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LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP


Written by: Unknown    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

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.

                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                            Class One

      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. 

MOSES

      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" (3:8).       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 charge!"       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" (3:10).       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 deliverance."       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 them?"       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." 

GIDEON

      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 reminder!       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 through you."

JEREMIAH

      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 the record.       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 living.)



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                          Communication

                      EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

      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, didn't we?"       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 working.       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 would desire.   "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 provides.

                        WHOLEHEARTEDNESS

    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.

                        SINGLEMINDEDNESS

      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.        

                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                  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 verses.       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 NAME.       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.

                          CO-LABORERS

      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 God.

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 their responsibilities.       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.

                      INFORMATION UNLIMITED

      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.

                        PERSONAL PROBLEMS

      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 leader.       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 verse 4:18.       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."



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                        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 these differences:

NATURAL                SPIRITUAL

Self Confident          Confident in God Knows men              Knows man and God Makes own decisions    Seeks God's will Ambitious              Self-effacing Originates methods      Finds God's methods Enjoys commanding      Delights to obey God Personal motivations    Agape motivations Independent            God-dependent

      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     perspective. 3. Leadership deals with concepts. - Management relates to     functions. 4. Leadership exercises faith. - Management works with facts. 5. Leadership seeks for effectiveness. - Management strives for     efficiency. 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 following:

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 invisible.")

OBEDIENCE. ÿ(:28  ÿ"Through faith he kept the passover, ÿand ÿthe sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyeth the firstborn should touch them.")

RESPONSIBILITY. ÿ(:29  ÿ"By faith they passed through the Red Sea as ÿby ÿdry ÿland: ÿÿwhich ÿthe Egyptians ÿassaying ÿto ÿdo ÿwere drowned.")

      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 a man.       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 Timothy 3:16,17)       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, 112:1, 119:47)

                          II. PRAYER

      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!

                        III. OBEDIENCE

      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 increases."       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 LEADERSHIP

                  Lifestyle traits of character

                          EXCELLENCE

      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'" (Isaiah 12:2-5).       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 perfection.       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 3:10).       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 and 21.       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.

                          INITIATIVE

      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 happen.       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 brother."       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 INITIATIVE!       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 our brethren.       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 1:25)

                          CREATIVITY

      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 creativity?"       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 Jesus.       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 new thing!"       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." 



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                      Dangers of Leadership

                            SURVIVAL

      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!

                      CO-WORKER SELECTION

      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 again.       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.

                          SELF GLORY

      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 6:1-4.       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.

                        DISCOURAGEMENT

      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 presently in.                             - 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 mountains.       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 name.



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                    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 Timothy 1:5).       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.

      Jesus first,       Others second, and       Yourself last.

      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 same joy.       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 shown it.       Ephesians 4:29 ÿtells us that EACH OF US have a ministry of Grace.

      God's       Riches       At       Christ's       Expense

      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.

                        SERVANT'S HEART

      "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 10:45)       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 brethren."       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 Matthew 20:25-28.       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- 12).       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 world!       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.



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                        Inner Lifestyle

      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?

                          COMMITMENT

      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 light.       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 God."       Let's ÿlook carefully at the five areas that Paul ÿuses ÿto draw the line between God and Satan:

  CHRIST          SATAN

  Righteousness    Lawlessness   Light            Darkness   Satan            Christ   Faith            Unbelief   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 himself.



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                        Inner Lifestyle

      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:

                            HUMILITY

      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 usable.       "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 were called.       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" (Proverbs 11:14).       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 Corinthians 10:12)       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 Corinthians 12:8-9)       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 strengtheneth me."



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                        Inner Lifestyle

                              FAITH

      "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 of reference.       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 world!       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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