My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19 NIV
Being quick to listen and slow to speak helps us understand rather than jumping to conclusions.
How many times have we gotten angry or flown off the handle or said stupid stuff – simply because we didn’t take the time to think about what was actually being said?
James 3:3 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
This verse comes to mind before every Bible class I teach… scary! BUT I think it’s not limited to that.
James is about to go into the responsibility we have (and the danger involved) with our words. If I have one pattern of failure in life it’s that I speak too soon, too often, and too much!
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers.” Don’t go around being a know-it-all. Don’t go around looking for people to talk to because you believe they’ll gain a lot from you.
Those “who teach will be judged more strictly.”
Why? Because people listen and… take action… based on our words. Literally, our words can alter the course of lives. And those of us who stand before crowds have incredible influence.
People are more open to and trust the guy or gal from the stage. They are waiting for words of hope, encouragement, and direction. The vast majority listen without a filter. FEW people are like the Bereans…
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
So let’s be careful out there teachers! Let’s accept our responsibility with humility and even with fear. It’s an honor that people will even listen to us. Even more so that God is willing to use us to shape others for Him – whether it’s in a classroom, the stage or a stadium.
Live Your Mission!
“If I just knew what God’s will for my life is, then I could… really be happy… know I have purpose… head in the right direction… let go and live fully… find peace… make a difference… ”
Good news! I found your personal purpose. Your personal assignment…
I Thess 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Live Your Mission,
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
1. Write down the top 3 sins you face the most.
2. Look up passages relating to staying strong against those.
4. When the thought/act comes up quote the verse(s) out loud.
1. Stay aware of reactions during the day. (Like wanting to cuss that teen driver that cuts you off in traffic. Or wanting to give the one finger salute.)
2. Find passages related.
4. Quote when the situation hits again…
I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense.
Oh, wait, that’s not right…. ahem…
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Much of our daily battle takes place in our minds.
What we THINK someone said. What we BELIEVE someone will do. And a lot of the time our minds go straight to the negative, right?
These thoughts are against the KNOWLEDGE – the truth – of what we really know.
Thought > “I am a failure.”
Truth> “I am a conqueror!” (Rom 8:37)
You take the thought captive through truth.
See how it works?
As different worries, struggles, weaknesses hit your head today put them under arrest!
But the tongue? Forget it!
Think about the phrases we use…
He has a sharp tongue… You need to hold your tongue… You speak with a forked tongue… Bite your tongue… It was a slip of the tongue.
And those are the nice descreiptions. But they all point to the same problem. Taming the tongue is impossible. So what do you do with the undomesticatable?
01: Be Alert
The tongue is a beast. Don’t let your guard down. Pay close attention to the words you use and what comes out of your mouth. I cringe most days when I do a review!
02: Learn some “commands.”
While you can’t fully overcome the tongue you can teach it some tricks. That’s how lions are “tamed.” It’s why Shamu splashes the crowd on command.
Mom told us, “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.” (And the world went silent.)
Another old stand by is “count to ten” before responding. (Of course, that gives some folks a running mental start!)
What command can you have in reserve?
OK, so you lose it. What’s the result beside embarrassment? What’s going to be your punishment?
Run 10 miles? Give a friend $100 each time? Post an open apology on Facebook?
It may not be possible to completely tame the tongue, we can put in the effort to curb its enthusiasm.
1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”
It’s super easy to get overwhelmed, disappointed and discouraged when you look at the state of the world.
Maybe you look at your own situation and feel that way at times.
However, something great has been prepared. It’s finished. It waiting. It’s super cool. And we don’t know what it is.
Imagine awesomeness. If you could have anything, be anything, do anything right now in this very moment on the planet, what would it be?
God’s got something better. Something we’ve never seen.
What if your phone rang right now and the person on the other end said, “You know your ______, who passed away? Well, I don’t know how to tell you this, but he/she is alive… not this is not a joke. Go to your front door.”
God’s got something better. Something we’ve never heard.
What if you checked your bank balance and noticed a million dollars sitting there. How would you feel after the initial panic of thinking there’s been a mistake and that the government is licking it’s lips to grab a chunk?
Then you find out it’s not a mistake. And the government doesn’t want any. How do you feel?
God’s got something better. Something our minds have never conceived.
We’re so set on figuring life out. So set on having the answers. So set on wanting to know the meaning behind every circumstance.
But God’s holding some cards close to the vest. He’s got a surprise that we’ll never guess.
(Though He has revealed some… read the rest of 1 Cor 2.)
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
In others words… thing we KNOW we should avoid.
The danger did not sneak up. It’s not hiding. It’s visible. In full view.
Our gut warns us. Maybe we think a bit about the outcome. We weigh the risk. We wonder if we maybe immune to the effects.
Thinking that way labels us “simple.” Naive about the results. Thinking we may win the best of both worlds lottery. But the end result is often the same… suffering.
(And a lot of beating ourselves up from being stupid.)
On the other hand, it’s wise to hide. To take refuge. To find protection.
Tempting situations, people who set us off, or a dozen or more things that create compromise – we’re better off avoiding them, rather than thinking we’re so strong we can handle them with no consequences.
Genesis 19:27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
Genesis 21:14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
Genesis 22:3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
Abraham had a pattern of being quick to obey.
How often do we KNOW what God wants us to do, but we look for a way out?
“The man who had received the five talents went at once”
One version says “immediately.”
1. He didn’t waste any time in getting a return for the master. He didn’t sit around trying to figure out the perfect way. He set out and took action. Abraham had the same attitude. When he was told to sacrifice his son, scripture says “early the next morning” he got everything together to move out. Abraham went at once.
2. The one with the greatest talent also showed the greatest initiative. The Master knew this. This falls in line with the Master choosing according to ability.
This series is taken from the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25
“then he went on his journey”
Once the Master entrusts, he leaves.
He’s not waiting around the corner wanting to catch someone doing something wrong.
He’s not micro-managing.
He’s not jumping in making corrections.
The Master gives equal opportunity at success and failure.
How is he able to leave on his journey and not worry about his property? Because gave different people different levels of responsibility according to their ability.
The five talent man could handle five, so he got them. The two talent man couldn’t handle five, so he got two.
If the Master had given the one talent man five talents of responsibility he might not have left for his journey. Instead, he may have stuck around a while to see what might have happened.
So here are the questions for us…
1. What responsibilities has God chosen us for so he can take his trip peacefully?
2. When we are in charge are we careful to hand out responsibility according to the talent of the person?
Maybe we don’t need to give people “a chance.” Maybe we need to give people a responsibility that matches their strengths. That’s the way God does it.
“To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.”
A talent is around $1000. And there are different levels of talents because different levels of “ability.”
While we are all one in Christ (Gal 3:27), we are not all the same in the flesh. Some are smarter. Some are faster. Some are wealthier. We all have different gifts and abilities.
You know what – that’s not unfair. It’s the way it is. And the way it should be.
What’s unfair is for someone of the 2 talent level to expect the five talents. What’s unfair is for the five talent man to live like the two talents guy.
The master gives according to ability because he is entrusting his property. He believes there is less risk with the 5 talent man, so he gives him MORE. There is a greater expectation on the five talent man. More is required. There is greater responsibility in his area of calling.
“Ability” in this passage is from the word “dunamai” meaning power.
Understanding ourselves and coming to a better understanding of others allows us to multiply the talents more effectively.
For example: Dana (sorry sister, just using this since we’ve already had the discussion)
Can she do the accounting books? Yes.
Does she have the skill? Yes.
Is it her power? No.
Dana’s power is her love and compassion for orphans. She will multiply her talents best when that power is used.
That’s true for ALL of us.
I think we are all doing some things outside of our ability (power) because of necessity. That’s not wrong or sinful. However, it’s not going to multiply the talent as effectively.
The master knew his servants. That’s the only way he could entrust his property properly.
As talent workers we need to know, with confidence, our strengths and weaknesses. We should know without a doubt what we bring to the table and can multiply.
What’s your strength? What have you been entrusted with?
The passage from this series can be read here.
pisteuo in the greek “to have faith in”
We often talk about OUR faith in God. “Walking by faith and not by sight.” “Having the faith of a mustard seed.”
But this part of the parable talks about GOD’s faith in us. He is going on a journey and calling us to him because he has faith in what we can/will do while he is gone.
Meditate on that a bit today.
God believes in us. He has called us to this work because he has faith in us. He is entrusting us.
Now then, as it relates to business.
Affiliates entrust their lists to us.
Subscribers entrust their time and attention to us.
And when we make a recommendation, we are entrusting our people to others. We are placing our customers in someone else’s care.
That’s why you do not see me recommend a lot of products or people. I am thinking, ‘Will each person thank me for the recommendation. Six weeks form now will they be glad to be on his/her list?” Also, “Will this person take care of my subscribers or will they get used and abused?”
Those aren’t $$ questions as much as “care” questions.
What has been entrusted to you in your business?
The passage from this series can be read here.
“…it will be like a man going on a journey..”
a man = the boss, judge, ruler (Christ in this parable)
going = leaving
journey = not forever, he will be returning, but we don’t know when.
“who called his servants”
Called means the man had a purpose in mind. He had thought about his journey and what needed to be done while he was gone.
How are you called? What purpose does God have in mind for you?
1. Do you know?
2. Are you doing it?
The man called “his servants.”
1. These were committed to him, they were HIS. He didn’t call another man’s workers.
Here’s the danger of knowing our purpose. We begin to think it’s everyone else’s purpose to do the same things or have the same focus. We make ourselves the Master and start telling others what we think their purpose should be.
2. They were there to serve. It wasn’t their job, and not even their joy, it was their OBLIGATION.
This is a tough one in today’s “it’s all about me” society. Almost every get rich product is sold around make YOU money, not focusing on how to serve the market.
In most cases you will make the most money in your business when you feel it’s your obligation to serve your market.
For example, when I sent out the Jeremy’s Letter video yesterday. It’s not a “money making” message. in fact, it will cost me short term income. Why? Because the average online marketing message is… 1. An idiot can make money. 2. I am an idiot. 3. I got rich in three clicks. 4. You can too. 5. It’s crazy easy.
However, for some strange reason I feel obligated to tell you the TRUTH! And to let you know that creating an online income is not cookie-cutter easy.
Which market do you feel obligated to serve? If you are already in business, do you feel obligated to your current market?
Here’s a quick exercise…
1. Write down all the things your market needs to know/do.
2. Write down ways they are being used or abused.
Rescue them from the second for free.
Help them with the first for fee.
The passage from this series can be read here.
“Again…” Matt 14:a
This parable is the third story told about the same principle. The first is in Mathew 24:45-51. The second is the parable of the Ten Virgins. And now the parable of the Talents.
In scripture 3 = complete.
The Godhead – Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
“Holy, Holy, Holy” in Isaiah 6.
Anytime God repeats something three times, it is critical. Just like when we keep telling OUR kids something over and over.
Each story centers on ONE focus…
Being prepared for the ruler’s return.
Back in chapter 24 Jesus said that no one knows the date or the time of the return and then told a series of stories to illustrate.
The main point is to work/behave in a way ready for the return regardless of when it is.
When mom went for groceries back in the day, I didn’t know exactly when she’d be back. But no matter when the car pulled into the driveway, she expected me to be acting right and to jump up and come get the grocery bags out of the car!
In our businesses we need to be ready for the customer and client. Our skill set and ability to give the customer what he or she wants, needs to be easily accessible.
No one goes to buy a shirt and wants to hear… “Oh, let me call Columbia, get a sheep shorn, get that over to the spinning wheel, and…”
How Do We Prepare?
We look for the market’s greatest problems and create the best ways to solve them. And if we need training or schooling to be able to provide the answers; we get it!
We don’t just throw any old thing up on the internet and hope some sucker comes along and grabs it. That’s what people who aren’t ready do.
People who are ready, can’t wait for the customer to show up. They can’t wait for the problem to be solved.
The unprepared are terrified someone will look to closely or… gulp… actually attempt to use whatever it is they are selling. Deep down this group is embarrassed because they know they have little, or nothing, to offer.
The more prepared you are, the more excited you are about business. The more pumped you get with each sale. Because deep, deep, deep down you know that customer is better off from having purchased what you prepared for them.
This is the first series of posts from scripture.
A friend and I were laughing last week when making a list of what we have studied the most and can serve others with the most.
1. God’s Word.
2. Presentation and Speaking Skills (vocal & visual – not writing since my brain thinks punctuation and grammar are merely suggestions.)
3. Strategic Business Growth
We laughed because #1 has provided my greatest online and offline success. And yet, on this and other “non-religious” business sites, people seem to know my value system – but I haven’t been vocal about it.
Well, as you can guess, that’s changing. I’ll be including what I’ve learned in scripture to help you grow your life and your business.
This first study together will come from “The Parable of the Bags of Gold” from Matthew 25. Also known as The Parable of the Talents. It will challenge us to recognize the gifts we’ve been given, how to take responsibility for them and how to multiply them.
It’s no secret that I believe “the better we become; the better our businesses become.” This series will help us all bring our best and make it even better!
Here’s the story. Tomorrow the excavation begins…
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Whoa! Tough ending, right?! We’ve got a ton to learn from this passage. See you tomorrow.