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Book Review: Marketplace Memos – Invest Yourself in the Business of God’s Kingdom by David Shibley & Jonathan Shibley

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Jesus calls us to glorify His name across the earth and in all spheres of life. His Lordship extends over individuals, families and into the domain of business. Indeed, with a reported 2,000 verses dealing with how we acquire and use money and possessions, Christians should be sitting up and taking note of the ways in which we acquire and steward the blessings God gives us. In Marketplace Memos the father and son writing team of David and Jonathan Shibley present 39 devotional insights (memos) for business leaders.

Now don’t roll your eyes. I realize that many titles on leadership, money and business have been written from a Christian perspective in recent years. Thankfully, the Sibley’s have written a title that goes far beyond basic leadership advice, best practices, and business tips. They boldly venture into the core of your relationship with Jesus, challenging both experienced and aspiring business leaders to place their walk in faith at the forefront of their lives.

The teachings offered are sound and biblical; as such they expand into all areas of life. I found many of the topics explored were also relevant to my own life and ministry to my family and children. Isn’t that the beauty of scripture? It speaks to us where we are in life no matter our situation. In a like way Marketplace Memos spoke deeply into my own life – I can’t wait to share it with others.

The breadth and depth of the topics explored ranges from biblical views of money, using your business as a ministry, charitable giving, eternal rewards, family priorities, marriage, partnerships, networking advice and many more. There are practical nuggets of advice to be mined that are incorporated carefully within the devotional context. Each brief memo, or devotional chapter is two to four pages in length and concludes with an applicable scripture verse (Remember); a concise quote from a Christian thinker or the authors (Reflect); suggested prayer points relating to the topic (Pray); and ways to incorporate and build upon the teachings in your own life (Act).

Marketplace Memos is divided into three categories of devotional insights. Part 1 “True Riches – Thinking Biblically About Money and Wealth” presents a balanced, accurate viewpoint of money, its’ uses, and guidance on avoiding entrapment. The Shibley’s steer the straight and narrow as they avoid slipping into either the popular prosperity movement teachings or into asceticism. If your view of money veers strongly into one camp or the other, the Shibley’s sharing of scripture will help to correct your mind-set.

Part Two “Kingdom Business – Your Marketplace Ministry” provides the inspiration and encouragement to view your business as a ministry. The Shibley’s lead readers into considering how their role in the marketplace can reach others for Christ, finance missions and serve as salt and light in all their business transactions. Part Three “Leaving a Legacy – For Christ, His Commission, and His Kingdom” explores how your life, integrity and contributions to the world can serve as a platform for future generations to launch from.

Short snippets from scripture are sprinkled liberally throughout the text, numbered, and included in the endnotes that provide the entire scripture reference, as well as bibliographic information for other works the authors quote from. In the introduction the Sibley’s suggest you read with a prayerful heart, open Bible (you’ll need it) and open spirit.

Expect the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read. We believe God will give you ideas for business breakthroughs as you read these memos with your spirit wide open to hear from His spirit.

I’m in agreement. I certainly heard from God through this opening of the word in respect to the financial aspects of life. Continually focused upon Christ, His Kingdom and the Great Commission, business people will be challenged by Marketplace Memos to dig deeper and go further in their faith.

About Jennifer Bogart