I was walking down Orchid Road in Singapore when I saw a K-Mart sign that read, “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE – EVERYTHING REDUCED 50%-90%.” Seeing an opportunity, and having a few minutes, I bounded up the stairs to the store’s entrance where I encountered the “SOLD OUT” sign and an employee discouraging new arrivals from entering the store. There was quite a crowd gathered. Being tall enough (just barely mind you) to see over everyone’s heads, I could see that the mammoth store was indeed empty. I could see row upon row of shelves devoid of goods. But then I noticed a handful of employees pushing trolleys full of goods and relocating them to a few shelves nearer the door. They were roping off most of the store so other employees could clean and dismantle the empty shelves. They were apparently getting ready to continue sale of these few hundred items once the items were consolidated near the entrance.
Taking this all in from my vantage point, as the people began to disperse I jostled my way over to a manager looking type of person and pointed out the shelves being stacked with goods. He explained that they were being re-priced; so they would not be available for another hour or two. Armed with this information I went off to do my errand and returned an hour later. They were still setting up, but the manager remembered me and taking advantage of my foreign status, won my way inside. Most of what was left was useless to me, but I did find about 100 bars of my favorite soap Irish Spring on sale for 10 cents. Normally I am too cheap to buy it unless it’s on sale and at 10 cents – well, I bought 20 bars.
When I was in Egypt recently, someone told me that they were “Sold Out for Jesus.” For those of you who are familiar with it, at the time we were talking about Cat & Dog Theology (www.catndogtheology.com). The person clearly viewed himself as a dog. Yet as he shared, I realized there were things he was keeping back. I recalled my visit to K-Mart. The sign said SOLD OUT, but in reality, there were still valuable treasures (Irish Spring in this case) being keep on the shelves.
Acts 5 tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira told the church that they too were SOLD OUT for Jesus, when actually they had kept some things on their shelves as well. Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death, and God promptly paid Ananias and Sapphira their wages.
At the end of the day, Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. The maturing process of coming to know Jesus more intimately involves sharing in this self-knowledge. We should not allow ourselves to be deceived about our true strengths (which we all have) and our true weaknesses, which we all have as well. As B4Ters we need to recognize that it is our weaknesses through which Satan attacks us in hopes of destroying Christ’s reputation within and through us. For this reason we need to have someone, a mentor, or good friend, watching our lives, keeping our marriage, family, walk with God, etc., in mesh with our jobs.
As we are faithful in the little things He gives us greater responsibilities and more opportunities to utilize our work to bless His name. Part of this process involves being SOLD OUT to Him. We do not want to hold back anything from the Lord – we do not want to give Satan any vulnerable points to attack us or the work God is doing in us and through us. Consider, are there any items you are keeping on your personal inner shelves?
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.
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