We had another powerful call this week in our continuing series #YourDreamMatters: From Dreaming to Thriving. The specific focus on this call was part 2 of Grace vs. Grind. During the devotional portion I talked about how important it is for us to focusing more on "becoming" rather than "doing" or performing our way into God's grace.
When you understand your true identity in Christ you will embrace the fact that you don't have to earn or perform your way into God's grace.
In addition to listening to the call I also included some bonus content for you to download. Just click the link below and enjoy!
It's amazing how many Christian entrepreneurs glory in their grind more than relying upon the grace of God. On this week's prayer call the focus was on the choices that we make to either work based on our own strength or work resting in the strength of God. And according to Mark 4:1-20, our choice and the corresponding harvest (or lack thereof) is based on the condition of our hearts.
You will definitely be blessed and challenged by this call (I know because I was challenged as I was in teaching it). Click below to listen to the call and download the teaching notes. You can also access the previous call and notes if you haven't done so already.
Also, don't forget to mark your calendar for the continuation of this series, #YourDreamMatters: From Dreaming to Thriving, this Sunday at 8:30 PM
This past Sunday on the Dream Catalyst Prayer was the first in the six-week teaching series #YourDreamMatters: From Dreaming to Thriving. Each week will have a different theme and the one for this week was The Dream Giver, which of course is God.
You can listen to the playback of the call as well as download the teaching notes to help you in your personal study.
I am committed to helping you connect the dots and close the gaps between what you see in your mind and what is produced in your life as it relates to your dream. These resources will be a great benefit to you.
Excellent Resources to Help You Fulfill Your Dreams...
Don't believe the lie that your life doesn't matter or that God has no use for you. His dream for your life is connected to your purpose and people. Your dream matters more than you know! Join me at Prayer Assembly COGIC in Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, December 28th as I share this powerful message.
RELATED ARTICLE: #BlackLivesMatter: Why Your Dream Matters
God Elected You for Greatness!
"Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies." Romans 8:33
It's Election Day and everybody is talking about the candidates and who they are going to cast their votes for. Here in Georgia we have a small snapshot of Georgia's political legacy, considering those with politically famous names running for office including, Jason Carter (grandson of President Jimmy Carter), Michelle Nunn (daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn), and David Perdue (first cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue).
Those who are not privy to walk in those political circles might tend to feel left out or helpless as it relates to wielding influence or receiving political favor. Fortunately, God doesn't look at last names to determine whether or not you're worthy to receive favors from Him. He is not a respecter of persons, His love is everlasting, and His mercy endures forever!
In fact, God voted for you when He chose His son to die on your behalf. And according to Revelation 5:9, you were elected you to the position of king and priest. So, whether you know it or not, as part of God's family you have a lot of royal responsibilities here on the planet (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
"Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble." ~ 2 Peter 1:10
Just like politicians are supposed to serve their constituents, your election is connected to an assignment (life purpose) to solve a problem for a specific group of people. God called you to be great and do something that serves others in a significant manner. Your work matters to God and those whom you have been assigned to work with.
Peter admonished all Believers to acknowledge and accept our callings so that we would not fall short of the greatness God planned for us. When you embrace what God created you to do you put yourself in position for Him to give you influence to use for His glory. And the kickbacks you get from Him as a result of your obedience can't be compared to anything you could get from anyone else.
So no matter who you vote for today, just remember God already voted for you!
Please leave your comments below...
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3
In the Kingdom of God private preparation positions you for public promotion. God told Abraham "I will make your name great," and He gave similar proclamations to others, including Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon. That promise is for you too.
And just like Abraham - the father of our faith spiritually and financially - we can apply Biblically-based business principles that position us to be used by God in the marketplace to bring our greatness into manifestation.
Join us at Kingdom Business University for this powerful Bible study for business leaders that I will host beginning Monday, April 21st. We will journey through the Word of God to understand how He uses grace in our transformational process to become who He created us to be. Even if you can't attend in person there's even a way for you to engage with us online through KBU Online.
God has greatness planned for you. Now is the time to embrace who you are and the life He planned for you. We look forward to seeing you there!
Are You Working by Grind or Grace?
When I hear a lot of Christian businesspeople using terminology like "I'm on my grind" or "rise and grind" it makes me cringe a little. It makes me wonder if by their own words they are creating more of a challenge for themselves than necessary. Are you prophesying difficulty into your day or your business by declaring that you're "grinding?"
If you are grinding without grace you are toiling, which is what Adam had to do - and everyone else since him - after the fall. Jesus came to break the curse which included us no longer having to toil for our survival. He said "my yoke is easy and my burden is light," which means the work I do for Him is empowered by grace. I should be flowing with God as I work in my business. I also should have a sense of peace in what I'm doing while I'm doing it.
What I'm not saying is that you can be lazy or produce shoddy work because "the Lord has your back" so to speak. You still must be diligent, faithful, and produce excellence in all your work. It just shouldn't kill you out in the process.
RELATED: Stop Working So Hard in Your Business
Consider this example: If you had to push a cart down a train track, grace would be like oil that lubricates the rails allowing the cart to glide along smoothly. When you're grinding you don't have any oil on the rails and your effort is much more difficult. In both cases you still have to work, but grace makes your work much smoother.
Let's look at the difference between working by grind vs. grace:
RELATED: Incorporate the Mind of Christ in Your Business
God doesn't love you because of what you can do for Him. You don't qualify for God's love by working harder. You can't increase His love for you by completing projects that you call working in your purpose. He loves you just because you're you. And because He does you're empowered to do more with Him than without Him. So stop grinding and start working by grace!
What are you thoughts about this? I would love to read your feedback below...
"Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit." ~ Proverbs 23:4
There's a big difference between working hard and working right.
As we pass through the Labor Day season and many people celebrated a day off from their intense work lives, a thought came to me about how hard Christians work in their businesses. I wonder if we're working TOO hard as entrepreneurs...
Now that's a strange idea for typical entrepreneurs to embrace, because most of us have been drilled with ethic of hard work all our lives. We have been taught that without hard work we won't accomplish our goals. We also have been taught to "work smart versus working hard." However, we haven't always been taught as Christian entrepreneurs that the smartest way to work is to engage God more intentionally in our work. The truth is if God is not intimately involved in working smarter, you really aren't working all that smartly and you won't achieve the results that you desire.
Grace works by faith, not by works.
We are not just saved by grace, we are supposed to work with grace. After salvation grace empowers us to do what God has called us to do in the way that He wants us to do it.
God doesn't want you to work hard just for the sake of working hard, especially if it involves stress, anxiety, health issues and anything else that steals the joy from the work for which God purposed you to do. He wants you to work right. And the right way to work in the Kingdom is through faithfulness, diligence, and trusting Him to direct your business activities and decisions. You don't have to waste a lot of time, energy, and effort toiling to get things done, when He can open doors in moments versus the years it took you to get them open by yourself. That's called favor.
I don't recall Jesus sweating to get much of anything done. As a matter of fact we never hear of anything related to him running, rushing, or anything else related to many of the behaviors we experience as we operate our businesses. Jesus wasn't just speaking figuratively in Matthew 11:30 when he said, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The reason Jesus could be so calm in his business was because he spent so much time in prayer that the "work" he did was made much easier. The less you pray the harder your work will be. The more you pray the easier your work will be because God will give you revelation, insight, and wisdom to work more efficiently and effectively. In 1898 pastor Andrew Murray said it like this...
"Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work it's worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God's messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us."
Unfortunately, many Christian entrepreneurs don't trust this principle and spend a lot of time in a nose-to-the-grind, trial-and-error, blood-sweat-and-tears mode, mainly because we don't know any better. The ways of the world are not the ways of God.
The less you allow God to direct your decisions, the harder you will have to work. The less you depend on God, the more you will have to depend on your own talent, resume, network, money, resources, etc. Now God can use all those things if He desires, but He will show how to use them so that your results are so much greater than you could have done on your own.
Working without God is toil. Working with God is worship.
I'm not saying that following God's instructions will always result in "easy" work, but what I am saying is that following God's instructions will keep you from unnecessary mistakes, detours, and u-turns. Many of these delays - that cost you time and money - could be avoided by acknowledging God in all your ways. Don't you think that if God gave you the business idea, He wants to see you succeed and will tell you everything you need to know to make that happen? I'm just sayin'...
Many scriptures speak to how success is accomplished in God's eyes. Very few of them relate to working hard in the natural. Most of them relate to "work" that happens in the Spirit.
God wants to be your board chairman, CEO, CFO, partner, operations manager, advisor, coach, angel investor, virtual assistant, and so much more. He gives your business the best competitive advantage that you could have in the marketplace. If you trust Him and the work He wants to do through you, He will be all that you need to succeed.
What are your thoughts about how hard Christian entrepreneurs work? How do you engage God in your business?
Setbacks are the seeds of success. If you don’t learn to deal effectively with setbacks, you won’t ever realize true success.
My how time flies! It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in the new year. Two-thirds of the year is just about gone. And If you are anything like me, you have been reflecting on the past eight months or so to assess how your year is progressing. You have probably been replaying experiences in your head that you would give labels to, such as joyful, painful, challenging, memorable, forgettable, funny, and even “oh, I forgot about that one.”
As people go through the process of assessing their year, most of them will fall into one of two categories. They will assess their year as either a series of successes or a series of failures. For those who think they are struggling or failing, they will try harder, work longer, and spend more time doing what they think they need to do to accomplish their goals.
Unfortunately, one of the most important things they will fail to do is change their perspective on what they consider failure. They don’t realize that failure is not the lack of success or making a mistake. Failure is either not trying or not learning from your mistakes (i.e. continuing to do the same thing without making any changes).
I almost titled this posting, “Failing Successfully,” but I prefer the term “setback” versus failure, because failure isn’t final – it’s formative. How is it formative? A setback is simply a failure that becomes a success when it is transformed into an opportunity to learn and grow. Learning from your setbacks, missteps, and mistakes positions you for success.
EVERYTHING that happens in your life is either an opportunity to learn something new, grow your character, or develop your skills. It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” It’s easy to claim success and be positive when everything is going well in your business, but how do you handle things when your plans go awry? What is your response like during those times? Do you go into learning mode or complaining mode?
The outcome of your situation is largely dependent upon your perspective. If you think your situation is a problem then you typically will approach it pessimistically. However, if your perspective is that your situation is an opportunity, you will approach it optimistically. Entrepreneurs need to be almost obsessively optimistic, because of the exceptional challenges that they face to succeed.
Understand that if your problems were any less challenging, it would require someone less talented and less equipped than you to handle them. You see, the skill of a sailor is not developed in calm seas. Your ultimate success requires you going through challenges and adversity to develop your character and skills.
Recently, I heard a young lady encouraging her friends, telling them, “let your frustration be your determination.” Although she wasn’t talking to me directly, that motivational gem has helped me to keep a positive attitude about some of the difficulties that I encounter in my business and in life.
What are some other things that can help you to have the right perspective so that you can achieve successful setbacks in your business and life? Part 2 is coming soon!
These are just a few of the 74 young people who were murdered in Chicago in the 11 months between September 2009 and August 2010 (more than 78% by gunshot). [Source: www.truestaris.com]
Also in Chicago, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed since 2008 and many more have been shot or have otherwise suffered violence—often at the hands of their peers and particularly in the city’s African-American and Latino communities. Nearly 80 percent of youth homicides occurred in 22 black or Latino communities on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides—even though just one-third of the city’s population resided in those communities. [Source: The Chicago Reporter].
I wonder is God any more angry, hurt, or vengeful when violence against one of His children happens at the hands of someone who looks like them versus someone who doesn't. I wonder is He any more outraged when someone from the same culture or ethnicity murders an innocent teen versus someone from a different culture or ethnicity.
It's interesting the things we as Christians have selective outrage about. I know a lot of local outrage was expressed in several cities where it seems like violence has gotten out of control over the past few years. But the national outrage was nowhere close to what it has been for Trayvon. I'm not saying it shouldn't be there for him, but what about all the other victims who preceded him.
This may not be a popular stance I'm about to present, but the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the hundreds of other senseless deaths of our youth (and adults) highlight a much deeper and widespread problem than racism or poverty or injustice. It really highlights the sin culture in this country as our core problem. Everything else are just symptoms of this central root.
Our society drinks the blood of excessive violence, sex, and debauchery everyday through personal indulgences, movies, music, TV, and video games, but then we are surprised / shocked / outraged when we see reality perpetuating entertainment perpetuating reality. This sick cycle won't stop until we stop it!
The root of racism is hatred, which is birthed from sin. Therefore, racism is really a sin thing, much more than it is a skin thing (satan will use any scheme to divide us: racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc. Don't get tricked into participating with his schemes). It would then lead to the truth that Christians need to be focused on grace-based solutions, not just race-based solutions. Simply changing laws, rules, and regulations will only produce short-term, peripheral change. Laws may provide a deterrent before and punishment after the fact, but they can't prevent murder. The only thing that can prevent murder is the love of God, i.e. people who understand how much God loves them, which then compels them to love everyone else no matter what they look like. (oh, and every murder is a "hate crime" if we're using God's laws to judge the action versus just our own, but I digress...)
It's interesting that the Civil Rights movement was led by men and women of God who were looking to transform the soul of America, not just laws and bathroom signs. They understood the spiritual foundation had to precede social action, otherwise social action lacks sustainable change and lasting effectiveness. Jesus came to bring complete heart transformation, not just behavior modification or racial understanding (Galatians 3:26-28).
The Bible clearly spells out for Christians how we can collectively transform the culture into one that is healthy and viable versus broken and hurting. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is speaking to Kingdom citizens, not unbelievers: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
You might read that Scripture and be thinking that we can't spend all our time praying without going and doing something against oppression or injustice. Well, the beautiful thing about seeking God's face through prayer is that He reveals His will and provides answers to our problems. He will tell us what we need to do to strategically and systematically change the systems of oppression and injustice. Without His input man-made ideas and solutions will have minimal impact.
Many people are angry at Mr. Zimmerman and want justice served against him. He will have his day in court (before a judge or public opinion). However, God's judgment starts with the family of God (1 Peter 4:17). And part of His judgment against the church for the condition of this country and the world will be how much we prayed versus how much we protested (or did other things to distract us from the most important things). If you protest more than you pray, your efforts will be limited in the grand scheme of things.
It's OK to protest, but you better pray in advance, during, and after, so that when the protests are over, people slip back into normalcy, and the media has all gone home (until the next news making event), you will have some divine answers that will transform hearts and minds, not just man-made solutions that have little long-term effect.
I pray for Trayvon's family that God will bring healing, peace, and restoration.
I pray for all the family's across this country that have needlessly and senselessly lost a young person.
And I pray for God's church to wake up the responsibility we have to this country and the world to seek His face for His answers and stop making up our own as we go along.
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