Earning a Living to Serving a Purpose

In what way, can you balance the secular business world and that of your Christian beliefs? Do you have to choose? As adults, we can often feel torn between what is accepted and popular in our culture that can often contradict with our Christian beliefs.

In today’s business world, we often led by bottom line pressures. According to Larry Julian, author of God is My CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom Line World, we do have a choice.

The pressure that Godly leaders feel strengthens them, helps them prioritize principles, defines their character, and helps determine their legacy as leaders, wrote Julian.

There is a difference between earning a living and serving a purpose. So, it is important to find God’s calling and your purpose as a leader. Our purpose can drive everything, from what we do, to how we do it, and for whom we work. Over time, Julian noted, our mission and purpose take precedence over profitability.

In his book, God is my CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom Lined World, Larry Julian outlined ideas that he refers as “God’s principles.”

In time, states Julian, we can move from success to significance.

“Hope the future.”–Jeremiah 29:11

Let’s start…how do you define success?

Source:

God is my CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom Lined World, Larry Julian. Adams Media Corp., Holbrook, MA copyright 2001.

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Quote of the Day

We offer our strengths and weaknesses, our joys and our sorrows to your never ending care. Help us to remember all through our lives that we never need to do difficult things alone, that Your Presence is presently for asking and our ultimate future is assured by your unselfish love. In our deepest gratitude we offer this prayer. Amen.—Fred Rogers, Invocation, Boston University, 1992.

Prophecy–What does that mean?

What is a prophet?

Many people think of a prophet as a fortune teller; someone that predicts that future. I came to find out that predicting the future was a small part of a prophet’s job. Through my research and study, I found that prophets from the Christian Bible talked more about the present and finding the right way back to God.

Who were the prophets?

According to the website, www.theologyofwork.org Introduction of Prophets-

Called by God and filled with God’s Spirit, a prophet spoke God’s word to the people who had in one way or another distanced themselves from God. In one sense, a prophet is a preacher. But in marketplace terms, a prophet is often a whistle blower, particularly when an entire tribe or nation has turned away from God.

Do you think prophets exist today? Where would we find them? Could we use them?

Prophets of the Old Testament wrote and spoke of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. John was connected to Elijah in the Gospel of Luke. That John the Baptist fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy of being a forerunner to Jesus. John baptized people in the Jordan River, the same place as Elijah did his work, and similarities did not end there. John the Baptist’s lifestyle was also similar to Elijah’s.

The Old Testament Scripture of Isaiah, chapter 13 predicts Jesus’s coming. It highlights a man coming to save the people of Isaiah’s contemporaries. “Then the eyes of the blind shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.” The same theme is repeated in the following Psalm-“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts those who are bowed down. The Lord sets the prisoners free. Theme is continued in the Gospel of Matthew.

In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist is in prison. He sends word via his disciples to see if Jesus is the one that they have been waiting for. Jesus answers John. “Go and tell john what you hear and see; the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense to me.”  Jesus then turned to the crowds and started to talk about John the Baptist. He asked what did they expect to see in the wilderness? Someone in soft robes. They would be wrong, as you would only find people dressed like that in royal palaces. John was chosen as messenger. It was prophesied that John would prepare the way of Jesus. John was it.

Did the people that followed Jesus and John the Baptist really understand? Jesus and John knew who they were as people. They knew of each other but had not met. I think John knew that Jesus was the one, and the word sent back confirmed what he knew. By Jesus’ words in the Gospel, he knew John the Baptist and his disciples were the Advance team. But…were their disciples uncertain of the other. Was there a fear of competition?

John the Baptist knew who he was and who he was not. According to the Gospel of John, He was not Christ, not Elijah, and not the prophet, but the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The Gospel of John makes this reference to Isaiah 40:3.

All four of the Gospels make references to prophets of the Old Testament. Prophets played a huge role. Note that, it had been at least four hundred years since a foretelling. John the Baptist was seen as a prophet for the New Testament. He is set apart. Not just by his looks or his lifestyle. He played a large role and baptism was the method that he used in his ministry. John was humble. Perhaps he indeed knew his place. John prepared the people for Jesus; he communicated the importance of Christ. He even baptized Jesus, which inaugerated Jesus’ ministry. John perhaps lived on the fringes. He did not see himself as above. John knew who he was and knew who Jesus was. Is John the Baptist still important today? Indeed he is.

 

 

Leadership by Example, part 3 of 5 God is My CEO blog series

How many of us describe ourselves by our occupation? How many of us are asked “what do you do?”

Larry Julian, author of God is My CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom Line World points out in his book that we can move from what we do to who we are. We can let who we are to speak for what we believe. Admittedly so, integrating faith and work paves the way to a more meaningful and productive work environment, but it is challenging.

It is sometimes a big step from doing for God to being with God, noted Jeffrey Coors. In our secular society, many feel that our faith and work should be separate. Coors was quoted in the book as saying it can be easy to do much, become over-extended and have it take a toll on you.

Julian notes that God calls us into relationship with Him, then with people around us. Julian quotes John D. Beckett, live your faith.

In Mathew 16:25, scripture states that I do my part, Let God do His. Surrender to God.

I know for myself, as stubborn as I can be, relent and surrender, are not always actions that I take. Note to self. it may help to surrender to God, as it means victory. I do ask for advice and in Ephesians chapter 6, it talks about yielding control. The author also advises “don’t act out, advise counsel.”

Leadership is not about doing everything, just delegating, or being bossy. It is about leading by example. Some of the best advice comes from Proverbs 12:15, it includes having compassion, being committed, being accountable, encouraging growth and development of others, and respect.  If we start from there, we have a good foundation to grow as leaders.

There will be times that we need to make tough decisions. We do not have to give in to discouragement, notes Julian. We can live with hope.  He encourages to seek God’s wisdom, so we can turn a bad problem into a good solution. We need courage to do the right thing. We need wisdom to know what the right thing to do is. Let go, Let God. God can provide unexpected solutions, if we can look beyond our own means.

Stay tuned, next week for part 4 of 5, Servant Leadership.

Source:

God is My CEO: Following God’s principles in a Bottom Line World, by Larry Julian. Adams Media Corporation, Holbrook, MA, copyright 2001.