Written by: Unknown Posted on: 05/12/2003
Category: Bible Studies
Lifestyle Leadership Series
Lesson 1 Lifestyle ÿLeadership Class 1.
Lesson 2 Communication.
Lesson 3 Difficulties and Resoultion.
Lesson 4 Source of Power.
Lesson 5 Traits of Character.
Lesson 6 Dangers of Leadership.
Lesson 7 Attitude toward Others.
Lesson 8 Inner Lifestyle I.
Lesson 9 Inner Lifestyle II.
Lesson 10 Inner Lifestyle III.
James ÿ3:1 ÿtells us of the greater responsibility ÿof ÿthe
leader ÿas ÿcalled by God: ÿ"My brethren, ÿbe not ÿmany ÿmasters,
knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."
It is important that we take note of the fact that a leader
will ÿbe ÿheld ÿin more severe and stricter ÿjudgement ÿthan ÿhis
followers. ÿÿThe very next sentence informs us that "For in many
things we offend all."
Because ÿwe stumble as humans will, ÿand because we ÿoffend
others when we "slip" we usually maintain that we are not "called
to ÿbe ÿa ÿleader." ÿÿThe world has set up ÿmany ÿstandards ÿfor
leadership, ÿÿwhich many believers think should be the ÿstandards
that ÿGod uses to select His leaders. ÿUsing God's WORD and ÿthe
guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will look at the examples God has
set ÿbefore us to see what God wants us to know about ÿleadership
in His Kingdom.
What do we know about Moses? We are usually well versed in
the ÿlife ÿof Moses and the reed basket that carried him ÿto ÿthe
daughter ÿof Pharaoh. ÿWe also know that he was highly educated,
and accustomed to power, prestige and comfort. At his calling by
God, ÿwhere was Moses? At the backside of the dessert engaged in
one of the lowliest occupations of that day. ÿHe could have been
embittered ÿand blamed society for his troubles. ÿHe could ÿhave
been to his own party, ÿa pity party, ÿand been so wrapped in his
decline from acclaim that he might have missed the calling of the
Lord. ÿ(He was even, in this job of sheep herder, having to work
for his in-laws!)
Let's turn to Exodus 3:2 ÿand see what happened. ÿ"And the
angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the
midst of a bush; ÿand he looked, and behold, the bush burned with
fire and the bush was not consumed."
It ÿis important to take special note that the ÿvery ÿFIRST
action taken by God was to reveal Himself to Moses (v:5,6). ÿÿIf
we are asked to serve in some capacity, ÿmake certain that God is
in it. ÿDon't move an inch until you have determined the will of
God in the matter. ÿMany times the will of God is made clear ÿto
us suddenly, ÿother times we have to wait, abide, ÿuntil He makes
it clear. ÿWe can be certain of this - God will show you. God is
not a God of confusion and He is well able to communicate to ÿHis
children, if they are listening.
In Psalm 32:8 ÿGod tells us "I will instruct thee and teach
thee in the way which thou shalt go: I ÿwill guide thee with Mine
eye." ÿÿGuidance is God's responsibility - "I will instruct. ÿI
will teach. ÿI ÿwill guide." ÿIn Psalm 48:14 ÿwe are ÿinformed:
"For this God is our God for ever and ever: ÿHe will be our guide
even unto death." ÿJust as Moses was certain, ÿwe can be certain
that God has spoken.
The second action taken by God was to reveal to Moses ÿthat
He, ÿtoo, ÿhad a burden for His people. ÿ"And the Lord said, ÿ'I
have ÿsurely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt,
and ÿhave heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; ÿfor ÿI
know their sorrows'"(3:7).
Can you picture Moses? ÿThe very burden that had been ÿthe
cause ÿof ÿhis ÿremoval and exile from Egypt was shared ÿby ÿGod!
Then God stated "I AM come down to deliver them out of the ÿhand
of ÿthe Egyptians, ÿand to bring them up out of that land unto ÿa
good ÿland and a large, ÿunto a land flowing with milk and honey"
Now picture Moses. ÿI can see him thinking, "OH BOY! ÿThis
powerful ÿGod ÿis ÿgoing ÿto remedy ÿthe ÿmatter ÿand ÿstraighten
everything ÿout! ÿÿGod, ÿHimself, ÿwas going to PERSONALLY ÿtake
Then the other shoe is dropped! God tells Moses "Come now,
therefore, ÿÿand I will send thee unto Pharaoh, ÿthat thou mayest
bring ÿforth ÿMy ÿpeople the children of ÿIsrael ÿout ÿof ÿEgypt"
Now, ÿÿwhat is running in the mind of Moses? ÿ"But-But-But
YOU ÿsaid YOU were going to do it YOURSELF! ÿIf YOU are going to
do it, why do I need to go?"
Right ÿÿhere ÿis ÿthe ÿcrossroads ÿof ÿour ÿlives ÿin ÿÿour
relationship with God. ÿIt is important to commit to our ÿhearts
that ÿGod's method is to use His children to accomplish His ÿplan
and purposes. ÿWhen we can understand this, then we can begin to
understand our role in the Kingdom of God.
What is the immediate response of Moses in verse 11? ÿLook
at his statement. ÿWhat was God's response to that question? It
was so immaterial to God's plan that God did not even acknowledge
the "Who am I" of Moses!
Here, God allows us one of the first concepts of leadership
in His kingdom. ÿIn verse 12 ÿGod states: ÿ"Certainly I will be
with ÿthee." ÿÿGod ÿtells us all a powerful ÿtruth ÿby ÿHis ÿnot
acknowledging ÿthe cry of Moses. ÿIn our terms, ÿGod told ÿMoses
that it didn't matter who Moses was, ÿwhether he was qualified or
unqualified, ÿÿwhether he was capable or incapable. ÿGod ÿstates
clearly "I AM going to be there, ÿI ÿAM going to do it, ÿand I AM
going ÿto give you the blessing and privilege of being in it with
me ÿ- ÿin ÿfact ÿI ÿAM going to ÿuse ÿyou ÿas ÿmy ÿinstrument ÿof
In II Corinthians 3:5, the Apostle Paul tells us, "Not that
we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves,
but ÿour ÿsufficiency is of God." ÿIn God's Kingdom, ÿit ÿis ÿan
asset, ÿÿnot ÿa ÿhandicap, ÿto have a strong sense ÿof ÿneed ÿand
inadequacy. ÿLater, in chapter 12:9,10, Paul confirms this idea.
"And He said unto me, ÿ'My grace is sufficient for thee: ÿfor ÿMy
strength ÿis made perfect in weakness.' ÿMost ÿgladly ÿtherefore
will I rather glory in my infirmities, ÿthat the power of ÿChrist
may ÿrest ÿupon me .... ÿFor when I am weak, ÿthen I am ÿstrong."
Look again, ÿPaul - the Apostle to the Gentile (us) ÿfelt exactly
like we do! ÿBut, ÿbecause he acknowledged the method of God was
to ÿwork through men, ÿGod used him in a mighty way to accomplish
His Plan and Purpose - to give the Gospel to us!
Let's ÿgo ÿback ÿto Exodus 3:13 ÿwhere Moses ÿsays ÿto ÿGod
"Behold, ÿÿwhen I come unto the children of Israel and ÿsay ÿunto
them, ÿ'The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you': ÿand they
shall ÿsay ÿunto me, ÿ'What is His name?' ÿwhat shall I say ÿunto
Again, ÿÿin God's way we are given an answer that man would
not have conceived: "And God said unto Moses, ÿ"I AM THAT I AM":
and He said, "thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, 'I
AM hath sent me unto you.'"
Now read through verse 15. ÿI ÿhave always looked at ÿthat
statement ÿof God and His declaration of His self-existent nature
- ÿÿthat ÿis until this study. ÿCan you see what I see ÿin ÿthat
statement of I AM? I see God telling me: ÿ"Whatever you need to
do as I send, ÿthat is what I AM." He is telling each of us that
whatever we need - Comfort? ÿ- ÿI ÿAM your comfort (1 ÿPeter 5:7)
Victory ÿover ÿa ÿsin ÿthat ails us? ÿ- ÿI ÿAM ÿyour ÿvictory ÿ(I
Corinthians 15:57) Love? - I AM love (I John 4:8). ÿLook it over
- ÿis there any area that you can think of that God cannot ÿfill.
God's ÿstatement ÿof I AM can be held in our heart as "I ÿAM ÿall
that my people need."
Our ÿknowledge ÿof Gideon is usually centered on ÿthe ÿmany
battles ÿand victories won by this warrior of God. ÿWith just ÿa
handful of men, ÿGideon was able to defeat large armies. ÿÿBold,
courageous ÿand ÿvaliant ÿare ÿterms that I have ÿheard ÿused ÿto
describe ÿthis ÿmighty man of God. ÿLet's look at the record ÿin
Scripture. Judges 6:1 ÿtells us the condition of the children of
Israel. ÿÿThey were suffering oppression under the rule ÿof ÿthe
Midianites ÿ- ÿhiding ÿin caves in the mountains ÿ- ÿtheir ÿcrops
ruined by their oppressors. ÿWhy? ÿVerse 6 tells us: ÿ"And the
children ÿof ÿIsrael did evil in the sight of the Lord; ÿand ÿthe
Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years."
One night, ÿGideon was found by God threshing some wheat to
hide it from the Midianites. ÿGod sent His angel to tell ÿGideon
that ÿhe ÿwas to be God's instrument to deliver Israel ÿfrom ÿthe
Midianites. ÿVerse 15 gives us Gideon's first response: ÿ"Oh my
Lord, ÿwherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, ÿmy family is poor
in Manasseh, ÿand I am the least in my father's house." ÿLook at
God's response. Recall Moses?
Again, God pays no attention to the cry of man to prove his
worthlessness ÿ- ÿGod ÿis well aware of that fact ÿand ÿneeds ÿno
God responds: "Surely I will be with thee, ÿand thou shalt
smite the Midianites as one man." ÿGod, in essence, tells Gideon
and ÿus that "it doesn't matter who you are, ÿbut that I AM ÿwith
thee. ÿIt is not how weak you are, but how My strength will work
One ÿof ÿthe great prophets of God. ÿCalled ÿthe ÿ"weeping
prophet" ÿbecause of his broken heart at the sin of Israel before
the ÿLord. ÿÿRecalled ÿby every minister of the Gospel ÿfor ÿhis
success ÿand his determination to do God's will. ÿLet's look ÿat
Jeremiah ÿ1:4,5 ÿshows us how God took the first ÿstep ÿand
communicated with Jeremiah: ÿ"Then the word of the Lord came unto
me, ÿsaying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; ÿand
before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I
ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.'" Now, a prophet is to
declare the Word of God. In the Old Testament, prophets declared
God's doctrines, today they expound on them. Do we find Jeremiah
jumping at the chance to answer this call? ÿ"Then said I, ÿÿ'Ah,
Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child.'"
The ÿnext two verses give us the response God wants each of
us ÿto ÿacknowledge when we come off with excuses. ÿÿRead ÿthese
verses. ÿ"Say not, 'I am a child,' for thou shalt go to all that
I ÿshall ÿsend ÿthee, ÿand whatsoever I command thee ÿthou ÿshalt
speak. ÿÿBe ÿnot afraid of their faces: ÿfor I AM ÿwith ÿthee ÿto
deliver thee." ÿAgain, "I AM with thee." ÿGod was by Jeremiah's
side and He promises to be at our side. ÿGod further promises to
us, ÿÿthrough His words to Jeremiah in verse 19 ÿ"And they ÿshall
fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; ÿfor
I AM with thee 'sayeth the Lord', "to deliver thee."
Now, ÿJesus Christ gave each of us one last order before He
departed: ÿ"Go and make disciples of all the nations." ÿHe ÿthen
proceeds in Matthew 28:20 ÿto give us the same basis for ÿserving
Him ÿwith ÿconfidence that He gave to these others of the ÿFaith,
"Lo, ÿÿI ÿAM with you always..." ÿThe message is still the ÿsame
"Yesterday, ÿÿtoday and tomorrow" ÿand we need to plant it in our
hearts "I AM with you."
One ÿof ÿthe ÿareas where the devil has ÿa ÿplayground ÿand
neutralizes ÿÿour ÿresponse ÿto ÿGod's ÿcall ÿis ÿto ÿmake ÿÿsome
disparaging remark about something EVIL in our background. Satan
tells ÿus ÿthat we cannot be used of God with THIS THING ÿin ÿour
past or that it will hinder any work God may have for us. Again,
God's ÿway is not the way of the world. ÿTurn to Acts ÿ22:19-20.
In shame, ÿPaul tells us what his past was "I imprisoned and beat
in every synagogue them that believed on Thee; And when the blood
of ÿThy ÿmartyr Stephen was shed, ÿI ÿalso was standing by, ÿÿand
consenting ÿunto ÿhis death, ÿand kept the rainment of them ÿthat
slew ÿhim." ÿPaul further elaborated in I Corinthians ÿ15:9 ÿÿin
claiming that he was "not meet to be called an Apostle, because I
persecuted the church of God."
Do ÿyou relate to this? ÿLook at I Timothy 1:12,13 ÿÿwhere
Paul ÿstates why he is at peace by saying "I thank ÿJesus ÿChrist
our Lord, ÿwho hath enabled me, ÿfor that He counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry, ÿwho was before a blasphemer, and a
persecutor, and injurious."
Now, ÿaccording to the standards of the world (Satan) ÿthis
man Paul was unfit for anything! But in God's way and God's plan
Paul ÿwas to be a mighty vessel for God to pour forth His Love to
us all. ÿHowever; ÿeven the Apostle Paul showed how human he was
when evaluating others for leadership.
We ÿlook ÿat ÿthe matter of John Mark. ÿBecause ÿof ÿprior
failures ÿand unfaithfulness, ÿPaul refused to allow John Mark to
accompany him (Acts 15:36-38). This is the very man that God had
called ÿto ÿbe the author of the Gospel of Mark, ÿÿwhich ÿis ÿthe
Gospel ÿthat ÿtells ÿus about the faithful servanthood ÿof ÿJesus
Christ. ÿÿIt ÿwasn't on the basis of Mark's background that ÿGod
selected him for His service.
The ÿpoint ÿis, ÿwhen God calls you, ÿby His Word, ÿby ÿHis
servants ÿand ÿministers ÿor by answer to prayer we ÿare ÿto ÿlet
neither a feeling of being inadequate or having a "past" restrain
us ÿfrom ÿfollowing ÿHis ÿcall. ÿAs a final ÿmessage, ÿÿlook ÿat
Philippians 2:13 ÿ"For it is God which worketh in you, ÿboth ÿto
will ÿand to do His good pleasure." ÿI ÿask that you seek Him to
outline ÿto you the area of leadership that He has called you ÿto
as an immediate area of service, ÿwhether it be in the home or on
your job, ÿas father or mother, ÿas supervisor or employee, ÿas a
Sunday ÿSchool ÿteacher or a youth counselor. ÿWherever God ÿhas
called, ÿÿpray that He will communicate to you what He wants done
and that you will be open to follow His leading.
If you want to have a guideline on how to determine or test
an INNER MESSAGE I suggest the following:
(1) ÿIs it scriptural and in context with the entire Bible. (The
Bible ÿis ÿconsistent from Genesis to Revelation ÿand ÿshould ÿbe
followed ÿin ÿcontext. ÿÿOut of context, ÿthe Bible is ÿused ÿto
justify many actions that God would not want.)
(2) ÿLook for counsel from friends who are (also) ÿseeking ÿGod's
leading. ÿÿ(God uses your friends as His voice many times, ÿÿand
encourages the fellowship with one another for this purpose.)
(3) Acknowledge and expect Providential circumstances. (God will
open doors for His plan to be accomplished. ÿHe will arrange for
certain people or circumstances to confirm His will and plan.)
(4) Apply our own judgement in a form of Sanctified Common Sense.
(So many believers today are less than effective in their witness
due ÿto their failure to hear that inner voice of the Holy Spirit
and ÿto heed that voice. ÿOnce we hear that voice and the ÿabove
conditions ÿare ÿmet, ÿÿthen we are to APPLY that ÿto ÿour ÿdaily
The ÿstory ÿis ÿtold about a mouse ÿand ÿan ÿelephant ÿthat
traveled together for many years. One day they arrived at one of
those ÿhanging rope bridges over a ravine and began to ÿcross ÿit
together. ÿAs they stepped on the bridge the ropes strained from
the load and the wood slats creaked and swayed in the wind. When
they arrived on the other side of the bridge, the mouse looked up
at ÿthe ÿelephant ÿand said, ÿ"Boy we really shook ÿthat ÿbridge,
We, ÿas Christians, ÿmany times fail to recognize the ÿFACT
that we are chosen to have the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE along side
each of us. ÿ"If God be for us, ÿwho can stand against us?" ÿAs
leaders, ÿas EKKLESIA, ÿwe need to be mindful of this fact in our
lives. ÿÿPrayfully we will look back after a "shaky bridge" ÿÿof
life ÿand ÿbe able to look at God and say the same words as ÿthat
little mouse - "Boy did WE really shake them up, Lord!"
One ÿmajor area where many of us need special grace ÿis ÿin
the area of COMMUNICATION. ÿGod left His Word to allow us to ÿbe
informed. ÿWHY? ÿBecause it is the very nature of God to inform
His ÿpeople ÿof ÿwhat ÿis necessary to allow us ÿto ÿperform ÿour
calling. ÿÿThe Psalmist tells us that "He made known His ways to
Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel" (Psalm 103:7).
"In the know" is a catch phrase used to designate a special
group ÿof ÿpeople ÿwith extra information not normally ÿgiven ÿto
others. ÿThe Leader of Christ's Kingdom should make certain that
everyone ÿthat ÿthe leader is in authority over, ÿÿis ÿassured ÿa
position of being "in the know."
Turn to Colossians 4:7-9 ÿand see what Paul told this ÿbody
of ÿbelievers. ÿLook at II Timothy 4:20. ÿLook at Romans 16:21,
and ÿII ÿTimothy 4:11. ÿWhy does God through Paul allow so ÿmuch
Scripture to be used to "update" some of the believers. WHY? To
motivate or keep them motivated? ÿTo involve them with what Paul
was doing? To inspire some additional prayer warriors? ÿTo show
them ÿthey ÿwere important to the Kingdom of God and His work ÿin
the world? ÿALL OF THE ABOVE! ÿWe should take special note ÿand
put this concern for communication to others in our heart. ÿÿOur
LIFESTYLE ÿshould ÿreflect that we inform those with whom we ÿare
Proverbs 15:7 gives us the reverse to review. "The lips of
the wise spread knowledge, ÿbut the hearts of fools are not ÿso."
A wise leader spreads the word - a fool does not. Pretty simple?
The Truths of God are in line with this truth, ÿsimple and clear.
We, ÿwhen we give consideration to our own needs, realize that we
have ÿan ÿinsatiable desire to know what is going to ÿaffect ÿour
lives, yet we think that some people don't need to be "let in" on
certain ÿmatters ÿuntil we deem it necessary. ÿBy so doing, ÿÿwe
breed ÿconfusion and misunderstanding and we demoralize those ÿwe
are charged to lead.
We need to increase our ability to be pleasant. ÿ"Pleasant
words ÿare ÿa honeycomb, ÿsweet to the soul and ÿhealing ÿto ÿthe
bones" ÿ(Proverbs 16:24). ÿA ÿleader needs to inform the ÿpeople
with ÿpleasant ÿtones ÿand strive for the ÿresult ÿthat ÿeveryone
involved will have high morale.
Solomon ÿÿhad ÿÿmany ÿwords ÿon ÿthe ÿdifferent ÿkinds ÿÿof
information that a leader is to provide:
"A ÿman has joy in an apt answer, ÿand how delightful is ÿa
timely word!" ÿ(Proverbs 15:23) There is a time to speak. If we
jump the gun and give information before the people are ready ÿwe
may ÿcause our brother to stumble; ÿyet if we wait too long, ÿthe
"rumor mill" ÿgets into gear and causes disruptions. ÿThe leader
must ÿseek God's will and plan and time. ÿGod will make ÿcertain
that ÿthe ÿleader ÿis given what is necessary to perform ÿas ÿGod
"Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne
by righteousness" ÿ(Proverbs 20:28). People will not, knowingly,
follow ÿa ÿliar, ÿanyone who does not tell the full truth at ÿall
times. ÿThe leader who tells the TRUTH in all situations creates
an ÿenvironment of trust, ÿand God uses this environment to ÿmove
His kingdom forward. ÿEven "white lies" ÿcan prepare a road that
people do not trust, and where people cannot trust fully, ÿpeople
do not go.
"The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable" ÿÿ(Proverbs
15:2). ÿToo much, ÿtoo soon can breed many negative fruits. ÿÿA
Leader ÿneeds to pray continually for guidance that he tells ÿthe
necessary ÿinformation ÿto ÿthose under his charge and ÿdoes ÿnot
"overload" ÿÿthe circuits by giving too much. ÿÿThe ÿinformation
withheld cannot be vital information, ÿbut information that would
not assist the follower.
"The ÿheart ÿof ÿthe ÿwise teaches ÿhis ÿmouth, ÿÿand ÿadds
persuasiveness to his lips." ÿLeaders motivated by their ÿhearts
are persuasive. How many of you have been turned off by a leader
quoting from so-and-so or Dr. ÿSo-and-So? ÿLeadership means that
you ÿhave taken a position in front and are ready to ÿshare ÿwhat
happens ÿto you "up there" ÿto those behind you to show that ÿGod
Paul, ÿagain to the Colossians wrote: "Whatsoever ye do, ÿdo
it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." ÿ"Whatsoever thy
hand findeth to do, ÿdo it with thy might; ÿfor there is no work,
nor device, ÿnor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou
goest" ÿ(Colossians 3:23 & ÿEcclesiastes 9:10). ÿGod through two
men ÿof diverse heritage and separated by many hundreds of ÿyears
both spoke what God told them to say - exhorting us to strive for
the excellence and wholeheartedness that God does EVERYTHING!
How ÿdo we respond, ÿwe say "Take it easy" ÿor "Don't ÿBurn
Out" ÿÿor "Don't work too hard, ÿbuddy." ÿThis whole attitude is
seen ÿin the world today and contributes to its mediocrity. ÿÿWe
best ÿbe ÿaware that that is what lies ahead for us if ÿwe ÿadopt
this ÿhalf-hearted attitude. ÿOur standards and our ÿperformance
MUST be high. ÿGod set a standard of PERFECTION. ÿWe must ÿopen
our ÿhearts ÿto ÿhave Him produce His PERFECT works ÿthrough ÿour
wholehearted dedication to Him.
Jesus tells us today: ÿ"If any man will come after Me, ÿlet
him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me," and
Jesus ÿMEANT ÿevery ÿword of this passage! ÿWe ÿas ÿleaders ÿare
blessed ÿthat we build for the present. ÿWhat we do has ÿpresent
results. ÿWe must be mindful that our LIFESTYLE also builds ÿfor
the ÿfuture. ÿIf our heart is not TOTAL for the Lord, ÿwhat will
our "charges" be like? Fire is the only thing that kindles fire.
We are charged by Jesus to be the igniters of the world, yet many
of us think, ÿ"Well, I spent my hour of devotion today, ÿnow I'll
watch the football game!" ÿIn John 2:17, ÿwe read the words "The
zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up." ÿCan we show the power of
Christ and have the zeal of Christ? If not, then who!?
Jesus also gave us the commandment of Mark 12:29-30. ÿRead
these verses. ÿThey remain in His Word and are as valid TODAY as
they were when Jesus spoke them. In the Army, there is a saying:
"When ÿwe ÿplay men's games ONLY men will come to play." ÿIf ÿwe
have ÿa LIFESTYLE of this standard of WHOLEHEARTEDNESS, ÿwe ÿwill
attract those of like desire.
Everything in this world will pass away. ÿNothing is going
to remain! Two things will survive the events of Revelation, the
Word ÿof God and the souls of mankind! ÿEach of the ÿleaders ÿwe
read ÿof in the Scripture were not sidetracked from their ÿchosen
path, ÿÿÿor ÿwere ÿfainthearted ÿbecause ÿof ÿoverwhelming ÿodds.
Ridicule, ÿÿopposition and even death did not deter those who had
given ÿtheir ÿwhole ÿheart ÿto God and ÿwere ÿof ÿone ÿpurpose ÿ-
singleminded in purpose.
Our ÿlife is too short. ÿJames 4:14 ÿgives us God's ÿview.
Keep ÿthis ÿin your minds and hearts. ÿHebrews 12:1-2 ÿtells ÿus
where we are to look. Turn there.
Everything that we do as 'sent' ÿmessengers and ambassadors
of ÿÿthe ÿKing ÿis ÿanother ÿreason ÿfor ÿsinglemindedness. ÿÿÿI
Corinthians 15:58 tells us "Therefore my beloved brethren, ÿbe ye
steadfast, ÿunmovable, ÿalways abounding in the work of the Lord,
for ÿas ÿmuch ÿas ye know THAT YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN ÿin ÿthe
LORD." ÿWe are GUARANTEED that what we do in service TO THE LORD
is worth something EVERLASTING!
A rich woman had a dream about being allowed to walk on the
streets ÿof heaven. ÿShe came to a large structure and asked who
that MANSION was being built for. ÿShe was told the name and she
remarked, ÿ"That is my gardener. He wastes his money on the poor
and ÿlives ÿin a small house. ÿWhy should he get such a ÿhouse?"
The ÿworkmen ÿtold ÿher to take the matter ÿup ÿwith ÿthe ÿMaster
Builder; ÿso she proceeded down the street. ÿShortly she came to
another ÿstructure, ÿvery small and shabby. ÿShe asked who ÿthat
house was for and she was given a name. She realized that it was
HER NAME! ÿShe stated, "Why, I ÿlive in a big mansion and have a
big car and want for nothing. Why should I live here?" Again she
was told to take the matter up with the Master Builder. She then
dreamed ÿshe ÿwas ÿbefore the Master Builder and ÿasked ÿwhy ÿthe
difference ÿin buildings. ÿThe Master Builder looked her in ÿthe
eye, ÿand tears were in His, when He said; "Daughter, I ÿcan only
build with what you send up here for me to use."
Luke ÿtells us of the time that Jesus "Steadfastly set ÿHis
face ÿto go to Jerusalem." ÿJesus is our best example, ÿand Paul
sets the course in his letter to the Philippians (3:13-14). Read
this ÿpassage. ÿIn both instances, ÿboth knew what lay ahead ÿof
them. ÿÿOne, ÿJesus, ÿwas the LEADER by LIFESTYLE and Paul, ÿthe
follower ÿof the Perfect Leader. ÿPaul elaborates in Acts 20:24.
Read ÿthis passage. ÿNow, ÿI ÿcall your attention to ÿColossians
4:17, ÿwhere WE are told: "Say to Archippus (or John, or Sally or
...), ÿ"Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the
Lord that thou may fulfill it."
Each of us is called to a LIFE and a LIFESTYLE to follow, a
mission to complete, a path to walk on without straying. We need
God ÿand His indwelling power and strength to make it to the end,
because it IS HARD! Praise God that you have been chosen to lead
where many do not walk.
Difficulties and Resolution
You ÿhave been chosen to lead. ÿYou have prayed ÿabout ÿthe
calling ÿand ÿare ÿdoing all possible to be in the Will ÿof ÿGod.
Yet, ÿyou find the going tough, ÿdifficulties arise and ÿproblems
abound. ÿÿThe problems always seem to fall into two categories ÿ-
problems ÿin ÿour ÿpersonal lives and ÿwitness ÿand ÿproblems ÿor
friction in the group.
God, ÿin His Holy Scriptures gives us many "case histories"
of leaders who became embroiled in difficulties and problems. We
have ÿreviewed many of these leaders in this study, ÿbut ÿnot ÿin
relation to the problems that they faced.
Moses was the first leader that we began with, ÿand we ÿnow
are ÿable to use Moses as our example of how problems come ÿabout
and ÿhow ÿthey ÿcan be handled in the manner ÿGod ÿwould ÿdesire.
Moses ÿgot himself into a situation because he acted in much ÿthe
same way that we seem to operate. ÿMoses came to believe that he
alone was capable of leading the nation of Israel. Today, we have
many ÿpeople ÿwho have the motto "If you want a job ÿdone ÿright,
then you have got to do it yourself!"
All ÿthat we read about Moses shows us that he was involved
in ÿthe lives of his charges - the children of Israel. ÿThis very
strength became his weakness.
Turn ÿto ÿExodus ÿ18:13. ÿCan you picture ÿthe ÿsituation?
Moses was spending the entire day helping the very people who had
tried to kill him by stoning. ÿMoses was taking all this time to
help ÿthese people. ÿIt is easy to assist those you like and are
nice to you, ÿbut to take this time to help people who have tried
to ÿdo ÿyou ÿwrong?! ÿÿPeople who were hateful? ÿÿWho ÿdid ÿnot
appreciate Moses or his efforts? ÿBut Moses was doing all things
"as unto God" and was demonstrating qualities of God.
Now, ÿin Exodus 18:14, ÿwe find the father-in-law, ÿJethro,
observing Moses and his "waste of time" ÿand questioning Moses as
to ÿwhy. ÿIn the next two verses, ÿMoses gives rational reasons.
Jethro then gives advice, unsolicited, ÿto Moses in the next five
As ÿwe covered in our first session, ÿwe now ÿtake ÿanother
look at the matter. ÿMoses did not "pull rank" or tell Jethro to
keep ÿhis opinions to himself. ÿMoses, ÿbeing a servant ÿof ÿGod,
listened to the advice and adopted the counsel. Why? Let's take
a close look at the advice and counsel.
Moses' ÿÿfirst ÿfunction ÿas a leader was to pray ÿfor ÿthe
people ÿplaced ÿunder his charge. ÿPaul confirms this advice ÿin
Colossians 4:12 ÿwhen he makes the statement: ÿ"Epaphras, ÿwho is
one of you, ÿa ÿservant of Christ, saluteth you, ÿalways laboring
fervently ÿfor ÿyou ÿin prayers, ÿthat ye may stand ÿperfect ÿand
complete ÿin the will of God." ÿWe need to pray for each person
God places in our path - BY NAME. ÿIn our jobs, ÿwe need to pray
for ÿeach person that reports to us, ÿand that we report to - ÿBY
Moses was to teach the Word of God. Our people given to us
to lead cannot DO truth if they don't KNOW the Truth.
Moses was to be SEEN by the people. ÿWe, ÿas leaders ÿmust
tell ÿour people WHAT, ÿtell them WHY, ÿand show them HOW. ÿÿOur
LIFESTYLE ÿmust be one of showing them how to walk with ÿGod ÿand
how ÿto ÿwork ÿfor God. ÿPeople don't learn ÿfrom ÿlectures ÿand
sermons, alone. ÿThe lectures and sermons MUST be accompanied by
LIFESTYLE. ÿÿThose given to us need a pattern to follow, ÿand WE
are to be that example.
Moses ÿwas ÿto delegate his responsibilities. ÿÿMoses ÿwas
trying ÿto ÿdo ÿit ÿall ÿby ÿhimself. ÿÿHe ÿwas ÿdoing ÿall ÿthe
governmental functions, spiritual functions, and social functions
by ÿhimself. ÿJethro tells Moses to "share the load" ÿwith ÿhand
picked ÿpeople. ÿThese selected few would have to have spiritual
depth, ÿÿhave ÿa close relationship with God and with ÿthe ÿworld
around ÿthem. ÿI'm sure that Moses knew that it ÿwas ÿimperative
that ÿthe ÿchoice was of Godly leaders. ÿIt is easier to ÿget ÿa
person into a position than to get them out of it. ÿWhen we have
the ÿright people in the right place, ÿwe are able to break ÿdown
the functions of any job into smaller, more manageable sections.
We, ÿÿas ÿleaders must be cognizant of the FACT that ÿthose
appointed under us are in fact future leaders. By our actions or
lack of action, ÿwe direct these charges into the path that they,
too, will be leaders of their own flock. Several Scriptures give
us the required qualities of these future leaders:
LIKEMINDEDNESS. ÿÿ"For ÿI ÿhave no man likeminded, ÿÿwho ÿwill
naturally care for your state. ÿFor all seek their own, ÿnot the
things which are Jesus Christ's" ÿ(Phil 2:20-21). A ÿleader must
have ÿco-workers that can see the leader's vision and ÿshare ÿthe
leader's goals and objectives. ÿBut it goes beyond JUST sharing.
The ÿco-workers ÿshould have the ability to ÿadopt ÿthe ÿleader's
goals as their own goals, the leaders vision as their own vision.
The ÿleader, ÿthen, ÿmust be prepared to allow the ÿco-worker ÿto
carry ÿout these goal and visions in their own way. ÿThe ÿleader
needs ÿfull ÿagreement ÿon the goals. ÿThe leader ÿneeds ÿto ÿbe
flexible ÿand allow latitude to the co-workers on the methods and
means to accomplish the goal.
A ÿprime ÿexample of similar goals ÿand ÿtotally ÿdifferent
methods ÿcan be found in the two men of God, ÿEzra and ÿNehemiah.
Each ÿwas ÿcommanded of God to rebuild Jerusalem. ÿTurn to ÿEzra
8:21-23. ÿÿNow ÿturn to Nehemiah 2:7-9. ÿSee ÿthe ÿdifference?!
Another ÿstriking difference was in the way that sin in the ÿbody
was handled. Read Ezra 9:3. Now read Nehemiah 13:21, 25. ÿNow,
the same God commanded each of these men to rebuild the city, and
each did it in exact opposite to the other. ÿDoes this mean that
one of the men was wrong? ÿNO, it only means that God dealt with
each ÿman ÿdifferently, ÿbut accomplished the Will of the ÿLiving
FAITHFULNESS. "A faithful man, who can find?" ÿ(Proverbs 20:6).
A co-worker must be faithful, ÿbut such a person is so rare ÿthat
the Scriptures ask the above question. We make the statement and
cry ÿthat today's age is not one for finding faithful ÿpeople ÿof
any nature. ÿPsalms 12:1 tell us "Help, Lord; ÿfor the godly man
ceaseth; for the faithful fall from among the children of men."
Solomon ÿtells the leader to wait for this faithful person.
Psalm ÿ25:19 ÿstates "Confidence in an unfaithful man in time ÿof
trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint."
Jesus ÿtaught that a leader starts a co-worker out in small
task. ÿÿ"He that is faithful in that which is least is ÿfaithful
also in much: ÿand he that is unjust in the least is unjust ÿalso
in much" ÿ(Luke 16:10). ÿA ÿco-worker that cannot carry out ÿthe
small ÿassignments and places IMPORTANCE on any function as being
different ÿÿthat ÿÿany ÿother ÿfunction ÿwill ÿfail ÿÿat ÿÿlarger
assignments. ÿÿTake ÿnotice on those who set up tables or ÿgreet
people ÿat ÿa function. ÿIf their heart is not into these ÿtask,
they will certainly not be in running the function.
Jesus ÿalso ÿtaught ÿthat co-workers must ÿbe ÿFAITHFUL ÿIN
WORKING ÿWITH OTHERS. ÿ"And if ye have not been faithful in that
which is another man's, ÿwho shall give you that which is of your
own?" ÿ(Luke 16:12). Jesus clearly wants each of us to know that
BEFORE ÿHe ÿwill give us responsibility of our own, ÿwe ÿneed ÿto
demonstrate ÿthat ÿwe can work with others and assist ÿthem ÿwith
If you really look at it, this is why there is so much room
at the top. ÿNo one, ÿit seems, ÿwants to "pay the dues" ÿto ÿbe
entrusted ÿwith ÿthe top. ÿThink of Joshua or Elisha - ÿboth ÿof
these ÿmen ÿwere servants of another called of God, ÿÿuntil ÿthat
person was called home. ÿTHEN God chose these two to lead at the
top. So few people, today, are willing to commit to the life and
schedule and responsibility of another. ÿUntil that happens, God
waits to give us greater responsibility.
In ÿActs, ÿÿwe ÿare ÿtold that Moses made ÿthe ÿmistake ÿof
assuming. ÿÿ"For he supposed his brothers would have understood"
(Acts ÿ7:25). ÿÿThey ÿdidn't and Moses had ÿa ÿproblem ÿbrewing.
Disaster is the result of assumptions. ÿA leader, ÿby LIFESTYLE,
will ÿmake ÿcommunication a priority. ÿWe ÿdiscussed ÿthis ÿlast
session, ÿÿbut ÿthis is of such importance that ÿwe ÿare ÿlooking
deeper into this area of leadership. ÿScripture, again, provides
a perfect example of lack of communication. Turn to Joshua 21:43
/ ÿÿ22:10-12. ÿThe resolution of this near disaster is found ÿin
verses 26 and 27. The matter dropped (verse 30).
A ÿpattern develops - quick suspicion leading to ÿincorrect
accusations. Anger developed which led to division, which almost
led to war! A ÿleader must always be on the alert for the attack
of ÿSatan in causing division. ÿThe leader must KNOW that ÿSatan
must ÿdisable ÿthe work of Christians, ÿand this finds ÿits ÿbest
avenue through lack of communicating the activity of the group to
the whole group. ÿThe leader must share the actions and thoughts
for accomplishing goals if the co-worker is to adopt the goals as
his own. Leaders must make personal reports to the co-workers.
Leaders ÿÿmust ÿÿbe ÿeven-handed ÿin ÿÿadministration ÿÿand
coordination of the co-workers. ÿNo job is to be slighted at the
expense ÿof another job, ÿwhich may be more unpleasant. ÿWe ÿsee
fund ÿdrives ÿrolling without regard to evangelism; ÿÿor ÿwe ÿsee
strong ÿevangelism efforts without discipleship being considered.
Imbalance of this nature occurs when the leader focuses on ÿthose
tasks ÿthat ÿhe enjoys and neglects those that take more time ÿor
are ÿless ÿenjoyable. ÿÿThe leader must take the whole ÿjob ÿand
consider ÿeach part important - the bitter with the sweet. ÿMore
than ÿthis, ÿthe leader must be of a willing heart to adopt ÿthis
attitude, not out of resignation, but out of joy and thanksgiving
unto the Lord.
Paul ÿstates that tribulation is our glory! ÿ"And not only
so, ÿbut we glory in tribulation also: ÿknowing that ÿtribulation
worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope;
and ÿhope ÿmaketh not ashamed; ÿbecause the love of God ÿis ÿshed
abroad ÿin ÿour hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto ÿus"
(Romans ÿ5:3-5). ÿÿLeadership ÿdoes not remove the ÿleader ÿfrom
trials ÿand ÿtribulations. ÿÿLeaders ÿhave been ÿknown ÿto ÿhave
arguments with their wife, have financial difficulties, ÿfall ill
- ÿÿin ÿshort ÿ- ÿhave the storms of ÿlife ÿafflict ÿthe ÿleader!
Heartache, ÿtension and confusion are not removed from the leader
- JUST because of the leadership.
"How can any sane person GLORY in tribulation?" ÿThe ÿword
TRIBULATION ÿis ÿderived from the term used to describe the ÿtool
used by harvesters to thresh the wheat to separate the wheat from
the chaff. ÿThe TRIBULUM was chosen for this term and gives us a
clue ÿas to why Paul and other writers tell us that we can ÿGLORY
in tribulation. ÿ(James 1:2-4 and I Peter 4:12). I ÿALWAYS have
joy when I "get out of the pit" - Not when I fall into it! ÿPaul
and ÿthese verses tell us that God uses these attacks of the Evil
one ÿto build our character in Christ. ÿEndurance is ÿmanifested
through ÿthese tribulations. ÿLeadership does not exist ÿwithout
endurance, ÿÿand God uses tribulation to instill endurance into a
God ÿis ÿgreatly ÿmore concerned for ÿour ÿcompleteness ÿin
Christ ÿthan ÿour comfort in the world. ÿGod desires ÿthat ÿmany
aspects of the life of Christ be manifested through us. Paul and
Silas sang in prison. ÿGod used that adversity to bring glory to
the Kingdom of Christ. Paul and Silas had been deprived of their
civil ÿrights ÿand unjustly imprisoned. ÿThey COULD have ÿbecome
bitter, ÿbut in light of the cross of Jesus, ÿthey expressed ÿthe
Joy and Peace that passes all understanding.
Let's ÿread ÿIsaiah ÿ55:8-9. ÿGod has ÿHis ÿways ÿand ÿHis
timetable ÿand ÿHis reasons for the ETERNAL picture ÿand ÿresult.
Paul ÿwas ÿthreatened with death in Antioch and Iconium and ÿleft
for ÿdead ÿin the town of Lystra. ÿTurn to II ÿTimothy ÿ3:10-11.
Paul states that God delivered him from all THREE matters! ÿÿYou
see, ÿÿGod chose to deliver Paul twice FROM the stones, ÿand then
elected ÿto ÿdeliver Paul ONCE THROUGH the stones! ÿWe need ÿnot
speculate ÿon which method Paul preferred! ÿPaul concludes ÿwith
We ÿneed to be reminded that Jesus is to bear our ÿburdens.
We cannot share them, ÿthey must be cast upon Him or we must bear
them. If we bear them, we will have sleepless nights and tension
filled ÿdays. ÿWe are entrusted of God to do His will. ÿHe ÿhas
guaranteed that HE is responsible and will fulfill our needs. HE
IS ÿABLE. ÿÿWe are only vessels He has chose to pour ÿforth ÿHis
glory THROUGH. ÿAllow Him to pass through, and we find ourselves
used ÿfor His glory beyond our thoughts. ÿWe find His Ways to be
far better that we could have ever thought possible. ÿWe need to
express in our LIFESTYLE as John the Baptist. ÿ"I must ÿDECREASE
while He INCREASES."
Source of Power
In ÿour last discussion we demonstrated the difficulty that
many ÿhave with the required traits for leadership in ÿthe ÿworld
and in the Kingdom. ÿIt is important that we take a deep look at
Self Confident Confident in God
Knows men Knows man and God
Makes own decisions Seeks God's will
Originates methods Finds God's methods
Enjoys commanding Delights to obey God
Personal motivations Agape motivations
Now ÿthat ÿwe ÿhave ÿthis table, ÿwe ÿshould ÿnote ÿanother
difference - that of LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT. Leadership is an
attitude ÿÿand ÿan ÿaction. ÿÿManagement ÿis ÿan ÿaction. ÿÿÿIn
illustration, we can make the following comparison:
1. Leadership is a quality. - Management is a science and art.
2. Leadership provides vision. - Management supplies realistic
3. Leadership deals with concepts. - Management relates to
4. Leadership exercises faith. - Management works with facts.
5. Leadership seeks for effectiveness. - Management strives for
6. Leadership influences for good with potential resources. -
Management coordinates resources for maximum accomplishment.
7. Leadership provides direction. - Management provides control.
8. Leaderships thrives on finding opportunity. - Management
succeeds on accomplishment.
It is not unusual to find a leader who can manage; However,
a manager is usually utilized exclusively as a manager.
TRAITS OF LEADERSHIP
I ÿhave found only one place where traits of leadership are
given a commentary. Turn to HEBREWS, chapter 11:24. We find the
FAITH. ÿ(:24 "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused
to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.")
INTEGRITY. ÿ(:25 ÿ"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the
people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.")
VISION. ÿ(:26 ÿ"esteeming the reproach of Christ greater ÿriches
than ÿthe ÿtreasure ÿof ÿEgypt: ÿfor ÿhe ÿhad ÿrespect ÿunto ÿthe
recompense of the reward.")
DECISIVENESS. ÿ(:27 "By faith he forsook Egypt, ÿnot fearing the
wrath ÿof ÿthe ÿking: ÿÿfor he endured, ÿas ÿseeing ÿhim ÿwho ÿis
OBEDIENCE. ÿ(:28 ÿ"Through faith he kept the passover, ÿand ÿthe
sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyeth the firstborn should
RESPONSIBILITY. ÿ(:29 ÿ"By faith they passed through the Red Sea
as ÿby ÿdry ÿland: ÿÿwhich ÿthe Egyptians ÿassaying ÿto ÿdo ÿwere
SO, we see from the above that leaders have specific traits
that ÿGod honors with blessings. ÿBlessings that come only ÿfrom
the "stepping out" that a leader must do. This "stepping out" is
not a one-time occurence, ÿbut is a lifestyle. It is one that is
open to scrutiny of the body and the world. ÿThen we come to the
matter ÿof ÿ"How ÿdoes ÿa leader have the strength ÿor ÿpower ÿto
accomplish his calling?"
With little exception, ÿespecially in a church environment,
the ÿanswer ÿto the question "What is the source of power ÿfor ÿa
Leader?" ÿwould result in the immediate answer - "GOD!" ÿBut how
many ÿof ÿus ÿreally tap Him as the sole source of power ÿin ÿour
lives? Why do so many believers lead defeated lives?
In our last discussion, ÿwe covered the I AM facet of God's
nature. ÿÿWe found that God is to be our sufficiency. ÿToday we
discuss another I AM of God. He is telling us: ÿ"I AM your power
and your strength!"
We ÿthen ÿhave ÿthe ÿtask and question ÿ"HOW ÿDO ÿWE ÿAVAIL
OURSELVES OF THIS POWER?" Let's look at the people called by God
to ÿlead. ÿÿWhat major feature of their lives prepared them ÿfor
leadership ÿunder ÿGOd? ÿScripture shows no one passing ROTC ÿor
ADMINISTRATION ÿ101 ÿor any other worldly school of ÿpreparation.
It ÿwas ÿthe ÿtime spent with God that made them ready ÿto ÿbe ÿa
leader ÿunder God. ÿFellowship with our creator was the ÿprimary
purpose for the creation of man in Genesis, and Isaiah 43:7 gives
us ÿthe continuing purpose for mankind: ÿ"Even every one that ÿis
called by My name: ÿfor I have created him for My glory, ÿI ÿhave
formed him; yea, I have made him."
Turn to Philippians 4:13 where Paul tells us, "I can do all
things ÿthrough Christ which strengtheneth me." ÿThis is similar
to David's proclamation of II Samuel 22:33 ÿwhere we are told the
basis for David's strength - "God is my strength and power: ÿÿand
He maketh my way perfect."
In ÿorder ÿfor a person to lead, ÿthat ÿperson ÿmust ÿfirst
identify the direction they are going. ÿThere was one person who
was able by every thought, ÿword and deed to glorify God. ÿÿThat
person is Jesus Christ. ÿJesus told His Father in John 17:4, ÿ"I
have glorified Thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou
gavest Me to do." What does that have to do with each of us?
Romans ÿ8:29 ÿtells us that God's desire is that we ÿbecome
like ÿHis ÿSon. ÿÿ"For ÿwhom ÿHe ÿdid ÿforeknow, ÿÿHe ÿalso ÿdid
predestinate ÿto be conformed to the image of His Son, ÿÿthat ÿHe
might ÿbe ÿthe firstborn among many brethen." ÿÿTo ÿbecome ÿlike
Christ is to glorify God!
How do I become like Christ? ÿHave you ever noticed how ÿa
man ÿand wife, ÿafter several years of marriage become truly ÿone
flesh? ÿÿThey ÿact alike, ÿthey talk alike and they ÿeven ÿthink
alike. ÿÿIf ÿyou have noticed the couples that enjoy their ÿ50th
anniversary, they even look alike. ÿThey become this way because
they are together by choice. ÿWe become like Jesus only when ÿwe
spend time with Him. ÿBy being around Him, ÿtalking with Him and
doing things together with Him. To be "conformed to the image of
Jesus Christ" ÿwe must develop a relationship with Him and invest
time ÿalone with Him. ÿGod wants each of us to be like this, ÿHe
even searches for that person. ÿLook in Ezekiel 22:30 ÿwhere God
tells us, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up
the ÿhedge, ÿand stand in the gap before Me for the land, ÿthat I
should not destroy it; ÿbut I found none." ÿWhen God finds ÿthis
type of person - one who places FIRST priority on an intimate and
personal relationship with Him, ÿGod directs His power and wisdom
into and through that person. God can change the world with such
Implementing this fellowship has three basic elements:
I. THE WORD OF GOD
We ÿmust ÿget into the Word. ÿ"All Scripture is ÿgiven ÿby
inspiration of God, ÿand is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of
God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (II
We must get the Word into us. ÿ"O how love I Thy law! ÿIt
is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97)
Just ÿlike ÿour ÿphysical food, ÿwe must ÿmeditate ÿon ÿour
spiritual ÿfood ÿto make it a part of our very life. ÿÿThe ÿword
Meditate means to ponder or to contemplate, and indicates that we
are ÿto ÿprobe below the surface for ÿmeaning. ÿÿ(Psalm ÿ119:35,
In Luke 18:10-14, ÿJesus Christ told about different ÿkinds
of ÿpraying ÿthat men practice - even today! ÿPlease ÿread ÿthis
section of God's word.
Take ÿspecial note that Jesus stated, ÿ"He prayed thus with
himself." ÿThe one man had his business with God, ÿand wanted to
accomplish ÿsomething with God, ÿthe other to impress other ÿmen.
James 5:16 ÿstates, ÿ"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous
man ÿavaileth much." ÿWe must be aware that a prayer has ÿto ÿbe
FERVENT ÿto be effective. ÿThe greek term translated FERVENT ÿis
the ÿterm used to describe the intensity of feeling a person ÿhas
when ÿbeing pulled apart on a torture rack! ÿSome of us pray ÿas
though ÿGod ÿhas ÿa ÿpair of heavenly earphones - ÿwe ÿshould ÿbe
praying ÿas though God hears us through a ÿheavenly ÿstethescope!
The ÿcall ÿof Jeremia is as valid today as when he ÿfirst ÿcalled
God's ÿchosen to "Pour out thine heart like water before the face
of our Lord." (Lamentations 2:19) We hear so many say, ÿ"I'll be
praying ÿfor you" ÿas a form of saying goodbye. ÿWe should do as
Paul did: "For God is my witness, ÿwhom I serve with my spirit in
the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you
always in my prayers." (Romans 1:9)
We ÿmust ÿalways be aware that a ÿworldly ÿChristian ÿstops
praying while a praying Christian stops the world!
This ÿlast facet of fellowship with God is the most ignored
by believers. In all walks of life there is no fellowship with a
superior ÿunless ÿthere is obedience to him. ÿOur Superior, ÿÿor
Leader, ÿÿis the Lord Jesus Christ, ÿand to have fellowship ÿwith
Him, we must obey His commandments.
In John 14:21 we find our Lord telling us, "He that hath My
commandments, ÿand keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: ÿand he
that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, ÿand I will love him,
and will manifest Myself to him."
Luke ÿ6:46-49 ÿis where our Lord Jesus Christ tells us ÿthe
danger of disobedience - turn to this passage and read it.
A ÿleader ÿwho ÿleads a life of obedience is ÿthe ÿgreatest
motivation ÿto those who follow him. ÿA ÿleader must be able ÿto
state as Paul did in Phillipians 4:9 ÿwhere he told Christians to
follow him as he followed Christ. The secret of his following is
the ÿsame as John the Baptist stated, ÿ"I must decrease while ÿHe
Pray ÿthat God will touch your heart to create a desire ÿto
begin ÿa ÿfellowship with Him based on these three points ÿ- ÿThe
WORD, ÿÿPRAYER ÿand ÿOBEDIENCE. ÿPray that God will ÿbecome ÿthe
priority ÿof ÿyour life and that the fellowship that ÿcomes ÿfrom
that dedication will be honored by His power flowing through ÿyou
to this needy world, beginning in our own homes. AMEN
Lifestyle traits of character
In the church, ÿtoday, ÿthere are many programs and classes
being ÿheld ÿfor ÿall ÿkinds ÿof reasons and ÿfor ÿall ÿkinds ÿof
purposes. ÿSome of these result in changed lives and others seem
to, ÿat best, ÿadd to the status quo. ÿThe SPIRIT of ÿEXCELLENCE
must ÿbe ÿa major quality of any leader called of God to ÿbe ÿthe
residence ÿfor ÿthe ÿHoly Spirit. ÿIf ÿthe ÿleader ÿstrives ÿfor
excellence, ÿÿthe ÿleader will never be counted as ÿpart ÿof ÿthe
"also-rans' of life. It is an attribute that is developed within
the leader - but how do we acquire this trait? ÿHow can we, ÿÿas
leaders, ÿacquire a trait of excellence when the world is willing
(even demanding) for anything to be considered "good enough?' We,
as members of the EKKLESIA of God, have an easier path to acquire
this, we ONLY have to look to the excellence of God!
We need to remember that God's name is excellent: ÿ"Oh Lord
our Lord, ÿhow excellent is Thy name in all the earth! ÿWho hast
set Thy glory above the heavens" ÿ(Psalms 8:1). "Let them praise
the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; ÿHis glory
is above the earth and heaven." (Psalms 148:13)
We ÿÿneed ÿto ÿremember ÿthat ÿGod's ÿloving ÿkindness ÿÿis
excellent. ÿÿ"How ÿexcellent is thy ÿloving-kindness, ÿÿO ÿÿGod!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of
Thy wings" (Psalms 36:7).
We ÿneed ÿto remember that God's ÿsalvation ÿis ÿexcellent.
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for
the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my
salvation. ÿÿTherefore with joy shall ye draw water out ÿof ÿthe
wells ÿof salvation. ÿAnd in that day shall ye say, ÿ'Praise the
Lord, ÿcall upon His name, ÿdeclare His doings among the ÿpeople,
make mention that His name is exalted. ÿSing unto the Lord; ÿfor
He hath done excellent things: ÿthis is known in all the ÿearth'"
We ÿneed to remember that God's work is excellent. ÿÿ"Give
ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words
of ÿmy ÿmouth ... ÿBecause I will publish the name of ÿthe ÿLord:
ascribe ye greatness unto our God. ÿHe is the Rock, ÿHis work is
perfect: ÿÿfor ÿall His ways are judgement: ÿa ÿGod of truth ÿand
without iniquity, just and right is He." (Deuteronomy 32:1-4)
We ÿneed to remember that God's way is excellent. ÿ"As for
God, ÿHis way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: ÿHe is a
shield to all them that trust in Him." (II Samuel 22:31)
We ÿneed ÿto ÿremember that God's will is ÿexcellent. ÿÿ"I
beseech you therefore, ÿbrethren, by the mercies of God, ÿthat ye
present ÿyour bodies a living sacrifice, ÿholy, ÿacceptable ÿunto
God, ÿwhich is your reasonable service. ÿAnd be not conformed to
this ÿworld: ÿbut be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, ÿand perfect
will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)
I ÿneed not go further. ÿMany verses of the Old ÿTestament
and the New are dedicated to this theme of the excellence of God.
We, ÿmany times read these verses and associate the excellence of
God ÿto God ONLY. ÿThe Holy Bible is filled with the exhortation
to mimic God's attributes. As leaders, our LIFESTYLE should show
that the spirit of excellence is a reflection, ÿin the leader, of
one of God's attributes. This is not to be confused with efforts
of ÿthe ÿflesh, ÿor ambitions to SUCCEED. ÿSUCCESS and ÿFAILURE,
again, ÿare not terms of the Bible - they are terms of man. ÿGod
looks at the hearts purpose for everything that we do.
Turn ÿto ÿI Chronicles 22:5. ÿHere we see David ÿinsisting
that the temple of God be of 'exceeding magnificence' in quality.
Why? ÿÿBecause David knew that it reflected on the very name ÿof
God. ÿWe must be mindful of the FACT that what we do or we DON'T
DO ÿwill ÿreflect upon God and our Savior. ÿWe ÿmust ÿalways ÿbe
mindful ÿof ÿthe ÿFACT that what we do in the name ÿof ÿGod ÿmust
reflect ÿwell ÿon ÿthat name. ÿWe must be ÿcertain ÿthat ÿit ÿis
'magnificent' for our Lord.
Mark ÿrelates that "He hath done all things well" ÿÿ(7:37).
Many ÿtimes we see leaders of the church show the compassion ÿand
love ÿthat ÿJesus ÿwould expect, ÿyet the work that ÿthey ÿdo ÿis
haphazard ÿand ÿsloppy. ÿSometimes so much so that ÿthey ÿare ÿa
disgrace. ÿIt seems that many people don't find it necessary ÿto
strive for excellence in EVERYTHING. ÿWouldn't it be sad if ÿthe
God ÿwe ÿworship ÿwasn't ÿa God ÿof ÿperfection ÿand ÿexcellence?
Everything done by God is perfection and complete.
Keep ÿin ÿmind the parable of the talents. ÿÿThe ÿslothful
servant ÿis denounced as WICKED because of his slothfulness. ÿIn
God, ÿÿwe ÿfind ÿperfection and strength to strive for ÿthe ÿsame
Several Scriptures allow us to see how God can bring ÿabout
this excellence in each of us - make it a part of our LIFESTYLE.
As we search the Scriptures for our own edification. ÿ"All
Scripture ÿis given by inspiration of God, ÿand is profitable for
doctrine, ÿÿfor ÿreproof, ÿÿfor correction, ÿfor ÿinstruction ÿin
righteousness: ÿÿthat the man of God may be perfect, ÿÿthoroughly
furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Through the prayers of others. ÿ"Epaphras, ÿwho is one ÿof
you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently
for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in the
will of God" (Colossians 4:12).
By ÿhelping us realize our own weaknesses. ÿ"And ÿHe ÿsaid
unto ÿme, ÿ'My grace is sufficient for thee: ÿfor My strength ÿis
made perfect in weakness.' ÿMost gladly therefore will I ÿrather
glory in my infirmities, ÿthat the power of Christ may rest ÿupon
me." (II Corinthians 12:9)
Through someone sharing the Word with us. ÿ"Night and ÿday
praying ÿexceedingly ÿthat ÿwe might see your ÿface, ÿÿand ÿmight
perfect ÿthat ÿwhich is lacking in your faith" ÿ(I ÿThessolonians
Through sufferings. ÿ"But the God of all grace, ÿwho ÿhath
called upon us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that
ye ÿhave ÿsuffered ÿa ÿwhile, ÿÿmake ÿyou ÿperfect, ÿÿÿestablish,
strengthen, settle you." I Peter 5:10)
By ÿgiving ÿus a hunger for holiness. ÿÿ"Having ÿtherefore
these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all
filthiness ÿof the flesh and spirit, ÿperfecting holiness in ÿthe
fear of God" (II Corinthians 7:1).
By ÿour ÿdesire to have the fruit of our lives ÿbrought ÿto
perfection "And that which fell among thorns are they, which,
when ÿthat have heard, ÿgo forth, ÿand are choked with cares ÿand
riches ÿand ÿpleasures ÿof ÿthis life, ÿand ÿbring ÿno ÿfruit ÿto
perfection" (Luke 8:14).
All ÿthe above will work to bring excellence into our ÿvery
character ÿ- ÿwhen we recognize that our MOTIVATION is ÿthe ÿkey
that unlocks the door to allow God to do His work in us. ÿIf our
motivation ÿis ÿincorrect - if we do anything because WE HAVE ÿTO
FOR ÿDUTY or WE WANT TO BE SEEN - whatever, ÿwe close the door to
His ÿperfection. ÿÿMark told us that Jesus did ALL things ÿwell.
Unless ÿit ÿhas escaped you, ÿJesus is the ONLY person ÿwho ÿever
lived who was able to have such a claim made! Read Hebrews 13:20
No ÿamount of effort on my part can accomplish what ÿChrist
can ÿaccomplish ÿTHROUGH us. ÿOnly THROUGH JESUS can any ÿleader
make a LIFESTYLE of excellence. ÿOnly THROUGH HIM, ÿwho did ÿALL
THINGS well, can it be done.
A ÿperson ÿwho has a LIFESTYLE of leadership does not ÿwait
for ÿsomething to happen - the leader helps make ÿthings ÿhappen.
This ÿis ÿone reason many people do not step out into ÿleadership
responsibility. ÿAs we discussed in the first session, a ÿleader
(teacher) ÿÿwill ÿbe held more accountable before the ÿLord. ÿÿA
leader ÿknows and accepts the FACT that all are called ÿto ÿlead,
only some refuse to participate.
Joab, ÿÿof ÿthe ÿOld ÿTestament, ÿis one ÿexample ÿof ÿsuch
initiative. ÿÿIn ÿI Chronicles 11:6, ÿwe read "And ÿDavid ÿsaid,
'Whosoever ÿsmiteth ÿthe ÿJebusites ÿfirst ÿshall ÿbe ÿchief ÿand
captain.' ÿÿSo Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, ÿÿand ÿwas
chief." ÿÿWe ÿalso have discussed the calling of Isaiah: ÿÿ"Whom
shall I send and who will go for Us? ÿThen said I, ÿ'Here am ÿI;
send me.'" - Isaiah 6:8.
In Genesis 24:14-21, God tells us about Rebekah, who became
the ÿwife ÿof Isaac because she took the ÿinitiative ÿand ÿserved
water to the servant of Abraham. ÿThis act of initiative ÿmarked
her as God's chosen bride for Isaac.
In John 6:9-11 ÿa small boy was made the focal point of the
Holy ÿScriptures because he took the initiative and ÿoffered ÿhis
small ÿlunch ÿto help feed the multitude. ÿCan you ÿimagine ÿthe
attack of Satan in that matter? "What's wrong with you? You can
plainly ÿsee that there are THOUSANDS of people here and you want
to offer you little amount of food? You could cause a riot here!
Better ÿthat you just kept quiet!" ÿBut the boy did ÿnot ÿremain
quiet ÿand ÿwas ÿthe instrument that God used to have ÿa ÿmiracle
In ÿreality, ÿisn't that the primary function of ÿChristian
leadership ÿ- ÿto make an opportunity for God to pour ÿforth ÿHis
blessings. A leader with initiative opens doors for the miracles
of God to come forth when the leader responds to the commands ÿof
God and listens NOT to the advice of the world.
But ÿthe ÿgreatest ÿact ÿof initiative ÿis ÿfound ÿin ÿGod,
Himself. ÿIn Acts 15:14, we are told: ÿ"Simeon hath declared how
God ÿat ÿthe first did visit the Gentiles to take out of ÿthem ÿa
people for His name." If we had been left to ourselves, we would
never have come to God. God took the initiative: "God commendeth
His love toward us, ÿin that, ÿwhile we were yet sinners, ÿChrist
died for us." - Romans 5:8.
If ÿwe ÿtake ÿthe ÿinitiative, ÿÿwe ÿdemonstrate ÿone ÿmore
characteristic ÿof God. ÿService to one another in ÿthe ÿprimary
area that we need to demonstrate initiative. ÿAnother ÿimportant
area ÿis ÿin ÿour function as the Priest of God's ÿkingdom ÿ- ÿto
reconciliation. ÿÿMatthew ÿ5:23-24 ÿÿgives ÿus ÿclear ÿguidance:
"Therefore ÿif ÿthou ÿbring thy gift to ÿthe ÿalter, ÿÿand ÿthere
rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee: leave there
thy gift before the alter, and go thy way; first be reconciled to
thy ÿbrother, ÿÿand then come and offer thy gift." ÿÿIn ÿMatthew
18:15, ÿwe have reinforcement of this: "Moreover, ÿif thy brother
shall ÿtrespass against thee, ÿgo and tell him his fault ÿbetween
thee ÿand him alone: ÿif he shall hear thee, ÿthou hast gained ÿa
In the world, it seems unfair - If WE offend a brother, ÿwe
are to take the initiative AND if a brother offends US, we are to
take ÿthe ÿinitiative! ÿÿIn either case, ÿWE ÿARE ÿTO ÿTAKE ÿTHE
Pride ÿis the obstacle to initiative of this kind. ÿÿSatan
wants us to think that if we humble ourselves before our mate ÿor
friend that they will look down on us. ÿNothing could be farther
from ÿthe ÿtruth ÿof ÿGod. ÿWhen we ÿact ÿin ÿthis ÿmanner, ÿÿwe
demonstrate the love and initiative of God, ÿand the brother will
recognize ÿthis ÿas ÿtruth. ÿGod will honor the leader ÿand ÿthe
leader may gain a loyal follower, friend or brother in the course
of acting in this godly manner.
One ÿmore ÿarea ÿof ÿinitiative ÿneed ÿis ÿin ÿgaining ÿthe
knowledge and wisdom of God. Proverbs 20:5 tells us: "Counsel in
the heart of man is like deep water; ÿbut a man of ÿunderstanding
will draw it out."
A ÿleader ÿcan ÿNEVER ÿknow ÿALL there ÿis ÿto ÿknow ÿabout
everything. ÿÿÿIt ÿis ÿimperative ÿthat ÿthe ÿleader ÿseek ÿÿout
knowledgeable ÿdisciples of Christ and learn from them. ÿÿObtain
the wisdom that they have gained in trying what you may be ÿabout
to ÿattempt. ÿÿHow ÿmany times have we ÿbeen ÿin ÿgatherings ÿor
meetings ÿwhere we failed to speak up for fear that we would show
our ignorance! This, again, is the counsel of Satan. ÿIf we ask
the "dumb" ÿquestions, we will find that we are not the only ones
that ÿneeded ÿthe information, ÿand we can open doors ÿthat ÿwill
allow ÿourselves, ÿÿand ÿpossibly ÿmany others, ÿÿto ÿserve ÿmore
properly. ÿPride prohibits the Godly from being useful. ÿÿPride
closes the door to the heart, ÿand cools the love we need to show
The SPIRIT NEEDED TO ORIGINATE ACTION is a good ÿdefinition
of ÿinitiative. ÿÿTo develop this quality, ÿwe need to ÿuse ÿthe
brains ÿÿthat ÿGod ÿgave ÿus ÿand ÿthe ÿability ÿto ÿutilize ÿour
imaginations ÿ- to think ahead and visualize the results that ÿwe
seek. We, as leaders, must see MORE than others do, ÿsee FARTHER
than ÿothers do, ÿand see BEFORE others do. ÿ(See I ÿCorinthians
Leaders must be creative to show excellence. In the flesh
we ÿstruggle ÿto conform. ÿThe apostles were never found ÿto ÿbe
stiff ÿor ÿmonotonous, ÿÿthey never tried ÿto ÿconform ÿto ÿman's
standard. ÿÿThe factor to look at is that they ÿrepresented ÿthe
very ÿnature of God rather than the nature of man. ÿLook at ÿthe
creation. The Creator made variety while maintaining order. Man
seems ÿto thrive on conformity, ÿwhich always ends ÿin ÿdisorder.
How different the standard of God. ÿThink of the possibility ÿof
God ÿmaking creation like the developers of our "modern" ÿÿhomes!
Row ÿof ÿrow of men that look exactly alike! ÿYUK! ÿÿGod ÿloves
variety. Now think of a zoo. ÿLook at the wonder of the variety
that God has made. ÿScience tells us that NO TWO snowflakes ÿare
identical! ÿMake a comparison of the work we do for God ÿagainst
the ÿwork that HE does. ÿTo say that we lack creativity ÿin ÿour
LIFESTYLE falls short of the depth of that shortcoming.
The ÿcreativity ÿthat ÿwe should have in ÿthe ÿconcern ÿfor
others is clearly given to us in the story found in the Gospel of
Mark, Chapter 2, verses 2 through 5. Read them carefully. Do we
have ÿthat much concern for the terminal cases we know to do ÿall
we can to bring them to Christ? ÿWould that we would be so ÿbold
as ÿto ÿdo what has not been done before. ÿThink ÿof ÿthe ÿopen-
mindedness ÿof these four men. ÿThey weren't concerned ÿfor ÿthe
impact ÿthat ÿthe crowd may have had - they only knew that ÿJesus
could help their beloved friend. Because they had open minds and
BECAUSE ÿthey were creative, ÿHoly Scripture records their ÿdeed.
Just to tell an interesting story? ÿ"All scripture is for ....."
Which reason has God used to touch you by recording this story?
The ÿnext ÿquestion, ÿ"How do I develop this ÿLIFESTYLE ÿof
Set ÿyour ÿheart and your mind, ÿespecially your ÿ"mind ÿof
Christ" ÿto find the "better way" ÿto do anything and everything.
Question. ÿÿ"Test all things; ÿHold fast to that which is true."
Ask ÿGod for boldness, ÿfor courage to try a new way, ÿÿwhen ÿHis
Spirit ÿmoves you. ÿThis is impossible ÿwithout ÿprayer-intimate
communication and fellowship with the living God, ÿthrough Christ
Scripture tells us that Jesus made everything - nothing was
made ÿthat was not made by Jesus. ÿIf we are to have a ÿcreative
nature or LIFESTYLE, then we must have more fellowship, more time
in ÿprayer ÿwith Jesus, ÿthe CREATOR of all things. ÿÿJesus ÿdid
things ÿdifferently ÿthan ÿthe men of ÿHis ÿtime. ÿÿJesus ÿspoke
differently ÿthan the men of His time. ÿPraise God that He ÿdid!
Allow Jesus to place His hand on you and say "Behold, I will do a
To ÿsum ÿup this section .. ÿAs a ÿLIFESTYLE, ÿÿexcellence,
initiative and creativity must be ours. ÿOnce we have ÿcommitted
to ÿthis path, ÿwe must ABIDE in the only source of provision ÿof
these ÿtraits, ÿÿthe Lord, ÿJesus Christ. ÿRemember always ÿthat
Jesus, and ONLY Jesus, "did all things well."
Dangers of Leadership
We all face dangers of one kind or another. ÿSome face the
freeways ÿof the commute to daily work while others face the most
dangerous place, ÿaccording to statistics, ÿthere is - the ÿHOME!
As ÿwe ÿgrow up, ÿwe learn that to put a wet finger into ÿa ÿwall
socket is more than just another way to get a charge out of life.
We ÿdo ÿlearn to avoid certain dangers because they are ÿobvious.
The ÿdangers that befall a leader are far less obvious, ÿand thus
far more deadly - causing the death of the leader's leadership!
I have seen several leaders select co-workers that were not
believers ÿ- ÿon the premise that their participation would be ÿa
factor ÿin bringing them into the Kingdom of God. ÿMatthew ÿ6:24
addresses ÿthis very matter in explicit and clear words. ÿIt ÿis
obvious ÿthat we would not select an "enemy" ÿof the cross, ÿÿyet
Philippians 3:17 ÿto 19 ÿtells us that they are enemies when they
are ÿclearly concerned with the things of this world rather ÿthan
the things of God. When a leader selects co-workers to share the
ministry, ÿÿthe ÿleader ÿmust select based on ÿthe ÿLIFESTYLE ÿas
DEMONSTRATED ÿby those who will assist the leader. ÿWe must also
make CERTAIN that we have a LIFESTYLE that does not, in any size,
shape or form, ÿdemonstrate the above mentioned ÿcharacteristics.
Giving ÿof ourself to others is to be the basis of our LIFESTYLE.
A ÿbasis ÿwhich is IMPOSSIBLE without the power of ÿGod ÿand ÿthe
indwelling Holy Spirit being given full reign in our lives.
JEALOUSY - COVETOUSNESS
Look ÿat I Thessalonians 2:5. ÿPaul makes a special ÿpoint
that he and his co-workers were not guilty of coveting ÿanything,
and ÿcited God as his witness. ÿIn his letter to the ÿColossians
(3:1-5) ÿÿhe ÿstates ÿin ÿthe absolutes of our ÿRisen ÿLord ÿthat
covetousness (and other worldly traits) is not permitted. "If ye
then be risen with Christ..."
Many ÿpeople ÿdon't ÿlike to see this verse ÿ- ÿit ÿclearly
connects ÿcovetousness ÿwith idolatry! ÿWhen ÿa ÿleader ÿbecomes
caught up in covetousness, ÿleadership ceases! One cannot become
covetousness ÿwithout taking his eyes off Jesus and putting ÿthem
on the world. The leader must FOCUS his life on this world, ÿand
Jesus ÿhas ÿtold each of us "My Kingdom is not of this ÿworld..."
The ÿgoal of the leader, ÿthe very LIFESTYLE becomes temporal and
loses ÿthe ÿeternal. ÿThe actions and ministries of ÿthe ÿleader
become unprofitable - both for the leader and for the Kingdom!
Our admonition is found in I JOHN 2:15-17. ÿPeter tells us
in ACTS 3:6 ÿthat "Silver and gold have I none..." ÿbut ACTS also
records that Barnabas sold his land and laid the proceeds at ÿthe
feet ÿof ÿthe Apostles. ÿThe admonition is exclusively ÿto ÿmake
certain that we do not increase our worldly position. ÿOne major
factor ÿof the lives of the Apostles is that not one of them died
with any worldly estate or treasures. ÿThey had a LIFESTYLE that
proved ÿthey lived what they preached and believed - to set their
treasures up in heaven.
I ÿbelieve that the major reason that we cannot ÿallow ÿthe
world ÿinto ÿour values by coveting the things of this ÿworld ÿis
that when we do that, ÿwe set God at position #2. When we do not
place God FIRST, God always ends up with NO PLACE AT ALL!
Idolatry is loving ANYTHING more than we love God. ÿExodus
20:3 ÿÿis the Commandment of God that we shall have NO OTHER ÿGOD
before Him. The gods of America have fiberglass or metal bodies,
glass, ÿÿwool, ÿsilk or electronic variations. ÿIt arrives in ÿa
leader ÿby ÿsearching out the hidden section of heart, ÿand ÿthen
waits for the ""Nothing's wrong with this little..." We purchase
a small game to "entertain" ÿthe children, ÿand then we look back
and ÿsee ÿthe ÿaverage ÿamount of money spent ÿon ÿone ÿof ÿthese
machines in a three year period EXCEEDS $2,100.00!
Paul ÿgives ÿus an idea of what our LIFESTYLE should be ÿin
his second letter to the Corinthians (5:14-15).
Covetousness ÿis ÿnot found in our checkbooks or ÿour ÿbank
accounts. ÿÿOur ÿmaterial ÿblessings ÿhave nothing ÿto ÿdo ÿwith
covetousness. ÿÿCovetousness is found in the heart. ÿWe can ÿbe
possessed by our possessions or our possessions can be slaves ÿto
the cause of Christ. WE DECIDE!
The ÿpain that I have when I see this in another person can
be ÿrelated to Ecclesiastes 5:10. ÿ"He that loveth silver ÿshall
not be satisfied with silver; ÿnor he that loveth abundance ÿwith
increase: this is also vanity." The truth of God rings again and
Man's ÿfolly continues to show the shallowness of ÿhis ÿown
plans and gains. How is that a millionaire commits suicide? Can
the ÿWord of God be true? ÿCan a LIFESTYLE of seeking the things
of ÿthis ÿworld truly end with emptiness? ÿYou KNOW it ÿcan ÿand
does. Our LIFESTYLE and our MESSAGE is to be one that will allow
those who are seeking this world that satisfaction is exclusively
the possession of those who KNOW that they can present themselves
to God as His children and not as those to be judged.
Paul decried the loss of one of his co-workers, Demas, when
Demas ÿ"having ÿloved this present world" ÿforsook Paul ÿand ÿwas
undone. ÿÿTwo classes were addressed by Paul - the ones who live
TO BECOME RICH and those WHO ARE RICH. ÿIn I TIMOTHY 6:9-10 ÿÿwe
find the first group and in verses 17-19, we find the second. If
a ÿfollower of the apostle could be caught in this snare, ÿwhy do
we feel that we are above such temptation?
Jesus ÿspoke clearly, ÿas Luke tells us ÿ(12:13-15). ÿÿOur
LIFESTYLE ÿmust be one of constant awareness that the traps Satan
sets ÿhave ÿbeen ÿin ÿplace for thousands of ÿyears. ÿÿOnly ÿthe
guidance ÿof ÿour ÿLord Jesus is capable of steering ÿus ÿon ÿthe
proper path to avoid the pitfalls.
Jesus ÿspoke to me in a verse. ÿMARK 12:38-40. ÿI ÿÿfound
myself ÿbeing ÿexamined by my Lord and having to respond ÿwith ÿa
loud ÿand painful "YES" ÿwhen I was asked, ÿ"Are you enjoying the
acclaim of the groups you are speaking to?" ÿMy Lord Jesus is so
kind ÿand ÿloving, ÿbut I felt two inches tall and ÿconfessed ÿto
Jesus ÿmy failure to point to Him in all that I do. ÿHe is ÿjust
and forgave me. ÿNow I find myself saying "Are you about to join
the ranks of the scribes?"
Our ÿministry is to minister "not with the eye ÿservice ÿas
men-pleasers; ÿÿbut as the servants of Christ, ÿdoing the will of
God from the heart." (EPHESIANS 6:6).
The ÿfirst area that I found my pride getting enlarged ÿwas
in giving. I found this to be the most simple of "pride of life"
situations. ÿÿAgain, ÿmy Lord came to show me the way - ÿMATTHEW
The ÿnext ÿarea ÿseems to be the very area of ÿservice ÿand
harvest for the Kingdom. ÿWe must REMEMBER that the LORD ADDS to
HIS ÿCHURCH. ÿWe are ONLY vessels for Him to use. ÿWe find some
that ÿwill perform in totally different behavior when the ÿpastor
is around than when "ordinary" people are around.
After ÿa triumph for the Kingdom, ÿSatan finds it most open
to ÿslip ÿin the problem of discouragement for a leader. ÿÿSatan
will mount his most stringent attack immediately after a ÿvictory
and cause us to fall. ÿHis attack can make us the NEXT ÿPOSSIBLE
BEST AGENT for darkness BY NEUTRALIZING our witness. ÿHe can get
to ÿus ÿby giving us false values. ÿWe want to escape ÿfrom ÿthe
persecution or the attack. ÿWe want to be removed from the ÿvery
place ÿthat ÿGod ÿhas placed us. ÿWe place OUR value ÿ- ÿor ÿour
desires - ahead of those of God.
- OR -
Satan ÿmakes us point our finger at others and ÿblame ÿthem
for the problems we encounter. ÿWe fail to be responsible before
the Lord God of Host, ÿand we want to point to others as the ones
responsible ÿfor ÿthe ÿnot-so-good ÿcircumstances ÿthat ÿwe ÿÿare
- OR -
We ÿlose perspective. ÿWe seem to believe that we ÿand ÿWE
ALONE are the only ones faithful to the Will of God. ONLY WE are
truly doing what He want done. We then lose the perspective that
God is IN CONTROL - AT ALL TIMES! ÿIt is at these times that ÿwe
develop ÿthe uncanny capacity to INSTANTLY change molehills ÿinto
We ÿneed ÿto be aware that there are NO HUMAN ÿDEFENSES ÿto
these traps set by Satan! I Chronicles 29:11-13 tells us all how
we can survive these traps. ÿ"Thine, O ÿLord, ÿis the greatness,
and the power, ÿand the glory, and the victory, ÿand the majesty,
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is
the Kingdom, ÿO Lord, ÿand thou are exalted as head above all ...
Now therefore, ÿour God, ÿwe thank Thee, ÿand praise Thy glorious
Attitude toward others
"Now ÿthe ÿend ÿof the commandment is love out ÿof ÿa ÿpure
heart, ÿÿand of a good conscience, ÿand of faith ÿunfeigned" ÿÿ(1
In ÿthe previous discussions, ÿwe looked at the calling ÿof
the "ekklesia" ÿof Christ. The "called out assembly" ÿof priests
for His Holy Kingdom. ÿWe have taken note of the need for all of
His children to recognize that we ARE LEADERS - we have no choice
in ÿthe ÿmatter. ÿThe choice that we do have is to allow God ÿto
perform HIS perfect work THROUGH us in whatever capacity that God
has ÿfor each of us to fulfill. ÿThe verse above shows that ÿthe
ultimate objective of Scripture, especially the New Testament, is
to ÿteach and produce Agape love toward others - to believers and
non ÿbelievers, ÿalike. ÿThe second emphasis is to have ÿa ÿgood
conscience about ourselves, ÿand finally, ÿa ÿTRUE faith in ÿGod.
This ÿis the foundation for a life of JOY. ÿBy using ÿthe ÿfirst
letters of Joy, we reveal how we have joy.
Others second, and
We now need to look at the lifestyle traits that the leader
should ÿreflect ÿto enhance the relationship of the ÿleader ÿwith
those who will follow.
NEW CREATURE ATTITUDE
"Therefore, if ANY man be in Christ, ÿhe is a new creature:
old things are passed away; ÿbehold, ÿall things are become new."
(II Corinthians 5:17)
In ÿthe Gospel of John, ÿJesus clearly informs each ÿof ÿus
that we can do NOTHING without Him, ÿand we can only allow HIM to
do something when we are BORN AGAIN. Paul confirms this attitude
when he tells the Philippians that "For me to live is Christ."
In Ephesians 4, Paul instructs us on our relationships with
others, ÿÿin a moral sense, ÿstarting in verse 25. ÿIn verse 24,
Paul admonishes us saying that we must "Put on the New Man" - The
ONLY ÿone ÿwho can be successful in living with others ÿis ÿJesus
Christ, ÿand Him living through us. ÿONLY HE can accomplish what
Paul ÿis ÿabout to instruct. ÿPaul tells us this 'new ÿman' ÿÿis
'after God' ÿ- recreated in God's image. This clearly means that
the ÿ'new ÿman' ÿIS equipped, ÿthrough God's work of ÿgrace, ÿÿto
accomplish the things that God would have done! ÿMost of us rely
on ÿimproving ÿour ÿold nature, ÿand God wants us ÿto ÿknow ÿthat
BECAUSE ÿChrist ÿis in our heart we ARE ABLE to live with ÿothers
and ÿlove them as He does. ÿEphesians 4:24 ÿtells us that ÿTHREE
things ÿabout a disciple are new. ÿThe verse gives us a NEW MAN,
using NEW MATERIAL and NEW MOTIVES - New motives of RIGHTEOUSNESS
and TRUE HOLINESS.
If ÿwe ÿput ÿthese into our daily lives, ÿÿthe ÿvery ÿwords
'success' or 'failure' cease to be a part of our vocabulary! Our
'success' ÿwill not be based on how well we treat others, but how
Christ is allowed to love them through us. ÿAny 'success' ÿÿthen
becomes His and His glory.
We ÿmust ÿtake ÿtime ÿto adjust ÿour ÿthinking ÿand ÿreally
communicate ÿwith ÿothers - intellect to intellect and spirit ÿto
spirit. ÿEphesians 4:25 ÿtells us that we must be honest in ÿall
our interaction with others - not just in a business sense but in
a ÿdaily environment. ÿIn John 1:6, ÿwe are exhorted to ÿDO ÿthe
truth. We must have a lifestyle of honesty with no possible room
for reproach. We must live Holy lives if we are to point the way
to the Holy and Living Christ.
We ÿmust care for others as Christ cares. ÿWe must ÿdo ÿso
with ÿNO ÿULTERIOR motives, ÿwhatsoever! ÿJesus always ÿsaw ÿthe
lovely ÿin the unlovely, ÿthe possible in the impossible. ÿJesus
made it very clear that He wants to show us, buy living within us
and being allowed to work through us, that we can experience this
Ephesians ÿ4:26,27 ÿshows us that a Christian can be ÿangry
and, ÿÿmaybe ÿshould be angry - but without sin! ÿAnger ÿbecomes
sinful ÿwhen it is prompted by our selfishness. ÿDanger lurks in
anger ÿas Satan finds a place to stir our anger to his ÿpurposes.
Every emotion of a Christian should be the way Christ would ÿhave
Ephesians 4:29 ÿtells us that EACH OF US have a ministry of
This ÿministry, ÿto be effective mandates that our Will ÿis
subjected to the will of God. ÿChrist stated, "Not my will, ÿbut
thine, be done" and left us the perfect example of where our will
is to be - at the altar of God.
"Ye ÿare ÿnot ÿyour own ... ÿye are bought ÿwith ÿa ÿprice"
clearly ÿtells ÿus that we have NO RIGHTS - except that right ÿto
give ÿup ÿour ÿrights in favor of the RIGHT of GOD ÿto ÿour ÿvery
being. ÿAs He paid the price for each of us, ÿHe is now the ÿone
responsible for us.
"For ÿeven ÿthe Son of Man came not to be ministered ÿunto,
but to minister, and to give His life as ransom for many." ÿ(Mark
Jesus thus summed up His life and His mission on earth. In
the Old Testament times, ÿto serve God we would take an animal to
a hillside, ÿstart a fire, sacrifice the animal and present it to
God. ÿJesus changed all that. ÿThis is a fact that we must make
an ÿintegral ÿpart ÿof our daily lives - nothing that ÿWE ÿdo ÿis
sufficient ÿsacrifice ÿto ÿGod since ÿChrist ÿfulfilled ÿall ÿthe
requirements ÿof the Law. ÿOur way to serve God, ÿby the example
Christ set down for each of us, ÿis to serve others. ÿThe leader
must ÿhave a lifestyle of offering his own life on the ÿaltar ÿof
God ÿto be consumed in the flame of God's unquenchable love, ÿÿin
service to others. John, ÿin his first epistle tells us in verse
3:16, ÿ"Hereby perceive we the love of God, ÿbecause He laid down
His ÿlife ÿfor us: ÿand we ought to lay down our ÿlives ÿfor ÿthe
In ÿthe ÿbusiness world, ÿthis is reversed. ÿLook ÿat ÿany
organization ÿchart in the world. ÿYou will see a box ÿwith ÿone
person's name in it and then several other lines leading downward
to other boxes and more lines leading from these boxes until ÿthe
lowest ÿposition in the company is represented by a box where the
lines stop. Each level of this chart expects and demands service
from ÿthe levels lower than they. ÿJesus totally ÿreversed ÿthis
direction, ÿyet maintained the perfect image of leadership. Read
Most of what Jesus taught was revolutionary and against all
that man had thought to be best. ÿThe world tells us to climb to
the ÿtop of the ladder - the Bible tells us that the leader ÿwill
serve all others.
In Luke 12:15, Jesus tells us that "a man's life consisteth
not ÿin the abundance of the things which he ÿpossesseth." ÿÿThe
world ÿhas certainly forgotten this and strives to meet only ÿthe
physical ÿand ÿmaterial needs as the fulfillment that man ÿneeds.
The failure to meet the spiritual needs does not eliminate ÿthese
needs, ÿit only makes man more confused and lost. In living with
others, ÿÿit is our function in God's plan to point others to the
only source of satisfaction of all of man's desire and longings -
we must point them to Jesus Christ.
"Let ÿlove be without dissimulation. ÿAbhor that which ÿis
evil; cleave to that which is good Be kindly affectionate one
to ÿanother ÿwith ÿbrotherly ÿlove; ÿÿin ÿhonour ÿpreferring ÿone
another." (Romans 12:9,10)
Living with others is an ART which we seem to have lost ÿas
we ÿbase more and more of our lives on materialism and mechanical
pleasures. ÿÿThe entire world system is the domain of Satan ÿand
the ÿCOSMOS ÿis ÿbeing ÿused by Satan to build up ÿto ÿthe ÿfinal
conflict ÿbetween the world and God. ÿWe must be aware that ÿall
systems ÿof this world are of Satan, ÿand we are 'called out' ÿof
that ÿsystem. ÿÿThe very jobs that we occupy in ÿlife, ÿÿwithout
regard to the spiritual nature that it may have, is the domain of
Satan, ÿand we must take measures to have Jesus cleanse us ÿDAILY
from the contamination of that necessary contact.
Jesus ÿcalled ÿus the 'salt of the earth', ÿand ÿwe ÿcannot
'salt' if we remove ourselves from the world. Pious attitude, if
removing ÿus from the world is hypocrisy. ÿThe ÿPsalmist ÿstates
many ÿtimes ÿin different ways that God lifts us UP - not OUT ÿof
the world. ÿWhen we are spiritual, we know this truth; ÿHowever,
when ÿÿwe ÿlive ÿMonday ÿthrough ÿSaturday ÿwe ÿÿfind ÿÿourselves
overlooking this opportunity to be LIKE our Lord, ÿJesus ÿChrist,
the ÿperfect example of a true servant at ALL times. ÿJesus ÿdid
all things "as unto the Lord" ÿ- ÿdo we? ÿIt is easier, ÿin ÿthe
flesh, ÿfor my wife to put the dishes in the dishwasher, ÿwhile I
read. ÿÿIt ÿhas been a long time since I washed ÿanyone's ÿfeet!
When ÿthe ÿOPPORTUNITY to serve another arises, ÿwe ÿhide ÿbehind
ourselves ÿ- we state that we don't have time - or - that we ÿare
in the middle of something 'very important' ÿ- ÿanything but that
which ÿwill ÿhave us 'lose face' ÿand serve humbly the ÿneeds ÿof
another. "I am among you as He that serveth" (Luke 22:27). ÿAre
we ÿthe ÿone that is in the midst of a group and others ÿcan ÿsee
CHRIST working? ÿThe small area of where a spotlight shines ÿcan
be crowded, ÿbut there is always room for the one more servant in
the areas where the spotlight does not shine.
We need to look at Stephen. ÿStephen was full of power and
faith. ÿÿHe ÿwas ÿa ÿpowerful ÿforce ÿof ÿGod ÿand ÿhad ÿa ÿdeep
understanding of God's Word. ÿWhen the Apostles came to Stephen,
he was unaware of what they would ask. In our minds and with his
abilities, ÿwe might think - "They probably want me to handle the
greatest ÿtask!" ÿÿThen he is told that there was going to be ÿa
dinner ÿfor ÿGrecian ÿwidows ÿand would he ÿserve ÿas ÿa ÿwaiter!
Stephen eagerly took his place among six others and waited on the
tables. ÿChrist could select only one man to be the first martyr
for Him, and Stephen became His choice and occupies the spotlight
of ÿhistory. ÿ"But he that is greatest among you shall ÿbe ÿyour
servant. ÿAnd whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and
he ÿthat shall humble himself shall be exalted" ÿ(Matthew ÿ23:11-
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus gave us the perfect example of
being ÿsensitive ÿto ÿthe needs of others: ÿ"In ÿthose ÿdays ÿthe
multitude ÿbeing ÿvery great, ÿand having nothing to eat, ÿÿJesus
called ÿHis ÿdisciples unto Him, ÿand saith unto them, ÿÿ'I ÿhave
compassion ÿon the multitude, ÿbecause they have now been with Me
three ÿdays, ÿand have nothing to eat: ÿAnd if I send ÿthem ÿaway
fasting ÿto their own houses, ÿthey will faint by the way:' ÿÿfor
divers of them had come from afar." (8:1-3)
Let's remember that Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights
in the wilderness. If He had been us, He might have said, "Don't
you ÿtalk ÿto ÿme about being hungry - why I ÿhave ÿgone ÿwithout
eating for 40 ÿdays, ÿyou complain because of just three! ÿÿQuit
complaining!" ÿJesus didn't evaluate His abilities or capacities
and ÿexpect all others to measure up to them. ÿJesus ÿrecognized
that ÿsome need more time and move at a slower pace than He ÿdid.
Do ÿwe? ÿAs a leader we work harder, ÿlonger - pray more - ÿhave
more intense hunger for God's Word - whatever! ÿBut, ÿwe fail to
realize ÿthat this is WHY God has chosen us for leadership ÿamong
the leaders or 'ekklesia' of God.
A ÿleader ÿmust ÿbe ÿsensitive ÿto ÿthe ÿneeds ÿof ÿothers,
compassionate in his relationships with them and get to know each
one of them as individuals. All humans need to be recognized for
who they are. Individually, and collectively, as leaders we need
to ÿrecognize ÿthis need and invest time with those who ÿshow ÿan
interest ÿin God. ÿWe, ÿas leaders, ÿneed to know those whom ÿHe
sends to us and know their personal needs and desires.
First Thessalonians 5:14 ÿgives us this instruction: ÿ"Now
we exhort you, ÿbrethren, warn them that are unruly, ÿcomfort the
feebleminded, support the weak, be patient to all men."
Humanity ÿis divided into some categories that each ÿof ÿus
can associate with - the UNRULY, ÿthe FEEBLE MINDED, WEAK and ALL
MEN. ÿÿWe sometimes fall into one or more of the above, ÿbut ÿwe
always fall into the last one. The unruly refers to a greek term
for ÿsheep ÿthat do not stay in the flock but go astray and ÿharm
themselves. It can also include those who 'throw in the towel an
quit' when the situation gets rough. It is easier to quit. This
person needs to be handled with 'kid gloves' - why? Because this
person is a 'kid'!
The ÿsecond ÿgroup ÿis the feebleminded. ÿÿThis ÿdoes ÿnot
require ÿthe person to be mentally retarded, ÿit implies a ÿtimid
person or one who is 'afraid of his own shadow' ÿand needs to ÿbe
held ÿby the hand to reach a place where they are able to take ÿa
step ÿof ÿfaith ÿand begin to experience God's ÿaction ÿin ÿtheir
lives. ÿÿThe history of the church has many examples ÿof ÿ'faint
hearts' who have become bold for the Kingdom because someone took
time ÿto ÿlead them to the point where God was able ÿto ÿmanifest
Himself in their lives.
Next come the weak. ÿThese are the ones who are overcome -
not overcomers. They are the ones who are losing the battle with
sin ÿin ÿtheir lives. ÿWe are told to "Help the ÿweak" ÿÿand ÿwe
accomplish ÿthis by giving personal time and counsel. ÿÿIn ÿmany
cases ÿthese people are given strength simply by being allowed to
talk ÿto ÿsomeone about their weaknesses. ÿBy ÿvocalizing ÿtheir
weaknesses, ÿÿthey become more aware of them and God sets ÿbefore
them ÿthe ÿpath out of the weakness. ÿIt is important ÿthat ÿthe
person is convinced that they may come to the leader and not have
their problem 'let out of the bag' ÿwith others - the leader will
keep quiet about all that is discussed between them. Even when a
leader changes the names to protect the innocent (or guilty), ÿit
is frightening to hear your story being given before others!
We all have to deal with sin in our lives. ÿSome handle it
better ÿthan ÿothers, ÿand these are useable by God to ÿhelp ÿthe
others ÿwho are 'weaker' ÿthan they. ÿMany people used by God in
mighty ÿways ÿbegan their Christian lives overcome by ÿsin, ÿÿbut
through the love and compassion of others in the Body, ÿthey were
nurtured back into the body. The founder of the Navigators had a
problem ÿwith profanity and foul language and desires. ÿÿThrough
the ÿhelp of a Sunday School teacher, ÿDawson Trotman was used by
God to create one of the most powerful teaching ministries in the
We, ÿÿas ÿleaders, ÿmust get to know those who need a ÿfire
built ÿunder them, ÿand those who need restraints of love ÿaround
them. ÿÿWe need to recognize, ÿthrough the guidance of the ÿHoly
Spirit, ÿÿthose who are not using their abilities and talents ÿso
that ÿwe ÿcan direct them into use of these in the Kingdom. ÿÿWe
need ÿto ÿbe ÿready to counsel others that the ÿword ÿNO ÿis ÿnot
improper! Sometimes the word NO is what the Holy Spirit wants us
to ÿsay ÿto permit His working in the lives of others. ÿÿMany ÿa
witness ÿhas been removed by getting in 'over their ÿheads' ÿÿand
sinking into an abyss of incomplete efforts. We need to have the
Holy ÿSpirit ÿof ÿGod ÿreach into our ÿhearts ÿand ÿgive ÿus ÿthe
discernment ÿof ÿthe need of the individuals that HE ÿhas ÿplaced
under us. ÿWe need to make it a daily attitude of our prayer ÿas
in I Kings 3:9-10:
"Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge
Thy people, ÿthat I may discern between good and bad: ÿfor who is
able to judge this Thy so great a people?"
Pray ÿthat ÿGod ÿwill ÿgrant ÿyou ÿthese ÿrequirements ÿÿof
leadership ÿin His Kingdom - A NEW CREATURE ATTITUDE, ÿÿSERVANT'S
HEART ÿand ÿA SENSITIVE SPIRIT. ÿThese traits are the ÿbuilding
blocks for all other traits that God wants to manifest in each of
us. Since we are to lead, these must be crucial to our lives and
will result in God's use of us in a mighty way.
In previous sessions we have found in God's Word that ÿeach
of us, ÿas members of the ekklesia are "called out" to be leaders
in ÿthe ÿareas of our lives that we are presently in. ÿÿWe ÿhave
investigated ÿthe calling of several of the people used by God in
mighty ÿÿways, ÿÿand ÿhave ÿdiscovered ÿthat ÿthey, ÿÿtoo, ÿÿfelt
insufficient ÿfor ÿthe task that God called them for. ÿThe ÿmost
important discovery seems to be the very fact that it was BECAUSE
of this insufficiency that God chose them. ÿOnly through the use
of persons who would not, ÿunder ordinary conditions, ÿaccomplish
what ÿGod called them to be could God prove His existence. ÿOnly
when God made His plan come through individuals that were not, to
the world, capable of performing in such a manner was God able to
impress the FACT of his existence and interaction with mankind.
We then discovered that God is not a respecter of ÿpersons,
that is, God does not look at what a person is doing, He looks at
what they are.
It is important that we take note of the FACT that God ÿdid
not give to Moses, ÿPeter or Paul anything that He has not, or is
not, willing to give to each one of us. ÿWhat is the difference,
then, between those individuals and us?
What ÿmakes ÿour fellow Christians look at us and ÿcall ÿus
'fanatics'? ÿÿWhat is it that makes one Christian ÿmove ÿthrough
trials ÿwith ÿjoy ÿand ÿothers ÿseem ÿcrushed ÿat ÿthe ÿÿsmallest
tribulation? ÿÿWhy do some persons attend a church and not ÿjoin
the membership? The answer is always COMMITMENT. The commitment
of ÿthe believer is the lacking factor in America. ÿWhy? ÿLet's
look at what Exodus can teach us.
In ÿExodus we read that it took God working ÿthrough ÿMoses
only a few days to get the people out of Egypt and on the road to
the promised land, but it took over 40 ÿyears to get Egypt out of
the people. The testimony of CHRISTIANS should be exclusively of
CHRIST. When we look around us, what do we see? Egypt. ÿWe see
our ÿEgypt in the riches that have been bestowed on us to such ÿa
degree ÿthat ÿwe ÿbegin ÿto feel we have ÿbeen ÿworthy ÿof ÿthese
blessings. ÿWe take on the love of money rather than the love of
God. We not only love the world, ÿwe want to "own a piece of the
rock" and forsake the "rock" of Jesus Christ. We become like the
young ruler in the Gospels who truly wanted to know how to ÿenter
the Kingdom of Heaven. ÿWhen our Lord informed him that he ÿmust
sell ÿeverything and follow Him, ÿwe see the young ruler ÿbacking
off, just as we do so often.
In ÿI ÿJohn ÿ2:16 ÿwe find the 'trinity' ÿÿthat ÿSatan ÿhas
developed as a barrier to the life that God intends for us. This
'trinity' ÿis: ÿLust of the Flesh, ÿLust of the Eyes and Pride of
Life. It can be better expresses by stating LUST OF THE FLESH as
a consuming passion TO DO, ÿLUST OF THE EYES as a compelling urge
TO HAVE and the PRIDE OF LIFE as an overpowering demand TO BE.
Passions, ÿÿpossessions and pride sum up in three words the
way ALL temptations throughout the ages have been handled by ÿthe
prince ÿof ÿdarkness. ÿIn a subtle way, ÿwe can state that ÿwith
these ÿthree ÿitems ÿof ÿtemptation, ÿÿthe ÿdevil ÿliterally ÿhas
"something ÿfor everyone!" ÿWhen the lust of the flesh does ÿnot
appeal, ÿÿthen ÿmaybe ÿthe ÿlust of the eyes or ÿthe ÿdesire ÿfor
possessions will be the method Satan chooses. If these two fail,
the ÿnext could be the "pride" ÿthat comes from not falling ÿinto
the snares of the other two! Temptation is not sin. Jesus, ÿour
Lord, ÿwas tempted. Sin is defined in Romans 14:23 ÿwhere we are
told, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
The ÿdifference between a "natural man" ÿand a Disciple ÿof
Christ is that the natural man claims independence from God. The
five "I WILL" statements of Satan in Isaiah show that Satan still
tries ÿto ÿnegate ÿour ÿleadership by trying ÿto ÿtempt ÿus ÿwith
anything ÿthat will get us to fall into his sin - trying to ÿwalk
in ÿindependence ÿof ÿGod. ÿEven Jesus shows that ÿit ÿis ÿtotal
dependence upon Him that makes the difference, ÿregardless of the
"goodness" ÿof our actions when, in Matthew 7:21-23 ÿwe find some
leaders of religion that, ÿon the surface, ÿmust look like ÿgreat
men of God. ÿRead this section and see that the outside of a man
is not what Jesus looks at. ÿDoes our heart know Him? ÿOur work
will ÿnever ÿintroduce ÿus ÿto Jesus, ÿbut ÿan ÿintroduction ÿand
reception of Jesus into our heart introduces us to works that are
eternal in nature.
The inner life, the "real" life inside the skin of a leader
is ÿthe ÿ"proof of the pudding" ÿthat God has called us and ÿthat
Christ is working through us. The best example of this is in the
life of Daniel.
Daniel was only a child when chosen by the king of the most
powerful ÿand ÿmost ÿpagan ÿnation on earth ÿto ÿbe ÿtrained ÿfor
leadership ÿdue to certain qualities. ÿDaniel 1:4 ÿgives us ÿthe
qualifications ÿof ÿan ÿelite group of youths ÿfrom ÿthe ÿcaptive
Hebrew nation. Read this section.
Now, ÿÿGod found one of the group to be used by this ÿpagan
nation ÿin the highest appointive office of the land, ÿand in ÿso
doing made Daniel the only one that He made the spiritual ÿleader
of ÿIsrael. ÿÿWe need to look into the ÿimportant ÿqualities ÿof
Daniel that God found and was able to build upon.
PURITY OF LIFE
"Daniel ÿpurposed ÿin ÿhis heart that he would ÿnot ÿdefile
himself." (Daniel 1:8)
Daniel ÿchose not to sit on the fence. ÿHe probably ÿnoted
that ÿGod ÿdivided the light from the dark and from that date ÿon
there ÿwere only the two - light and darkness, ÿand Daniel ÿchose
The ÿÿApostle ÿPaul ÿfurther ÿelaborated ÿon ÿthis ÿin ÿÿII
Corinthians ÿ6:14-16. ÿ"Be ye not unequally yoked together ÿwith
unbelievers; ÿÿÿfor ÿwhat ÿfellowship ÿhath ÿrighteousness ÿÿwith
unrighteousness? ÿÿAnd what communion hath light with ÿdarkness?
And ÿwhat concord hath Christ with Belial? ÿOr what part hath he
that ÿbelieveth ÿwith an infidel? ÿAnd what agreement ÿhath ÿthe
temple ÿof God with idols? ÿFor ye are the temple of the ÿliving
Let's ÿlook carefully at the five areas that Paul ÿuses ÿto
draw the line between God and Satan:
House of God False Worship
You MUST CHOOSE to live on one side or the other. ÿBy ÿnot
making a direct choice for Christ, you make a choice to remain on
the ÿside ÿof Satan. ÿEven though this choice is ÿobvious, ÿÿour
tendency is to compromise the Word of God to the world. A leader
must set the example and a standard that Paul tells Timothy, ÿÿ"A
Bishop then must be blameless" (I Timothy 3:2).
Let's ÿturn to I Samuel 16:7 ÿand see what God sets as ÿthe
basis for considering a leader. "Look not on his countenance, or
the ÿheight of his stature; ÿbecause I have refused him: ÿfor the
Lord ÿseeth ÿnot as man seeth; ÿfor a man looketh on the ÿoutward
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
So ÿit ÿis ÿwith many of us. ÿIf we attempt to put ÿon ÿan
outward show for the people, ÿwe do not fool God. ÿGod sees ÿthe
heart ÿand will permit trials to be brought to a leader that will
show ÿthat the heart is not as the outside. ÿOne day a test will
reveal a leader's true nature and character. A ÿleader MUST live
a pure life. ÿPaul further explains: "Let every one that nameth
the ÿname of Christ depart from iniquity. ÿBut in a great ÿhouse
there ÿare not only vessels of gold and of silver, ÿbut ÿalso ÿof
wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a
man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto
honor, ÿsanctified, ÿand meet for the Master's use, ÿand prepared
unto every good work."
The very criteria that God uses to decide whom He will ÿuse
for ÿHis ÿeternal ÿpurpose is found in this verse of ÿII ÿTimothy
2:19-21. ÿÿÿThose ÿÿwho ÿÿpurge ÿÿthemselves ÿÿof ÿÿdishonorable
characteristics will be vessels of honor. ÿPay attention to ÿthe
term ÿ"Sanctified." ÿÿGod ÿpromises to show ÿHimself ÿto ÿothers
THROUGH ÿthe leader who is SANCTIFIED: ÿ"And I will sanctify ÿMy
great name, ÿwhich was profaned among the heathen, ÿwhich ye have
profaned in the midst of them; ÿand the heathen shall know that I
am the Lord, 'saith the Lord God,' ÿwhen I shall be sanctified in
you before their eyes." (Ezekiel 36:23)
In ÿthe study of God's Word, ÿI ÿhave been approached ÿmany
times ÿby ÿpeople asking me whether something is right or ÿwrong.
The ÿBible ÿhas specific teachings on lying, ÿstealing and ÿother
areas ÿ- ÿbut ÿwhat of those areas where ÿthere ÿis ÿno ÿspecific
teaching? ÿÿI ÿthen discovered some principles to place any such
issue. ÿÿCorinthian Principles of Purity is what I have ÿlabeled
the principles found in I Corinthians 6:12, 8:12-13, 10:31.
DOES ÿIT ÿHELP? ÿ"All things are lawful unto me, ÿbut ÿall
things ÿare not expedient; ÿall things are lawful for me, ÿbut ÿI
will ÿnot ÿbe brought under the power of any." ÿDoes it help ÿme
physically, mentally or spiritually? Does it draw my being, mind
or spirit toward God, ÿor toward sin? This led me to evaluate my
TV viewing and book reading. Does it help me grow in the Lord or
hinder my progress in His Kingdom?
WHO CONTROLS WHOM? ÿDo I have a habit that I cannot break?
Am I in the grip of anything except the Lord?
WILL ÿI CAUSE MY BROTHER TO STUMBLE? ÿ"But when ye sin ÿso
against ÿthe brethren, ÿand wound their weak conscience, ÿye ÿsin
against Christ. ÿWherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I
will ÿeat ÿno ÿflesh while the world standeth, ÿlest ÿI ÿmake ÿmy
brother to offend." (I Corinthians 8:12-13) If I do this could I
POSSIBLY ÿcause ÿanother to stumble? ÿMaybe I can handle it ÿand
have no problems, ÿbut can anyone else see me and handle it? ÿÿI
must ÿacknowledge ÿthat ÿI ÿam ÿthe ONLY ÿexample ÿsome ÿhave ÿof
Christians - my life must support my beliefs.
IS ÿIT GLORIFYING TO GOD? ÿ"Whether therefore ye eat, ÿÿor
drink, ÿÿor ÿwhatsoever ye do, ÿdo all to the glory of ÿgod" ÿÿ(I
Corinthians 10:31). Is what I want to do going to bring glory to
God? ÿÿSimple question, ÿbut one that many people ÿwill ÿanswer,
"Well, ÿÿnot ÿeverything ÿI do brings glory to ÿGod!" ÿÿThis ÿis
probably ÿtrue, ÿÿbut our chief purpose for being created ÿis ÿto
bring Glory to God and for His good pleasure.
A leader MUST lead a pure life. I ÿam not saying a sinless
life. A human will sin. A Christian leader will sin. It is not
that ÿwe are sinless, ÿbut as Christians we are to sin less. ÿÿA
leader ÿmakes continual reference and use of I John 1:9: ÿ"If ÿwe
confess ÿour sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our ÿsins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
A ÿleader does not need to go outside his home or his ÿjob,
his country or his community. A leader only has to go outside of
In ÿthis ÿsession, ÿwe will continue the discussion of ÿthe
leader's inner life, ÿand how the inner being must conform to the
image of our Lord, ÿJesus Christ. In the last session, we talked
about ÿPurity ÿof Lifestyle, ÿand we will continue in ÿthis ÿsame
direction with another trait of a leader:
Again ÿwe ÿlook ÿto Daniel as an example of ÿhow ÿa ÿperson
remained ÿa servant of the Lord even when he had risen to ÿlevels
of ÿpower ÿthat ÿfew of us will ever attain. ÿÿWhen ÿDaniel ÿwas
afforded ÿan opportunity to exalt himself, ÿhe directed the glory
to ÿthe ÿliving ÿGod. ÿWe need to "turn on our Lights ÿunto ÿthe
World" to Daniel 2:27-30 and read those verses.
Notice that Daniel did not say that he knew the answer, but
that God in heaven knew the answer. Daniel attributed to God all
that he was able to discern for the king.
A ÿhumble spirit is the most evident hallmark of a ÿleader.
In Isaiah 42:8 ÿwe read, "I am the Lord; that is My name: ÿand My
glory ÿwill ÿI not give to another, ÿneither my praise to ÿgraven
images." God always has a way to bring His wayward children back
to the straight and narrow. ÿHumility demands recognition of the
fact ÿthat others have traveled farther and are able ÿto ÿprovide
counsel and should receive honor. ÿ"Likewise, ye younger, submit
yourselves ÿunto the elder. ÿYea, ÿall of you be subject ÿone ÿto
another, and be clothed in humility: for God resisteth the proud,
and ÿgiveth ÿgrace to the humble. ÿHumble ÿyourselves ÿtherefore
under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."
(I Peter 5:5-6)
Almighty ÿGod is not one I would want to be ÿresisting ÿme,
and we are told clearly that God resists anyone who is proud. In
Micah 6:8 ÿwe read the requirement of god in this area: ÿ"He hath
showed thee, O man, what is good; ÿand what doth the Lord require
of thee, ÿbut to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly
with thy God." ÿIn Proverbs 6:16-17, ÿnotice what heads the list
of things God hates! The same thing is evident in Proverbs 8:13.
Why does God oppose pride with such strength? ÿJust as all
Scripture, ÿthe Lord is making the path for us to be conformed to
His ÿstandards ÿfor our own well-being. ÿIt is accepted ÿin ÿour
minds ÿthat ÿthe way to a full and happy life is to get our ÿeyes
off ÿourselves and live for others. ÿLeadership occurs when that
is our lifestyle.
Pride, ÿÿas ÿshown, ÿÿis the prime tool used ÿby ÿSatan ÿto
neutralize ÿthe witness of a Christian by getting us to keep ÿour
eyes ÿon ÿourselves ÿand off others and God. ÿWhen ÿwe ÿlook ÿat
ourselves, ÿÿwe become insensitive to others, ÿwe offend ÿwithout
being ÿaware, ÿÿwe use others or abuse others to gain ÿour ÿends.
Whenever we, ÿas leaders, ÿallow this to happen, ÿwhen we fail to
"purpose ÿin ÿour hearts not to defile ourselves" ÿÿwe ÿlose ÿour
effectiveness in being a vessel of honor for God, and cease to be
"Let ÿnothing be done through strife or vainglory; ÿbut ÿin
lowliness ÿof mind let each esteem others better then themselves.
Look ÿnot every man on his own things, ÿbut every man also on the
things of others." ÿWe have heard the story of King Uzziah in II
Chronicles 26. The story tells about a king of sixteen years old
that ÿsought God, ÿand God made him prosper. ÿIf we look at ÿthe
verses ÿfrom 3 to 8, ÿwe observe that God made Uzziah a ÿpowerful
man. ÿÿIn ÿverse 16, ÿwe see the pride rise up in Uzziah to ÿthe
point ÿwhere ÿhe thought that he was doing a favor ÿfor ÿGod ÿand
would present the sacrifices to the Holy of Holies himself! Here
is a man that should be a warning to us all. ÿHe couldn't handle
success! ÿÿOvercome with the "pride of life" ÿUzziah was ÿstruck
down ÿby ÿGod ÿto ÿdie a piece at a time, ÿÿwhich ÿis ÿa ÿliteral
representation ÿof the way that we die inside when ÿwe ÿduplicate
the pride of Uzziah.
Leaders ÿarrive at points where they must communicate their
objectives and seek the best path to reach those objectives. ÿAt
this ÿjuncture, ÿSatan is ready to provide the greatest ÿenemy ÿ-
pride. ÿWhen a leader is full of pride they cannot see the ÿbest
way ÿof reaching their goals - they see only the path that brings
them glory, ÿhonor or acclaim. ÿPride blinds us to the best path
and ÿour mind refuses to be discerning. ÿPride only allows us to
see what it wants us to see. Pride is deadly in its consequences
as we see in Daniel 5:20.
"But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in
pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took glory
from ÿhim." ÿWe can compare this to the portrayal of the ÿleader
God seeks and uses as found in Isaiah 66:1,2.
"Thus ÿsaith the Lord, ÿ'The heaven is My throne, ÿand ÿthe
earth is My footstool: ÿwhere is the house that ye build unto Me?
And ÿwhere is the place of My rest? ÿFor all those ÿthings ÿhath
Mine hand made, ÿand all those things have been,' saith the Lord:
'but ÿto this man will I look, ÿeven to him that is poor and of a
contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.'"
We ÿare told in no uncertain terms that we are to give ÿALL
the ÿglory to God, ÿand IF we try to hang on or touch that glory,
we are finished as His ambassadors!
Pride, a disease in its own right, spawns two more diseases
of ÿthe ÿsoul. ÿIGNORANCE is the first to manifest itself ÿin ÿa
prideful ÿperson's life. ÿPride makes us think that we are self-
sufficient ÿand we become unteachable. ÿWe become blinded to our
own ÿneeds, ÿÿand ÿwe even ignore the advise and counsel ÿof ÿthe
Godly. ÿ"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: ÿbut in ÿthe
multitude of counselors they are established" ÿ(Proverbs ÿ15:22).
The ÿcounsel ÿof this nature MUST seek the interest of the ÿLord.
Many of us seek only the advice of those that we know will ÿagree
with ÿus or we become discouraged because we can't find ÿunbiased
opinions. ÿCounsel given by anyone who has your best interest at
heart ÿcan result in advice that is dead wrong. ÿHistory is full
of ÿthe ÿleaders ÿcalled of God that, ÿif they ÿhad ÿlistened ÿto
friends ÿand relatives, ÿwould never have gone out to where ÿthey
Before ÿseeking counsel, ÿleaders must take an inventory to
make ÿcertain ÿthat ÿthey ÿhave the ÿfollowing: ÿÿThey ÿmust ÿbe
teachable ÿwithout being gullible. ÿThey must weigh, ÿcarefully,
the counsel received to the Scripture and to the welfare of God's
kingdom. Just as Moses listened to Jethro, his FATHER IN LAW, we
must ÿhave our hearts open and they must remain open ÿto ÿreceive
and be taught by others. ÿ"Where there is no counsel, the people
fall: ÿÿbut ÿin ÿthe ÿmultitude of counselors ÿthere ÿis ÿsafety"
The second disease brought on by pride is INSECURITY. ÿThe
leader ÿwith his eyes on himself is excessively obsessed with how
he ÿappears ÿto ÿothers. ÿHe constantly ÿcompares ÿand ÿmeasures
himself ÿby ÿthe ÿyardstick ÿof other ÿpeople's ÿperformance ÿand
becomes ÿcompelled ÿto outdo them or equal them in ÿhis ÿefforts.
God ÿtells us to forget it - "For we dare not make ÿourselves ÿof
the ÿnumber, ÿÿor ÿcompare ÿourselves ÿwith ÿsome ÿthat ÿÿcommend
themselves; ÿÿbut ÿthey measuring themselves by themselves, ÿÿand
comparing ÿthemselves ÿamong ÿthemselves, ÿare ÿnot ÿwise." ÿÿ(II
Instead ÿof ÿabiding ÿin the knowledge that ÿ"God ÿset ÿthe
members ÿevery one of them in the body as it hath ÿpleased ÿHim,"
the ÿleader ÿwith insecurity worries about what others ÿthink ÿof
him. ÿHis effectiveness is reduced - he looks at himself - he no
longer ÿlooks ÿat ÿthe objectives. ÿCo-workers become ÿa ÿthreat
rather than a help.
This leads a leader into two extremes. 1 - The leader will
try ÿto impress others with ambitious and big plans and ÿprograms
designed to "show them what he can do" - or - 2 - He will retreat
into inaction. Neither of these can be of God. God, ÿas the One
in total control, ÿcan use anything to His glory. If this leader
launches the 'BIG' project, it is probable that the energy of the
flesh ÿwill begin it and this will lead to failure. ÿÿThe ÿother
extreme ÿis ÿjust as bad. ÿThe HUMBLE spirit in the ÿlife ÿof ÿa
leader is a powerful force in the hands of the Almighty God.
Paul ÿtells us how his weaknesses were glory to God, ÿÿwith
attention drawn to his 'thorn' ÿ- ÿ"For this thing I besought the
Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. ÿAnd He said unto me,
'My grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect
in ÿweakness.' ÿMost gladly therefore will I rather glory in ÿmy
infirmities, ÿÿthat ÿthe power of Christ may rest upon me." ÿÿ(II
How can a leader maintain a humble spirit before the ÿLord?
It ÿmight ÿbe ÿbetter to ask how can a leader NOT have ÿa ÿhumble
spirit ÿbefore ÿthe ÿLord, ÿÿbut we need ÿto ÿaddress ÿthe ÿfirst
question. ÿÿMany books are written on this subject, ÿand I won't
recover ÿold ground. ÿI ÿhave noticed that one thing stands ÿout
from ÿthe ÿlives of other great vessels of God. ÿTo walk ÿhumbly
before the Lord we need to have a lifestyle - to live our ÿentire
lives ÿ- ÿas ÿone of true PRAISE. ÿIn Heaven, ÿwe ÿare ÿtold ÿin
Revelation ÿand ÿIsaiah that the beings who surround ÿthe ÿthrone
spend their time in praise to God by singing "Holy, ÿHoly, ÿHoly,
Lord ÿGod Almighty." ÿWhen we live in this spirit of praise, ÿwe
are ÿmore ÿand more aware of our sinfulness and ÿour ÿweaknesses.
This reminder is not unhealthy introspection but one from a heart
that ÿis ÿfilled ÿwith ÿHis praises to God ÿfor ÿbeing ÿHoly ÿand
Almighty. ÿGod will use this, in turn, ÿto thrust the leader out
in ÿfaith. ÿWe have the promise of God that He will do ÿit ÿall,
when ÿÿwe ÿread ÿ"I ÿcan ÿdo ÿall ÿthings ÿthrough ÿChrist ÿwhich
"NOW ÿFAITH ÿIS ÿTHE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS ÿHOPED ÿFOR, ÿÿTHE
EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN" (Hebrews 11:1).
"Without faith it is impossible to please Him; ÿfor he that
cometh to God must believe that He is, ÿand that He is a rewarder
of them that dilligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
We ÿare ÿconstantly beseiged by new believers about ÿfaith.
What is it? What is involved? We will, in this session, discuss
the leader and faith in four aspects.
First, ÿfaith means that we believe that God will ÿprovide.
"For we walk by faith, ÿnot by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7) - "But
my ÿGod ÿshall supply all your need according to ÿHis ÿriches ÿin
glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). Do we trust that our God is
our ÿFather? ÿMany people comment that they have been put to the
test ÿby God giving them cancer to learn a lesson - or ÿthat ÿGod
took ÿa young wife to heaven just to teach the husband a ÿlesson.
Would ÿyou, ÿÿas a parent teach your child by this method? ÿÿWhy
would ÿyou think that a loving Father in heaven would do such ÿan
act to one of His children? ÿJesus Christ told us about the care
that ÿGod has for all living things and that He knows the ÿnumber
of ÿhairs on our head. ÿWhy, ÿthen, ÿcan anyone think ÿthat ÿour
loving Father would bring on horrors to teach a lesson? ÿHorrors
occur on earth because we are on earth. ÿGod promises to provide
for our needs! ÿOur needs, not our wants. ÿOur needs as He sees
them in the eternal picture of life, ÿand not in our finite frame
The second meaning of faith is that we believe that what we
do for God will prosper. "And he shall be like a tree planted by
the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his ÿleaf also shall not wither; ÿand whatsoever he ÿdoeth ÿshall
prosper" (Psalm 1:3).
We are forever under His constant watch and care. ÿWe ÿare
surrounded ÿby ÿthe rivers of His love, ÿmercy and ÿgrace. ÿÿThe
psalmist stresses this point time and time again. ÿ"He will ÿnot
suffer ÿthy ÿfoot ÿto be moved: ÿHe that keepeth ÿthee ÿwill ÿnot
slumber. ÿBehold, ÿHe that keepeth Israel shall neither ÿslumber
nor ÿsleep. ÿThe Lord is thy keeper: ÿthe Lord is thy shade upon
thy right hand" (Psalm 121:3-5).
Faith ÿÿalso ÿÿmeans ÿbelieving ÿthat ÿGod ÿis ÿÿabsolutely
trustworthy. ÿÿHow ÿmany ÿtimes ÿdo we have ÿour ÿchildren ÿsay,
"whatever ÿyou ÿthink is best, ÿDad(or Mom)" ÿwhen we ÿhave ÿthem
looking ÿfor some clothes or a bike? ÿWe lose sight of the ÿfact
that ÿGod is ALMIGHTY. ÿGod's attributes include three that ÿman
will ÿÿnever ÿÿhave ÿ- ÿOMMNIPOTENCE ÿ- ÿÿOMMNIPRESENCE ÿÿ- ÿÿand
OMMNISCIENCENT. ALL POWERFUL - EVERYWHERE AT ALL TIMES - and ALL
KNOWING. Can you picture the effect of asking God anything? God
can ÿrespond ÿwith an immediate answer to ANYTHING! ÿÿNo ÿmatter
where we may go, ÿwe KNOW that God is ALWAYS THERE! ÿWhenever we
are in need or trouble, we know that God can SOLVE EVERYTHING!
"Righteous ÿart ÿThou, ÿÿO ÿÿLord, ÿÿand ÿupright ÿare ÿThy
judgements. ÿÿÿThy ÿtestimonies ÿthat ÿThou ÿhas ÿcommanded ÿare
righteous and very faithful" (Psalms 119:137,138). God has never
done a single thing wrong! ÿWhat He calls upon us to believe and
do ÿis ÿabsolutely ÿright. ÿÿEverything ÿthat ÿHe ÿhas ÿsaid ÿis
trustworthy. ÿWhat He decides, where He leads, ÿand what He says
is ÿALWAYS ÿright. ÿHis promises are sure. ÿHis will ÿis ÿgood,
acceptable and PERFECT!
I find that the story of the father that took his child ÿto
Jesus ÿto ÿsee if he could be helped as related in Mark 9 ÿis ÿof
value to those of us that need to know about faith in God. ÿThis
is ÿthe story that has the father arriving at the camp ÿof ÿJesus
when Jesus was at the mount where He had been transfigured. When
Jesus ÿreturned to the camp, ÿHe saw that the father had besought
the disciples for help, but they had been unable to help. ÿJesus
then asked the father how long the child had suffered. ÿIn verse
21, ÿthe father relates the horrors that the child had been going
through, ÿÿand ÿthat he was at the end of his rope. ÿThe ÿfather
asked ÿfor ÿANYTHING ÿand Jesus responds in verse ÿ23 ÿÿwith ÿALL
THINGS. ÿThe father said "if Thou canst do" while Jesus responds
"if thou canst believe."
The problem is never, repeat NEVER, ÿwhat or how much Jesus
can ÿdo. ÿÿThe problem is what we can believe that ÿHe ÿcan ÿdo.
Matthew 9:29 confirms this.
THE ÿINNER LIFE OF THE LEADER WILL MAKE OR BREAK HIM. ÿÿIf
the ÿleader ÿforsakes ÿthe cultivation and ÿpractice ÿof ÿpurity,
humility and faith - if the leader fails to "purpose in his heart
to ÿnot defile himself" ÿthen the leader will be removed ÿby ÿGod
from the position of leadership. ÿIf the leader does purpose ÿin
his heart to seek FIRST the kingdom of God, ÿthen that leader can
be used by God in a mighty way. ÿTo make leadership a lifestyle,
each of us must do as Paul instructs us - "Above all, ÿtaking the
shield ÿof faith, ÿwith which ye shall be able to quench all ÿthe
fiery darts of the wicked" (Ephesians 6:16).
"But let us, ÿwho are of the day, be sober, ÿputting on the
breastplate of faith and love ..." (I Thessalonians 5:8).
The ÿuse ÿof ÿa leader, ÿby God, ÿin the world is ÿfor ÿhis
lifetime, ÿthe use of man by God is for an eternity. ÿWhat we do
as ÿleaders has an immediate implication, ÿbut it also means that
we have an ETERNAL result of our actions or lack of action. "The
eyes ÿof the lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, ÿÿto
show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is ÿperfect
toward Him" (II Chronicles 16:9).
Here ÿare some observations on the matter of faith and ÿthe
life of a leader and the BODY as a whole. I have discovered many
counterfeits of faith that are created by man. Counterfeits such
as Enthusiasm, ÿPiety, ÿLegalism, ÿand others; ÿHowever, ÿmy most
impacting observation was on what faith should mean but seems ÿto
have lost in today's church.
We ÿneed today to be reminded that the Kingdom of God ÿdoes
not consist of rituals, ÿworks or any outward observances of ÿany
kind ÿor manner. ÿThe Kingdom of God consists of ÿrighteousness,
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ÿThis kingdom, moreover, ÿis a
gift of God, ÿnot a human accomplishment. ÿIts foundation is the
vicarious ÿatonement of Jesus Christ on Calvary. ÿIt was carried
forward by the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
The ÿdisciples before Pentecost were only disciples. ÿThey
tried ÿto follow Jesus and His teachings as best they could, ÿbut
they did not know true faith. It was only at Pentecost that they
were truly made Apostles. At that time, each of them experienced
the ÿpower ÿof the resurrection of Jesus Christ. ÿAt that ÿtime,
each of them was emboldened by the Holy Spirit to bear witness of
Christ in public. ÿWhereas previously they were disciples of the
One ÿwhom ÿthey ÿsaw ÿas the Messiah of Israel, ÿÿnow ÿthey ÿwere
ambassadors and heralds of the risen Christ. ÿInstead of seeking
faith that is a dead work of the law, they now had the faith that
empowers and redeems. Previously they had the faith of servants,
now ÿthey had the faith of sons of the Living ÿGod. ÿÿPreviously
they ÿwere ÿplagued by timidity and fearfulness, ÿnow ÿthey ÿwere
ready to die for the sake of their Master and Savior.
Faith ÿincludes intellectual assent, ÿbut its essence is ÿa
personal relationship with the Living Savior, ÿJesus Christ. ÿIt
consists, ÿÿbasically, ÿin a living union with Jesus through ÿthe
Holy Spirit. ÿTrue faith means being before doing - being in the
favor ÿof ÿGod ÿbefore doing the will of God. ÿÿIt ÿmeans ÿbeing
grasped ÿby the Spirit of God. ÿIt is an opening of ÿour ÿinward
eyes ÿto ÿthe reality of God's incomparable love poured ÿout ÿfor
sinners in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ.
Yet, ÿfaith is not an almighty action of the Holy Spirit on
the soul, ÿit is also in our action in the power of the Spirit as
we ÿare sent forth into the world as witnesses and ambassadors of
Christ. ÿÿFaith ÿentails ÿboth ÿradical ÿpassivity ÿand ÿradical
activity. ÿLuther once observed: "Faith ... ÿis a living, ÿbusy,
active, ÿÿmighty thing ... ÿso it is impossible for it not to ÿdo
good works incessantly."
The ÿdeficiency ÿfound in many churches today is ÿan ÿempty
formalism or barren biblicism, ÿeither of which degenerates ÿinto
an oppressive legalism. ÿOther churches that seem more vital are
plagued ÿby perfectionistic enthusiasm or frenetic activism ÿthat
borders on humanism. ÿWhat is needed is a recovery - a revival -
of the depth and breadth of Apostolic faith.
A ÿrevival must start in the heart of one individual - ÿme.
Each ÿbeliever, ÿÿwith ÿGod, ÿcan work the miracle of ÿrevival ÿ-
'Breaking up the fallow ground' ÿonly in their own heart and life
- ÿÿthen ÿGod can use that person to spread His ÿrevival ÿto ÿthe
It ÿis imperative that we bear in mind that Jesus Christ is
not ÿjust ÿa ÿmoral ideal or prophetic genius - He ÿis ÿa ÿLIVING
SAVIOR. ÿHe is not simply the human representative of God, ÿÿbut
God ÿHimself ÿin ÿhuman flesh. ÿIt is not ÿenough ÿto ÿknow ÿthe
historical facts about the life of Christ, how He lived and died,
each person must know that Jesus died for them personally!
True ÿfaith ÿdoes ÿnot consist of ÿimposing ÿour ÿviews ÿon
others, ÿÿbut ÿin ÿsharing ÿthe ÿlight ÿgiven ÿto ÿus. ÿÿIn ÿour
evangelistic task we must not approach others with any pretension
to greater virtue or intellectual acumen. ÿInstead, ÿwe ÿpresent
ourselves ÿas fellow sinners whose eyes have been opened both ÿto
the ÿgravity of the human predicament and to the reality of God's
unconditional ÿgrace and love. ÿThe word that we proclaim stands
in judgement over our lives as well as the lives of our ÿhearers.
We ÿare ÿbeggars ÿtelling others where they can ÿget ÿfood. ÿÿAs
"fishers of men" ÿwe are instrumental in advancing the Kingdom of
God, ÿbut it is not through our cleverness that people are won to
Jesus ÿChrist; ÿÿour ÿtask is simply to let down the net ÿof ÿthe
Gospel. ÿAs the vehicle of the Spirit, ÿthe Gospel itself brings
in souls for the kingdom. (Luke 5:2-10)
This ÿis ÿnot ÿto imply that Christians ÿshould ÿnever ÿuse
apologetic arguments in defense of the faith, ÿbut our purpose in
doing so is not to induce a decision of faith. ÿ(Only the ÿSpirit
does that through the preaching of the Word.) Rather, our aim is
to ÿintensify the hunger for faith in the human soul and to ÿhelp
those ÿwho already believe to better understand their own ÿfaith.
We ÿÿcan ÿshow ÿthe ÿintellectual ÿrelevance ÿof ÿour ÿfaith ÿÿby
argumentation, ÿÿbut ÿfaith's ÿconcrete relevance ÿto ÿthe ÿhuman
condition ÿcan ÿbe grasped only by those whose ÿminds ÿhave ÿbeen
touched by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Our ÿwitness is not to some "zapping" ÿpeak experiences ÿof
the ÿsacred, ÿbut to the incursion of the sacred into the secular
which we see in Jesus Christ.
Our ÿappeal is not to external evidences for the faith ÿbut
to evidences that faith itself provides:
o The empty tomb.
o The transformed lives of the disciples.
o The interior witness of the Holy Spirit.
In ÿcarrying out the evangelistic mandate, ÿwe must bear in
mind that Holy Scripture is its own best interpreter, ÿthat is to
say, ÿScripture illumined by the Spirit of God, its author. Holy
Scripture in the hands of Spirit directed believers is sufficient
to ÿ"demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself ÿup
against the knowledge of God." (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
We ÿshould ÿnever ÿconfuse ÿreligion ÿwith ÿtechniques ÿfor
cultivating spirituality or programs of church growth. It is God
who gives the increase, ÿthough it is up to us to plant the seed.
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7) Our responsibility is to hear the Word and
then share the Good News. ÿWe can serve the Kingdom of God, ÿbut
we cannot build it. The kingdom is a gift from God that can only
be received with thanksgiving and gratefulness.
There is a difference between believing that Christ is ÿthe
Savior ÿof ÿhumankind in general and coming to know Him as ÿone's
own Savior. ÿFaith, ÿunderstood as an interior awakening to ÿthe
glory and meaning of the cross, ÿis a gift of God. ÿIt is a work
of ÿthe Holy Spirit within us. ÿIf we do not have this ÿkind ÿof
faith, ÿlet us seek it. ÿLet us pray for it as the Apostles did.
(Luke 17:5) The key to discipleship is given by our Lord:
"Ask, ÿÿand it will be given you, ÿseek and you will ÿfind,
knock and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
True ÿfaith ÿis inseparable from the experience ÿof ÿdivine
holiness ÿand divine love. ÿSometimes that experience will ÿtake
dramatic ÿform, ÿsuch as when the apostle Paul was lifted up into
the 'third heaven.' (2 Corinthians 12:2) Yet those who have such
experiences ÿdo ÿnot ÿdwell on them. ÿPeople of ÿfaith ÿare ÿnot
spiritual exhibitionists, but heralds and ambassadors of the Lord
Jesus ÿChrist. ÿLiving on a 'religious high' ÿis not serving the
glory ÿof ÿGod ÿand ÿadvancing his kingdom. ÿÿJohn ÿthe ÿBaptist
furnished ÿthe ÿmodel ÿof true spirituality ÿand ÿfaith ÿwhen ÿhe
declared: "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)
Humility such as this is an indispensable mark of authentic
piety. No one can be confronted by the Holy God without having a
poignant ÿsense ÿof ÿone's ÿown ÿcreatureliness ÿand ÿsinfulness.
(Isaiah ÿ6:1-5) ÿÿWhat ÿshows us the depth of our ÿsin ÿand ÿthe
magnitude ÿof God's grace is not just an awareness of God as ÿthe
Holy ÿOne, ÿÿ(which ÿall ÿpeople have to some ÿdegree) ÿÿbut ÿthe
knowledge of the Holy Love of God reflected in the life and death
of Jesus Christ. ÿHumility is the key to the love of other human
beings ÿfor God and for one another. ÿProud people cannot ÿlove,
because ÿlove ÿmeans to be emptied of self and dedicated ÿto ÿthe
glory of God and the welfare of his creatures.
The cardinal evidence of true faith is works of self-giving
love ÿwhich ÿare visible to the world as shown in ÿMatthew ÿ7:20,
John 13:35 ÿand other scriptures. Such works, ÿhowever, ÿare not
visible to those who do them, ÿfor the focus of the faithful doer
is never on their deeds (to which they are more likely oblivious)
but on Christ and His great, completed work of Atonement.
The essence of true religion, ÿthe righteousness of ÿfaith,
is known only to God. ÿTrue faith will be manifested in ÿfruits,
but ÿbefore ÿwe ÿcan ÿbear fruit we must ÿbe ÿrooted ÿin ÿChrist,
engrafted into Him. We must be born again from above by the Holy
Spirit. (John 1:12-13, 3:5-8, 1 Peter 1:3)
Frank ÿKafka once wrote: ÿ"The fathers of the Church ÿwere
not ÿafraid to go out into the desert because they had a richness
in their hearts. But we, with richness all around us, are afraid
because the desert is in our hearts."
Let each and every one of us, today, make the commitment to
be His servant and to seek the knowledge of His Grace and ÿMercy.
Let us become the vessels of His workings in this world. ÿLet us
have the richness in our hearts. Let us have FAITH that will set
us apart from the world and that will make the world want to know
more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
END of Lifestyles and Leadership series
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