Have you ever heard the word "sustainability"? Often we consider something that doesn't lose to be something that is actually Good. Look at the modern day Christian who believes if he is not doing bad then he must be doing good, or if he has never changed his beliefs about who God is, he is consistent, or if he loves his wife the same way he did when they first were married he is a good husband.
Do you desire something more than sustainability?
DOCTRINE #44: PROFITABILITY
Profitability is the difference in long term value between what something is worth and what it cost to create. If something is worth more in the long term than what it cost to create, it is profitable. If something is worth less in the long term than what it cost to create, even though it has value, it is unprofitable. Long term profitability is good. Long term unprofitability is bad.
Question: Do you believe your church is focused more on short or long term profitability?
Next Doctrine: Doctrine #45
Table of Contents
If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...
"14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they strive not about words, to no profit, to the subverting of them that hear.
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
16 But shun profane babblings: for they will proceed further in ungodliness,
17 and their word will eat as doth a gangrene: or whom is Hymenaeus an Philetus;
18 men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:14-18)
(We have seen this passage in multiple Doctrines, and it continues to create. We saw this in the HOW/WHY Doctrine: striving about words to no profit leads to overthrowing the faith of some: destruction. If there have been people in your life who have had spiritual debates so that they can justify themselves and be right, you could have been turned off to the idea of discussing Doctrine. You may not see talking about Doctrine being something that is profitable, but in all actuality the word "workman" meant that we would strive with words, with a Right HOW/WHY which was truth!)
"2 For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard." (Hebrews 4:2)
(Profitability results when the Word of God is combined with faith. However, the Word of God by itself is not profitable. Profitability comes from the HOW/WHY. There were three different words for "Word," this usage was logos (understanding). You cannot have faith without understanding, and if you hear something, or read something, and it only is knowledge, then it would only be a fact: a WHAT. Remember the devil has experience, but not faith!)
"12 So speak ye, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty.
13 For judgment is without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food,
16 and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith.
19 Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren?" (James 2:12-20)
(James used profitability to measure whether something was good; faith is the cause (HOW/WHY). Works are the effects (WHAT). When works become the cause, you are abusing causality. James said how could faith be said to be profitable without the result? You can't have the Right HOW/WHY without the Right WHAT. James was saying people were SAYING they had faith, but they really didn't. Profitability was the measure. Actions (DOing) prove what you believe, remember? Works that are initiated by us are reward, which is our righteousness. When grace initiates action it is salvation and God's Righteousness.)
"13 They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain, and profit nothing: and ye shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce anger of Jehovah." (Jeremiah 12:13)
(The children of Israel sowed and yielded no profit. The cost to create was pain and the people were ashamed of their fruit because their fruit cost less than what they put into it.)
"5 Now therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put in a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Consider your ways." (Haggai 1:5-7)
(This verse blatantly used lack of profitability to cause Israel to consider their ways. The Old Testament has numerous passages that showed profitability was the measure for good and bad. Here were some of them...)
"7 And I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.
8 The priests said not, Where is Jehovah? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
9 Wherefore I will yet contend with you, saith Jehovah, and with your children's children will I contend.
10 For pass over to the isles of Kittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently; and see if there hath been such a thing.
11 Hath a nation changed its gods, which yet are no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit." (Jeremiah 2:7-11)
(The people chose to follow their flesh, instead of following the first commandment. They chose to provide their own HOW/WHY for dwelling in the land of goodness apart from God's HOW/WHY which is long term profitability.)
"12 I will declare thy righteousness; and as for thy works, they shall not profit thee." (Isaiah 57:12)
"17 Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Jehovah thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go." (Isaiah 48:17)
(God teaches us to profit, He gives us understanding. He leads us which is wisdom. Both are grace. How do you know you are taking direction from God? Profitability.)
"9 They that fashion a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things that they delight in shall not profit; and their own witnesses see not, nor know: that they may be put to shame.
10 Who hath fashioned a god, or molten an image that is profitable for nothing?" (Isaiah 44:9-10)
(The cost in making a god or molten image can only be lost; it will never be profitable. The only thing that it can produce is shame: a loss!)
"2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing; But righteousness delivereth from death." (Proverbs 10:2)
(Is there an end to profitability? When will we reach a place where we can no longer be profitable?)
"6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)
(Jesus' Kingdom will increase without end: profitability. It is Right and Just for this kingdom to continue forever because it will be built upon the two causeless causes that have no beginning and no end. Everything has been created through God who is Right and Just, and God flowing through us in grace is always Right and Just. For all of eternity if we are going to be speaking the truth in love to each other there will be no end!)
"6 If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast followed until now:
7 but refuse profane and old wives' fables. And exercise thyself unto godliness:
8 for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:6-8)
(Paul stated that faith and good Doctrine result in good: godliness. Fables don't because they are tradition and do not present truth. Godliness is profitable for all things. Profitability is the measure of good, and gives life not only now but eternally.)
"63 It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are are life." (John 6:63)
(Jesus said words are spiritual and profitable. The flesh/physical doesn't profit. We can be deceived to think that the flesh does profit because it seems to profit us in the short term. The flesh can convince us that we have a Right WHAT and we can ignore the HOW/WHY. Good causes create profitable effects.)
"36 For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?" (Mark 8:36)
(Jesus blatantly showed the flesh is not where to profit. Jesus did not say that you could not gain the whole world, he said what would it profit you IF you did. Gaining is a WHAT... why would you store up your treasure on earth where rust and moths corrupt?)
"2 Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 1:2)
(John did speak of being physically profitable, however, he made it an effect of your soul being profitable. Your soul and mind are the causes, and your body is the effect. People who take care of their bodies and not their souls, are deceived in thinking they are prospering.)
"10 I beseech thee for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus,
11 who once was unprofitable to thee, but now is profitable to thee and to me:
12 whom I have sent back to thee in his own person, that is, my very heart:
13 whom I would fain have kept with me, that in thy behalf he might minister unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
14 but without thy mind I would do nothing; that thy goodness should not be as of necessity, but of free will." (Philemon 1:10-14)
(People can be profitable to other people. Paul stated Onesimus was once unprofitable, but now was profitable. Onesimus changed his HOW/WHY, and was able to become profitable.)
"29 And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30)
(Jesus again used profitability as the measure for good. This passage not only applied to the individual, it applied to the church which is a body. It said to remove individuals that made the church unprofitable. People can be unprofitable to other people. When we learned about evil, we learned that it was something that God created for a benefit long term. It is better for you to destroy (evil) one part of your body, in order that the whole body be made profitable (good). The difference is short term thinking versus long term thinking. God wants us to be long term profitable, and He will always prune us! Here's that very passage...)
"1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples." (John 15:1-8)
(Jesus said the goal was to bear MORE fruit, which is profitability: growth. It is not only to create, but to create more: MUCH fruit!)
"24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." (John 12:24-25)
(Jesus was giving an analogy for His death, burial, and resurrection. Then he outlined that this process is the same for us. Jesus knew that His death would result in profitability, which ultimately allows all of us to become profitable. This was the purpose of the most well known New Testament verse...)
"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him." (John 3:16-17)
(The reason why Jesus came to earth was profitability! If Jesus would not have died we would have never been able to have access to the mind of Christ through grace! The mystery has been revealed unto the people who choose to have God direct their lives.)
"13 And he saith unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how shall ye know all the parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; and when they have heard, straightway cometh Satan, and taketh away the word which hath been sown in them.
16 And these in like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, straightway receive it with joy;
17 and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway they stumble.
18 And others are they that are sown among the thorns; these are they that have heard the word,
19 and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And those are they that were sown upon the good ground; such as hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold.
21 And he said unto them, Is the lamp brought to be put under the bushel, or under the bed, and not to be put on the stand?
22 For there is nothing hid, save that it should be manifested; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.
23 If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear.
24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you.
25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath." (Mark 4:13-25)
(Jesus sowed the Word in order to result in profitability; He planted the Word in our hearts. If someone isn't profitable, it doesn't mean that they don't have value. In fact, the value they do have will be taken away. Remember this passage from the previous Doctrine?)
"24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter;
25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own.
26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter;
27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest.
28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.
30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:24-30)
(The unprofitable servant went to eternal punishment. The unprofitable servant did have a talent still. However, it was taken away, and it was given to the one with the most. Was that Just? Why was that Right and Just? Because he was the most profitable! If the profitable servant yielded a profit with five, he will yield a profit with ten, and even eleven, through all of eternity.)
"12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body.
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members each one of them in the body, even as it pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now they are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary:
23 and those parts of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness;
24 whereas our comely parts have no need: but God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked;
25 that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and severally members thereof." (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
(God put each member in the body according to their uniqueness: God's Purpose. The purpose is for each of us to make the rest profitable. Notice, the parts of your body that are "honorable" aren't necessary in order to live: eyes, hair, nose, etc. These parts are those that we would consider beautiful. However, the parts of the body that aren't "comely" are necessary to live: heart, lungs, brain. These parts are not very beautiful to look at. If we all had the same purpose, we couldn't exchange and be profitable. If we weren't unique, we couldn't be profitable. God intentionally made us different in order that we might operate in our uniqueness towards others so that everyone should profit. That was how Paul's "meaning of life" verse began...)
"4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
7 But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
13 till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;
15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;
16 from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:4-16)
(We all have a different purpose. Being in the right spot, fitted to others in the right way, and then exchanging with each other (speaking the truth in love) will cause the body to be profitable for eternity.)
Profitability is the measurement of something being good or not. Some people on this earth are gaining while others are losing. In an attempt for an individual to become short term profitable, he could steal from someone who has something he wants. How does this effect the long term all the way until eternity?
The world around us does not seem fair? Will it ever be?