Sunday School lesson. July 19
Title of this weeks lesson is : The Bible and the marketplace. Business performed within biblical boundaries invites God‘s blessings.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:28-31, Proverbs 11:24-31,
2 Corinthians 9:8, Proverbs 11:1,22:16,
James 5:4 .
There are some Sunday school books on the back pews of church, please take one if you would like.
Some quotes taken from the lesson.
(1) Far more than a book of theological statements, the Bible is a practical guide to everyday life for all who serve God. In this lesson, we examine biblical instruction regarding how we are to do business in and with the unbelieving world around us. In its threefold structure, the lesson starts by examining the reason for and meaning of work. It then speaks to the responsibilities that a believer has in doing business, and finally , it looks at the unique ethics that are to characterize Gods people in their dealings with others. This biblical approach
to business brings glory to God and provides a strong testimony to the world of the life change that takes place in those who live for him.
(2) The concept of wisdom, figures strongly into a proper understanding of how a God follower does business. The word carries both practical and spiritual significance. The wise person has insight and discernment into the world around him while also embodying honesty and trustworthiness. He or she also recognizes ones accountability to God. The wise person lives in a way that is faithful to God and his Holy character.
(3) As we utilize the resources around us, we must remember that our creator has called us to be stewards of that which he created. We are accountable to him for what we do and the decisions we make. As we move beyond Genesis 1 in scripture, we will further find that this same principle of godliness and accountability applies to how we interact with others in using the blessings and recourses God has made.
(4) There are several principles we can draw from Jeremiahs instruction to the exiles. First, we as Christians are to function as productive members of society, even though that society might utterly reject all that we believe.
(5) Second, we are wise to seek both the peace of our society as well as its well being. This should even be a matter of our prayers. Such a pursuit will work to the betterment of our lives. More importantly, it can open doors of opportunity to demonstrate compassion for the needy(through our giving and charity). As well as to proclaim the gospel through words that are supported by living actions.
(6) God desires us to function productively in our fallen society-but for a purpose higher than ourselves. To what degree do you see your career pursuits as an opportunity to live out your faith in a practical way? Pray that God will open new doors in your life for sharing your hope in Christ.
(7) The book of Proverbs is one of stark contrasts: Good vs evil, wise vs foolish, responsibility vs laziness, and many more. Proverbs 11:23-31 provides a good overview of these themes, and it helps us better understand what God expects of his people when doing business with others.
(8) Some are tempted to separate their business lives from their spiritual lives. They might do all the right things with their church family, yet straddle the line between good and evil in their work - seeking personal profit while compromising truth or treating others badly. God allows no such distinctions. He expects good from his people in every area of life. Compromise brings risk of harm in this world and judgement in the world to come.
(9) But in describing proper motivation toward generous action, God gives a word of comfort and challenge: He blesses his people so they can, in turn, bless others through their giving.
(9) 2 Corinthians 9:8 also presents a challenge: when God blesses us financially, he expects us to be generous. Success for the believer ought to translate into compassion for those in need.
(10) It can be easy to rationalize hoarding money:
shielding oneself against a financial downturn, reinvesting in the business for future growth later, or rewarding oneself for hard work. While all these have merit, they can also distract from biblical principles of how a Christian businessperson is to treat employees as well as the needy. God calls us to be generous towards others in some way, whether we own a business or find ourselves struggling with our own finances.
(11) We live in a culture that defines success in temporal terms and encourages people to look out for their own interests first. But God has instead called us to be first and foremost focused on the values of his kingdom. As you live and work in the marketplace of your world, ask God to help you maintain a proper attitude toward possessions, express compassion for others, and honor his kingdom above all.