BE A TRADER
At RightNow Media, we care deeply about how people live out their faith and engage the local church, their community and the world. And while we are passionate about being innovative and creative in the ways we inspire this generation to follow Christ, it’s important to us that our mission and goals are founded on the Word of God.
Our mission at RightNow Media is to help people trade in the pursuit of the American Dream for a world that desperately needs Christ. We want people to become TRADERS. And while the term “trader” may be new to you, it is really just our way to express what it means to be a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.
The American Dream has been hijacked. What used to be about freedom of worship, opportunity and potential has been distorted to me, me, me and more, more, more. This self-centered, me-focused consumerism has even crept into the American church. God’s goal for all Christians, however, is not that they achieve the American Dream, but that they become like His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18).
We don’t want to settle for the American Dream, but instead relentlessly pursue “God’s Dream” for our lives. While the world shouts at us to look out for ourselves and pursue personal comfort, the Word encourages us to be godly instead of focusing on becoming wealthy (1 Tim 6:3–19). There’s nothing wrong with having a good job and making money (more on that later), but it’s all about the condition of our hearts. If we’re focusing on the financials, then we’ll miss what’s closest to God’s heart—a world full of people who are lost and desperately need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:9; Matt 28:18–20).
OTHERS BEFORE SELF. CHRIST ABOVE ALL.
One of our main goals is to inspire the Church to become TRADERS—people who intentionally put “others before self, and Christ above all.” When asked to name the greatest commandment, Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt 22:37–39, NIV). TRADERS are people who know God’s Word and radically obey it in their everyday lives.
1. TRADERS CHOOSE DAILY TO SACRIFICE TIME AND MONEY TO APPLY THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN TO "GO AND DO LIKEWISE."
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a great model for living as a Christian. As Christians, we are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This familiar story is Jesus’ response to the question “who is my neighbor?” You can read the full story in Luke 10:25–37, but here’s a summary. A man is robbed, beaten, and left by the side of the road to die. Two people pass him by without helping. Finally the Good Samaritan finds him, cares for his wounds, and pays for his recuperation.
What if all Christians followed this model for being a neighbor to the world around them? The Samaritan had:
ALERT EYES – Luke writes, “But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him…” This Samaritan was going about his daily routine; he wasn’t on a mission trip or doing a service project or at a church event. His EYES were scanning his surroundings.
A COMPASSIONATE HEART – “…he took pity on him.” His HEART was full of compassion. He was selfless. The Samaritan was prepared for this moment—his heart wasn’t cold and distant, but warm and open.
QUICK FEET – “He went to him…” His FEET took him closer. He didn’t just care from a distance; he was willing to get close. This wasn’t just an “I’ll pray for you, brother,” it was an up close and personal encounter.
ACTIVE HANDS – “…and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.” The Samaritan was willing to get his HANDS dirty as he bandaged the wounded man. Can you imagine tending to the wounds of a stranger?
A GENEROUS ATTITUDE – “The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expenses you may have.” To top it all off, the Samaritan was GENEROUS with his money by paying for the man to stay at the inn. In that day, one silver coin was worth a full day’s wage. How many of us would give up two whole days of pay for someone we just met? That’s Jesus’ definition of a neighbor.
What if Christians lived each day with alert eyes, compassionate hearts, quick feet, active hands and a generous attitude?
2. TRADERS HATE INJUSTICE AND FIND SPECIFIC WAYS TO BRING THE HOPE FOUND IN JESUS TO DESPERATE SITUATIONS.
We grow up learning that we aren’t supposed to hate. The word “hate” gets lumped in with the other 4-letter words we aren’t supposed to say. But Proverbs 6 outlines six things that God hates and Psalm 5 says that God hates those who do wrong. Could it be that there are things we are supposed to hate?
A common question that any pastor, counselor or motivational speaker loves to ask is, “what are you passionate about?” Many times that question is met with blank stares because we don’t know how to properly identify our passions. Some people seem passionate about everything from American Idol to Jesus. While others find it safer to stay neutral and not express passion for anything.
Maybe a way to approach your passions is from the perspective of hate. What do you hate? What kind of holy hatred has God given you for things that aren’t right in the world around you? Maybe your hatred is aimed at the fact that there are thousands of kids in dangerous and unstable family situations. Can that hate lead you to becoming a foster parent?
Or perhaps you hate the fact that while we argue over which diet drink is the best for our figure, 3,800 children die every day from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.* Will that hatred inspire you to figure out how to creatively help those less fortunate than you?
*UN World Water Development Report 2, 2006.
3. TRADERS WORK AS WORSHIP BECAUSE GOD IS GLORIFIED WHEN WE USE OUR GOD-GIVEN PASSIONS AND SKILLS WITH EXCELLENCE.
We spend most of our waking hours in two places:
1. With our family
2. At work
Most people want to have a meaningful impact on their family. In fact, many churches place a high priority on helping people practice their faith at home. But knowing how your faith intersects with your work is more challenging.
Unfortunately, there’s a pervasive attitude that certain occupations are more holy and acceptable to God than others. If you are a pastor, missionary, or worship leader, then your work matters more to God than if you are a business executive, plumber, or athlete. But that view isn’t biblical.
The responsibility to work is something God gave humanity even before sin entered the world (Gen 2:15). In a perfect world, we still work. We tend to focus on where we work and how much money we make; God cares more about how we perform right where we are (Col 3:23). And Jesus’ parable of the talents implies that those who faithfully serve him on earth will be given additional responsibilities in heaven (Matt 25:14–30). Your work matters to God, and how you perform has eternal implications (Col 3:24).
As a TRADER, you have a new perspective about your job. For you and the millions of other business leaders and employees, your mission is in the marketplace. You may not be the kind of missionary who moves to the far regions of Africa. But around the conference table, around the water cooler, or around the cubicle, you have an opportunity to worship the God who created you.
God gave you skill. He gave you passion. He gave you work. When you do your job with excellence, integrity and diligence, it’s an act of worship. You are displaying God’s craftsmanship to the non-believing world around you. You are earning the right to be heard.
You don’t see a divide between Sunday and Monday—between the sacred and the secular. You’ve been invited into parts of the world that a pastor or traditional missionary will never see. You have conversations with people who would never set foot in a church.
Church is not the only place you worship, and Sundays are not the only days on your calendar that have meaning.
God has designed you.
He created you to work and to worship.
For TRADERS, work is worship.
4. TRADERS ACT SWIFTLY BECAUSE THE TIME IS RIGHTNOW!
If you are a parent, then you know that a large part of parenting—especially in those early years—is spent working on obedience. When you ask your child to do something, you expect them to do it right away. No excuses. No arguing. Just do it.
As children of God, He must have those same expectations of us. Remember when God met Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3. God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but instead of obeying God’s command, Moses came up with excuse after excuse. God promised to be with Moses and even provided miraculous proof of His presence, yet Moses still asked God to send someone else. In Exodus 4:14 it says that the Lord’s anger burned against Moses.
Most parents probably understand that kind of burning anger. A simple request to pick up shoes left in the middle of the floor is met with whining, arguments and excuses. How similar are we to little children when God clearly calls us to do something, and we either ignore His call or flat out refuse to obey?
We typically think of sin as the bad stuff we’re doing, but sin is also not doing the good stuff that we have been called to do (James 2:14–17). To know that God has urgently called us to care for the poor and the hurting (Luke 12:33; James 1:27), and to spread the hope of Jesus Christ through the Gospel message (Matt 28:18–20), and then to postpone obedience—to wait—is sin.
TRADERS don’t make excuses. They don’t wait until their portfolios are robust or until after their retirement party. TRADERS act swiftly today, because the time is RightNow!
SCRIPTURE FOR FURTHER STUDY
First time obedience – Exodus 3–4
What do you hate? – Proverbs 6:1–19
What talents has God given you? – Matt 25:14–30
The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25–37
Jesus and materialism – Luke 12:22–34
Love and obedience – John 14:15–24; 15:1–17
Becoming like Jesus – 2 Cor 3:18; 5:14–15; Phil 3:12–21
Work and worship – Col 3:22-25
What are you chasing? – 1 Tim 6:3–19
How do you show that your care? – James 1:22–27; 2:14–17
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