Lessons from the Bible on work and business
How to be a Good Worker
Jacob shows us what a good worker looks like • January 19, 2017 • Benham Brothers
Jacob was a producer, not a consumer. When Laban asked Jacob what he wanted Jacob didn’t ask for a hand-out. He wanted to earn his keep. He asked for the runt of the litter as his keep. Laban made a dumb deal, but this was God’s way of increasing Jacob’s wealth. God gave Jacob a creative idea on mating certain sheep in front of sticks to give them streaks (Genesis 31:10). Jacob took the junk and turned them into a fortune. We did the same with foreclosures in 2003. No other brokers wanted to sell them, but God gave us a vision on how to do it. This is a great picture of God and man working hand-in-hand. Jacob still had some “conniver” in him, but God was still with him none-the-less. Genesis 31:38-42 - This is the type of worker Jacob was: 1) He cared about his work (vs 38a). 2) He did quality work (vs 38b). 3) He didn’t take advantage of his position (vs 38c). 4) He took personal responsibility for losses (vs 39). 5) He worked hard and didn’t complain (vs 40). 6) He never asked for handouts (vs 41). 7) He partnered with God (vs 42). Genesis 32:10 - the reward for partnering with God in your work!
How Joseph shows us to be valuable • January 22, 2015 • Benham Brothers
Joseph was a value creator - everywhere he went he was bringing value. He was walking in God's favor and it disregarded his environment. He worked according to his ability and not his pay. He was more concerned about God's name than his own. Because of Joseph's value his family reaped the benefit. How did Pharaoh respond when Joseph's family had a need? He was willing to give up something of great value - the choicest of the land. Value begets value - if the sons of Israel would have showed up apart from being Joseph's brothers then Pharaoh would have given up his land for monetary value. Since Joseph led with value Pharaoh responded with value. Ultimately Pharaoh gave Joseph's brothers charge of his source of sustainability - this is the ultimate show of trust a person can have. This is the type of worker we need to be in the marketplace.
The Value of Work
God created the system of exchange so we could work • January 26, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Notice Joseph sold the food, he didn’t give it away. * Proverbs 11:26 - Blessed is the person who’s willing to SELL! * Some people think if you’re a Christian you should give everything away. * But that’s not always God’s best plan. * God designed our system of exchange so that people will WORK! * If you want something of value (product) you have to give something of value (money). * God’s way for getting money is through work. * Our system of exchange (the marketplace) fuels our desire and necessity to WORK. * Why? * Because our work is worship. * If there’s no system of exchange and everyone existed in a socialistic environment (from each according to his ability to each according to his need) then nobody would want to work. * God loves work. * Exodus 3:1 - When you’re being the right person and staying in the right place you can trust the right opportunity will make its way to you. * Moses was faithful in his duty, which put him in the path of God revealing Himself to him. * Where was Elisha when God called him? Plowing a field. * Where was Amos? He was a farmer. * Where was Gideon? Threshing wheat. * Where were the disciples? Working in the marketplace. * All of these men were employed in an honest trade when God called them out. * Exodus 4:20 - the same staff Moses used in his business was now called “the staff of God!” * What changed? * God’s presence was with him and he was on God’s mission. * Moses’ tool for employment turned into God’s tool for deliverance. * God has ordained the workplace making our work sacred.
What Are You Building With?
How strategy can overtake the Spirit in work • January 10, 2019 • Benham Brothers
* The people who built the tower had to do it with brick and mortar. * The reason was because no stones were available in that big open plain. * Their plan required them to use materials they cleverly crafted themselves. * They couldn’t build with what God provided. * The Temple, years later, was built of stone. * They weren’t supposed to be building that tower, so God wouldn’t make it easy for them to build it. * They had to get strategic on how to do it. * KEY - when God wants you to do something He’ll provide the plan and the products. * If it’s our own plan we’ll have to scheme our way into making it happen. * Faith is living without scheming.
Anointed vs Gifted
The secret to infusing power into your work • February 8, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* In Exodus 35:10 it talks about the “gifted” artisans commanded to make articles for the building of the tabernacle. * Here in these verses it talks about Bezalel being “filled with the Spirit” to do the work. * A gifted person is someone God instilled the talent and ability to do something. * An anointed person has gifting, but also has “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge” from God. * An anointed person not only completes the job but does it in such a way that others (customers, clients, and coworkers) has an encounter with God. * They’re not just good at what they do, they make an IMPACT by the way they do it. * They use their giftedness to influence others for the Lord. * All of us can be anointed if we’re willing to surrender our gifts to God. * Exodus 35:34 - the anointed had the ability to “teach” - they were leaders.
Building Your Business Slowly
God works little by little • February 20, 2014 • Benham Brothers
* God works little by little - if He does it any other way it's called a miracle. * Think of healing - happens little by little, slowly. If it's healed instantly that's a miracle. * Proverbs speaks about "he who gathers little by little, in the end God will make it grow." * 87% of people that hit the lottery end up bankrupt. * Think of a baby born before his time - he's not ready for the fight of life until 9 months. * God wouldn't let the Israelites drive out the Canaanites all at once, otherwise the beasts would overpower them. * When God is going to move you into a new place He's going to do it slowly. Why? * Because there are beasts there that you're not prepared for. Slowly but surely God will prepare you to defeat them. * When God calls you to something He must first fit you for the fight (like Moses in Midian for 40 years).
Working in the Wilderness
How God used manna to teach people to work • February 5, 2014 • Benham Brothers
When the people complained God provided - this shows His mercy and grace toward sinful people. It's important to consider what God provided and how they were to go about getting it: WHAT - Numbers 11:7-8 says it was a seed-like substance where people would grind it, crush it, and work it into something they could bake. God's provision becomes our nourishment through WORK! WHERE - God would drop it outside the camp - they had to go gather it! It didn't drop into their tents as a nice hot loaf of bread - it required work on their part. They had to go get it. WHEN - They had to get it in the morning cuz it was gone by noon. Isaiah 55:6 says, "Seek Me while I may be found." If we want God's nourishment then we need to get out of our place of comfort early in the morning and find Him! HOW - They were to gather it daily, not hording anything for tomorrow. In this way God would teach them to live by faith and to trust Him for their "daily" bread. God was also teaching them that He was their provider, because when they grumbled against Moses they said "he" brought them out of Egypt, but God was now showing that it was GOD that brought them out. WHO - God's people got it. Not the Egyptians or any surrounding countries. Those who choose to follow the Lord will find nourishment in the midst of a dessert!
When is it Time to Change Jobs?
Learning the principle of push / pull • January 31, 2014 • Benham Brothers
The very place that represented comfort for the Israelites grew into a place representing a curse. God allowed them to be subject to forced labor so they would long for a country of their own. Push / Pull - when God is moving you to a new place there will usually be a push and a pull - a push from where you are and a pull to where you should be. When God chooses to squeeze you don't question the fingers He chooses to do it with. God uses the weaknesses of others to get us to where we need to be.
The Entrepreneurial Grid
Three things that must be true before you say "yes" • February 9, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* Bezalel was “filled with the spirit” to be skilled in craftsmanship. * He was a minister in the marketplace. * One of the first things an entrepreneur needs to do is quantify how much is enough. * Too many don’t do this so they keep striving for more and more - leads to burnout and discontent. * In this verse we see the contractors hired to do work for the Tabernacle telling Moses to have the people stop bringing in their articles of gold. * Most entrepreneurs would have seen this as an opportunity for more business. * That’s not always bad, but in this situation it would have been. * They didn’t create a new revenue stream because they “could” - they only did what God wanted them to do. * Three things need to be present for an entrepreneur to jump at it: * 1) Opportunity. * 2) Potential. * 3) Smile of God. * We often take a leap when we’ve had the first two, but the third is the key. * It requires a period of waiting and a willingness to die to ourselves. * This is good business.
What a Bad Leader Looks Like
Learn what makes leaders good vs bad • February 8, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* When Aaron was in charge and Moses gone, the people lost faith. * Why? Because they placed their faith in Moses, not God. * They wanted their pastor, not God. * “….as for this Moes, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt….” * He should have reminded them that Moses didn’t lead them out of Egypt. * Aaron gave them what they wanted. He was a weak leader. * A good leader reminds people he is just the conduit through which God does the work. * A bad leader needs the praise of people and therefore will give them what they want. * vs 5 - Aaron probably sensed momentum and added fuel to the fire. * He liked the applause of the people. * vs 25 - the role of a good leader is to “restrain” people by teaching the truth. *
Becoming a Skilled Worker
How God used an unknown man in building the Temple • February 11, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• God gave Moses the command to build a tabernacle for His presence. • This would require "skillful workmen." • It had to be made "exactly" according to God's plan or He wouldn't accept it. • Not everyone made the cut. • Our role as workers is to become skillful workman - honing our craft to bring God glory. • Imagine the guys who landed the curtain job for the temple - they had learned to make curtains in Egypt! • Being faithful with where God places you and giving our very best is the secret to growing in skill. • These guys ministered "as" curtain makers - they were ministers! • Ex 36:1 - Bezalel and Ohaliab were filled with the Spirit to work on the temple - to do "blue collar" work. • The reward for completing your job? The presence of God!
Work & Rest Go Hand-in-Hand
How to work without burning out • February 23, 2017 • Benham Brothers
* If you honored the Sabbath then you will not only experience rest but also God’s blessing on your work. * In the Old Testament work and rest were separate. * In the New Testament work and rest go hand-in-hand (Matthew 11:28-30). * Jesus is our Sabbath, and when we work with Him we find two things: * 1) Rest for our souls. * 2) Blessing on our work. * Honoring the Sabbath today is all about honoring the Savior. * We do this by joining in His work.
Fail-proof Your Business
God's way of making you profitable • March 6, 2014 • Benham Brothers
* This is a great business model to follow. * Most businesses fail within the first 5 years - Why? Because they're eating the fruit too soon! * God told the Israelites to plant fruit trees but not to eat any of it themselves until the 5th year!!! * The first three years they need to pick and not eat. Early bearing of fruit hinders tree growth - they had to pluck it quick. * The fourth year they picked and gave to God (first fruits). * The fifth year they got to pick and eat! Delayed gratification! * Our personal testimony of how we started our business.
Understanding the Times
How a group of workers knew what Israel should do • January 22, 2015 • Benham Brothers
We know about the men of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12) but we rarely think about the man Issachar. Jacob pronounced a blessing on him that gives us insight into who he was and the people who descended from him. They were workers, like donkies - always working, never complaining, but always working "for" someone. They would be hardworking people who earned an honest living. They would find their rest in their work. Only a labouring man can know what rest truly is. The men of Issachar were those men who were being faithful in the work God had called them to do, no matter what it was. All through Scripture we find people gainfully employed in an honest trade when God taps them on the shoulder. When the people of God clashed with their culture it was these faithful workers who knew what Israel should do. When Israel needed a solution the men of Issachar came up with it. All we have to do is be faithful right where God has placed us. Our faithfulness in our work will prove our fitfulness in God's kingdom.
Going The Wrong Way
How to know you're moving the wrong direction in business • March 8, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* God’s response to Balaam’s willful disobedience was to make his path difficult. * He did it in a “natural” way (not with signs and wonders). * He used a donkey, a mountain, a foot that felt pain. * Salaam should have recognized he was on the wrong path, but he was blinded by his own selfishness. * The problem was the path he was on - he was going the wrong direction. * But it manifested itself in his method of getting there. * The donkey kept giving him problems. * Look at the three things that happened with his donkey: * 1) He went the wrong direction (vs 23). * 2) He caused pain (vs 25). * 3) He stopped moving (vs 27). * Apply these to your own life. * If you’re dead set on going your own way God will let you, but God will speak to you along the way. * It will most likely be a natural thing you could explain away (like a transmission going out in your car). * * Does it feel like you’re moving in the wrong direction? * * Has it gotten painful for you - tired, frustrated, easily angered, confused, family suffering? * * Have you stopped moving completely - you’re stuck? * Balaam was going to build his own platform and he sought ambitiously to do it. * He was never able to see that God was standing in his way. * Are you on the right path?