Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.” Yesterday I had a video conference with over 100 bankers who are working on a deal together with us at Amasia. We had another important meeting right before, so I asked one of our colleagues to get us a conference room and sort out the tech. She really went above and beyond the call of duty, and got us totally sorted with some redundancy in place in case of any issues. It went really well, until all of the sudden the connection cut and we got kicked off the line. We scrambled to get everything back online, which took a few minutes. By the time we jumped back on a few dozen participants had dropped off. I could see my colleague was visibly disappointed. We finished up and in the debrief I smiled and said “Look don’t worry about it. This is God’s business not mine and not yours. If he wants it to be successful, a little power outage isn’t going to stop him.” We have several entrepreneurs at our house church, and on Saturday we were discussing what it means to really know that your business is not your own. Life has its ups and downs, but when we’re really connected with the Spirit, we are naturally strong and courageous, because the battle is already won. Lord, thank you for fighting all my battles. Thank you for conquering it all on the cross. Thank you that I can be strong and courageous. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 11:23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain ‘Go throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in their heart that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” At dinner on Saturday night, our first son Kyan started throwing a tantrum because he didn’t have any food that he liked on the dinner table. I explained a framework developed by Stephen Covey in his bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I explained the logic as follows. “We each have certain issues that we’re concerned about. Let’s call that the circle of concern. Then we have some things that we can control, which is the circle of control. The problem is that we are often concerned with things that we have no control over, and that leads to wasted mental effort and undue stress. The circle of concern is bigger than the circle of control, and all the space between the two represents the time you waste stressing about stuff that you can’t change. So if you shrink your circle of concern to the size of your circle of control, you’ll get better outcomes because you’re putting more of your energy into stuff that generates a yield on your effort. Also you’ll be less worried and able to enjoy life more. Like right now you don’t have food that you like, but there’s nothing we can do about that. So instead of throwing a tantrum, maybe you should focus on what you can control. Like if you tell us what you want us to stock for tomorrow’s meal that’s something you can influence.” Since the book came out in 1989, this framework has influenced millions of people and helped them to get better outcomes. It has made a tremendous impact on my life too. But as I walked upstairs to prepare the kids for their daily devotional, I realized that I had it all wrong. “Hey boys, I think I just taught you the wrong thing. See the world says that you should shrink your circle of concern to match the circle of influence so you can maximize your yield on mental energy. But Jesus tells us to increase our perceived circle of influence to match the circle of concern. That means having faith to believe God can change anything when you pray and walk earnestly alongside Him.” I then gave them some examples of times God came through after challenging me to pray for things that the world would tell me were outside of my control. I’ve seen supernatural healing, changes in the weather, and the hardest of hearts melted. Every day I pray for spiritual revival in North Korea, and according to Stephen Covey, that’d be a complete waste of time. But God calls us to have faith that can move mountains. Lord, I pray that I expand my circle of concern today. I come in line with the reality that my circle of influence expands farther than the eye can see. Because greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The other day at lunch my friend and I got to talking about cryptocurrency. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on impact investing, and expressed some hesitance on getting involved in crypto because “it’s used to launder money for human trafficking and arms dealing.” I took him through my experience at the Billy Graham Library, and my realization that God had used the breakthrough technology of that day (television/radio) to bring billions of people closer into relationship with Jesus. Many pastors believed that Hollywood was evil, just as they believed the internet was evil, and the printing press before that. And while it is true that some segment of people always use technology for nefarious purposes, God has always used technology for His purposes. There are more believers today than there ever have been in the history of the world. John 1:1 says in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. Jesus is the word, and the word is a form of information. So it only makes sense that when the ability to store, process and transfer information doubles every 18 months, it accelerates the spread of God’s love. If you think about money, it has followed the same arc over history. Pieces of silver, coins, bills, then digital money essentially follow the same pattern as wax tablets, paper scrolls, printed books and then computers. If God told us that the most important thing is to value him above all else, how could he not use the world’s store of value to bring more people into relationship with Him? To me it is undeniable that God is using cryptocurrency, blockchain, and web3 for the Kingdom. We’ve been investing in the space since 2013, and I can’t think of one believer I’d met in the space for the last 8 years. But just in the last couple months I’ve met multiple people who are influential in the crypto world and totally on fire for God. I’ve told them all that He’s placed them here for such a time as this. Lord, I value you more than value itself. I know you are more important than money. I also know that you are using the future of money for Kingdom purposes. I submit all my plans to yours, and lay down any preconceptions I have about what you’re doing. I just want to join you in your work. In Jesus’ name, Amen.