He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matthew 6:33

During the second year of my career in investment banking, several of my colleagues and I left the company where we worked and assembled a new firm to compete in a niche of municipal finance that had not yet fully matured. In those early years we often remarked that our philosophy of management could be summarized as "revenues exceeding expenses." We soon discovered that being prosperous meant more than simply being profitable.

Every business enterprise must ultimately be profitable to accomplish its purposes. Yet simply earning a profit is an incomplete organizational objective. As owners we needed to concern ourselves with additional issues, such as employee benefits, staff development, and strategic planning. As time passed we became better managers, and our firm experienced impressive growth in both earnings and market presence. Had we focused only on profitability and not taken a holistic approach to our business, I am convinced our results would have been measurably different.

In my desire to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, there are times I have been satisfied with only the most profitable matter of my faith—eternal life. Yet I have learned that when I center my thinking only on salvation, I miss out on the broader blessings of the Christian experience. Jesus said that we should seek the fullness of faith in him and follow his example of righteous living. Our spiritual journey should not end when we offer our lives to Jesus and seek his forgiveness for our sins. Rather, he should have ownership over every department of our lives. We should not be satisfied with anything less than to have Jesus reign supreme in every relationship and in every responsibility.

I will admit this is a challenging assignment. We naturally try to control our lives rather than yield them to Jesus. We tend to rely on our impulses rather than turn our hearts to heaven. But when I am in fellowship with others who follow Jesus, and when I seek to serve rather than to be served, I undergo spiritual growth and sense the presence of God in my life. When I go beyond spiritual "profit motive" and pursue a relationship with Christ to its depth and breadth, I know true prosperity—the only prosperity that endures.

—Dave Sveen

Reflection

Are there areas of my life I'm unwilling to open up to the gaze of Christ?

Prayer

Lord, create in me a spirit of surrender. Help me resist the urge to grab control of my own life. Open my hands and heart to you.

"One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime."
—Jim Elliot, twentieth-century missionary martyr

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