How does “Cast your bread upon the waters,” apply to your business?
Is there a prayer and affirmation that can aid you in building your success?
[ The Value of Diligence *] Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1 NKJV
Often this verse is thought to teach the concept of receiving blessings after giving them.
Or so a story I heard when I was growing up seemed to imply.
My grandfather was a struggling rancher/farmer during the depression. But he didn’t let his lack of material wealth keep him from helping others. The community came to know him as Grandpa Joe, a giving and caring man.
He gained that named and a love from the community by his willingness to help folks in need.
In 1921 the nearby Arkansas River flooded its banks and Grandpa Joe was busy helping folks and their livestock get to high ground. It was a disastrous flood.
Grandpa Joe shared one awful story of a baby swept out of its horrified mother’s arms by the raging water.
Then the day came when Grandpa Joe fell off the roof of the church, while he was helping with a repair.
Suddenly, he was unable to do routine chores. My grandmother was great in the kitchen but not so much with the outdoor farm chores. I wonder if she felt a little panicky. I wonder if Grandpa Joe was frustrated as he couldn’t care for his family.
Then there came a knock on the door. The first of many community members was there offering their help, saying, “Grandpa Joe was there for our family when the flood wiped us out, we can’t ignore his need now.”
My grandmother, the Methodist minister’s daughter, was quick to quote Ecclesiastes 11:1.
She knew that my grandfather had cast his bread upon many waters; and now it was coming back to him.
As you can imagine, that story has had an effect on me. It no doubt motivates me to give without looking for a reward. I believe that the reward or care that may come from our doing good is in God’s hands.
You and I know that the real reward for doing good is the good feeling we get for doing it.
But today I want to suggest another meaning for this verse.
Here is how the NIV translates the verse:
Invest in Many Ventures* Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Ecclesiastes 11:1
I am intrigued by the suggestion of international commerce. Much of the economy of the Biblical peoples is agricultural. Abraham and his descendants raised sheep and goats.
There were other means of earning a living – Jesus was a carpenter. But most would have been services for local consumption.
But, if the NIV translation is accurate, it is commending expanding your boundaries.
That is what Jabez specifically asked God for. He prayed:
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 NIV
So this is my take away from Ecclesiastes 11:1.
You and I have had at least one “hater” as we have shared and built our business.
We are gaining the tough skin that you have to have to be in business for yourself. But today as I studied this verse I got a little boost – no I got a big boost – from knowing that God approves of our business ventures.
God put your picture on His refrigerator the last time you rank advanced.
I believe that He wants more of us to be asking Him to expand our territory – our leads – our volume – our team – our customers.
I think we are the exception when we do that.
Jabez was. If everyone was asking God to expand their territory it wouldn’t have been noteworthy and we wouldn’t be reading about it in 1 Chronicles 4:10.
Want to be God’s favorite? Here is your prayer and affirmation:
Father God, Oh that You would bless me greatly, enlarge my team, grow my volume, let your hand be with me so that all my team will experience your blessing. Show us how to do good with the abundance You provide us and keep us from causing pain to anyone. I ask this in Jesus Name, Amen.
Affirmation [Your affirmation should be stated in present tense stating what you want to accomplish at a future date. You are expressing your trust in the Creator of the Universe to answer your prayer as you take the actions you are responsible for doing.]
I am relishing the knowledge that ___________ [fill in number you know God wants to give you] folks are enjoying the expanded territory that God has provided. They are busy blessing others with their abundance. I have just sent _____________ [fill in size of check] to my favorite charity ______________[fill in name of charity.] I have taken my business as far as ______________[fill in name of country or state.]
I am open to your comments and differences with what I have written. Feel free to call or message me. I personally respond to all messages.