Kingdom of God and God’s Economy

Materialism Antidote

March 31, 2017
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Over the centuries, one of the chief challenges for the descendants of Abraham, with the point of stumbling again and again has been the desire to be like everyone else. So it is today in the Western church. More than one renowned prophet has viewed the Church in America as being a prototype in need of the correction received by the first century Laodicean Church when John was on the Isle of Patmos: “You say you are rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing. But I say to you that you are miserable, wretched, poor, blind and naked.” This condition describes the dynamics underlying a materialistic society.

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Mobilized Community

June 23, 2016
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Jewish tradition has a long track record of benevolence and providing opportunity for the less fortunate. The design of helping your neighbor is to provide the opportunity for them to stand on their own. In farming settings, ancient Jewish tradition stresses the importance of leaving the leftovers, the gleanings of the harvest for the poor and needy to gather up themselves once the harvest is complete. In the world’s economy, everyone is focused on taking care of themselves. It engenders squeezing everything out of an opportunity for the benefit and future of the business or individual. However, in God’s economy, the practice of gleaning illustrates looking out for your “neighbor,” others in the community less fortunate and even providing the dignity of work while fulfilling the need of food that is obtained from the “leftovers” of the gleaning. In Jewish tradition, taking care of the genuinely needy carries the promises of God’s blessing. It is written that if you assist with the needs of the poor, of the orphans and destitute widows, then will your light shine in the darkness and your darkness be as the noon day. In Jewish culture poverty is viewed as temporary, with the community bearing a responsibility of assisting with the stepping stones in getting beyond this interim state.

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The Creative Advantage

April 30, 2016
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The advantage begins with mind-sets. Thinking like Jews begins with their identity being in God. Jews hold to the belief of being a prophetic people of God whose ways reflect the pattern of their forefather Abraham: to be blessed to be a blessing. For the most part, they have resisted assimilation and from age to age they have maintained their unique identity culturally. Jewish beliefs nurture the dynamic of community as much or more than any other culture; but with the approach of being a trust society. They foster entrepreneurship and creativity from within and build incisively from the bottom-up.

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Spirit Planning

April 30, 2016
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Another insight into hearing God accurately, especially in the process of planning, involves keeping a written record of what you discern in your “hearing” together with questions that arise from what you’ve heard. This process begins with the revelation of what you hear. A very natural tendency is to act too fast on what you hear. However, just as it is written that the naïve believe everything, but the prudent takes his time and considers the steps and the alternatives. So, when you get a revelation from God, make a record of it. More importantly, keep praying and ask the Lord questions about what you’ve heard. In other words, pray about the revelation until you get the illumination on the revelation.

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Stewardship

April 25, 2016
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Effective stewardship is an expectation and commitment required of each member of the community, and the businesses in the community, each according to their own talents and abilities, to do their part. It is also a commitment by the community to nurture its destiny and future by preparing each generation to assume their roles in this pathway. When stewardship is operating in community according the books of Moses, it results in disproportionate achievement. Jews have a track record as disproportionate achievers. It is written that diligence is an invaluable possession for the one who knows how to apply it. Diligence produces excellence. Diligence involves hard work. The operational word for “work” in the Hebrew language is avodah. The meaning of this word “avodah” bears on the Jewish mind-set toward work. Avodah shares the root word with three Hebrew words: purpose, passion and future. Work provides the purpose and passion setting the stage for the future. It is vital to good stewardship. Mentorship is also an important part of stewardship and very Jewish in its practice.

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The Gift of Community

April 25, 2016
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This community is an excellent example of how God’s gift of community is designed to operate. God is at the center with people of prayer who have made Him their Senior Partner. This gift of community is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, which has the potential to grow into a tree. It is like the yeast which a woman kneads into dough, producing something that grows into a whole lot more than at the start. It reflects both the standard and the supernatural operating in the fishing community we previously spoke of that were described by the psalmist. It reflects the model operated by the father of the Jews, Abraham. It is a community that is God-centered and entrepreneurial. We’ve been taking a closer look at and unveiling the dynamics incorporated in Jewish business secrets. These factors combined to overcome the adversities and bring them success. What transpired reflects the spiritual authority to overcome which was evident in the psalmist’s fishing community. These combined factors are drawn from the source and foundation of the Christian faith, which is Judaism. The steps these Eastern Bloc brethren took involved some very Jewish mind-sets. With close associations with Israel, this group of believers understood the roots to their faith. The standard for success from a Jewish perspective involves a different way of thinking. This different way of thinking will map out a sometimes unexpected path and set of priorities. It is a way of thinking engrained in the Jewish culture and an important part of our discussion of Jewish business secrets.

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Entrepreneurship

April 3, 2016
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Entrepreneurs are change artists. They create and innovate. They spot opportunity and know what to do about it. They build, establish a new order of things and in so doing they bring increase. They challenge the status quo with better solutions to problems and they know how to do so at a profit. The Jewish perspective in viewing these prime entrepreneurial characteristics, of creating and bringing increase entails even more. A finely honed stewardship is one of the unique dimensions of Jewish business secrets. A vital element of the stewardship that has endured within Jewish culture that triggers the creative to bring increase is a form of generosity. This dynamic is described best by the Hebrew word tz’dakah.

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The Culture

March 26, 2016
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The Jewish cultural foundations that were set in motion by Abraham, were brilliantly anointed and written out for future generations in the books of Moses. Very few cultures have the level of a systematic record of their heritage like the Jews. At the core of their identity is that of being a prophetic people of God. These things align Jews in the way that they think and view the world around them. All this goes relates to how the spiritual and economic can progressively make community not only a safe-place, but a place that nurtures opportunity for its members. It begins and has a focus of the simple things, of the most basic family-owned enterprises that become the heart of a society that takes care of its own. Larger enterprises within this cultural setting retain the responsibility and community focus. The history of the Rothschild banking empire is one of a network of institutions, which had very simple beginnings. It has been run by a single family that supported one another and had an overriding commitment for the good and safety of the Jewish community. So, what clearly exudes from the many facets of Jewish culture is captured in the writings of Moses, that if the conditions of the House of Israel’s identity and obedience to God’s principles and instructions are met, then the Lord would make them to excel above all the other societies on the earth. That premise explains not only their many amazing historical exploits, but more recent Jewish accomplishments detailed in studies such as “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement,” authored by Steven Pease. In a word, it is disproportionate achievement and the mark of the leadership mantle that has influenced the societies of which Jews have been a part over the millennia. At the core of these exploits are the foundations impacting the way they think. Jews view things with a different perspective than most other peoples of the world. We’ll look closer at these things, such as the creative thinking that comes from these foundations, but for now we’re setting the stage to be able to better understand God’s economy and the form of entrepreneurship that comprises our focus of Jewish business secrets.

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The Gifts

March 20, 2016
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Everybody can do something better than a lot of other people. That is what we refer to as a person’s natural gift. However, when that gift is unmistakably identified and developed to the level that the person can excel in that gift, more so than most other people, then they have the basis with which to start a business and commercialize the gift, the talent. This premise is at the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit that once was the pride of the American Jewish middle class. Entrepreneurship has at its core creativity. God is the creator and being made in His image, developing our gift will tap the creativity that resides in each of us. Excelling in a natural gift triggers the release of creativity in the gift. A person’s gift will be something they have mastery of, something they have a passion doing. God’s nature also is to bring increase. That is the Jewish wisdom behind Jesus’ parable of the talents. In this parable there were three stewards who were entrusted with some of the assets belonging to their boss. The steward who leveraged the assets to bring the most increase not only made his boss very pleased with him, but he was given promotion and entrusted with more. However the steward who was timid and risk-adverse and only gave his boss back what he had first given him was rebuked and actually deemed worthless, even though he had not lost anything. The point is that each person is endowed with a gift and is expected to develop it. It becomes the basis of being blessed to be a blessing. In addition to the natural gift, those who become believers are given spiritual gifts. These are the gifts reflecting how God has wired us spiritually. They reflect our deepest motivations and become the basis of the passion behind what we excel in. These motivational gifts range from teaching, exhorting, leading, giving, mercy, service and the prophetic.

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The Model

March 12, 2016
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So in summarizing the focus on the model for Jewish secrets, we have two levels. The first is that Abraham operated the model that is at the core of Jewish business secrets. Abraham ran a God-centered entrepreneurial community. However, the other dimension of the model is how Abraham walked out his life. His life was a journey with God. He had no greater priority than knowing God and His ways. He reverenced God with an undivided heart. The result was that God was his shield and God blessed and multiplied Abraham far beyond what he might have accomplished through his own efforts. Through God, Abraham bridged the realm between the natural and the spiritual. Abraham had a destiny and he was wise enough to know that his destiny was only going to be fulfilled and exceeded, through God. In conclusion, the degree to which this ancient model is followed is critical to an economy’s ability to withstand the rigors of change over time. It forms the basis of the strategy of an entrepreneurial-based middle class; the economic independence that nurtures the good and the growth of the society. This premise is the thread that begins forming the economic tapestry that endures. The model that combines the spiritual, the entrepreneurial and community is the pathway that gives entrance to new dimensions, higher dimensions. As I’ve previously noted, what I’m outlining is a way of thinking. It enhances the creative and taps deeply the true nature of our gifts. True entrepreneurship is based on the development of a gift that becomes commercialized. Ancient Jewish writings uphold that “a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”

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