Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Three principles of ethical business practice taken from Proverbs 22:
- Reputation: A good name is more desirable than great riches, to be esteemed better than silver or gold (v4).
- Humility: Humility and fear of the LORD bring wealth and honour and life (v4).
- Generosity: A generous man will himself be blessed (v9).
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24 NIV
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”
Solomon, King of Israel (Proverbs 18:13 NLT)
It is to a man’s honour to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. – Proverbs 20:3
“Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer –
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.
Why be captivated my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”
Solomon, King of Israel (Proverbs 5:15-20 NIV.)
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace.
How’s this for persevering (from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians): “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27 NIVUK) – Child of God, stick with it.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 NIV
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Proverbs 11:13 NIV
Jesus made many unique claims about himself. Here are a few of them, taken from John’s gospel:
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty (6:35).
I amthe living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever (6:51).
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (8:12).
I am from above… I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be (8:23-24).
I am the gate for the sheep. (10:7)… whoever enters through me will be saved (10:9).
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (10:11).
I am God’s Son (10:36).
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die (11:25).
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (14:6).
Galatians 6:7 says, “A man reaps what he sows.” Here are three fundamental truths connected to this verse: You always reap what you sow; you always reap later than you sow; and you always reap more than you sow.
Whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable
– if anything is excellent or praise worthy – think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 NIV (Think and thank God)
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Acts 2:17-18 NIV
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out; that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Acts 3:19 (NIVUK)
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt.
Psalm 32:1-2 (NLT)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17 NIV
Jesus instructed us, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”
Matthew 7:12 NIV
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
John 11:25-26 NIV
Jesus said: “Guard yourself against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Luke 12:15 NIV1984 Edition
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honour,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
Proverbs 8:17-21 NIVUK
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18 KJV
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Philemon v6 NIV1984 Edition
But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15 NIV
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
Psalm 32:8 NIV1984 Edition
In Psalm 32 (v1-6) David says: ‘Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit there is no deceit.’ David goes on to say: ‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For night and day your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you.’
Psalm 32 is a paradox of the Christian life: If you cover and try to hide your sins God will uncover them (David says, ‘night and day your hand was heavy upon me’). But if you uncover your sins in genuine confession God promises to cover them with his forgiveness.
A Christian does not live by explanations but by promises. A parcel delivery company used to have a slogan written on their delivery vehicles saying, “A promise means nothing until it is delivered.” That’s true, unless the promise is from God! God always keeps his promises, his covenants; He is always as good as His word… and God has given us many promises in the Scriptures. Here are just a few of them:
- Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)
- Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (…) Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. (Isaiah 43:1, 46:4)
- Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
- Jesus promised: And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour… A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 NIVUK
Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
The fear of the LORD adds length to life.
An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left.
Isaiah 54:2-3 NIV
I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13 NIV
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 NIV
Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10 NIVUK
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…” – Romans 4:18. (Against all hope… in hope believed. When all hope, as a human possibility, failed, Abraham placed his hope in God.)
Humility comes before honour.
Proverbs 15:33 & 18:12 NIV
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honourable to seek one’s own honour.
Proverbs 25:27 NIV1984
May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17 NIVUK
Those who trust in the LORD will prosper.
Proverbs 28:25 NIV
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Psalm 20:4-5 NIV1984 Edition
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
Proverbs 28:19 NIV
“… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIVUK
The issue of money and lifestyle is not a side issue in the Bible. The credibility of Christ in the world hangs on it. “Fifteen percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic – more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined.” Listen to this refrain that runs through all his teachings:
- “One thing you lack: go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” (Mark 10:21)
- “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God… But woe to who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” (Luke 6:20, 24)
- “Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:33)
- “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)
- “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
- “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Sell your possession and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted.” (Luke 12:33)
- “Zacchaeus… said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor’… And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house.’ (Luke 19:8-9)
- “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went out and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
- “[Jesus] saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” Luke 21:2-3
- “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself and is not rich towards God.” (Luke 12:20-21)
Source: John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, p.109-110
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13 (NIVUK)
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.
Ephesians 6:7-8 NLT
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV.
Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV1984)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Philippians 2:3-5 NIV
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Proverbs 28:6 NIV
May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 115:14-15 NIV
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 NIV
I have chosen you and not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10 NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV
“Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Jesus. (Mark 9:23)
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) – In my own strength, nothing; in God’s, everything.
Psalm 24v3-4 says: ‘Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, he who does not lift us his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.’ In other words, the psalmist poses a question: Who can come into the Lord’s presence; who may stand before him in his holy place? And the answer: He who has clean hands and pure heart… So, how do we get clean hands and a pure heart? Through confession. Sin comes between us and God and can act like a barrier in our worship, our relationship and our prayers being answered. But when we come clean before God and confess our sins and short fallings, and receive God’s forgiveness, we are given clean hands and a pure heart.
With humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2 NIV
Psalm 118:24-25 (NIV1984) says: “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us: O LORD, grant us success.” – It is worth noting that we are told to ‘rejoice and be glad in it.’ Not to rejoice and be glad before it, or over it, or after it but to rejoice and be glad in it. Remember this: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the present… a gift, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! We are to seize this day with its blessings and challenges, and live every moment of it. We are called to enjoy the journey.
“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” – Solomon, King of Israel, Ecclesiastes 5:10. NIV
Isaiah 26v19 (NLT) says: ‘Those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy!’
Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
Proverbs 26:20 NIV
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:11 NIV
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9 NIV
Personal ambition and goals must not, in themselves, be our number one priority. – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition” (Philippians 2:3). We need to ask ourselves, whose kingdom am I trying to build – my own or God’s? Jesus, when talking about our need of the necessities in life, said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus went on to say, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV)
What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’S commands and decrees.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NIV
You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance…
Deuteronomy 1:6-7 NIV
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-25 NIV
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:27-31 NIV
In the gospels there are seven things recorded that Jesus spoke as he suffered on the cross:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
“Dear woman, here is your son” (John 19:26).
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
“I am thirsty” (John 19:28)
“Tetelestai” – it is finished! – It is done; it is paid! (John 19:30)
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Then he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
… those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
The Prayer of Jabez:
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. – 1 Chronicles 4:10 (New King James Version)
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7 NIV
Jesus said to his disciples, “… whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20: 26-28 (NKJV)
Confession using Psalm 51v1-12:
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Lord, have mercy.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Christ, have mercy.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Lord, have mercy.
But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV1984)
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2 NIV
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”
Proverbs 1:7 NIV
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
Proverbs 12:16 NIV
Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” And Isaiah said: “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). When was the last time you prayed that prayer? What would it take for you to pray it today?
In Psalm 139 the opening two verses say: ‘O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.’ – David (the author) acknowledges that God sees, God hears, God knows. We can’t hide from God, not even our thoughts. And so in the last two verses of the same psalm David wants to confess his sin and receive forgiveness. He wants nothing to stand in the way of his relationship with God and so he prays: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.’
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you.