Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1 Timothy 3:2-7 (NIV)
2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. - Paul (apostle, pharisee, church planter, servant, author, example)
Without this essential quality, all other gifts remain as dwarfs: they cannot grow. So discipline appears first on our list. BEFORE WE CAN CONQUER THE WORLD, WE MUST FIRST CONQUER THE SELF. - J. Oswald Sanders
This truly is a game changer. I've noticed it in my life and among my peers. Where discipline exists and has existed, a tendency for effectiveness and success follows. Whether business, social services, or even church, without discipline, no work will ever grow beyond an individual.
I think that's why it may be so hard to intentionally develop self discipline. We don't want it to grow beyond ourselves. And if we honestly look inside, at times, leaders find validation in others looking to them and only them. A disciplined leader will develop and lead other leaders, not just the people of his/her company. If this is truly the case, an effective leader eventually works him/herself out of a job.
Similarly, it's ironic how discipline can exist at a work place, but not in the home place. Whether personal or with family, if effectiveness and success follow discipline at work, would the same not be true at home? Discipline in finances yields savings, better succession planning, vacation planning, and retirement planning. All excellent and valuable things, in light of our current realities. Discipline in time with spouse and children will all lead to deeper and more intimate relationships = meaningful homes. Discipline in time with God develops more of Christ in one's self and less of self in one's self.
Discipline. The best athletes are the best because they were more disciplined than the rest. The best businesses are the best, because they are more disciplined. Churches, small or large, are the best because of their disciplined practices to serve and disciple.
Discipline, the road less traveled.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1 Peter 5:1-7 (NIV)
1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
The flock belongs to God; He's entrusted their care to us. So then, what is our motivation to care for others?
It must have been difficult to be a leader when your life and the lives of others were riding on it. Similarly, modern leadership can undervalue the worth of a life. Lives still hang in the balance. Our urgency isn't there, thus causing a half hearted approach to leadership and caring for the flock. Where care occurs, genuine concern is present.
Peter says to the leaders, "Shepherd your people like God." Just as Israel is God's special allotment, the people we have to serve in the church or anywhere else are our special allotment; and our whole attitude to them must be the attitude of God; we must shepherd them like God. What a vision opens out! What an ideal! And what a condemnation! It is our task to show people the forbearance of God, the forgiveness of God, the seeking love of God, the limitless service of God. - William Barclay
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. - Paul, Apostle, Servant, Example
God is the One that has called us to serve because of His choice. As a result, this should have some serious implications on the way we lead. Should we not be more bold in what we attempt? Should we not be willing to take greater risks within the leading of His Spirit? When we operate within the clear and known will of God, the blessing and result of greatness is immeasurable.
I believe that Paul accomplished much because he attempted much. He was not about himself or about others. He was about the mission that God had called him to. In Colossians we read about both the power of God in a man and a man's resolve to work and to work hard. Paul labors and struggles, but he does so with the energy of God, which was "powerfully working in him."
Does this same energy of God, AKA the Holy Spirit, not reside within each of us that have been regenerated through Christ, His suffering, His sacrifice, and His resurrection?
Then what is it? What is it that slows us down? What is it that keeps us going further? What is it that hampers God's work in us to see more people come to Christ, more churches started, more people served, more people fed, or more people blessed?
I believe it's 2 things.
The first, since life is convenient, we've grown lazy. Imagine if Paul were alive today, would we not see even more incredible things?
Second, I think we doubt what God is able to do in and thru us. Not just pastors, evangelists, or ..., but through "regular people" (whatever that means). When the people of God learn to tap into the power of God, I believe that we'll see the movement of God. Education helps, but God is smarter. Resources help, but God is richer.
An appointment by God, more powerful than we can fully understand.