There is no doubt that the Bible is the absolute standard for how every aspect of life should be lived. This is no different for entrepreneurs who need guidance in how business should be conducted and funds should be managed. Studying businessmen in the Bible can provide a source of insight and inspiration regarding how to conduct business and use your finances to glorify God. Consider these three amazing businessmen from the Bible and how they used their wealth for God:
Abraham - In Genesis, we get a clear picture of Abraham’s wealth. He had livestock, gold, silver and trained men. Abraham's God-given faith and vision for the future helped him to persevere and prosper. His obedience teaches us that decisions which seem difficult, such as being called to leave his home or giving the more fertile land to his nephew, might be part of God's bigger plan of prosperity and blessings. When was the last time you prayed for God to give you a spirit of obedience?
King Solomon - King Solomon asked God for wisdom and was blessed with much more. He worked to expand the kingdom and fortune passed down from his father. His wisdom aided him in creating a time of peace which meant he did not need to use his resources for protection. He was able to use those resources to create more wealth. Solomon encouraged and engaged in trade. He also formed partnerships with nearby kings and queens that helped him to bring more wealth to his nation. He chose to use his riches to serve God by building a temple, and God continued to pour out blessings on Solomon. 1 Kings 10:23 states that he "exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom". Solomon is proof that seeking wisdom in every business decision is imperative for financial success. Are you making wise financial decisions?
Apostle Paul - The Apostle Paul went into business making and selling tents (Acts 18:3). Unlike the previously mentioned businessmen from the Bible, Paul did not acquire great wealth or build a prosperous nation. Rather, he likely chose to become an entrepreneur because of the flexibility it gave him to focus on his primary calling as an apostle. He was able to use his income to further the gospel of Jesus Christ. He taught God's word, planted churches, and penned the majority of the New Testament. Paul had a heart of service for God. He did not conduct business for the purpose of acquiring worldly possessions. He recognized and longed to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. In what ways are you using your wealth to serve God?
There are many more instances of businessmen in the Bible, but these three entrepreneurs teach us valuable principles for conducting business. The information given regarding these three men helps us to understand that entrepreneurship and wealth creation are not counterproductive to ministry. Instead, entrepreneurship creates another avenue for teaching others about God and can lead to resources that can be used to further magnify the Lord. It takes a spirit of obedience, a desire for wisdom and a heart of service to create wealth that will be used to glorify God.