Why should we pray? Why should we read the Bible? One study (Lifeway 2021) says that when you read the Bible, you are:
- 30% less likely to feel lonely,
- 32% more likely to avoid anger issues, and
- feeling spiritually stagnant drops by 60%.
Wow, that’s amazing, right?
So why should we read the Bible and pray (stay consistent with God)?
- So we can get the same results?
- To treat the Bible like a self-help book?
- For a strategy to help us beat loneliness, curb anger, and grow spiritually?
- To get the formula for best business practices and how to treat clients and customers?
These are all great things. But what if we have it backward?
In this post, we will discuss why to stay consistent with God so you will keep consistent in your business. It is just a matter of putting first things first so that second things will follow.
We’ll look at how we treat our time with the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of our lives and businesses to ensure we do not focus on the second things and neglect the first things.
What did Jesus say in Matthew 6:33?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Jesus
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Put first things first so that second things will follow
The quote below from C.S. Lewis, a great writer, intellect, and theologian, triggered this blog post for me.
“Put first things first, and second things are thrown in. Put second things first, and you lose both first and second things.”C.S. Lewis
That sounds like what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 6, right? Seek first. . . and all these things will be added. . .
But what does it mean if you put second things first and you lose both the first and second things?
Remember those stats from the Lifeway 2021 study and all the benefits of reading the Bible and prayer?
What if I told you if you are reading the Bible to get those benefits (alleviating loneliness, less anger, better business practices, and even growing spiritually), then you are putting second things first, and you will lose it all?
When you treat God’s Word as a self-help manual and not as an unfolding story of who God is and what He wants to show you about how to love Him and others, you are stuck in the second things category.
Second thing assessment
I know this will not be a popular thing to say, but I think many Christian entrepreneurs have those second things first.
Let’s do an assessment. Answer the following questions. . . (be honest).
- I pray to God for financial blessing in my business.
- I pray to God for positive results for my business efforts.
- I declare and decree God’s blessings on my business.
- I read the Bible looking for verses that will support that God wants me to be prosperous.
- I read the Bible to get strategies and ideas to succeed in business.
Did you answer YES to one or more of these questions? Be careful. You are going to lose. Your focus is on the second things: finances, results, blessings, prosperity, and success in your business.
I hear you saying, “God called me into business, Deneen.”
If God has called you into entrepreneurship, He did so because He wants to transform you.
Remember, God’s thoughts for you are to make you more like His Son. He’s just using your business as a tool for that transformation.
God’s definitions of financial blessings, prosperity, and success differ greatly from ours. 1 John 2:15-17 says:
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
These verses tell us that if we go after the second things first, we lose the first thing, too, Jesus (the love of the Father.)
Stay consistent with God – first
You may be thinking: “I have to make money, or I don’t have a business.” And this is true. But let’s go back to Matthew chapter 6. What does Jesus say?
In verse 11 (part of the Lord’s prayer,) he says, “give us today the food we need.” God takes care of your needs.
And if we drop down to verses 19-21, it talks about storing your treasures in heaven because earthly treasures are temporary. It goes on to say that we cannot serve two masters in verse 24, “you cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
In the rest of chapter six, Jesus talks about how God takes care of us perfectly. When does this happen to us? When we put first things first. What is first with God? Knowing and loving Him.
Will benefits come? Yes. In the way we expect? Maybe.
To stay consistent with God first leads to consistency in your business. Why? Because when we have first things first, the second things will be thrown in (come along, be added).
Here’s my fear. You have been told everything will be better if you come to Jesus and add Him and the word Christian to your life and business. That’s a false gospel.
The gospel is that you and I are sinners that have been separated from God and will die and be eternally separated from Him if we do not repent of our sins, our offenses against a holy God, and be born again, born spiritually.
Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and we need to believe in Him. Not just that He exists but in what He did so we can be right with God. Jesus defines success in this life in John 17:3 in His prayer. He says this
. . And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
Learn the truth about God
Come to God first, consistently, not with an agenda to fix your problems, change your moral behavior, or ask for business success. So that you can learn the truth about God so we can live in a way that loves God and other people.
As Christians, our lives should be characterized by faith, hope, joy, and love. And, the first thing in our work is not to find personal meaning or to even make money; it is as it says in Colossians 3:23.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people,
We should count it a privilege when we live into these four things (faith, hope, joy, and love) through our businesses.
Jesus is the first thing. Stay consistent with God to be consistent in your business – when we get the first thing right, the second things are thrown in.
Start where you are and change the ending
I want to end with a second C.S. Lewis quote that I hope inspires you.
What will you do now? How do you want to change the ending? I would love to chat with you about what God is telling you about your entrepreneurial adventure. Click HERE to make your appointment today.
Let’s ensure you have the first things first (stay consistent with God) so the second things will be added. Don’t miss God’s best for you.
Let me know in the comments what you may have turned around (first and second/second and first.)