In the past few years I had the privilege to help launch a new initiative, called “Firstfruits.” The vision is to inspire and equip entrepreneurs in Israel who will use biblical principles, prosper in the marketplace, and be a credible witness.
This week we are holding our first ever “Business and Investment Forum.” We invited successful business entrepreneurs from around the world to Israel to meet local Jewish and Arab believers who sense a call to launch new business ventures. Exciting stuff!
In Judaism there has traditionally been a high regard for the marketplace. Even a rabbi learned a trade.
The greatest rabbi of all time, Jesus of Nazareth, worked in his father’s building business. And it was this same marketplace professional who announced the Great Commission to people with mostly business or civil service backgrounds.
Throughout the Scriptures we find business people whom God chooses to carry out his mission. Some were shepherds, some farmers, some soldiers, and some merchants.
If anyone had the right to get his entire financial support from “ministry,” it was the apostle Paul. He says, however, in 1 Corinthians 9:12: “If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.”
So if Paul didn’t exercise his right to receive full support as a “minister,” how did he supplement his living? Read the rest of this entry »