It seems as if every month there's a new political hot button issue that the government and media are pushing as the next big thing everyone needs to pay attention to with a vigorous sense of urgency, but often at the expense of paying attention to other things that should be getting more attention. Bailouts. Fiscal cliffs. Obamacare. Government shutdowns. Debt ceilings. And of course whatever the latest scandal is. Well we should know by the now that the government and media typically work together like this hand-in-glove.
Although we recognize those two institutions operate that way, we as the Church should not be shifting and swaying our focus as often as news headlines change. Our primary attention should be on what God is saying and then responding to world events and activities through that filter.
So it seems as if the next new focus of the government and media is on the issue income inequality. Last week a report came out from Oxfam, an anti-poverty group, that stated "the bottom half of the world's population owns the same as the 85 richest people in the world." It included many other statistics that reflected how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. If this income inequality gap is left unchecked, as the the report reads, "political institutions become undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites to the detriment of ordinary people."
Poverty is never a good thing and income inequality is real. And we need to address injustice wherever we see it. The Bible instructs us in multiple places to take care of the poor and those who can't take care of themselves. Further, we should seek justice and call out evil when we see it, especially when it's hurting people and causing them to be pushed further into poverty.
One thing we should not do, though, is automatically jump to the conclusion that God is angry with the top 1% and sentence them all to hell. Many Christians do this partly due to a misinterpretation of Matthew 19:24, where Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Like many Christians today who are still confused by what Jesus meant, his disciples asked him who could actually be saved (some scholars think they may have asked because they were men of means and were concerned about themselves, but that discussion is for another day). The key to understanding the "eye of a needle" scripture is actually found further down in verse 26, in which Jesus answers the disciples' question with these words, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Jesus was saying that without God, it's impossible for rich people (and essentially poor people too) to attain the Kingdom of God. Why? Because...
Jesus was not condemning rich people to hell for being rich. He was warning them that without God as the primary pursuit of their lives, the allure of money and all that comes with it will lead them down the path of destruction. He is not going to judge the 1% for being wealthy. He's going to judge them if they have been greedy, selfish, hurtful, or idolatrous.
Well, the same is true whether you have money or not. The Bible teaches us that God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised (James 2:5). If the poor don't put forth any effort do anything with the wealth of faith they have been given and stay in the same condition for all of their lives, are they not also just as guilty as the rich who take advantage of others?
No matter our income bracket we will all stand before God and given an account for what we have done with the resources we have been given. And whether we have had the equivalent of one talent or ten, $5 or $5 million, God is going to evaluate all of us on what we did with what He gave us.
So when you hear the government and media egging on this rich vs. poor fight, don't be so sure that it's an automatic answer of whose side God is on.
You can engage in conversations and discussions around these and other similar topics at Kingdom Business University Business Bible Study, Mondays nights at 7:30 pm. Click below to learn more.
What are you thoughts about the condemnation of the 1%?
"A man's heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps.." Proverbs 16:9
Today is the day we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And as is often the case on this holiday, in reflecting and commenting on his life many people are going to reference what he so eloquently articulated as his dream. This of course is a great thing.
You know what else is great? When you discover God's dream for you and you live on purpose to accomplish it. However, I wonder how many people have chosen to live for something that is an alternative pathway compared to what God has intentionally designed for you? I suspect it's far, far greater than what most people would like to admit.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
Many people live in pursuit of a dream that's different or far smaller in scope than what God has planned for them. His plans and expectations for us are so far beyond what we see for ourselves, but, unfortunately, many people settle for what they can see not what God has for them. Fortunately, we have a wonderful example in Dr. King of living a B.I.G. dream based on God's purpose for his life.
From the perspective of his life, here are five key characteristics to assess whether you are living your dream or God's:
So do you need to reevaluate your dream? I look forward to your comments below...
Poverty and injustice are not the central focus of the Gospel but they should be significant areas of concern for those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-45 that how we have treated the poor, imprisoned, and homeless is a direct reflection of how we deal with him. And according to James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a major advocate for the fight against economic injustices, especially later in his life (you can hear some of his views in the video below). This coming Monday night at Kingdom Business University's business Bible study, we'll be discussing some of Dr. King's views on economic injustice, including poverty and unemployment. Please join us at 7:30 pm for a poignant and relevant conversation to you as a Kingdom builder. Click the image below for more information.
What are you thoughts on King's views on poverty?
Watch and read more powerful testimonials at www.kingdombusinessuniversity.com/bible-study.
Watch and read more testimonials at www.kingdombusinessuniversity.com/bible-study
Read more testimonials at www.kingdombusinessuniversity.com/bible-study
If you are waiting for a financial breakthrough from God and the only thing you can think of is what you're going to do for yourself, that could be the delay in your breakthrough coming. You are blessed to be a blessing and if the only thing you want to do with your blessing is consume it upon yourself you have missed the purpose for which God provides financial resources. He gave you the power to get wealth to help implement and execute HIS PLANS for humanity. He is the divine warehouse and you are an earthly distribution center. However, if you only see yourself as a bucket and not also as a pipeline, you will never be fulfilled and always be looking for more than God (or others) should be doing for you.
You may be waiting on your breakthrough, but the flip side is that your breakthrough could be waiting on you. Here's a few questions to ask yourself as you wait:
Are you a blessing bottleneck?
We Christians must become more intentional about switching our focus from being blessing consumers to distributors. The truth of Matthew 6:33 has to become an unshakable reality that we live by. God wants to flow through you, and He will do it while taking care of you and your needs.
As we move further into 2014, God is going to invite you into profitable opportunities that are connected with helping other people. However, if you have a selfish perspective or are wrestling with fear/anxiety you will miss these opportunities because you will be blinded by the money. Don't be blinded by your own needs. Allow God to be God and trust Him to supply your provision as you submit to His plans.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below...
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
You should be tired of playing it safe and seeing others accomplish great things. You should be done with standing on the sidelines cheering for others while inside you know you should be out there playing too. You should be finished with pushing others to the front while standing in their shadows neglecting your God-given talents, ideas, and solutions.
"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." ~ Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
This is your season to live fearlessly. It's your season to step out in faith and into your dream. This is your season where scriptures becomes more than words, they come to life!
Fearless does not mean reckless. It means that you are going to obey God like never before, trust God like never before, and live like never before! Check out this excerpt from my book Dream B.I.G in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative, God-Inspired Life…
"We were created in our Father’s image, so we should not shy away from being courageously bold, extraordinarily spectacular, amazingly awe-inspiring, and innovatively brilliant as we reflect His marvelous power and glory in the earth… God desires to show His greatness to the world through the thriving lives of His children. So, you actually do the world a disservice when you dismiss or discount the creative application of your talents, abilities, and ideas."
If you're going to live fearlessly in 2014, you need to change W.A.T. you do everyday. What is "W.A.T."? It's your words, actions, and thoughts. Your daily habits connected to the thoughts you think, words you speak, and actions you do will determine your direction and destiny in life. It's imperative that you make conscious choices about W.A.T. you do everyday. Your thoughts, words, and actions should be godly, positive, focused, intentional, and directly connected to the dreams, plans, and goals that God has for you.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." ~ 1 John 4:18
Fearless living is not just for daredevils or risk takers. It's for every person who recognizes they are passionately and unconditionally loved by God and that love compels them to live in a way that is exceedingly and abundantly far beyond all they can ask, think, or imagine. On the other side of the captivity of fear is a life of amazement and wonder that cannot even be dreamed.
"When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream." ~ Psalm 126:1
God is waiting on you to live fearlessly. And so is the world. Are you ready? Let's go!
What fear have you overcome for this year? Leave your comments below...
Your IDENTITY is connected to your PROSPERITY in the Kingdom of God. How much you receive in 2014 in accordance with God's purpose and plans for you is directly connected to the question that you must answer, which is "to be or not to be?" Will you accept that you are God's beloved child with special privileges and authority or will you believe the enemy's lies and keep striving toward something that God already says you are?
It's time to stop living below who God says you are and accept your identity as a Kingdom citizen. Here's a short list of some of your identity qualities and characteristics…
Your Kingdom success in 2014 is not going to be based on what you make happen. It's going to be based on you accepting and receiving what has already happened through Jesus Christ.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
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Business as Mission
The High Calling