Well again, good morning. What a beautiful morning we had. Isn’t it? I noticed when I woke up, we live where we can see over downtown Golden and there was already a rainbow over downtown Golden. I thought that was kind of nice sign for the morning, right? You don’t see a rainbow too often in the morning.
It was great to hear everyone introduced themselves and who you’re working with. I just want to encourage us at the end of the talk as every month, there’s an opportunity to hang around and have more coffee and to get to network with one another on an even greater basis. That’s something that we think is important. Please go ahead and feel free to do that.
Again, I think I know pretty much everybody here but my name is Jim Barthel. I’m one of the founders of KBA and we didn’t give Doug a chance to introduce himself. Doug is another co-founder and works here; runs the operation. My beautiful wife Karen as well is here. My precious son Parker is here. Then we have Lianna in the background as well. Thank you guys for all your help. As well as of course, Mike Saunders, who is so important to this organization from the marketing, and website, and his heart for serving the Lord. There’s a lot of people involved in this. Again if you ever desire or if you have some ideas on what we could do further with KBA, we’d certainly be open and you’re welcome to participate as well.
As far as this month’s talk, it’s actually been about 3-4 months in the making for me. Really, my task was how the heck could I get it all in 25 to 30 minutes? I’m going to do my very best to do that. The background of the talk, Secrets of Pentecost in the Marketplace, is based on a couple of aspects. One is that over the last 6 months or so, the Lord’s really been in my quiet time with him as I study. He’s been showing me some more of the truths about the Hebraic roots of our faith that we can’t separate out our work life from our personal life, from our walk with the Lord. A lot of it comes from that.
The other background that it brings in is that in our business, we’ve been highly blessed in the last 2 years. I mean, really blessed from many fronts. Praise God. As I was preparing this talk, it’s funny how when you share your testimony or get ready to share your testimony, you think you’re going to talk about this. As you spend time with the Lord, he really pours something maybe more meaningful into what he wants you to talk about. It’s always, I don’t know, I call it dicey to talk too much about prosperity and how well your business is doing. In one hand we want to hear about that right? Because that encourages us to go and to step-through. If we’re going through hard times that encourages us to stick through it. If we too are having good times, then we get to share with that.
On the other hand sometimes, I think it can come off as prideful. It can come off unfortunately also as maybe off center. The Lord kind of worked on me over the last couple of months. I think it was a benefit, and I hope it’s going to be a blessing to you because I think what we always want to do and what we’ve talked about before, so I want to be in alignment with God. We always want to be in alignment and additional understanding. Is there anyone here who doesn’t think they need additional understanding about the Lord and how he works in our lives? I’m quite humbled and I’m sure you are too. As I always want to know more and I want to discover more. That’s kind of the background of this talk.
I’ve picked out a song and Doug was able to bring it with. Anytime that we want to talk about Pentecost and anytime we want to talk about the Holy Spirit is that, we really want to invite the Holy Spirit in. We want to have the Holy Spirit present. Maybe we will not listen to the whole song, maybe halfway through or whatever. I think it’d be important for us to just kind of quiet our minds and our heart for a few minutes. Then we can enter into the talk.
If you would, just enter into a silent meditation.
That was a pretty powerful song, isn’t it? I was listening to that on the radio the other day and I thought that’s the perfect song for our discussion today. Kind of brings to mind is what wouldn’t we do or what don’t people do to try to come in to the presence of God? I was thinking about you can read Scripture but I’m also reminded like you are, probably about your personal experiences and it brought back memories to me when I was going to Israel very frequently.
First thing I would do when I landed, I would go to Jerusalem. The plane after being on an all-night plane, it would be like 10 in the morning, kind of jet lagged but I go to the Western Wall. I got to the point where I would bring my Bible. I would read the Bible in this room off to the side where the Orthodox Jews would be. What was amazing that I came to realize is that at that very moment, we were praying to the same God. We’re doing it a little bit different way. I just thinking about what wouldn’t man, woman, do to come in to the presence of God? I think that summarizes what I wanted to talk about today.
In business is that so many times we talk about our purpose and our plan. God has a purpose and a plan throughout all of history. I think any time we can tap in to God’s purpose and plan, then its’ going to make our own walk of our purpose and plan so much more powerful. In some ways maybe even easier. My goal for this talk is to help us in pursuing our own purpose and plan for our work for our life.
The first part of that comes from the realization that as I prayed about this is we’re really blessed and that our God is a different god. When we look at the gods of the world and we look at the gods of the Greeks, and the Romans, and of the Babylonians, and the others, these are gods that required an appeasement. These are gods that required people to give them something like they lacked something. Our God doesn’t lack anything. Our God, really as we go through scripture is really our father. How much more of an intimate God is our God than the gods of the world?
I think it’s important that we continually keep that in mind because it then drives us to pray about things. It drives about how we act in our business and how we pursue it. It’s not a small thing. I really encourage you to get quiet at some point and give that a little bit more thought. Because what I found in looking at that again is even recently, that some of my prayers can sometimes be more of about appeasement. God if you give me this, then I’ll do that for you. God I did this, did you see how good I was? Did you see what I did?
At the end of the day is God’s already given us everything that we need. I think if we embrace as I embrace that attitude and understanding, it changes the way that I pursue my work. It changes the way I pursue my relationships. From the standpoint that if God’s already given me everything that I need, then I just need to get more in alignment with him. I need to be more in his presence to allow that fulfillment of that purpose and plan to come together.
What you see next to that first topic is that’s actually the altar of Baal. This is at Megiddo in Israel. It doesn’t do justice that small picture because that altar is huge. It was from about 2,000 to 3,000 BC. I asked Lianna to put that in there, is you see in this case the god of Baal had convinced the people that they needed to sacrifice their children in order to get favor from God. How sick is that? One day, this was buried under like 50 to 100 feet of sediment and soil. They had to dig down in this and there’s a whole temple and community here. Think about that, as they were digging they found a gross amount of bones and other things of children. What kind of god would ask you to sacrifice your children?
Our God as a father who loves his children and He doesn’t require us to try to appease him. With that kind of understanding, who is this God that we’re talking about. I think it helps set what was His plan in eventual accomplishment with Pentecost? I said in our business, we’ve had a very successful couple of years. We’ve had our largest client, largest project for a couple of years. What’s amazing is we’re just about nearing this contract we have with our client. It’s amazing to look back at how God intervened in this contract and with this client who needed some prayer. They’re part of a big lawsuit but I don’t want to bore you with all the details there.
I tell you that one of the big aspects of this particular project, and I just want to give you 1 example of a pretty major experience with the Holy Spirit and with God guiding us through something that would have been a huge negative, turning into a very big positive.
On the back of your sheet you’ll see 2 photographs. Part of this contract that we picked up involved, we’re dealing with about 100,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils. Pretty major deal, EPA oversight, EPA directed, so very complex. Part of the need for the client was that they had 2 ponds. One an 18-acre pond and another like an 8-acre pond. These are pretty big ponds. They are called lakes in Colorado but they’re only ponds in Florida. The top 1, what that shows is that part of what needed to be done is we needed to take off a contaminated layer of sediment 12 feet under the water. That’s not something that we do. We deal with soil but we really don’t deal with sediment.
Throughout this, we’re bringing this contract together. We were dealing with a local subcontractor in that Orlando area that had this expertise. In negotiating this subcontract with them, again they have a lot of knowledge. They came out looked at the site. As we began to set the contract, did you know, there was a set of assumptions that had to go into this. They kept bringing up, “Well, what if there we’re big boulders in this? What if there were big cliffs in the water that you couldn’t see? What if you had to go deeper than what we said?” We’re just saying like, “Well, wait a minute. There’s surveys.” We hired a survey company and they came out and they stake down 12 feet in the water and measured the surface. They came up with this GIS developed grid system they said, “You got a flat bottom. Don’t worry about it.”
As we negotiated this contract and we got to go ahead to go on the other part of the work, we just felt uncomfortable. We kept praying about that. The interesting thing is that many of you know, I keep a … it’s a kind of a prayer journal but it’s also a dream journal. I just point out on March the 8th, in a dream the Lord gave me. A quick word came out. He said, “Unequal bottom, not a smooth bottom.” Just like that. For the next week we tried to reach an agreement with this firm. We ended up not reaching an agreement with the subcontractor. We were the prime. We ended up having to do this work; never had dredged before.
Based on that word from the Lord, we decided that we couldn’t take the risk. It turned out that we were able to pull together a team of people and I can report to you that we successfully performed that work. It was about worth $2 million just that piece of the work. In the end, the bottom was anything but smooth. Big boulders, 3-feet deep holes, cliffs, hard rock, it wasn’t even close to smooth. Never do 50-foot grids in a pond, if you ever do that.
Here’s the rest of the story is. Had we entered into that subcontract we would have lost well over a million dollars in change orders. Our client and us would have been in a conflict and who knows how that would have gone. As a result of praying about it, listening to the Lord and then pursuing and obeying, we ended up making a million dollars just on that amount of work. We provided a better service to the client.
I say that because it works. God wants us to come to him. God wants you to bring your challenges and your opportunities to him. God wants to be able to reveal to you the secrets. When you look at John 14 and 16, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. That he comes and he reveals to you what’s to come. What’s in the future. That’s part of being in relationship. I got to ask you. Do you want to know the truth? Do you want to know what’s to come? Truly, do you? Because I think so many times many of us go through life with a: “Maybe its true, maybe it’s not. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’ll try it out.” It requires a step of faith. I just gave you that example so that you would have something. I know many of you in your own life you’ve had a similar experience but I just want to encourage us that God wants to be involved in that level. He wants to tell you somethings that’s going to make a huge difference for your purpose and plan.
The second point on this paper was that God is a God of purpose and plan. As I’ve studied Genesis 2:5 and if we think about this is that, Adam walked day by day with the Lord. They were one. They were as close as a father and son could ever be. That’s God’s plan. That’s His desire for you and me; to be that one. Now through choices, there was a separation that had to occur, right? Because the pureness of light and righteousness and justice, always consumes darkness and consumes disobedience. There had to be a separation at that point. By choice, a man and a woman were separated from God, but hold on. We make choices too.
God’s purpose and plan was never defeated. God always had a plan to get back to that intimate relationship. I think part of that oneness was that, when you look at Genesis 2:5, it’s where he said, “And there was no man to till the ground.” Oneness and productivity were always tied together. As Adam and Eve were one with God, when they worked it prospered because of the oneness. I just want to plant that seed. Oneness and productivity always go together.
As I look at the third bullet and this can now transforms to this event of Pentecost. I don’t know how many of us have researched Pentecost. I know in Acts 2 you could look at the Pentecost event. The background of that as we shared last month is that actually, Pentecost is really more of a Christian term for a Jewish event. The Jewish event, and I tried to get the pronunciation. I went to Google and looked it up. I’m going to spell it for you. S-H-A-V-U-O-T, Festival of Weeks, Festival of Harvest.
If we look at Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16, this is actually a very significant event and very significant occurrence. Think about this is that in our own lives, we kind of lose maybe the oneness or the history of the Bible. Brian, I’m God. I’m telling you right now, you can do all these things but there’s 3 appointments that you are to keep with me.
Right them down on your calendar, Brian. Three times this year, you are personally going to meet with me and we’re going to review things. This Shavuot, or Festival of Weeks was one of those. Passover was one. I think it’s the Festival of First Fruits was the other. Three times, you come before me personally and we’re going to deal with each other. To me, that’s a significant event. I better, but it’s true when you look at scriptures, that’s what it says. The beautiful thing about this is I’ll look at … I marked these. There’s only 3 times. There’s only 1 place and only 3 events God ever does this. He never does this other than these times. This is a pretty significant event, right?
In Leviticus it said, “The Lord said to Moses, speak to the Israelites say to them these are my, these are the Lords appointed festivals’ appointments which you are to proclaim as the sacred assembly come together.” I like Deuteronomy 16:9. It talks specifically about this and the background is that, as an agrarian society they were growing. That was the business. They don’t have automobiles, sorry guys. It was about grain, and olives, and stuff. You can apply it to automobiles. You can apply it to a county. You can apply it to healthcare. You can apply to all this, right? Here’s the beauty of it.
This event, and by the way, at Pentecost which we know as Pentecost. Do you ever ask yourself why were the Jews there? Why were they gathered? It’s because of this event. It wasn’t just an occasional gathering. It was a purposeful gathering. What this was is, it was to count off 7 weeks after they began the harvest which was also the time of first fruits. This first fruits was the day after Passover. Many people will tell you that when Jesus was resurrected and he was in the so-called garden, he was actually in the field and he was holding up a sheaf of grain because of the first fruits. He was the first fruits but it occurred on the holiday of the first fruits.
This is 7 weeks later, you harvest your grains and your other things. This is to be a celebration. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks, 7 weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing the Lord has given you. Rejoice, before the Lord your God and adoring his name you, your sons, daughters, male, female, servants, Levites and your towns, foreigners, the fatherless, and the widows. This is a celebration. Isn’t it interesting that one of God’s main appointments with us is a celebration?
It brings me back to the parable of the talents, right? He says I’m giving you this. We have an appointment. You bring back what you did with that and where going to have a party. It was a party for the entire community as well. I went to Google and I looked up on a Wikipedia. A description of this event and how it was to occur. Don’t you like how the phone locks itself especially when you need it? Okay. At the time of the harvest, the fruits would be identified by a reed then cut and placed in baskets woven with gold and silver. The baskets would then be loaded on oxen whose horns were gilded and laced with garlands of flowers and who were led in a grand procession to Jerusalem. As the farmer and his entourage pass through the cities and towns, they would be accompanied by music and parades.
Think about this? In your business this appointment is, I’ll pick on Brian some more. It’s harvest time and he’s going to march down the center of Arvada, and the whole town is going to come out with music and celebration. That’s how God views business. That’s how God views what you’re doing in the marketplace. This is a festival to understand that it’s by God’s hand, for God’s purposes and plans that were in the marketplace. Doesn’t that get you excited? It really stirs me up is that we have such a high calling. We have such a high responsibility.
This appointment with God, he said be joyful. It was a community event but he said don’t come empty handed. Will you come empty-handed to the king? Don’t come empty-handed. I think for us as Christians, we shouldn’t ignore these decreed events because actually it says, “This is forevermore.” It didn’t say it’s going away. I think it’s something to think about. Again, the appointed festival.
As it relates then to Pentecost itself in Acts 2. As you read the scripture in Acts 2, it says that God-fearing Jews from every nation were present. That both Jews and converts to Judaism were present. Again, God-fearing. These people who were present during Pentecost were already God-fearing Jews. I’m sorry to say, there were no Christians present. Okay? I’m sure that there were the apostles. There were people who knew Jesus and who believed in Jesus, but Christians aren’t around yet. These were God-fearing Jews that believed in God already. Along those lines is, this was an event that was unlike any other event in the histories of time. When we look at the purposes and plans of God, is that he always wanted a kingdom of priests, a kingdom of people who would know him, you and me to know him, and to work with him just like it was in the garden. He had to restore that.
Part of that restoration came in on this day. Because on this day, is the day that God changed his place of residence. Listen to this description and let it resonate. This particular Shavuot spoken of Acts was the epic event in the annals of mankind. What made it epic was that on this day, the God of creation who had previously made his abode in the heavenlies, changed his residency to abide make his dwelling place in the hearts of men. Heaven is God’s throne. He moved his throne, heaven moved with him. The essence of His nature and character as expressed in Exodus, was now etched on the beings of men willing to fashion and conform their lives after him. Thus, fulfilling his promise to restore His kingdom. Think about that. The very presence in life, the very location that God chose to live was no longer in the temple, but was in us; was in the people who were present there.
Let me go back to plan and purpose. Oneness equals productivity. What will man and woman do to just come in to the presence of God? We didn’t have to do anything. He changed it all through the sacrifice and through the purification that Jesus accomplished. Now, God is in us.
We have a choice. Just like there was a choice in the garden. We have a choice to embrace his essence and his character and his nature or not. That’s what made this such a monumental event. It had never occurred before, and it changed everything. I believe it was the start of the church but it’s even bigger than that. It was a total change.
Now regarding the choices, there is an interesting aspect as relates to sin because what separates us from God’s presence. What causes us to be separated from God as we go through our daily walk? I know I have experienced it. I’m sure everybody in here has experienced it. We don’t want to continue to experience it, right? We have to understand really what sin means so that we can address it. There’s the historical traditional approach to sin. I’m going to go a little bit different direction.
When you look at sin in the Hebrew, in Isaiah 1:18. There were in the early Hebrew, it’s called Paleo-Hebrew prior like 400 BC. Not too many people can even read Paleo-Hebrew but there are people now who do. We know a guy, a PhD out of Kansas City. When you look at the original Paleo-Hebrew of sin, what it says is it’s the first to destroy the fence. Here’s the understanding. So what is the fence? You see a fence there on the diagram. The fence is what protects us. The fence is God’s word and when we’re seeking God’s word, and when we’re following God’s word, then we’re enclosed in a protective fence.
You think about through the history of Israel. When they obeyed, when they followed, when they sought the word, when they embraced it, they were covered in the fence. Let me ask you from your own life, walk and from your business, don’t we want to remain in the fence? I do. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong in my business. Lawsuits and you name it. I mean I could stay up all night long just worrying about what could go wrong. Right guys and gals? We could worry a lot.
When I’m in the presence of God and I’m within that fence, the enemy can’t touch me. That’s what I want. That’s what I want for the families that are involved in our business, for our community, for my children. We want to be in the fence. The problem with the fence is that, I think this will resonate with you, we don’t know that we’re outside the fence until we’re outside the fence. How does that occur. It’s by the small decisions that are made everyday, in the separation, more separation, more separation. Until now we look back, we’re like, “Uh-oh, I’m outside the fence again.” It’s those dozens of tiny steps. Usually none too bad but it’s the cumulative effect. In God’s purpose and plan, he already built in the way to come back.
It’s through His word, that’s why he gave us His word. In business, when we embrace the character or nature of God, and we don’t separate it out. I know that, trust me I’ve talked to people from all over the world, they’re like you can’t do business God’s way. You just can’t do it. You can make the money and give it to God but you can’t do it. I’m telling you, this is a fundamental aspect of our lives that we have to make a conscious and bold decision. We’re either going to do everything God’s way in accordance with His word, or we’re going to be outside the fence. You’re going to be vulnerable to these things that happen when we’re outside the fence. Again, it’s just understanding more about where God and what Jesus was trying to teach us.
Part of that is that we then mix the sin of this world with God’s word and we try to compromise. It’s pretty deep. It’s not just doing things that we know we shouldn’t do. A couple of things to think about. Anytime we pursue selfless gain at the expense of somebody else, that’s separation. This is a big one for me that I look at this, anytime I put my concern for self-protection above what I should be doing, that’s sin.
That’s difficult in business. Where’s the fine line of how much risk do I take? How much exposure do I do? How much do I give, give, give for people who just want to take, take, take but not fear for my self-protection? The answer of course is in relationship with God. We go to Him. We let Him tell us how far we’re to go and how we’re to deal with those who take, take, take; any selfish desires. Here’s another one, I think you can relate to this. What about those occasional moral holidays? Say, “God your word is good 364 days a year. This 1 day, I really think it would be okay if I take a holiday.” Outside the fence.
Everyday is an opportunity to embrace His word and His way in our business and to help others do the same thing. We also have talked many times, it’s like, “Well, I have all these problems I got to deal with all those people. I got the subcontract to deal with. I got this client who won’t pay. I’ve got this whole list of issues. I don’t have time to do it God’s way. How do you expect me to do it God’s way? You want me to just give it to Him?” Outside the fence.
When we’re inside the fence, then we’re productive. Then we don’t have to worry of the terror that comes by night, or the sword that takes the neighbor out, or the next economic crisis, or whatever’s coming. This is what we want isn’t it? It’s by the choices.
Jesus spoke in John 14 he said, “If you love me, then you obey me.” It’s actually before he promises the gift of the holy spirit. He starts with, “If you love me, you obey me.” Guess what? He’s not asking anything more of us than what He did. Obviously, when you read especially John, he says, “I obeyed my father. These words are not mine but they’re my father’s.” Jesus when He was tempted in the garden, what was that all about? It was about choices. Jesus was able to redeem us and to use his pure blood to purchase our freedom because He made the choices that were obedient to the father. Not only that but he didn’t save that righteousness for Himself, He then gave it to us.
On top of that in John 14 he says, “I’m not going to leave you as an orphan, but I’m going to send you an advocate who’s going to help you.” If we embrace that, and if we fully seek it, then we have this advocate who will tell us the truth and will us remind of us what the father says; and will lead us and direct us to not enter into a bad contract, but rather even though you haven’t done it before enter into a good contract and serve your client. Jesus was always about serving and in business, the more we embrace the serving piece which is fundamentally about God’s word, we’re going to be in alignment.
I’ll just finish, there’s other things in here but we’ve heard the 10 commandments. Parker, have you heard of the 10 commandments? Okay. One of those is do not use the name of God in vain, right? He’s like “Okay”. We’ve heard, if you’re around the golf course especially sometimes you hear some people using the name of God in vain. Let me go into this.
It’s misinterpreted. That’s not what it means. In the Hebrew, the word for vain is S-H-A-V. Do you want to know what it really means? It means emptiness, vanity, falsehood, worthless of conduct. So what is God telling us here? What it means to use God’s name in vain, it means to be used for a selfish purpose. It means to call upon the name of the Lord for my own purpose, for my own selfish desire, for my own moral holiday, for my own greed, for my own whatever, to further my own welfare instead of to honor God himself.
It’s to enter into an agreement with somebody and by saying by the name of God but then not following through. That’s a contract. We do that every day in our lives. We say God, “I’m going to honor you this day. I’m going to take care of this.” Then, we say it but we don’t do it. That’s what Jesus is talking about is that when we follow through, it’s got to be actionable. It can’t just be to know it. It’s got to be to actually do it. That’s the beauty of the marketplace because every day, every hour, every minute you get a chance to do it. Not just talk about it, you actually get a chance to do it. When you don’t do it right the first day, then through presence we get to hear from God and says, “Ah, try it again. Try it again. Try it again. Now, you got it.” Now, there’s going to be another one that comes up. It’s this walking out of our becoming as he was, just as Jesus demonstrated. That’s the beauty of the marketplace and we get to help others do that as well.
It’s through this appointment of coming before God and then celebrating. All this comes in, it’s like, “Hey, it’s not a negative. It’s the fact that now as you’re more productive Jerry, you get to celebrate with God himself and with the people around you. See the cycle? Oneness, productivity. We become one. We’re closer to Him. Productivity, it works and we’re inside the fence.
That’s I think the secret of Pentecost in the marketplace. I think as it relates then to embracing this gift that’s offered to us, our counselor, and the spirit of truth telling us of things to come. Just ask yourself or ask you to think about, have you really embraced this opportunity, this gift of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? It’s so important.
I’ll just close in a word of prayer and I thank you for your time. I hope this blessed you.
Father, we do thank you for Your word, and Your word is the rock upon which we stand. Lord Jesus, we thank You that You came and You didn’t keep for Yourself Your gift of redemption, and restoration, and purity. You give it to each one here Lord. That Lord, You didn’t leave us as orphans but You ask the Father to send us the Spirit of God. That Spirit resides in us at that epic event of Pentecost. Lord, we just pray as humble men and women in the marketplace, as husbands and wives, as children of yours Lord that we would have more of Your presence Lord.
Throughout the annals of history, man would do anything for Your presence Lord and that’s where we’re at. We want more of Your presence. We want more of Your direction. We want more correction in the choices that we make Lord. As the loving father that You are, Father, that You don’t condemn us; but You restore us and You encourage us.
Father, we look forward to even on Earth as it is in heaven, that festival. The festival of harvest where we’re a blessing to our families and a blessing to our community. A blessing to your kingdom, to the church, father. Lord we just need more of You now and we embrace Your Holy Spirit. We ask You to come. We thank You for that gift, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.