Christian entrepreneurs and corporate executives have many opportunities to use their time, money, reputation, and spheres of influence to advance the kingdom, but quite often their demanding work schedules become distractions and hinder them from committing their business resources to kingdom business.
In looking at the issue of committing business resources to kingdom business, there are several important questions we should ask ourselves:
- What is the connection between my faith in Jesus and my business life?
- Have I prayed and asked God to use me and my available resources for Christ?
- Am I prepared to be used for Jesus personally and professionally? What am I prepared to do to be used for kingdom business?
- What resources, talents, skills, and abilities do I have that I can use for Jesus? Have I taken a personal inventory of the resources I have been given?
- Do I have the courage, boldness and faith to be used by Jesus? Am I willing to step out on faith for Jesus? Am I willing to risk my reputation, social and professional status for Jesus?
- Am I willing to give my money, time, resources and do whatever I am led to do?
- What relationships and spheres of influence am I willing to use for Jesus?
- What has the Holy Spirit told me to do? Have I been obedient? If not, why?
- Have I sought godly counsel on this issue? What help or support do I need? Do I have an accountability or prayer partner I can discuss this with?
- What Scriptures am I standing on? Do I confess the Word daily over myself and my business life?
The businessmen who supported Jesus in his ministry left everything behind to follow Him, yet they continued to use their gifts, passions and skills to help spread the gospel.
Let’s examine the role of two businessmen and how they used their personal and business resources in the life of Jesus. First, we will look at Joseph of Arimathea and then at Nicodemus.
1. Joseph of Arimathea goes before Pilate to secure Jesus’ body and commits time, money and resources for Jesus burial.
We get an intimate look at Joseph’s willingness to commit his business life to Jesus in all four Gospels. See Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:43-46, Luke 23:50-53, and John 19:38-42. The picture that emerges of Joseph is a man who: came from a long line of Jewish heritage; was a member of the Sanhedrin; had a reputation as a good, upright, advantageous, and righteous man who did not agree with or support the charges and demands to crucify Jesus; was educated; led a life of nobility with elevated social and religious position and influence; possessed great wealth and property; was a disciple of Jesus and was eagerly waiting for and expecting the kingdom; had a servant’s heart and was willing to risk personal reputation and social status for his belief in Jesus; invested time and money for Jesus.
The Word says that he: (1) went before Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus (2) used his wealth to buy burial materials (3) personally took Jesus’ body down from the cross (3) prepared Jesus’ body for burial and (4) placed it in a tomb that he owned and sealed it to protect the body.
2. Nicodemus defends Jesus before the Chief Priest and Pharisees and assists with Jesus burial.
We get a glimpse into the character of Nicodemus in the gospel of John. See the following passages: John 3:1-9; 7:45-52 and 19:39. These passages reveal a man who: held an elevated social and religious position as a Pharisee; was an educated teacher; was known as a bold and courageous leader; operated in authority and power; used discretion and came to meet and talk with Jesus at night; believed that Jesus came from God and that God was with Him.
Nicodemus faith in Jesus led him to: (1) risk his public and professional status and reputation by defending Jesus before the chief priests and the Pharisees; (2) argue that Jesus had the right to a hearing where the charges against Him would be discussed; (3) use his personal wealth and purchase spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial; (4) and assisted Joseph in Jesus’ burial.
Joseph and Nicodemus exercised personal courage and boldness as they stepped out in faith for Jesus. They put everything on the line and allowed themselves to be used for kingdom business. Consequently, while committing their time and money for Jesus’ sake they risked their reputation along with their social and professional status.
What about you? Are you willing to be used by Jesus in your business life? Ask God to speak to you and to tell you how He wants to use you for His purpose and His plans. Commit today to be used by Jesus for kingdom business.
NOTE: The examples and some of the questions listed above were discussion points during a Faith and Work National Prayer Conference Call facilitated in February 2013 by Blackaby Ministries International in which the author was a participant.