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  • Rick LoPresti

What is profit?

God's values and man's values are quite different. God values the eternal, and man values the earthly and temporal (Is 55:8-9, Mt 5-7, Rom 8, 1Cor 1-2). The word "world" in the New Testament can mean the people who live in the world, as in "God so loved the world (Jn 3:16)"; or it can mean the value system of the world that is against God's, as in "whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (Jam 4:4)." When man thinks of the word profit, he usually thinks of money. When the Bible talks about profit, it is talking about the eternal, spiritual benefit to man of doing the right thing (Job 35:8, Ecc 7:11, Ecc 10:10, Is 48:17, Mt 5:29-30, 1Cor 12:7, 1Cor 13:3, 1Tim 4:8, 2Tim 3:16, Titus 3:8, Heb 12:10). When the Bible speaks of things that do not profit, it is talking about sin (Gen 37:26, 1Sam 12:21, Job 33:27, Prov 10:2, Prov 11:4, Ecc 1:3, Ecc 2:11, Is 30:5-6, Is 44:9-10, Is 47:12, Is 57:12, Jer 2:8 & 11, Jer 7:8, Jer 13:7, Jer 16:19, Jer 23:32, Hab 2:18, Mt 16:26, Jn 6:63, 2Tim 2:14, Heb 4:2). The Bible also makes it clear that the religious activity of man that is not in harmony with the scriptures does not profit (Gal 5:2, Heb 13:9, Jam 2:14-16). When man overindulges in his own ways and finds no profit in it, he sometimes blames God for it (Gen 25:32, Job 21:15, Job 34:9 & 19, Job 35:3, Mal 3:14).

Jesus said "But Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Mt 6:33)." These things are food and clothes that He spoke of earlier in the chapter. "An having food and raiment, let us be therewith content (1Tim 6:8)." "But godliness with contentment is great gain (1Tim 6:6)." "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3Jn 2)." There is no virtue in poverty, and neither is there in material riches (Prov 30:7-9). The profit is in serving God by obeying the scriptures and putting Him first. God does not withhold good earthly blessings from His people (Ps 84:11, Mt 5:45,1Tim 4:8). He just needs to know that our priorities are in order. That is why He asked Abraham to offer Isaac (Gen 22). God did not want a human sacrifice (Jer 19:5, Jer 32:35). He wanted to tempt (test) him (Jam 1:12-17). Abraham showed God that his focus was on eternity (Heb 11:8-19).

It all depends on where out treasure is, because that is where our heart will be (Mt 6:19-21). If we invest in the eternal kingdom of God, then our focus and expectation will be there. If all we care about is this life, we will miss the opportunity to sow into the greatest harvest ever which will last forever. That is the true profit.

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