Doing Business God’s Way

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

God Is Building a Family Business


What is God doing on the earth today? What has He been doing from the beginning? All too often, the answer is that He’s frantically working to save a bunch of people before the end of the world, or before they die, so that He can populate heaven. But if that were so, God could have dispensed with the majority of Scripture, which addresses our responsibilities here on earth, and cut straight to the retirement plan waiting for us in the future. 


The prevailing lifestyle in much of the evangelical world reveals an attitude of, “We’ve got our salvation, and since God controls history, let’s just take care of our own personal affairs, avoid major sin, witness when possible, build ‘successful churches,’ and then get out of here.”


That isn’t what God wants. I like to say that God is a businessman, and He’s building a business. Novel as this language may seem, it is biblical. In Genesis 1:26–28, God states that we are created in His image and likeness to have dominion over the earth and everything in it. That means we are created to have the same intrinsic goals, desires, and ambitions as God, and that they are to be realized first of all on earth before we graduate into the future. God intends to bring life on earth under His order, and He intends to use believers to do it. This is why we are to “seek first His kingdom” (Matthew 6:33) and to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our mission is not in heaven; the work to be done is here on earth.


Let’s say it simply: God the Father is building a family business. I call it Almighty & Family. When you were born again, you were born into the family. You became a joint heir with Christ in the enterprise. (See Romans 8:17 NKJV.) From that moment, Father began grooming you to take your place in the family business alongside all the other family members. Why do we refer to God’s work in the world as the family business? Because that is how Christ speaks in the parable of the minas. (See Luke 19:11–27.) The parable depicts how Christ rules over His kingdom and apportions work—the sort of work associated with running a business—to His servant children.


If you are in Christ, you are called to extend His kingdom franchise on earth as a junior partner. You are called to discover His management principles of life, relationships, and stewardship in the Scriptures; practice them personally and with others; and let the Holy Spirit train you as to their proper use and appropriate applications. Like Jesus, you are to seek every possible opportunity to extend Father’s life and blessings to all men and all situations. You, friend, are in God’s MBA program, and the only issue is what kind of student/employee you are going to be. 


Under the disciplines of earthly life, God will someday call us fully to Himself, not as slaves but as heirs. (See Galatians 4:7.) Having been trained during our earthly visit to deal with life, reality, relational challenges, and material management problems, we will be ready for more training and responsibility. Power is guarded by problems. What do I mean by this? Since growth is almost always accompanied by resistance, God often uses problems to empower us. Through effective problem-solving, we grow and mature. All of us as “franchise trainees” will get ample opportunity to learn how to apply God’s Word toward solving problems here on earth.


Earth is our workshop assigned by God, and we are not here simply to keep ourselves from sin. We are also here to drive sin away and nullify its effect in the created order. We must build according to God’s pattern. God changes the world from the inside out, starts small and grows big, transforms every aspect of life, and uses people with servants’ hearts. This is the work to which we must give ourselves: learning to apply God’s Word practically to our sphere of influence and using our problems as the building blocks for our growth.


Thought of the Day:  Earth is our workshop, and it is filled with trials, challenges, and opposition, all of which are intended by God for our growth.