Our Mission

To present Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to business and professional men and to develop Christian business and professional men to carry out the Great Commission.

Mark 12.34 observes, realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, You are not far from the Kingdom of God.

Knowing and doing are not the same. We inherently know this in our dealings with people, especially family. We know our spouse loves us but sometimes their actions are hurtful. We know our children know what they are to do but they often fail to do what they have been made responsible to do.

On and on it goes in our experience of the gap between knowing and doing, both in our own lives as well as the lives of others. God too knows there is a gap in our lives; the gap between believing in Him and obeying Him. There is a gap between the concept of God that exists in our heads and the acknowledgement of God demonstrated through our words and deeds. This gap will keep us from heaven if we don’t close it.

It will not work for us to defend ourselves at judgement with the plea that we meant to obey God but just couldn’t, wouldn’t, or forgot. A perfect God, a just God, a holy God must require no gap between knowing what we are to do and actually doing what we are required to do. If He did allow such a gap then He would no longer be just, He would be subjective, He would be discriminatory, biased and prejudiced. This would make Him more like us than God.

This by the way is how all the gods are outside of the One true God, the God of the Bible. The other gods are made by man which causes them to have human tendencies and so they discriminate among gender, race or income. Not so the Christian God.

The gap between knowing and doing has been bridged through Jesus the God-Man Who lived among us as Savior. His cross is the symbol of His reach between man on one side of the gap with God on the other. He pulls us together closing the gap. He knew God perfectly and He obeyed God perfectly. Since He rose from the dead after being punished for the gap all of humanity could never bridge He now lives to pardon everyone who comes to Him for mercy.

Our good deeds, our good intentions, our choosing to ignore God, will not bridge the gap between what we know or are to know about God and what we are to do in obedience to God. We either face judgement alone and try to explain why we failed to close the gap with God or we face judgement behind Jesus Who closed the gap on our behalf and led us to peace with God.

His Opportunities

  1. THIS, Tuesday, April 19th at the City Rescue Mission from noon until 1pm is your next CBMC Rescue Luncheon. This is your opportunity to serve lunch to the men and women who depend upon the Mission for their meal. Commit Here
  2. April 29th, Friday, Conversational Apologetics with Andy Bannister. Andy is the lead apologist for Ravi Zacharias Ministry in Canada. 7.30-8.30am at the Crafty Palate on Washington Sq. Cost is free but you must pre-register HERE
  3. May 18th, Wednesday, Michigan Prayer Breakfast. 7.30am-9am at the Lansing Center. This year’s speaker is Luis Palau. Buy your table and register for this event HERE.

You can support CBMC today. DONATE

CBMC Central Michigan 6011 W. St. Joseph Ste. 401 Lansing 48917  / 517 481 5996  www.lansing.cbmc.com

A service to the business community

A Publication of CBMC International
April 18, 2016

The Purpose of Business

by Jim Mathis

In 1968, at the start of a class on financial management at Kansas State University, my professor entered the room and wrote on the board, “The purpose of every business organization is to increase the wealth of the owners.” This statement appeared on every exam. Owners of a publicly traded corporation are the stockholders, the professor explained, so the purpose of a publicly traded corporation is to increase the value of stocks or dividends to benefit them.

This assertion did not ring true for me, however, because I knew a lot of business owners and few of them were in business solely to increase wealth. Most of them worked to achieve a desired standard of living or to use a specific skill. Like my classmates, I had grown up in the “superficial 50’s,” an era that was emotionally stunted in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. During those years few people were ready for soul-searching about their “purpose”; but by 1968 a revolution was underway. People my age wanted to do something important, something with significance beyond themselves.

I started my first business in 1973 to solve a specific problem – creating high-quality black-and-white photos. I have spent the rest of life developing other skills to help others. For a number of years I had employees, so another purpose was to provide jobs and empower them to help our customers. Contrary to the professor’s declaration, increasing wealth has never been my priority or purpose in business.

There remain corporations whose purpose is to “increase the wealth of the owners,” but many like that exist only in history books today. Some of their executives have served time in prison for ethical and criminal violations. The idea of “shareholders” has been replaced with “stakeholders” – shareholders, employees, clients, creditors, and anyone else with a vested interest in the organization. I would hope colleges have stopped trying to convince students that the only purpose of a business is to increase stock value, but it would be hard to know that based on some of the disastrous decisions being made.

When I speak to entrepreneurial students, I emphasize most successful businesses start with a skilled person having a sincere desire to serve others. Many passages of the Bible advise that for those who follow Jesus Christ, this should be a primary purpose. For example:

Serving, rather than being served. Many in ownership and top executive roles may act as if others are there to serve them, but Jesus – God in the flesh – did not hold that attitude at all.“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 

Resolving to put others first. If we determine to focus on the needs and interests of others, we will receive a good return not only financially but also in good reputation. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Reaping everlasting dividends. Concentrating only on wealth and profits reflects short-term thinking. It fails to consider the long-term health of the organization – or the eternal benefits gained by focusing on others. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

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