story . . .

My wife is a VP at a Credit Union.  She has a few people in her department that do not celebrate Christmas.  She has taken special measures to be honest, but not offend the people she works with.  She created a holiday get together, but wanted to honor those who don’t believe like she does. I applaud her desire to openly live out her faith at the same time to be sensitive to how God is working in the lives of others.

It is tough in the world today.  If we offend someone of different beliefs, we have done an injustice to God.  I am not saying we should walk on eggshells about our beliefs, but understanding what others believe is important.

In your business, you may have a Christmas party for vendor or customers.  That is a great tradition in many businesses.  I don’t have any problem telling them to openly share their faith.  As individuals, we should always be sharing our faith in words, deeds and action.

The question comes about when you want to present the gospel to the whole group.  When you want to do a presentation for everyone, you must pray about it. As a business owner, there will be some people who don’t believe like you do.  Yes, we want to tell them, but how much more powerful is it when we tell them as individuals?

If you want to share with the whole group, do so with wisdom.  You may let everyone know on the invitation that you will be sharing about why you think Christmas is so important.  If you are going to do a presentation, let them know about it.  Let God prepare them to receive a message.

You may even want to read the story from the Bible and let God’s word connect to people deeply.

Whatever you do, make sure you cover it in prayer.  I know some people would say you don’t have to pray about sharing your faith.  That is true.  Yet, as a business owner, you represent Christ in the marketplace.  You want to be wise about how you present God to individuals.

Depending on your business culture and audience, the Christmas party may not be the place to share that message to the crowds, but may be the perfect place to talk to individuals about who you believe in and why!
If you choose to share Christ to a group at Christmas,  check out what this business owner did at his company Christmas party.  (Just click on the sentence to go to the article.)

When sharing your faith at Christmas, speak from one heart to another. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christmas Click To Tweet

Today’s video is from Smart and Relentless.  They show you 20 ways to become a better Christian.  And they do it in a video that is less than 4 minutes!

As a business owner and a Christian, the more you grow your spiritual life, the more your business life will blossom.  God wants to show you to success, but he wants to do so by first fully trusting in Him.

 

Spend time seeking God's guidance and your business can't help but grow. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet