Leadership from God’s perspective

There are three keys to leadership from a biblical perspective:

Longsuffering
Gentleness
Temperance

These keys also happen to be listed in Galatians 5 as three of the nine “fruit of the spirit” Fruit of the spirit is “The nine visible attributes of a true Christian life” These are the outward manifestations of a solid inner spiritual walk with our heavenly Father.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

In each of our lives there have undoubtedly been people who exhibited these principles toward us.  Likewise we can show people the same.

The first principle we will look at is Longsuffering:

  1. Long Suffering

Long suffering is patience. It is bearing one another’s burdens. It may mean praying for someone, being there for someone, or even just listening. There are many great examples of this in my life. I have been allowed to grow in many categories as I was shown this patience and love.

Ephesians 4:2-3 – With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In order to have someone’s abilities, we also have to learn to accept their shortcomings.

Colossians 1:11 – Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

God strengthens us with patience and longsuffering and we can have joy as we live that principle.

Longsuffering is a renewed mind principle. It may not always feel natural, but it is an attitude that we can develop.

  1. Gentleness

Gentleness means to have integrity and moral goodness as written in this context.  It also means kindness or usefulness.

Gentleness is what leads a person to change.  God’s gentleness allows us to change and grow naturally.  This is also how we lead people, with a kind attitude.

This is what made the tremendous King David so great.

II Samuel 22:36-37 – Thou  hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip

David was known for being a great warrior and leader for God but it was God’s gentleness that made David humble and courageous.

We should lead as David did, with unwavering courage, but a gentle heart.

I and II Timothy are leadership epistles.  II Timothy 2:24 reminds us for whom we speak and the attitude which we show to others.  Paul is reminding Timothy of this principle:

II Timothy 2:24 – And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

The word “servant” in this verse is doulōs which is someone who has made the choice to serve God, a willing servant.

One of the requirements of being a leader and a servant of God is that we are gentle and understanding, as well as apt to teach.

  1. Temperance

Temperance is another word for self-control.  This is a great key as a leader because anything that a leader does is amplified.
What do I mean by that?  Let’s take for instance the President of the United States.

When the president does something good, it’s all people talk about.  It is even more obvious when a negative decision is announced and is discussed ad nauseam by our news media. Choices a president makes are amplified because those choices affect the people that a president is responsible for leading. In the case of a US president, that is hundreds of millions of people.

Likewise, we have a responsibility to keep our lives in check and exercise self-control or temperance.  We may not be leading a country, but we are called to lead God’s people; which is an even greater responsibility when it comes to the grand scheme of eternity.

The discipline of self is possibly the most difficult of disciplines.  This is because the nature of the world would have us doing the opposite. The environment around us subtly tries to influence us to drift apart from God and the greatness of His Word. It is our job to keep ourselves in check.

I Corinthians 9:25 – And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

This life is not only a physical competition at times, but a spiritual one. Every day we are in this world we have the ability to win spiritually.

Think of how much discipline it takes to be an Olympic athlete.
It means daily discipline in their eating habits, exercise, thoughts, and even who they associate with. Olympians generally don’t practice their sport with non-Olympians… simply because they will instinctively drop their game to match those around them.  If they want to win, they need to be around people who challenge them to win.

Likewise we should choose our association wisely.  If we spend the bulk of our time around people who oppose God and His ways we will instinctively begin to think the same way.  In this regard it takes much effort and temperance to surround ourselves with Godly people.

II Timothy 2:22 – Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

We are not only encouraged to avoid….but to FLEE youthful lusts. This is not only referring to the sexual category (although that is the connotation) it also refers to desires for material possessions and other potential distractions as well.

Anything that is a distraction from our walk with God falls into this category.

The benefits of keeping ourselves disciplined are eternal rewards and an incorruptible crown (as in I Corinthians 9:25 from earlier)

Temperance is one of the fruit (or evidences) of the spirit that is exhibited as we walk with our heavenly Father each day.

In this teaching we looked at Longsuffering which is patience.  In order to have someone’s positive qualities we sometimes need to accept their shortcomings.

Next we looked at Gentleness which is kindness and love shown toward others.  We can have the courage of David but also the gentleness and humility that made him great.

Temperance  is self control.  In order to be able to lead others we need to be accountable to ourselves and to those we lead.  This means that we are the same person behind closed doors as we are in public.  A great leader is a transparent leader.

With these qualities, or fruit of the spirit in mind, we can continue to walk in the position that God has called us to, as sons and daughters, earning eternal rewards with Him.

God Bless You!

From a teaching given in January of 2010
[brackets indicate my comments]
All scriptures from the KJV version of the Bible unless noted otherwise

 

Edifying one Another

I was inspired to do this teaching because of the value of edification and encouragement toward one another. It’s true that “what you say is what you get” and that there is power in the words that we choose to speak, whether negative or positive.

You’ve likely heard this quote:

Watch your thoughts; for they become words. Watch your words; for they become actions. Watch your actions; for they become habits. Watch your habits; for they become character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny.

-Frank Outlaw

This quote begins with the concept of “thoughts” but there is one before that; the heart.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

The words of our mouth begin with what we hold in our heart, followed by how we decide to think.  Our conversation toward and about one another reflects what is in our heart.

Romans 12:4-5 – For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: [the same function] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

According to the Word, we are to edify one another as members in particular.  We are all different, but there are many things about each of us that deserve edification, most especially our shared love for God.

Luke 6:36-38 – Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

The take away from this section of scripture goes back to what we hold in our hearts. It also covers the concept of giving and receiving. What we give out into the world, will always return to us. It’s important we are giving edifying, life giving words, thoughts, and actions outwardly in our lives.

God blesses what we give.  When we give of our time, God blesses us with efficiency of time.  When we give of our talents, He blesses us with more ability.  When we edify one another, we are edified.  When we give love, it is returned to us 100-fold.

This is the law of sowing and reaping and it works every time. (II Corinthians 9:6)

I looked up this word “edify” and it is found 11 times in 11 different verses in the New Testament:

We will look at each one of these and see how it applies to our lives.

Romans 14:19 – Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

“Follow after Peace” That sounds to me like a continual process.  This must also mean that following after peace is not always easy. It takes a concerted effort on our part to live this way.

1 Corinthians 10:23 – All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient [not advisable, not recommended]: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Paul is referring to the things which were not against the law, but were not a blessing either.  (Some examples today would be; gambling money away while a family suffers, a woman wearing very revealing clothing when not appropriate to do so, or a church leader drinking too much alcohol.)  The things Paul is alluding to here were not against the law, but they probably did not edify, and in fact may have distracted and caused unnecessary problems. The same is true in our day and time.

God edifies us by way of the Holy Spirit and our manifestation of the gift He gave us. The evidence and proof of eternal life is found in the operation of the manifestations of Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Word of Prophecy as noted in 1 Corinthians 14:

1 Corinthians 14:4-5 – He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

When we speak in tongues, it edifies us. When speaking in tongues is brought forth publicly in a group setting it is always to be interpreted by the speaker so that others may be edified. God gives both the tongues and the interpretation to the person operating this manifestation. God also provides a word of prophecy (which is either the foretelling of future events, or declaring of God’s love for us) as the manifestation is operated by the believer for the benefit of the people present.

We are edified as we speak in tongues in our private prayer life and the Church is edified during a believer’s meeting when the manifestations are interpreted. God provides everything we need to operate these, and all 9 manifestations (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

1 Corinthians 14:12 – Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts [spiritual matters] seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

This scripture encourages us to develop our ability to manifest Holy Spirit in order to edify the household.  We are to be zealous for spiritual matters!

1 Corinthians 14:26 – How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Still referring to the manifestations, we are encouraged to all be eager and prepared to manifest at all times.  Verse 27 goes on to say that we are to have at least two or three people in order to have a public meeting including the manifestations.

2 Corinthians 12:19 – Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

God instructs us to do all things for the purpose of edifying.

Ephesians 4:11-12 – And he [God] gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the [purpose of] perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The gift ministries listed in verse 11 are for the purpose of perfecting the saints, moving the Word, and edifying the body. These are gifts from God to the people. These are not gifts given to the individual. Each of us can be any and all of them at different times in our lives and God gave the ability of each of these to all who are born again.

Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

God has called us to speak the truth – with love in our hearts.  We don’t do it because it’s necessarily easy or fun.  We do it because it is what God wants.

Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

It’s like the classic movie “Bambi” when the character named Thumper said “If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothin’ at all”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

This is a fitting scripture to close this teaching. Now here is a practical way to put your edification to good use.

Make a concerted effort for the next days and weeks to edify and speak words of encouragement.

God Bless You!

From a July 2009 Teaching
[brackets indicate my comments]
All scriptures from the KJV version of the Bible unless otherwise noted

Forget the Naysayers

This record in Mark Chapter 6 is full of great principles that we can learn.  Jesus Christ set the ultimate example for us as he lived his life and taught the Word of God despite opposition.

He trusted God fully to meet his needs …and the needs of his disciples.

Before we start in verse 7, let’s go to the first part of the chapter.
The story takes place in the land where Jesus Christ grew up as a young boy.  It is now during his 1 year ministry and he was 30 years old at this time.  The people in the city knew him when he was younger.

Mark 6:1-6
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

You would think that the people closest to you would always be your biggest supporters, but in fact the opposite can be true at times.  When you set out to accomplish something great, people will sometimes question your motives.  That was the case here.
What was his response to this treatment?    We read it in Verse 7:

7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

Jesus directed them to go by “two by two” and speak the Word because there is strength in pairs.

8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

He instructed them to completely trust God for their immediate needs to be met.  They were to take only a staff, sandals, and a coat.  God would provide everything else they would need as they went along.

Matthew 6:31-34
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Jesus Christ understood this principle and was teaching it to his disciples.  He wanted them to literally trust that they would have all of their basic requirements taken care of.

How easy it is in our culture to allow our jobs to be our “sufficiency” and determine how our needs are met.  God is so much greater!

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

14 And king Herod heard of him [Jesus] (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

Herod Antipas was actually the son of “Herod the Great.”  He was not as powerful, only overseeing a portion of his father’s kingdom and was never actually a true king (although he is referred to as a king here)  He was actually a Tetrarch, meaning he ruled a quarter of the kingdom. During this time he built the city called “Tiberias.”

He was extremely superstitious, was easily bribed and influenced, and seriously lacked integrity, morals, and honesty.  There were some major character flaws here!

He was responsible for the death of John the Baptist and would ultimately be responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Let’s read on:

16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

Herod thought Jesus Christ was John the Baptist back from the dead because he was doing great works for God. (Superstition)

17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

The king’s brother had died and Herod married his wife Herodias.

John spoke out against this – it was against the law to marry your brother’s wife, not to mention it was adultery because they both got divorced to marry each other.

18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. 19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

Herodias wanted to execute John but she could not have him killed.  Here is the reason in verse 20:

20 For Herod feared [respected & admired] John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. 21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

This was the king’s first mistake.  He allowed his new wife’s daughter Salome to manipulate him.

23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

So the daughter manipulates the king and with some prodding from her mother…

25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

Now you would think that if the king respected John (although he had no trouble breaking the law and marrying Herodias) he might have ignored her request, but no:

27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. 29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. 30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

This was a very negative situation but the disciples carried on anyway.

In the beginning of the chapter Jesus Christ ignored the naysayers of his home town and continued moving forward.

He commissioned his disciples to go out in pairs teaching, sharing, and healing.

He taught them how to trust God fully to meet their needs

They had such an impact that the king heard of their work

And finally, the disciples reported back to Jesus Christ of their victories, despite the loss of a dear friend and fellow believer.

Truly great principles are shown in this section of scripture.  We carry on with the things of God despite setbacks and negativity from others who may believe differently.  When God is our sufficiency, the words and actions used against us have no power.

God Bless You!

From a Teaching on:  Mark 6:7-30
 March 14, 2009
[brackets indicate my comments]

Teachings from the Word of God