Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about leaders. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, get comfy and let’s talk for a few minutes!
Each of us has leaders in our lives...maybe it’s at work, or church or school. People like our parents, pastors, government officials, teachers, our boss and so on. If we’re not careful, we may -- sometimes without realizing it -- put them on pedestals. Often, that starts from a very genuine place of loving and esteeming that leader. You think so highly of them -- they’re just the best leaders, superstars, incredible people!
However, what each of us will come to see at some point or another is that every leader is just a normal person too! They’re average joes, or average janes, just like the rest of us. YES...they’ve been anointed to lead in the roles they’re called to...but they’re also human. They have to lace up their faith boots and walk through life one day at a time, just like the rest of us.
>>Can you see now how placing them on a pedestal, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is bound to lead to some issues?
Friends, you will eventually see the “human” side of your amazing leaders...and if they’ve been put on a pedestal in your heart, that is going to cause them to fall from the pedestal. That could then get you caught up in disappointment, discouragement or even worse...you could get stuck in the trap of being offended. This type of situation is lurking behind untold numbers of church splits, company splits, family feuds and divisions of all kinds.
When it comes to your parents or civic leaders the Bible has a lot to say about honoring and obeying them. (We’ll save that for another devo.) God’s Word also has a lot to say about the benefit to YOU, when you honor the spiritual leaders He has placed in your life.
I encourage you today to look at this idea of honor from a few angles. (Hint: It will benefit both you and your leaders!) Absolutely we should esteem, value and love the leaders that God has put in our lives and on our hearts. But esteem the call on their life -- place the high value on the anointing they’ve been given by the Lord. Can you see that shift in focus? You’re not putting the person on a pedestal...instead, you’re choosing to focus on and esteem the position and calling. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13 we are encouraged to: “...esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (NKJV).
That can seem like a very simple, or basic, shift in focus -- but it will make a huge difference! Your leaders will feel your support of their role without sensing the pressure to be perfect or super-human. That will help make leadership a joyful experience! I love this verse in Hebrews 13:17, which shows so clearly how this will uplift your leaders: “Obey your spiritual leaders and recognize their authority, for they keep watch over your soul without resting since they will have to give an account to God for their work. So it will benefit you when you make their work a pleasure and not a heavy burden” (TPT).
Yes, your leaders are normal people! They are not perfect. But, they do have a calling on their lives to lead in whatever capacity God has anointed them...and they have a responsibility to do so in a way that honors the Lord. They will give an account for how they’ve fulfilled their leadership calling, so let’s help lift them up and encourage them by esteeming their position...but giving much grace to them as everyday people too!
Say This: “Father, thank You for the leaders You’ve placed in my life. Today I lift up ___________ (mention by name the leaders on your heart) -- I ask You to fill them with wisdom, grace and increased anointing so they can lead in a way that honors You. Lord, help me to see if I’ve placed any of my leaders on a pedestal -- help me instead to honor their role and calling but give them lots of grace, as they are normal people just like me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Grace
Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about leaders. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, get comfy and let’s talk for a few minutes!
You’ve probably experienced one or both of these scenarios in your life...at some point, you’ve likely not had enough of something you needed (money, work, transportation, friends, you name it!) and wondered why you weren’t experiencing the abundant and prosperous life you heard others talking about. On the flip side, at some point maybe you’ve experienced a prosperous life, full of blessings and abundance, but felt guilty for doing well...felt like you had to apologize all the time for being blessed.
You may find yourself in one of those two camps even today! So friends, I want to talk with you about both -- together, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about blessings and prosperity. Remember, we don’t build our faith or our lives on opinion, culture trends or any other constantly changing influence...we trust God’s Word as the foundation and guidebook for our lives. So let’s check out what the Bible has to say about this topic:
Psalm 103:2-5 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (NKJV).
And, in John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (AMP).
These are just two of the many verses on this subject, but I love these two! They paint such a beautiful picture of the Lord’s heart to us...He offers us salvation AND a whole benefits “package!” He came to bring us life that we can enjoy and have abundance, till it overflows. Wow! God loves us -- and through Jesus, He has already paid a mighty high price for us to be blessed and prosperous! Let’s check out another verse...
Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits…” (NKJV).
Seriously, check out the words in that verse: “daily” and “loads!” I don’t know about you, but those words to me paint a picture of abundance, not of scarcity or lack! I know that for some of you, this is confirmation of what you already have experienced as you’ve trusted the Lord for increase and blessings. For others, this is causing your head to go tilt! Let me encourage you today to continue seeking the Lord for revelation in this area...He’s a good Father and He wants you to be super blessed and ever-increasing.
>>Don’t miss this one very important “asterisk”...
It’s all about the heart! God does not want you to be blessed and prosperous so that you become self-obsessed or materialistic. He doesn’t want you looking down on others or letting money rule your life. By no means! He wants you to have and enjoy life, and He wants you blessed to be a blessing! At the same time, the Lord wants you to be content and willing to share generously -- having a giving spirit. Can you see how the heart condition truly means everything in understanding, receiving and appropriately applying God’s goodness and blessings in your life?
Take some time this week to soak in these Scriptures...let them renew your mind to what the Word says about God’s heart towards you and His desire for your life. After all, as you experience abundance and are blessed, your ability to bless others greatly increases. So let’s believe God for the blessings He wants for us -- and let’s bless others generously too!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much that You love me and that it’s Your will that I am blessed and prosperous. I’m so thankful for the price Jesus paid so I could be saved and also enjoy the whole benefits ‘package’ that is available to me. Today, I ask that Your blessing and goodness continually fill my life with abundance in all areas. And show me, Lord, how I can be a blessing to others! As I increase, help me to keep my heart focused on You and giving all the glory to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Have you ever felt alone? Abandoned? Insignificant, unnoticed, forgotten? These feelings are not often from a short, one-time event but rather they can grow in you for years for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve gone through a divorce, or maybe you’re the child who witnessed your parents’ divorce. Maybe you are in a family but still feel alone and unnoticed. Or perhaps you’ve gone through some kind of abuse in your life and it took a toll. Well, I’m here to tell you today, in case you’ve never heard it or just need to hear it again…
That’s right, YOU. Not the person next to you, I’m talking to YOU. The God of the Universe is not so busy that He doesn’t take interest in the details of your life. You matter so much to Him that He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to set you free. Think about this for a moment -- how can you tell something’s value? Well, you look at the cost paid for it. Look no further than the ultimate price Jesus paid, and you’ll see just how valuable you are! Matthew 6:26 confirms: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” God can handle all of the details of every living creature and care for them -- so there can be no doubt that He is well able to be involved in the details of your life and in caring for YOU!
The key to truly understanding this starts with asking Jesus into your heart (getting saved) and then allowing Him to do a restorative work in you. There is no mess so messy that God can’t help clean it up. There’s nothing so big or so awful or from so long ago that God can’t do a miraculous restorative work in and through you. Ask Him to bring restoration to your heart, soul and relationships. Allow Him access to the places that hurt. You can trust Him with your heart. You can trust Him with your life, your love and your hope. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
When you join with Him in the journey of restoration, the true beauty happens when your feelings of abandonment start to get replaced with attachment -- attachment to Jesus! After all, to truly be rid of something negative, something positive must take its place. If you’ve been poor, you’re still poor until you have enough. If you’ve been sick, you’re still sick until you’re well. The positive replaces the negative, and that becomes your new reality. Replacing your loneliness or abandonment with attachment to Christ will become your redemption story! So don’t wait. Say the prayer below from your heart, and let God start working His supernatural restoration in your life today.
Say This: “Father, thank You that I matter. I matter to you. What I’ve been through and what I go through matters to You. You are interested in all the details of my life. Today I first want to ask Jesus into my heart, to be the Lord of my life. And secondly I ask You to begin the restoration process in my life. You know the hurts I carry, the feelings of loss, abandonment and loneliness, and I crave attachment to Jesus as a replacement for all of that. I trust You and thank You in advance for the restoration journey I’m now on, with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
When you think of the word “grace,” what comes to mind? I know for me, the word “grace” was kind of foggy at first. I could tell that grace was a good thing, that it was desirable and positive. But, it was hard to put my thumb on just what it meant and how to apply it to my life -- and don’t even ask me to explain it to someone else back then! Ha!
But at some point along my journey I got the revelation knowledge of what grace truly is...and WOW it’s a big deal! And did I tell you...it’s FREE! The basic truth we’re diving into today is that grace is not just a warm-fuzzy or feel-good word. It’s not good vibes or positive thoughts. Grace is actually a tangible deposit of God’s ability and strength into your life!
>>Did you catch that? It’s HIS ability and strength, freely given to YOU!
It’s no wonder that in Romans 5:17 we read: “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” So there’s a direct tie here between receiving an abundance of grace and reigning in life. God’s desire for us is to reign in life, not to be run over by life!
The question for all of us today is...do you feel like you’re reigning in life? Or does it feel like you’re living “one nostril above water?” Stressed out, maxed out, burned out, you name it. None of those describes the type of lifestyle God desires for you! It’s true that in this day-and-age, there’s no shortage of things that will try to command your attention and fill your schedule. There’s work, raising children, going to school, travel, phone calls, paying bills, eating and sleeping, Facebook, Zumba class, grocery shopping, walking the dog...I mean, isn’t it easy to see how quickly you could feel overwhelmed? That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you obtain God’s grace for the pace!
God’s grace in your life is like great ropes that hold a ship together through a storm. When everything around you is falling apart, the waves are crashing and wind is beating down on you, it’s God’s grace -- those incredibly strong, tough, supernatural ropes -- that keep you in tact. And in calm waters, it’s the grease for the motor that helps you cruise forward with ease and joy!
I want to encourage you today -- if you’re feeling run over, out of steam or at the end of your rope...then right now RUN, don’t walk, to the Throne of Grace to obtain supernatural deposits of His ability and strength! Simply ASK the Lord for extra grace for the pace. Obtaining grace deposits into your life is an active process -- it’s something you need to ask for, seek, require and grab hold of. So don’t wait...access the grace He has for you today and every day -- just ask and receive!
Say This: “Father, thank You that I can approach Your Throne of Grace at any time and ask for extra grace for the pace! Thank You that You are depositing Your ability and strength into my life, helping me to reign in life, to enlarge my capacity and to fulfill all that You’ve called me to do in this life. Today I ask You for extra measures of grace, and I thank You for it! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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