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: Serving
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!
At one point or another, we’ve all likely wondered what our gifts and talents are. We’ve wondered how our wiring, our quirks and our abilities could make a difference in this world.
Or, maybe you have an idea of what a few of your giftings are but you’re feeling a bit “stuck” or frustrated, wondering why you’re not having opportunities to use those talents. Today I want to share with you the secret of what to do in either case...HELP! Specifically, plug in and help in your local church! You see, when you help...God will order your steps and you’ll start to see more and more clearly what your unique “lane” is.
You may feel like greeting, directing traffic, mopping floors, starting coffee pots, or whatever helping role you’re volunteering in, is insignificant...but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Let’s check out 1 Corinthians 12:28: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (NKJV).
We see in that verse that there is a ministry of “helps” -- and as a quick aside, even if God has called you to another one of the ministry areas listed in that verse, almost every single time the path still begins with the ministry of helps. For many, the ministry of helps IS the calling.
>>Are you catching this? “Helps” is ministry! And it makes a world of difference in the lives of others!
Helping at your local church provides fertile ground for the Lord to cultivate your gift and to make a way for you to use it to help more and more people. Is helping glamorous? Not usually. Is helping always going to be in your preferred area of interest? Not always, especially as you start out. But will God honor your willing heart and helping hands, and in due season use your serving to reveal to you specific gifts and talents He has put inside you? YES!
Here’s a promise to stand on...read with me in Proverbs 18:16: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (NKJV). As you continue to faithfully serve, your gift will become more clear and visible, both to you and to others. For example, you may feel like you have a teaching gift but wonder why you’ve been asked to serve in Kids’ Ministry. I encourage you today, do so with excellence and a willing heart! Serve those kids to the best of your ability. Use your teaching gift to teach and train them. Nurture and hone that skill, be faithful to what God’s asking you to do in that season, and at the right time He will make a way for you to use those gifts in new ways.
You don’t have to strive, fret or worry...trust the Lord to do what only He can do which is to reveal your special gifts and talents as you serve faithfully and whole-heartedly in your local church. Everything you invest into growing His church is time well-spent...it’s an ETERNAL investment by helping others...and He will make sure your gifts make a way for you!
Say This: “Father, thank You that You’ve given me gifts and talents. I choose to help serve in my local church and trust that as I serve faithfully, You’ll make my gifts and talents more visible to me and to others. Thank You that I can participate in the ministry of ‘helps’ and make an eternal impact in the lives of others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
When we talk about God’s plans...it makes me think of a puzzle box top. The box is full of puzzle pieces, but the box top shows the finished image. It’s the goal, the “bigger picture,” the purpose of all the intertwined, individual pieces that need to connect together to form that finished work. God sees that full view, and He’s intentionally weaving all of us into the amazing masterpiece throughout the ages.
So in this analogy, that means each of those puzzle pieces is a person. God is divinely connecting people together to strengthen each other as the global Church, all intricately building together to form what He sees on the puzzle box top. After all, His plans are all about people. God is passionate about His Church...it’s what Jesus gave His life for...and the Church isn’t buildings (although it’s great to have places to meet!) -- it’s people!
While many verses in the Bible confirm that building the Church is on the “front burner” of God’s priorities, one of my faves is found in Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG, which says: “...At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” The Church is central...it’s not peripheral, on the outskirts or irrelevant. Nope! The Church takes top billing, and Christ is the head of the Church. He’s actively building the Church and helping each person connect with their divine purpose.
You may have thought “I’m one person, what does my part in building the Church matter?” Or, you may have thought “God’s going to make His own plans happen...He doesn’t need me.” Let me encourage you today...YOU matter! YOU are a critical puzzle piece in the set. If you had a 1,000 piece puzzle, and you put it all together only to find out ONE piece was missing...can you visualize that? Even though 999 pieces are in place, it’s so glaring that the ONE piece is missing! That’s YOU!
>>God designed you for a purpose. YOU play an essential role in building the Church. God has a divinely implanted purpose for your life...don’t miss out on it!
Not only do you need to know that your puzzle piece matters, but you also need to see how critical the connection to others truly is! One puzzle piece alone doesn’t show the splendor of the full masterpiece...it takes the puzzle pieces being connected, each in its divinely appointed place...that makes the puzzle complete!
Specifically, connection to others in your local church -- both growing in relationships with others and also serving others with the gifts and talents the Lord has given you -- is vitally important. We can’t see clearly what our own puzzle piece looks like and how it fits without connecting to others.
God is passionate about building the Church...it is front and center on His priority list...and it’s His desire for each of us to connect with each other in our local church! Let’s help build the Church and in doing so, we’ll gain insights into our own puzzle piece and the special role we play in God’s plan.
YOU matter. Others need you. The Church is stronger with YOU plugged in and connected. If you’re not already connected to your local church, what are you waiting for? The time is now! Plug in, and continue to join me each week in The Basics Weekly Devo as we dig into this topic even more and encourage you in your God-given purpose!
Say This: “Father, thank You that You created me with a purpose. Thank You that I am part of Your divine plans in building the Church and helping others. Please help me to connect in a more significant way with my local Church, and I speak in faith that as I connect and serve others in my local Church, You’ll help me to see what my purpose is and how I can use my gifts and talents to help further the Lord’s top priority -- building His Church! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
"And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end." Matthew 24:14, AMPC
We have a big job -- we Christians, we believers -- we, the Church!
Our number one job is to preach the good news -- the Gospel -- throughout the whole world. That means, each of us must do our part to fulfill Jesus' command to "go ye" into all the world and preach the gospel! This verse indicates that once the good news of the kingdom is preached to all nations…then…the end will come.
So, what part are you playing in this huge assignment? Who are you praying for this year? Who are you sharing the gospel with? Locally, how are you serving in your church to help reach your community with this good news? Globally, what missionaries are you supporting?
Technologically, how are you utilizing the web, social media and the techno-world to reach people? Everyone has a part to play! Are you ready to get started? Do more?
Think strategically. What can we do this year that you didn't do last year? What type of impact can you make this year in praying for, helping with and preaching the gospel to all nations?
Here are a few simple things you can do -- starting today!
Locally: I encourage you to start with your local church. Put your hand to the plow and serve, so that you and your church can make an eternal difference in your community.
Globally: I encourage you to "adopt" a missionary or two and pray consistently for them. And, consider committing to support them on a monthly basis with your finances so they can continue their work in the nation to which they are called.
Technologically: I encourage you to help us get the word out -- through technology -- about our free, evangelism/discipleship tool! If you know any seekers, believers, missionaries or churches in other countries, please let them know about the free, downloadable version of the Getting a Grip on the Basics available in many foreign languages. I wrote this book many years ago to help get the Word out and over the past 20 years, it's been translated into more than a dozen languages. Did you know that all of the foreign translations are in PDFs and are posted online so that anywhere in the world people can download the entire book in a foreign language -- for FREE? We'd love it if you'd help us get the word out. This book is available in languages including: Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Norwegian, Runyankole/Rukiga, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese and Waray.
Simply click here to download and share the Getting a Grip on the Basics book with those you know who speak these languages!
So, are you ready to do more this year? Let's all do our part in preaching the good news to all nations...and perhaps...Jesus will then return and the end shall come!
Say This: "Father, I long for Jesus to return! I want to do my part to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to my world and to this entire world, so that the end (of this present age) may come and we may enter into the amazing things You have prepared for all of us. Help me to be intentional and strategic as I help to spread the gospel through my local church, global outreach and in utilizing technology. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
“There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.” Proverbs 30:24-25, NKJV
I have always been fascinated by ants! They are amazing little creatures who carry 10-50 times their weight. They operate within an intuitive rank and file organizational structure. They are self-starters and know how to take initiative.
Today, let’s see how we can be inspired and challenged -- by the ant!
Do You Carry More Than Your Weight? We were in a science museum in Montreal a while back, and they had a giant ant display within panels of glass. It was fascinating to watch the little ants carrying big flakes and particles many times their size up dirt hills. They maintained a steady pace and did their part. What about you? Do you operate at a steady pace in the things you’ve been called to do? Are you carrying more than your weight to help get the job done?
Do You Stay In Your Lane? Ants have the intuitive sense of their place, rank and role in the ant kingdom. The Queen knows her role. The worker ants stay in their lane and operate within their particular assignment. They don’t have captains, supervisors or leaders; nevertheless, they know how to find and fulfill their place. How about you? Do you know your place, rank and role? Have you learned to stay in your lane?
Are You a Self-Starter? Perhaps the most amazing thing about ants is their ability to be industrious, self-starters. They are self-motivated. They know how to take the initiative to start and finish. How about you? Are you a self-starter? Do you know how to motivate yourself to accomplish important things?
Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us adopt some of the ants’ best qualities.
Say This: “Father, today I consider the ant! I ask You to help me carry more than my weight in my home, work, ministry and life. Help me to stay in my lane and to operate in my place, rank and role. Help me to be a self-starter and internally motivated to accomplish important things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”