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Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Jesus talks about His leadership

Jesus-Coming-Trumpet-e1324351057843-300x175I think that we get pretty absorbed into the servant leadership role that we see in Jesus’ life to the point that we stop understanding the power of His meekness.

As far back in the OT, far before He entered this world, it was declared what His purpose would be here on earth and what His role would be at the end of the world.

With those two leadership job descriptions in place, we see Jesus, a glimpse of Him before He even came into our world.

We understand the job description of His life here on earth pretty well I think.  So let me tell you His leadership role at the end of the world – He is given the ruling power and glory over all nations of the world, so that all people of every language must obey Him.  His power is eternal — it will never end — His government shall never fall.

This of course is confirmed in Revelation when we are introduced to the Lion of the tribe of Judah – we know Him as the Lamb.

This is something that should all Christians everywhere who are facing persecution should know.  The end has already been written – hence the expression, we are more than conquerors.  It is only for a time as we come before the world in meekness, yet in the power of the Lion who taught us how to serve until our time has come to join with Him and rule with Him.

 

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God’s favour will make others jealous

Let’s face it, most of us work in an environment where we probably associate with a lot of individuals who would not call themselves followers of Jesus.  Yet here we are, looking for God to give us favour, and wisdom and blessing in all that we do.

Before long we are working more efficiently and capably than all the rest.

We gain the attention of those in position of authority and earn a place of respect.  We have just realized that one of the best ways in influence our employers is to work hard.

Before long, the others will start to look for things in your life to criticize.  When they can’t, they will criticize your walk with God.  Here is some bad news – in a Christian ministry they do the same.  In fact, when you bring God into your work world, they say that you do that because you are not very good at what you do and are trying to draw the attention away from your lack of knowledge and tune it to something else.

Actually, they may have a point – I am not really good at what I do – God has granted incredible favour for me to be as good as I am and in my desire to glorify and honour Him, if this is what they see – well then maybe I can admit they are right.

My role is to remember that God is in control and if there be any need , He will fight my battle for me.

 

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Showing off

I am not too sure about why we need to be something bigger than we really are – but there seems to be a pressing need to do so because there are so few who are disciplined enough to not go here.

The problem with bragging is that as you brag about something at one event or more, you need to be prepared to brag about something else at the next few events, and that continues until you have made a complete fool of yourself.

There also seems to be a lifestyle that goes along with showing off – so there needs to be a lavish lifestyle that also needs to grow in order to maintain the increasing demand to show off more than what the next person can do.

Add to this the change in attitude that overtakes you.  You start believing in your own malarkey and start thinking that you are actually a somebody because of what you have done or what you own.  In fact, God might be at this point, a non-factor.

Once God is a non-factor, than the boundaries that have kept you safe and sane start disappearing.  Drinking, smoking, drugs etc. can become your next best friends along with a new set of sexual partners.

The journey started with one step, then another, then another.  There are signs along the way, but you choose to make them insignificant.

What does it take for God to get your attention?

How much does He care to arrest you and bring you back into the reality of the direction you have taken?

I have heard Him do such things – they are amazing testimonies.  I have also heard of those who continue to reject Him even though He has His loving arms around them and they die in their misery.

Am I going to far with such a simple issue of showing off?

Probably.  I get pretty intense fairly quickly.  I find in life that I need to have boundaries and that disciplining myself in the areas of my weakness helps keep me on the narrow path.  Bragging is something I really enjoy – impressing others give me a certain high.  So I am very careful to give others praise and always try to find a way to bring God into the picture.  I know, deep in my heart, that I am a nobody.  But filled with the Spirit of God, saved by grace, I am a child of the King of Kings, joint heir with Christ, and will reign with Him.

If I am to reign, I need to act like one with responsibilities and maturity in my task on hand.  That means that showing off is not the direction I am to take if I want to grow my leadership skills.

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Tell me what my dream means

I have to admit that this is an area that I wish God had gifted me with wisdom, but since I am such a dreamer, and dream a lot, I would probably be interpreting what does not need interpretation – God just plain spared me the agony.

There are a lot of people who think they have the gift of dream interpretation, the same goes with discernment and the same goes with prophecy.  So I take as little notice as possible.

The dreams that I have been told about and their interpretation – as of today – have never been true.  I do not use the word “never” in its dysfunctional state, I use it for it’s intended purpose – never.

So when I read about Joseph and Daniel in the Bible, I get a bit excited that leaders of their calibre were gifted by God to correctly interpret dreams and God used that gifting to bring glory and honour to His name.

At the end of the day, I guess that is all that matters – bringing glory to God’s name – and in fact, that is probably a good yardstick to use when trying to figure out if such dreams and their interpretation are from God or not.

Each of us have our own open doors that bring us to God – for some it’s His love, to others it’s the amazing math of creation and the rules of the universe, and to others its His power through miracles and answered prayer.  Dreams is another way for God to bring people to an awareness of who He is.

I still would like to know what some of my dreams mean, but in the end, I am fine with just having the dream.  I truly enjoy my sleep time and am refreshed each morning, energized for another day of finding out how and what I need to do and where I need to go as I journey in my walk with Jesus.

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God knows everything

The word we use officially is that God is omniscient.

What does that mean to you and I?

First of all, but not most important, I think we all see the evil leaders in our world who exist and create pain for a lot of people.  They usually live long and good leaders die young.  Hence the number one opposition to following God is because it looks like God is not in control of world events.  Yet with their seemingly unlimited powers, we know that God controls everything.  The world is moving to God’s purposes and toward His specified ends.

Secondly, and most importantly, are you and I prepared to ask God the right questions and then to be able to listen to the answer when He provides it?

As a follower of the one and only God, an omniscient God, I take joy in knowing things that I should not know, knowing things that others have no concept of, knowing things that only God could have shown or told me.

It is here, in the moment when God shares a little something with me, that takes away the opinions of ungodly people, people who think they are so self-sufficient, and shows them that there is an all-sufficient Creator.

I follow a God who can do just that – make known to me what is unknown, which no one else on earth can know.

The journey begins by laying aside all of our own opinions and worthiness, for one purpose only, that God may be praised for who He is.

Let me share just one such example.

My boss and I were interviewing someone for an important position within the company.  Important to me because I would be spending a lot of time training someone and needed to make sure that time would not be wasted on a wrong choice.  Important to my boss because he wanted to make a lot of money as quickly as possible by hiring the right person.

As we were interviewing, I was praying and asking God for wisdom, to understand this gentleman the way God saw him.  The resume was incredible and my boss was getting quite excited about the prospect of hiring this gentleman.

I kept praying and asking God to tell me things about this person that I would need to know in order to make the right decision.  God responded at just the right time.  The gentleman excused himself from the table for a moment, and just as he did so, God shared that this was not the right person.  This person was only looking to fill in two years of service at the most and would demand more than out of us than we could afford.  He would not be loyal to us, but to himself.

My boss took advantage of the alone time to confirm with me that this was the guy that we should hire.  I responded with what God told me (without saying that God told me) and my boss laughed at me and called me a rookie in the interview process.  He basically told me to shut up during the rest of the interview and he would bring it to close.

The gentleman returned, and interrupted my boss and said that he needed to tell us something before we went any further in the interview.  Word for word he declared what I had just told my boss – you should have seen my boss’ mouth drop.

Of course, that ended with us not hiring him and I had the complete authority from that day forward to do all the interviews, by myself, for any job openings.  That came about because he asked me how I knew so much about the person and I shared my conversation with God.

If we want to be leaders we need to know that God knows everything and ask Him to reveal the secrets of the universe to us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5liFCL1Bk&feature=colike

 

 

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Leadership Training

Are you of royal blood or some sort of nobility?  Are you strong, healthy and good-looking?  Have you read widely in many fields of interest, well-informed, alert and sensible?  Do you have enough poise to look good as you meander amongst other leaders?

But what makes you a good leader?

Are you a critical thinker, willing to go against the flow if it makes sense to do so?  Can you ask the right questions tha allow those over you to come to their own conclusions without you telling them what to do?  Can you create the right test environment to prove your theories and thoughts are going in the right direction?

When I look back in my life I see the hand of God in everything.  I am not good-looking, and I have no formal education – yet the favour of God upon me is incredible and humbling.  I read ferociously, pray always, seek to follow Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, listen intently, ask questions and look much older than my actual age.

This is what I see as I look back over my years of training to be in the leadership position I am in today.  It is a long road.  It would have been shorter if I went and applied myself in some sort of formal education.  I think we all need it.  The apostle Paul himself, with all of his religious training, took off three years before applying himself into ministry – those three years were in learning, growing, disciplining himself.

May we never lose sight of the fact that we are in leadership training at all times.  Let’s learn today what we will need to lead with tomorrow.

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River of Life

I know that this description is found in Genesis, Ezekiel and Revelation as a physical creation of God, something that He does, He created and that flows to provide healing wherever it goes.

But I also think that this was the same thing He offered the Samaritan woman at the well – water that would never make her thirst again.

Since this is something that comes out of God’s presence we actually have no control over it.

I look at that as an opportunity to ask God to place this river in me.  I ask Him that my life may be a vessel where this river may flow from and as I share with others, their lives may be healed, or they may find life in the words of God that I share.

In fact, I believe I have seen that happen on more than one occasion.

Even when I was doing financial planning seminars from a biblical perspective, I remember one night in particular, a difficult night, I had finished the seminar and was engaging with different members of the audience, packing up, and ready to get going home.  As I was leaving an older gentleman approached me and said that he had attended many such seminars before and was not expecting much from me.  He wanted me to know that as I was speaking he felt he was being healed from his financial woes and for the first time in a long time he knew that Jesus was walking with him and he was filled with a sense of hope that had been missing for some time.

May we give ourselves to others by allowing God to move through us today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7af3lQcqdMM&feature=colike

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h2Q8CoKwqs&feature=colike

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG-tc1CbkR4&feature=colike

 

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Morning

I have been enjoying my walk with Jesus each day, beginning in the morning, for quite some time.

In trying to explain the importance of that to others, it does not help that I am a morning person and quite enjoy the exhilaration that comes with discovery of truths, instructions to guide my day and the acknowledgement that my day is a day of worshipping my Lord and looking forward to how I can bring glory to His name.

There are others who share how important their time is with the Lord during the late evening of the day.  I believe those times are special.

I guess the morning is the opening exhibit of my heart and the morning sets the tone for the day and what the day would look like or what I need to get me through the day.  It is like the night ends the story of that day and the morning sets the beginning of the day.  So my time with God yesterday, was for yesterday and my time with Him today, is for today.

Of course we can pray and worship and engage with God in any part of the day – but the morning holds a special part in my heart.  It is a time of  consecration, a time of worship and devotion that would commit myself and my day to Jesus.

 

 

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When the door is closed, its closed, or is it?

Funny how we fail to realize that what we want may not be God‘s plan and in His grace and mercy He shuts that door as tight as possible.  I guess the funny part is where I try to open that thing with everything I have at my disposal.  I still laugh today at how we try to psyche God out, manipulate etc.

But we pray this don’t we – open doors that need to be open, close doors that need to be closed – yet, we love trying to open the closed-door!

Believe me, I know why.   We think Satan is stopping us from having our blessing.  We fail to realize the difference between Satan getting involved and the gates of hell opposing us versus the hand of God keeping the door shut.

In cases like this, we need the maturity of our relationship with God – His sheep KNOW His voice.

If we have not been spending time listening, practice listening, spending quiet time with God – we will not be ready for these challenges and we will miss the direction of God and the blessings that go with accepting that direction.  A closed-door is an incredible piece of communication.

 

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When do I fall down on my face?

It has only happened a few times in my life, but when the glory of the Lord enters into the space I am praying in, I have no alternative but to go on my knees.  If, from that position, I allow the Spirit of God to search my heart to see if there is anything there that needs attention, then I can tell you how painful the knowledge of that evil is and I end up on my face before God, in humility and repentance, seeking His grace.

I can’t explain what the glory of God looks like.  It is sudden, it is like waves of water rushing up to you and afterwards it feels like the whole area of my being was covered in light.

If you feel that this is something you want to experience – you should.  For those who have joined me with your face right into the ground, you know the pain of sin, and the heart of God that is broken because of sin, and that hurt is incredible and not something I like feeling.

Mercy Me came out with a song, I can only Imagine.  It talks about what will we be doing when we come face to face with Jesus.  I am so glad they included the possibility of landing on our face.  I think I will find myself there again.

I am so thankful that in spite of ourselves, Christ sets us free, rushes in to save us, cleanses us, and allows us to experience His grace in such a tangible way.

 

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