THE FOUR POTENTIALS
“Whoever can be trusted with very little
can also be trusted with much,
and whoever is dishonest with very little
will also be dishonest with much.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth,
who will trust you with true riches?
And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property,
who will give you property of your own?
“No servant can serve two masters.
Either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Luke 16:10-17 NIV
God is a God of increase and multiplication. This topic is so relevant right now because 2015 is the year of favor and grace. One moment of His favor can take you places your degree can’t take you, your experience can’t earn you, and your networking and hard work could not reach. It’s your season of biblical increase!
His favor and grace will release the floodgates for those in position and trusting Him!
“..the Lord shall increase you the more and the more,
you and your children”
God’s desire for you is that you would experience increase and multiplication in every area – closeness to Him, knowledge and revelation, relationships, family, career and finances all growing and increasing proportionately as your soul increases (3 John 1:2). You are the light on a hill, a witness to the world that God is who he says He is. When you are rewarded, it brings glory to His name!
In God’s kingdom, you are a steward over resources that He has already given you. Stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities and material possessions based on the conviction that these are a trust from God to be used in his service for the benefit of his kingdom.
Stewardship is not what you have; instead, stewardship deals with how you manage and maximize what you have. There are four potentials that lie within all of us that I want to talk about with you.
One. Earning potential
We all have earning potential – especially if we live in a free market society. There is a misconception that all American millionaires are like Mr. Howell on Gilligan’s island – stuffy and spoiled, never having worked a day in his life. Many people think that everyone who is wealthy inherits their wealth and doesn’t know anything about “real life.”
The truth is, many of today’s millionaires are ordinary people, live a normal lifestyle, own their own business and stay involved with the day-to-day running of that business. Many have been married to the same person for many years and attend church regularly. Over a million of these “ordinary” millionaires live in America today, which tells us there are unlimited opportunities to earn here.
Most successful earners are passionate about their work, are inspired to do it, and do it with excellence. Successful people view what they do as their contribution to the world. You may be in a situation where your job offers little hope for increase. In some situations it’s wise to consider second business opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to set and pursue higher goals.
You have earning potential and something to contribute to the world! Failure to tap into your earning potential results in a lifestyle of lack.
Let’s look at the Word of God:
7for you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example.
We were not idle when we were with you,
nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.
On the contrary, we worked night and day,
laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
we did this, not because we do not have the right to such help,
but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.
for even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:
if a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
II Thessalonians 3:7-10
Two. Management potential
Too often, people manage on a crisis basis, in other words, only managing as a reaction to circumstances. As a result, life’s important goals are delayed by urgent, less important demands placed on them.
Learn to allocate your time. Time management is a skill. Napoleon said something interesting about time that I shared with the business class we have on tuesday mornings: “strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less chary (mindful) of the latter than the former; space we can recover, time never.”
Use your time, energy, attention and finances on those things you care most about.
The ability to choose what matters most and put our resources into it is a management potential we all possess.
People who deny their management potential and who fail to balance the important things may make a lot of money and then lose their family.
Challenge: for the next week, keep a calendar or a log. On it, note your family time, work time, prayer time, study time, play time, and exercise time. Challenge yourself to see if you’re setting aside time for the things that matter most.
The willingness to manage by priority will put your resources in alignment with what matters most.
Matthew 6:21, 21: for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Three. Planning potential
Different people want different things. Even your spouse may not want what you want in the order you want it in. What is it that you want and in what order?
- Cash in reserve
- College for children
- Percentage of giving
This “want” list assumes we first want God’s presence in our lives and peace in our homes. Planning is a matter of personal preference. What is wasteful to some is valuable to others: for example, some people may criticize the idea of going on vacation and see it as a waste of money; other people won’t share your value of owning land or livestock. God has given you your own desires and wisdom gives us the ability to prioritize them and then go for it!
Four. Investment potential
Everyone has investment potential. Our investment potential does not begin with stocks and bonds; it begins with our investment in ourselves. Decisions to further education, sharpen skills, increase our vocabulary, enhance our physical appearance, learn another trade, be physically fit, pray daily, read regularly – these are all investment choices that we make to make ourselves more valuable to ourselves and to others. Self-investment is important because you are the “earner” and the “getter,” and God has given you the ability to get wealth, according to Deuteronomy 8:18.
“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 forefathers, as it is today.”
Guard yourself against personal burnout, spiritual starvation and/or mental fatigue.
There is an investment opportunity called “passive productivity.” It allows you to do nothing except invest in a successful, growing enterprise and your money works for you multiplying over and over again. Knowing where these opportunities are requires you to tap into your investment potential.
Investments are so much more than monetary decisions. You may think of buying gifts for your wife as an important investment into your marriage. A vacation with your wife should be considered making memories that are well worth a financial investment. It’s not foolish to invest in yourself, your marriage, or your children. Give yourself permission to put money into things and events that improve yourself and enhance relationships with those you love!
It’s your season of biblical increase! 2015 is the year of favor and grace. His favor and grace will release the floodgates for those in position and trusting Him!
God’s desire for you is that you would experience increase and multiplication in every area. When you tap into your four potentials – earning, management, planning and investment – the rewards will bring glory to His name in all who are watching your life! Stay tuned to our ministry as we continue to study stewardship principles. It’s your time for favor!