God’s Laws of Business rest with the understanding of the interaction between faith and works. By Gary Shotton #000437
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Faith And Works
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here as a part of Inspiring Better Business. And I’m going to talk about a subject today regarding “Faith and Works”. And this is a real sensitive and important lesson from my background because I was very confused about the difference between how faith and works worked.
You see, I was raised and even up until I was 23 years old and we were married. My wife and I had been married one year and we had the idea that we needed to do a long list of very important things that were listed in the Bible, in order to earn our salvation. In order to make heaven and Miss hell. We were very focused most of the time. Now, in college honestly I had my fair share of what we call wild oats or messing around. But I never wanted to go too far because in the back of my mind I knew that I needed to have enough good works, or at least I thought and these were in order these good works. In order to gain my favor with God and Miss hell.
Well, these included very good things from the Bible. It included being water baptized. It included taking communion. It included reading my Bible. And it included even giving to my church. But I was misled and I was misinformed and I misunderstood. And I became convinced after one gentleman explained and showed me throughout the Bible that this was not the case. This is not the kind of God that we serve. We have a God that loves us, and yes, most of those things I just listed are good things to do, but not in order to gain my salvation, gain my interest into heaven.
Well I’m going to apply this to the business community. And it applies to everything in our life. And since I have been very graciously, many, many years ago my wife and I together accepted the Lord and received salvation by grace. Well, here’s the verses that were confusing. I was told that James to 2:17 was very important because it says, Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone. Well that was an anchor. Man that means you’ve got to work your way. Well, that’s not consistent, even with those scriptures right before and after that one little piece of verse, that was kind of plucked out of context, because the rest of the Bible, the rest of the New Testament is more in line with what is says Ephesians 2: 8, 9 & 10 “For by grace we saved through faith that not of works, lest any man should boast for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
You see the works are a result of our faith. Our salvation is not based on our works, and when I come to that conclusion, it changes the entire attitude of what we’re doing. It changes the entire focus of what we’re doing. Our focus is on faith, not on works. Well, let’s apply it to business here. So, it would be easy if you’re not careful, if you follow that one line of thought that what you do with your money could help you gain Heaven. In other words, you could view the attitude and have the mindset that you should give money in order to be a part of the equation. A part of the rules in order to gain Heaven.
So, the giving of the money would be out of duty and law and sometimes guilt. Because if I don’t give, then I’m not pleasing God. Well, I came to conclusion that, that’s the wrong attitude. The Bible does not teach that. I am not giving my money to God, I’ve earned it and then I’ve given it to God. That’s not the idea. I’m actually a steward of God’s money that he’s entrusted to me. So it’s actually all his. I can’t take any money with me anyway when I die. It’s all going to stay on this earth. And what I do with it is a response to my love and appreciation to God. And as he directs me he actually shows me how money is works in my favor. He shows me that as I have been able to discipline myself and be able to do business in a wise way that I’m able to actually be trusted with more money. And I do diligence and I come to my ability to handle money like a child is able to handle a small toy, and then they’re entrusted, maybe with a bicycle. And then they can maybe entrusted with motor scout or boda-boda. And then they could be interested later on with keys to the car.
Well, you’re gaining your trust, you’re gaining your ability based on accomplishing a confidence that of whoever has control on that. And God wants us to be able to control finances. And the attitude is quite different. So, when you could have people that work their entire life, I believe, like I was on a path that they’re using money, kind of like what we call pay to play. If you pay enough money, you can enter in to God’s favor. Boy there’s a whole of religions based on what we would call pay to play. That if you bring money, if you bring enough money or you bring more money and more and more and more money then that’s how you gain favor and gain entrance into God’s favor, and ultimately entrance into heaven.
Well, it doesn’t work that way. I’m not paying my way into heaven. I am not even in that mindset. I am already a child. I enter into this earth, as it says in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have eternal life. You see, he gave me internal life, and I only can do is receive it. And so as we’re working through business; we want to honor God with our finances. This is not a lesson on you got to give money; it’s a lesson on understanding how money works. Understanding how God wants us to utilize the resources we have in our possession to honor him. And how we want to have influence in a positive way not to gain, but in order to give back again to an appreciation. It’s a parent son relationship, it’s a parent child relationship. And so my giving, including finances is to give in honor of God. Not out of duty. Not to gain favor with God.
Now, as this rolls and as you gain confidence that you’re using God’s money more wisely, and he entrust you with more, then yes, he probably entrusted you with more, not to heap it on yourself. Not to build and buy the biggest home in town. Not to have the shiniest car. Not to have the most expensive car. I mean those are okay God really doesn’t care. But if we’re doing that in some manner other than a good steward we’ve got to be careful. I don’t think he minds if we have good things. I know he doesn’t mind if we have good things; as long as those good things do not control us. As long as we’re not worshipping them. And as long as we’re not gaining favor by giving to God like we earn our credit with him.
Well, finances is a big issue. I always say that finances and money is kind of like gasoline. Gasoline or fuel is one of those things that if you handle it correctly, you keep it contained, you put it in the gas tank, you need it in order to drive your motorboat or your motorcycle, your car and airplanes; you need to have fuel in order to propel any kind of thing in motion. But at the same time if it’s out of control and you light a match at the wrong time and there’s oxygen around, that exact combination of fuel and oxygen and something to ignite it, it can explode. It can hurt. It can kill. Well, money is like fuel we have to control it. We have to know why and what its purpose is. It’s a tool. Thanks for being a part of Inspiring Better Business.
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