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Rise and Hustle

trust-hustle-rest Aug 20, 2018

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been exploring the tension we Christians must embrace in our work, between trusting in God and hustling to make things happen in our chosen work. As we saw last week, Solomon lays out a sequence to guide our thinking on this topic, beginning with committing our work to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3). In verse nine of the same chapter, Solomon urges us to hustle, saying, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Yes, God has called us to trust in Him, but He has also graciously given us minds to plan and execute. Once we have committed our works to the Lord, we are called to hustle, to work “with all our heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).

Too often, I’m afraid that we Christians focus too much on either trusting or hustling. Some Christians use...

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Solomon on Trusting God in Our Work

trust-hustle-rest Aug 13, 2018

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

All throughout Scripture, we are told that it is God, not us, who produces results through our work. 1 Chronicles 29:12 says “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 reads, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

In an age in which anyone can launch a business, write a book, or start a podcast, it can be tempting to think that it is our hustle that is producing results through our endeavors. As we will see next week, God commands that we hustle and uses our hard work to produce results through us. But as we enter into any new work, we must begin by recognizing the indisputable fact that results are ultimately being produced by the Lord.

In...

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New Series: Trust, Hustle, and Rest

trust-hustle-rest Aug 06, 2018

You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)

“Hustle” has got to be one of the most popular buzzwords in startup culture today. Shark Tank investors press entrepreneurs to “hustle” harder to generate sales. Everyone seems to be working on their “side-hustle” while keeping their 9-to-5 job. But what does the Bible have to say about our hustle? On the one hand, Scripture clearly celebrates hard work. Colossians 3:23 commands “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” But while Christians can join in culture’s celebration of hard work, we must also wrestle with the Biblical truth that it is God, not us or our hustle, that produces results...

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When Jesus Said “No”

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.' Mark...

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How to Budget Your Time

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30 (NIV)

It’s no secret that to be successful with your finances, you must plan where you will spend your money before it winds up in your bank account. We should apply the same disciplined approach to our time. After all, unlike money, we can’t earn more time, so we should be even more inclined to budget our hours than our dollars.

If you followed Jesus’ lead that we explored a few weeks ago, you should have clear boundaries outlining how much time you have dedicated to be productive in a given day. With these boundaries set, your commitments collected, and your essential few projects and tasks identified,...

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Discerning What’s Essential

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.' Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

Martha gets a bad rap in our preaching of this passage in Luke 10. But the fact is, we are all Martha from time to time, struggling to identify which tasks are the most essential at any one given time. Clearly, someone needed to make dinner, and I’m willing to bet that Jesus greatly appreciated...

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How to Keep Track of Your Commitments

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

Jesus commanded that our “Yes” be “Yes,” but more and more frequently, a Christian’s “Yes” really means “No.” Every time we fail to follow-through on a commitment, show up late, don’t complete a project on time, or fail to keep our voicemail’s promise that we will “return your call as soon as possible,” we are disobeying Jesus’ command that our “Yes” be “Yes.” In our fast-paced lives, we are saying “Yes” more than ever, while more and more frequently failing to keep our word. The fact that this sin seems so innocuous should set off alarms within the Church. We are images of God, representations of Jesus Christ to a lost world. To reflect our Savior well, we must be keepers of our word.

But how practically do we...

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Setting Boundaries With Your Time

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NIV)

Throughout the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John repeatedly note the amount of time Jesus spent in solitude—away from the disciples, the crowds, and the busyness of his ministry. The frequent mention of this behavior suggests that Jesus was a master at setting boundaries with His time. Likewise, if we are to effectively manage our time and make our greatest contribution to the world, we too must establish clear boundaries with our schedules.

Like Jesus, this should start by allocating regular time for prayer (Mark 1:35) and study of God’s Word. Most of us are are used to the idea of tithing our money. But what about tithing our time? If we fill-up our schedules with demands from work and home and then try to find time to spend in prayer and study of God’s Word, we are setting ourselves up for failure. If you haven’t already, take some time this week to determine...

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New Series: Time Management Principles from God’s Word

Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14 (NIV)

I get asked for a lot of time management advice. Not because I’ve got this topic “figured out,” but because I’ve had a tremendous amount of practice seeking to balance the many different productive activities in my life. In addition to serving as the CEO of a venture-backed technology startup (Threshold 360), I am also an author, doing my best to help my fellow Christians connect the gospel to their work. At home, I am a husband and a father to two wonderful girls under the age of three. To say my life is insane right now is a bit of an understatement. But by the grace of God alone, I am “managing” it all and still somehow get 7...

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The Boldest Entrepreneurs on the Planet

responding to failure Jun 18, 2018

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27 (NIV)

Immediately before Jesus spent forty days in the desert resisting relentless temptation by the adversary, he was baptised in the Jordan River. The last two verses of Matthew 3 recount the event: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

The very next verse (Matthew 4:1) says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” The fact that these events are found back-to-back aren’t coincidental. Before Jesus kicks-off his public ministry with what must have been an agonizing forty days alone in the wilderness with...

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