Posts tagged ‘Divinity’

BEAT THE DEVIL AT HIS OWN GAME

BEAT THE DEVIL AT HIS OWN GAME

THE EARLY MORNING SUNRISE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE EARLY MORNING SUNRISE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

CHILDREN OF GOD, I declare to you that it is time for you to begin to fight the good fight and win.  You have been summed to come forward and BEAT THE DEVIL AT HIS OWN GAME, if you would stop being a couch potato, learn to walk by the Spirit, step outside and rediscover the beauty that God has blessed you to be able to see and observe.  Begin by taking a daily walk 30 minutes to an hour daily.  You will soon discover your physical strength returning to you, your spiritual mind has taken control and now you are beginning to walk by the true spirit of God.  You see your body is an electrical and mechanically flesh and blood piece of machinery.  It responds to the signals given to it by the minds energy field.

Now let us look at just how we can obtain that goal:  You have heard the expression, he or she is just a couch potato.  There is no need for you to allow this to happen to you.  You can start by pushing the off button on that remote that lays beside you in the bed are on the couch.  You see the T.V. has become the devil’s greatest avenue of convincing you that he is in control of your life. He acts out your life for you; he carries on the conversation in your house for you.  He thinks for you.  Finally, when he has total control of your mind and body, he zaps your physical strength by keeping you in bondage as a couch potato where he can watch over you.  You never seen to have the strength are desire to do any type of physical exercise.

THE TOWER OF STRENGTH POWER BEAUTY AND SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE TOWER OF STRENGTH POWER BEAUTY AND SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Your batteries need to be recharged regularly in order for you to function at your maximum capacity, and one of the ways to recharge those batteries is a daily walk.  Do not just stroll down the walkway in a hurry to return for more of the devil’s old games.  Make your walk meaningful by looking around, relaxing and becoming one with God, the universe is there waiting for you to re-discover.

God’s ideal for the believer is that we live our lives in the realm of the Holy SpiritWalking in the Spirit, the exercise we should strive for refers to one’s lifestyle.  In other words, we are to live a lifestyles characterized by the Person and work of the Spirit of God.  To be led by the Spirit suggests that same Spirit directs our lifestyle.  It means we allow Him to point the way, to navigate us through the turns and intersections of life.

SANCTUARY OF PRAYER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

SANCTUARY OF PRAYER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

When you are truly walking by the Spirit, in line with the Spirit, maintaining your cover and alignment, you cannot be seen; only He can be seen.  When people look at you, they see Him.  When you speak, He speaks.  Walking in the Spirit is not so much you becoming an extension of God the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of God living in you, living through you, touching lives through you, and blessing others through you.

Walking by the Spirit means you stay in line with God.  It means you do not break the line.  It means you do not get out of line.  You do not move until it is your turn.   It means you live your life following the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Some of you are losing battles you should be winning because you are not in shape.  It is not just that Satan and his pimps are on your trail.  Some demons cannot be cancelled out.  They have to be cast out.  Jesus said some demons come out only by fasting and prayer.  Fasting and
prayer are essential exercises.  Some of you are holy but ungodly.  You come to church every Sunday, but you are not in shape.  You cannot work out once a week and expect to see results.  Walking through the gym once a week does not get you in shape.  God has called you to be a godly woman or a godly man.  He wants your relationship with Him to be manifested in your conduct and actions.  Godliness is not measured by your behavior in church or the way you conduct yourself in the spotlight.  God wants you to leave your church seat, walk out of the door back out into the world, and do what He has called you to do, the way He has called you to do it.

SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

It is time to get in shape.  Sign up for a heavenly gym membership.  There is open enrollment.  And what a deal!  Jesus paid the price in full at Calvary.  But don’t be satisfied with just signing
up.  Go on and work out.  Stick with the program.  You will soon see the results you have been
looking for.  Remember, winners never quit and quitters never win.  Now is the time to get up off that couch, stop being called a couch potato and begin to fight to win.  Learn to walk by the
Spirit and be counted among the stars.

But I say walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). (Galatians 5:16 AMP)

BEAT THE DEVIL AT HIS OWN GAME, and begin to live in the newness of this life been renewed by the Holy Spirit as He lifts you to heights unknown and unthinkable by you in this space and time.  “DO IT NOW!”

 

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HAVE YOU TRAINED FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE YOU?

HAVE YOU TRAINED FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE YOU?

PASTOR DAVIS IN TRAINING FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE

PASTOR DAVIS IN TRAINING FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE

It is no accident that Paul used an athletic metaphor to describe the pursuit of godliness.  Paul knows there was the potential for victory or loss, so to assure our victory in this spiritual contest, he warned us to exercise.  In 1Timothy 4:7 he used the verb train, which is the Greek word gumnazo, which is where we get our word gymnasium.  The word speaks of not just training, but of “the focused discipline behind the training.”  Discipline demands commitment and consistency.  You will never become godly by accident-an attitude of discipline must precede the pursuit of godliness.

The attitude of one, who would be godly, is first and foremost, one of focus.  Satan has any number of distractions waiting in the wings to keep us off the track toward godliness.  Some of them are even good things–but not better than becoming like God.  The way to keep our focus is to, as the book of Hebrews encouraged us, “fix our eyes on Jesus” (12:2NIV).

Put simply having a goal and focus is not enough.  Physical exercise requires sustained, rigorous effort.  It is not easy.  Spiritual exercise is no different.  Displaying the character of Christ is work.  It is the result of making a conscious decision to live your life based on who you are in Christ.  Godliness is an act of volition.  You must choose to walk, live, and act godly demands personal responsibility and commitment, which grow out of knowing who God is and knowing how committed He is to you.  Once you understand that, then Paul said exercise.

But be aware that exercise is never done in the actual competition.  It only prepares you for the competition.  Once the contest starts, it’s too late to get into shape.  When the bell rings or the first gun goes off, it’s too late to try and get in fifty crunches or a set of leg lifts.  After the coin is tossed and positions are taken, this is not the time for skipping rope or jumping jacks.  You have to be in shape before the game starts to have a chance at winning.

Spiritual exercise begins with Bible study, prayer, meditation, and fasting.  It continues when we practice instant obedience to God’s will.  We expand that exercise by allowing God to reign in our lives.  Spiritual exercise is to be woven into the very fabric and foundation of our lives.  That requires commitment, discipline, perseverance, and long suffering.  We only grow to be the people God wants us to be when we allow our exercise to secure our foundations and stretch our abilities.

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 23 (HAPPY FATHER’S DAY)

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 23 (HAPPY FATHER’S DAY)

FATHERS DAY SERVICE

Good Morning to all God’s Children, the believers as well as the non-believers.  If it is Sunday, it is time for our VIRTUAL CHURCH SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICEToday is a very special day that God has created in the life of His Children.  A Day for all of us to Honor and Celebrate all the Fathers’ who will stand up and be Fathers, for you are truly a blessing to God, because He created you in His own image, likes and gave you His Character.  Today, we Honor you, each and every one of you, because you are truly a blessing to your children, your family, your church, your community and your nation.  Now Fathers, stand up in your HONOR, and be recognized as the WORLD honors you this day.  “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, We love you and appreciate each one of you!”

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING:Joshua 24:14-15 MSG

 “So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.

“If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”

LET US PRAY: Most Holy God, our Heavenly Father; we honor you in worship this day with our prayers and praises for blessing us with Fathers of our Children, and providing a special day to lift them up in high honor.  Father glorify them here on earth in such a way that each one of them may become the chosen leader of their family as a godly father, leading them in the path of righteousness and giving you honor for their chosen role as fathers in their own right.  Bless each person that has taken the time to sit at the Spiritual Table of blessings this day in honor of this Father’s Day.  We seek your blessings over all our leaders throughout the world this day Heavenly Father that you will guide each of them in such a way that they will become the godly leaders that you have chosen them to be over this Nation and all the Nations of the World.  Let them lead the world into a position where peace stands stronger and the drums of peace beat louder than the drums of war.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

OUR PRAISE SONG FOR TODAY FEATURES THE REX BAND:  Click an enjoy this awesome video as you prepare your hearts and minds for this great message that God has given to His Servant, a truly mighty woman of the gospel who simply wants to be known as SISTER SHIRLEY.

OUR MESSENGER FOR THIS DAY IS:  SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES (SELF PORTRAIT) DAILY i LIVE TO SERVE

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES (SELF PORTRAIT) DAILY i LIVE TO SERVE

SUBJECT: GOD SHOWERS HIS LOVE UPON ALL FATHERS

Today is FATHER’S DAY, and I want to speak directly to the hearts of all the real Fathers out there.  You know who you are and in your heart of hearts, you also know that you are loved and appreciated for being a true and Godly Father.  But there are also a great number of you out there who have become just sperm makers, you call yourselves a Father but in reality you have never accepted the role in which God created you for.  You have stepped away from your responsibilities and neglected your children and your family.  God is not pleased with you and I cannot see how you can be pleased with yourself.

Therefore, let us get one thing perfectly straight, we Mothers’ want you to take responsibility for your role as a Father and as the head of your family which God created you to be; we say to you today, Fathers, lift your head up, pull your shoulders back, stick your chest out and stand tall. You have been given an assignment and you are needed now more than ever in the lives of children every-where you journey make a difference in some-ones’ life that is you’re calling.

As FATHERS’ you wear labels and expectations from the family as well as society. You are given the task of being able to rule, guide, teach and make wise decisions and choices. In all of this you must remember your creator and look to him for instructions to apply to your lives.

We as Mother’s have had to step up to the plate, and take on the role of both Mother and Father, and that is not a role any Mother desires to play.  Our desire is for you as the Father of our Children to become their role models, and lead them as God has directed you to do.  We are tired of burying our Children because they have not been able to find their way in this life, but have chosen other unworldly people as their role models and become lawless, some committing crimes and others just hanging out and being gunned down for no other reason, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Fathers you are needed to love nurture and guide your Children to that high place God has chosen for them to be.

Now listen to how Jesus encourages your hearts with these words: “He says, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: abide in my love. If you keep my commandments you shall abide in my love: Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love (John 15:9-10).  Therefore, we encourage you father’s to learn to live as Jesus did, be obedient to the word, keep the commandments that Jesus has given to you and you will be showered with many blessings from on high.

This is my commandment; Love one another as I have loved you (12).

Today is truly Fathers’ Day, let it be a day we all pause and give thanks for their patience, love and guidance.  And when we learn to do this, we can speak truth to power and say out loud “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

God bless all Fathers’ this special day, and FATHERS’ use your unique gift of love to bless others and together we can make the world a better place.  HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL FATHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD! In the name of JESUS, AMEN!

LET US PRAY:  Father we thank you for the opportunity to have ministered your word to the many people you have sent into this class room of higher learning this day.  We pray that the seeds of truth that were sown will sprout and manifest in joy, peace and love everlasting, and all the fathers will experience a rebirth and be regenerated as fathers of a new generation that will help to bring forth fully armed godly children.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

Let us close this chapter of our Sunday Prayer Praise and Worship Service with, “YOU ARE MY HERO!” Click and watch, then share all that you have learned today by blessing another with this message.

PLEASE RETURN FOR OUR SUNDAY AFTERNOON FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL

PORTRAIT OF A FATHER

FATHERS HOLD THE KEY TO THE NEXT GENERATION

FATHERS HOLD THE KEY TO THE NEXT GENERATION

A TEACHABLE MOMENT FOR PASTOR DAVIS WITH TWO OF HIS GRAND CHILDREN

A TEACHABLE MOMENT FOR PASTOR DAVIS WITH TWO OF HIS GRAND CHILDREN

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Who share in the responsibility of nurturing and grooming the next generation in roles of leadership even in the home? FATHERS HOLD THE KEY TO THE NEXT GENERATION:

A Father is placed in the position as “The Head” and not the tail, which means that is the position God designated him to be, from the very beginning of creation. Adam is known as the first created father, molded and designed by God with his own similarities. God took time to create something special to share in every-thing he had made in the physical environment, establishing a relationship in which to shower his love and care upon. Even though throughout a period of time that bond was broken by temptations from Satan, his love for his creation remains.

Consider fathers of every creed, color and national origin, they all are fathers designed for a purpose.  Along the way God gave the charge to produce and replenish, that included children. The great responsibilities of fathers are to be someone children can identify with and learn from.

Godly fathers are placed in position to serve as leaders, role models and providers which begins in the home.  Fathers hold within themselves the ability to propel children to reach goals others might not see or understand. There will always be the connection and responsibility of Godly fathers to instill in all children faith and hope in them-selves, simply because they tend to see value in them the way Jesus did.

Fathers are extended branches of how God has designed the family and connecting their role as providers and nurtures.  Today too many excuses are given as to how our youth have wandered from the original plan of God and questioning why they seem so out of touch with the true meaning for their lives. Somewhere along the line principles of wisdoms’ teaching have not been equally dispersed to our young men and women.

Fathers as examples should share their own life experiences as role models to encourage those struggling to find acceptance and or their place in society. Extended families are becoming a thing of the past; therefore, men (fathers) are expected to take up the torch of leadership and guide young men toward the heights God has prepared just for them. The prophecy of Isaiah reminds us this way; even the youths shall faint and be weary, the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait on the Lord shall be refreshed, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).

This is a challenge to all Fathers; help our youth to gain wisdom and knowledge that will steer them on the right course. Fathers as leaders and role models hold the key to lifting young men to position and power when allowing God to take the lead. The future will come, what will our leaders really be like if they are not taught responsibility, respect, leadership and character as well as the value of family?

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 2)

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 2)

Why Are Families Breaking Down?  

Written by Pastor Terry Coomer Elwood Bible Baptist Church, Elwood, Indiana 46036

 Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you this day whom you will serve: whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I am greatly burdened about the family in America. The direction we are going today is total destruction. There are many reasons for this. We live in a day when words like love, commitment, responsibility, compassion, faith, church, righteousness, common sense, God, the Word of God, mean virtually nothing. I believe that much of that is due to the breakdown of the family.

Folks, the Bible strongly emphasize the family. Today, if you try to encourage a family to do as God has commanded, you will hear comments like “that church or pastor is weird, strict, legalistic, or a cult.” Most of these people have no idea what a cult is and are too spiritually ignorant to see the breakdown that is affecting their family.

The weakness of the family today is the lack of knowledge of the Word of God and an unwillingness to obey the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:15 says that Timothy knew the holy scriptures “from a child.” It is important for our children to know the Word of God. It takes parents who are willing to make the commitment to study the Word of God and then to teach it to their children. A child must learn to have a relationship with God through His Word. A family can never be right with God as long as the parents are not having a relationship with God through His Word.

The family is a divine creation. Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The family was created before the church. The family is a unit. Certainly, the family affects the church. The family is a divine institution. Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

I want you to notice something very important here, “father and mother” is a unit. It is important to understand that there is fidelity in that unit.

The family is important in the eyes of God, especially a godly family, which is rare today. (See Ephesians 6:22-33.)

How far away have we gotten from a godly family today? How far are we away from what the Word of God says on this issue? Unfortunately, very far. It is like night and day. The church today has done a miserable job. Most pastors are under tremendous pressure today to compromise the Word of God for entertainment. Many do compromise because they are afraid they will lose people. Many Independent Baptist Church bulletins look like an airline flight and departure schedule. The less time we can give to the Bible the more the average Christian likes it. They believe that activities make them spiritual rather than a relationship with God through His Word. Many Pastors seek to find out what works to draw a crowd rather than what is right. You have homes that are running themselves to death thinking they are doing the work of God.

Many churches today have ungodly music to appeal to the flesh so they can get a crowd. They cancel services where the word of God should be preached so they can have a southern gospel sing. These people do not worship God, they worship music and activities. It is nothing more than idolatry. Then they wonder why their kids grow up to live wicked, immoral, ungodly lives and have no desire for spiritual things. Divorce is rampant and we have many people living after the lusts of the flesh right in the church ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3 warns that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Folks, that time is now! You have people today running from church to church until they can hear it like they want it rather than what God really says. The way to build godly families is to have a good church that preaches the Word of God and stands for it. The parents who attend that church must desire the Word of God and take the time and have the commitment themselves to study the Word so they can teach the Word to their children.

I looked at some statistics for America. The numbers are alarming:

1.   Divorces granted 1970–708,000, 1980–1,170,000 up 65%
2.   Unmarried couples 1970–523,000, 1980–1,346,000 up 157%
3.   Persons living alone 1970–10,851,000, 1980–17,202,000 up 58.5%
4.   Children living with two parents 1970–58,926,000, 1980–48,295,000 down 18%
5.   Children living with one parent 1970–8,230,000, 1980–11,528,000 up 40.1%
6.   Families with both husband and wife working 1970–20,327,000, 1980–24,253,000 up 19.4%

These statistics reveal some serious problems that we are facing in the family, and these numbers were from a few years ago and are much worse now.

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE HOME IS FATHERS NOT FULFILLING THEIR BIBLICAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME. This is the most important reason for unhappy families.

God says, worship is to be led by the father. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:9).

Most fathers I know could care less. This is a wicked thing. There is more to being a father than just producing children. The lack of leadership by the father today in every area is the most important factor in the breakdown of the American home. I pray the Lord will give us more men like Joshua.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

There has to be a consecration by dad. There is more to a marriage than just living together in a physical relationship.

Lack of godly male leadership brings about the disastrous consequences of rebellion, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity. Divorce is usually caused by a father not taking his Biblical responsibilities and is something God hates, (See Malachi 2:12-17. Matthew 19:5-6.)

The most important cause of divorce in America is the lack of proper, godly leadership by the father and husband. It is also the most frequent cause of children’s feelings of rejection, behavioral problems, and anxieties.  Ephesians 6:1-4. Notice in verse 4, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word “wrath” means a strong desire to avenge. How does a father provoke a child to wrath? By not bringing him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Nurture means training with structure. Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father.

David Blankenhorn in his 1995 book, “Fatherless America,” says “the culture change from a stable, two parent home to the father’s abandonment of his responsibilities of marriage and parenting is America’s most urgent social problem. The father’s absence is the main reason for unhappy homes, many current social problems, and is a national crisis of our time.”

According to the National Fatherhood Institute, 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year! In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million. 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes. Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership. This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates. One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate. It is more than a physical presence. There are many homes where a father is there, but that is all. They want all their needs fulfilled, but do not want to take the spiritual, godly, or normal leadership that God intended. Instead children grow up listening to their parents fight, cuss, yell, scream, spend money on all kinds of entertainment and material possessions trying to be happy.

The father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

The family is in trouble in America because men fail to be the leaders God wants them to be. We desperately need to pray for the men of this country to do as God has commanded. The results of the men not obeying God have been disastrous. The great need is for men to repent of their sins, to really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then to be obedient to the commands of God from His Word. Men must be the leaders God desires them to be. May God help us to pray for the men of America.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 1)

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 1)

WHY IS THERE AN INTEGRITY AND VALUE CRISIS IN OUR LEADERSHIP?

Davis Byars Sr. A real family leader (Photo by Pastor Davis) This is my Dad, he is 95 years old and he has always been a true leader of our family. With a sound mind and good physical health, he is still the leader of our family.

Why is there so much turmoil at the top of our families, our churches, and our government? It appears that we have lost our moral compasses. We no longer live by the values that Jesus taught us. Fathers, who are the head of our families, are failing at an alarming rate. The church leadership is leading God’s people astray. In addition, we have our government leaders that are in total flux, they do not know which way is up or which way is down.  It is almost like the blind leading the blind, and we all are going round and round.  Where will it all ends?

Jesus warned us against doing the right things for the wrong reasons, things such as trying to develop integrity only because it would advance our career or help us to close a deal. Jesus called people who practiced this kind of morality “hypocrites.” Notice that he used this word three times in (Matthew 6:2,5,16 verses). Three times people are cited for violating their integrity by doing something only for the appearance. How excited would you be about doing business with people like this? In today’s marketplace, it appears that some of our leaders believe, that when no one is looking, they can do anything they choose to do, and get away with it.  What they failed to understand, is that God sees all, and know all things. Our God is a God who sits high and looks low. Anything that a person may do in the dark will come into the light eventually.

Therefore, the essence of hypocrisy (lack of integrity) is public-dependent behavior.  It is acting one-way while people are watching and another when alone. Typically this is not the kind of person most parents would want their daughter to marry; nor is this the kind of leader who inspires dedicated followers.

Jesus key to integrity is that his followers will live their lives by the standard of their unchanging, present heavenly father. Resist the temptation to dance to every vendor’s tune; instead, march to the steady beat set by our Almighty God.

Integrity involves living by one standard and for the approval of one judge. People come and go, and their standards are fickle. Trying to please all of them will at best drive you nuts and at worst turn you into a hypocrite. Nevertheless, God is unchanging and always present. Living for Him is foundational to integrity, and it reaps an eternal reward.

In order for today’s leaders to begin to lead in the right direction, they must go back to the core principles of Jesus teaching on integrity, and values. Now allow me the opportunity to define for our leaders, the first step of what their core values should be.  Until they understand, what it means to be equipped with core values, such as trying to steer their ship with no rudders. Vision, mission, strategy and outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, until values are clear. Jesus knew that; and in the process of developing His team off disciples, he forced them to confront this foundational issue.

Jesus urged his disciples to focus their values on things that would bear and eternal return. However, how, by making a living on Earth, while responsibly leading an enterprise on earth, while providing jobs, products, service and profit on Earth; do we build treasures in heaven? Whose nod of approval matters most? Who defines what really matters?

Jesus told his disciples that the core value, the driving value, that eternal value is this: “does what I am doing please God?”Every other value is second to that one. When that value is in place all other values line up.

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. Those are motivational, they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive, they placed boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.

King David demonstrated value driven behavior in Psalms 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart.” Because this person’s values truth and his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he does his neighbor no wrong. Because he values honesty, he keeps his oath even when it hurts. Because he values justice, he does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said, “They would never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.

As you reflect on the Psalms, considering what values drove the psalmist behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal; to more completely integrate God’s values into your professional and personal life.

IS YOUR LEADERSHIP VISION CONSISTENT WITH GOD PURPOSE

IS YOUR LEADERSHIP VISION CONSISTENT WITH GOD’S PURPOSE

Jesus a visionary Leader-In-The-Wilderness-Ivan-Kramskoy

Few things are more important to effective leadership than a VISIONGodly leaders foresee something out there, vague as it might appear from the distance that others do not see.  Godly leaders who are followers of Christ must first have a VISION of who God is and the future he holds for them.  They must also have a sense of what God has called them to do.  Once they understand it, then they must take hold of the leadership role that has been given to them and begin to fulfill the role with a godly vision.  Are you a leader with a godly vision? Pause for a moment and watch this important video clip and we will meet on the other side.

What is the focus of your life?  Are you a person of passion for the things of God, or is that passion just a sporadic experience for you?  If you had to describe the compelling treasure as a visionary leader in your life, what would it look like?

It is crucial for a leader to know how to identify and cultivate a personal vision.  However, where does such a visions originate?  When you are in God’s will, understand God’s purpose for your life and are truly ready to follow God’s directions, he will create in you the vision for His will and His purpose for your life.  When the Prophet Habakkuk was attempting to understand God’s purpose, he question God and this is what God told him to do, God said, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”  (Habakkuk 2:3-4 ESV)

In his book Visionary Leadership, Burt Nanus defines a VISION as “a realistic, credible, attractive future for your organization.  It is your articulation of a destination toward which your organization should aim, a future that is better, more successful, or more desirable for your organization than is the present.”  Nanus contends that the right vision “Is an idea so energizing that it in effect jump-starts the future by calling forth the skills, talents, and resources to make it happen.”

Over the course of his ministry, Jesus consistently cast an energizing vision of the coming kingdom of God.  He repeatedly described the character and conduct that would define
citizens of that kingdom.  The Lord’s vision was so compelling that the twelve disciples left everything to follow his lead.  Thousands of others also took their direction from him.

Yet, in spite of the Lord’s consistent message, the disciples had a hard time grasping the fact that ushering in the kingdom of God would require suffering.  When Jesus clearly explained his impending death, Peter rebuked him for making such an assertion.  He was probably shocked when the Lord abruptly turned the tables and said, “Get behind me, Satan!”  Peter’s problem was that he allowed his personal and self-centered agenda to box in God’s plan.  Ultimately, such self-serving visions are satanically inspired.

Leaders need to be sure their vision is consistent with God’s purpose.  Moreover, when cross currents threaten to sweep the vision into another channel, they must work to keep it heading in the right direction.  They cannot allow self-serving interests—their own or someone else’s—to distort their vision of the future and prevent God’s purposes from being fulfilled.  That is why we must continually ask the question, “IS YOUR LEADERSHIP VISION CONSISTENT WITH GOD PURPOSE?” 

THE INFLUENCE OF UNGODLY PEOPLE OVER YOUR LIFE

THE INFLUENCE OF UNGODLY PEOPLE OVER YOUR LIFE

God’s Marvelous Light (Photo by Pastor Davis)  Godly living must spring from an inward love and reverence for our awesome God. 

Children of God, in the past few weeks we have been speaking to you about Godliness and what it means in all of our lives.  Today, we are continuing that discussion because we are living in very dangerous times. The world is changing, people are changing, and nothing remains the same.  We are faced with many obstacles and difficulties ahead.  Satan, the old devil is roaming the neighborhoods, seeking out the weak among us in a vain attempt to take control of God’s Kingdom.

His evil band of angles are entering and dividing our families, our churches, our communities and our government.  We are becoming passive and submitting ourselves unto him by allowing the type of gun violence that recently destroyed the lives of so many in Colorado and Wisconsin.  I tell you this one truth, and that is this, “we must stop allowing ourselves to become so influenced by ungodly people, that we put our own godliness in jeopardy.”

At this very moment in time, let there be no mistake of the importance of how godliness ought to govern

Living Godly Lives In A Sin-Filled World

our lives and our relationship to others, and that include our churches, communities and especially our government and our government leaders.  There is a real sense in which godliness should and will dictate whom you hang out with.  Godliness will determine whom you enter into a covenant with.  It will determine your fellowship.  This is by no means an exhortation to remove you from the realities of life.  Godliness is a commentary on whom you let into your life, whom you trust, and whom you allow to influence your life.

When we study Paul’s teaching on this in (2 Timothy 3) we discover a serious conversation that Paul was having with his young son Timothy, who was pasturing the church at Ephesus at the time.  Paul felt very strongly that his son Timothy needed to be aware of the times and the signs of the times in which he lived.  In fact Paul began Chapter 3 by saying, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.”  This was a warning to the young, struggling Timothy.  He needed to be watchful, for these were dangerous times.  He drew Timothy a spiritual map complete with landmarks, signposts, and pitfalls.  He said there were specific things that would characterize the culture in the last days.

Now listen to how Paul described this culture to his son Timothy, he said, “Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 MSG)

Godly Living in an Ungodly World

As I read and studied this lesson, my question was to Paul, why are you so concern about this time being the last days?  Why specifically highlight these moments when there was violence, persecution, and evil before the last days.  There were unthankful, unholy men before this point in history.  In the Old Testament Scripture it is replete with examples of heady, high minded, boastful, covetous pleasure seeking men who loved many things more than they loved God.  What is it that separates these last days from every other time in history?  Sin was nothing new in Paul’s day.  Wickedness was then, as it is now, a fact of life.  Why then are these times so dangerous that Paul must warn Timothy and us about them?

What always amazes me by studying scripture is this, no matter what question you may have, if you look deeply and study with an open mind, always seeking God’s guidance’s for truth,  the answer to the questions you are seeking is always right there in front of you.  Paul answered the question quite actually for me when he showed me that it was not the tendency of the culture that concerned him, but it was the target, and that target was the Church.  We know this because in Paul’s exhortation he said the ungodly, unrighteous, unholy people of the last days will come “having a form of godliness.”  They will look like the Church.  As long as the world looked like the world and Church looked like the Church, we were okay.  But Paul said in the last days, look out, because the world is putting on their Sunday best and raising hands and singing praises in an effort to infiltrate the house of God.

For those of you who are saved, sanctified, and filled with the precious Holy Ghost, you ought to know that there is an outward change that should have taken place subsequent to your salvation experience.  Folks will both look at your life and know that you are God’s child, or they’ll look at your life and know that you are not.  What I am saying to you here is, “godliness does have a certain look.”

Rand & Ron Paul

Rand & Ron Paul (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Paul said it will be difficult to spot the holy imposters because they will be clothed in the external expression of godliness.  They will appear to be godly.  They’ll look just like Sister So-and-So who serves communion every first Sunday.  They’ll look just like Brother Whoever from the elder deacon board, or Sister what’s-Her-Name who does a hallelujah dance every time the choir sings.  All these people look godly on the outside.  The Greek word for form here is morphosis, which means “a form or outward shape of.”  The emphasis is on the outside.  In other words, if you observe them, everything you see will appear godly.  But that is assuming you are observing only with your physical eyes and not with your spiritual ones.

Now let me tell you this, Paul is truly speaking truth to power.  When we take a close look at the people in our churches today and listen carefully to their speech we quickly come away with a sense of how ungodly the people have become, and how Satan has perverted the House of God by putting on his Sunday’s best.  Paul further said that Spiritual frauds will look godly, but you’ll spot them as phony if you look for something that human eyes cannot see.  He said they will have the form of godliness but “denying its power.”  In other words, they look godly, but their lives deny the very power that characterizes true godliness.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES PART 21

ARE YOU LIVING OUT YOUR LIFE IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP?

CLOSENESS KEEPS THE FIRE BURNING

 We’re all either in a relationship, getting out of one are looking for one.  No matter what the situation may or may not be, everyone is seeking love.  Some of us are seeking it in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.  No matter, we want love.  We want to be loved and we want to experience it in ways that will define who we are.  Weather we are young or old, rich or poor, we are trying to reach a place in life that will define our happiness, our joy, our place in history, as a man or woman, a family or whatever.  We seek love; we seek to be loved, not knowing that; Love is the foundation and the apex of the pyramid of our existence.

Now listen to what God’s word teaches us about love, it says, “If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith, which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. (1Corinthians 13:1-7 Phillips)  

Love suffers for a long time.  Our modern “throw-away” society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances.  Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described in God’s word.  True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.

Love does not envy.  If our love is directed toward others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves.  Fundamentally, the selfless love that God calls us to does not involve pride or glory.  It does not parade itself and is not puffed up.  In fact, true love does not seek its own.  If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas, and entitlements for the good of another.

Love is not provoked.  That is, love is not easily angered or over-sensitive.  When we truly love others, we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people’s words or actions towards us.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.  The godly love described in this lesson has nothing to do with evil, but has everything to do with what is right and true.  It believes all things and hopes all things.  This does not mean that love is blind or naïve.  When we love, we may recognize problems and failures in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become.  Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for the better.

Finally, love endures all things.  Love accepts any hardship or rejection, and continues unabated to build up and encourage.  When your relationship has been built on this solid foundation of Godly love, no weapon that the enemy may form against it shall ever prosper.  Love is the glue that bounds all hearts that are filled with Godly love together.  After you have carefully studied this word, prayed on it, meditated on it, I leave you with the question that we begin this word with, “ARE YOU LIVING OUT YOUR LIFE IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP?”

We leave you with this final video clip on forgiveness.

May God bless your Relationship this day, give you the strength to endure the trials and tribulation, give you the sweet spirit of forgiveness, and open your eyes that you will always see the beauty in the one that stands before, the desire to always say those three loving and caring words, “I LOVE YOU.”    I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CHAMPION IN A GIVEN SPORT

Headgear and boxing gloves are mandatory in Ol...

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WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CHAMPION IN A GIVEN SPORT

As a believer, we must have a champion mindset to compete the Christian life. The race that all Christians need to prepare themselves for is the calling of God. What does it take to be a champion in a given sport? For one, it is necessary to have a dedication to succeed no matter what the cost.  A passion for the game is certainly essential, as is a single-minded determination to accomplish the task.  A willingness to train incessantly is required.  In addition, a burning desire for the trophy or prize awarded to the one who wins is an absolute must.

In (1 Corinthians 9:26, Paul illustrates the “champion” mindset required to faithfully complete the Christian life with this statement, “I run thus; not with uncertainty” and “Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air.”  We understand from studying this verse that Paul was not an aimless competitor.  He had a clearly defined goal.  Like an athlete preparing for a race or a boxing match, Paul knew that he had to discipline his body; he had to force himself to maintain the strenuous, consistent practice needed for success.

The race that Paul prepared himself for, the race that all Christians need to prepare themselves for was the calling of God.  Paul taught, that Christians are rewarded for the calling that God gives them.

One weekend I was watching the sports news and heard something I had never heard before.  A sportscaster was covering a Las Vegas boxing match.  He reported that the match was stopped because one of the fighters had quit fighting in the middle of a round and started crying.  This burly brother just broke down in the middle of the fight.  They later learned that the fighter was physically, mentally, and emotionally unprepared to fight.  The promoter said he had tried several times to convince the fighter’s coach and trainers to cancel the bout because of concerns that the fighter had not completely recovered from a recent struggle with drug abuse.  He told them that the man wasn’t in any shape to box, but his camp insisted the fight go on as planned.  So they put him in the ring, and shortly thereafter, this out-of-shape athlete gave what he had.  When that ran out, he quit.  Moreover, he cried.

Obviously, he lost the fight.  If he had won, it would have been a significant step in his career, putting him on track toward the championship.  If his trainers had postponed the match, he might have won.  But they didn’t, and he lost.  He lost because he was out of shape.

Many of you are losing the fight.  You are losing spiritual battle after spiritual battle, not because you don’t know Jesus, or because you doubt the promises of God, but because you’re not spiritually fit.

In 1 Timothy, Paul painted a picture of an athlete who trained his body for competition.  He counseled Timothy, his rookie minister, to train and prepare himself for spiritual competition.  Paul said to be an effective minister; a true servant of the Lord, Timothy needed to exercise himself on a spiritual level.  Paul said, by comparison, that bodily or physical exercise is good, but its benefits are limited to the body, which is purposed to serve us only temporarily, only in this life.

However, spiritual fitness, or godliness, has lasting value.  Its benefits carry the believer through this life and the life to come.  As believers, we should prepare ourselves spiritually for the challenges and battles of our Christian walk.  Paul urged us to get in shape and stay in shape.

THE OPTION OF TRAINING

The first thing we must realize is that, although we may be saved, training is not a requirement; it’s an option.  In 1 Timothy 4:6, Paul used an interesting phrase to advise Timothy on how to minister to the people of God.  He said if Timothy put the brethren “in remembrance of these things,” he would be a good minister.  Paul was a veteran spiritual leader, speaking to a spiritual son.  He told Timothy that as a leader and pastor of God’s people at Ephesus, there were several things he must do.

First, he was to keep the brethren in remembrances of godly behavior.  Paul did not tell Timothy to order God’s people to be godly, but instead to bring the things they needed for godliness to their remembrance.  The phrase put in remembrance means “to lay or spread before someone.”  It does not suggest a forceful command, but an exhortation, counsel, or advice.  It lies somewhere between a warning and a suggestion.  Paul wanted Timothy to keep his flock reminded of what they were already supposed to be, to keep their goal before them, and to encourage them in their walk with Christ.  If the focus and spotlight could be kept on what they knew about God, they would be motivated to godliness.  Timothy was charged to persuade, rather than command.

Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally. Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, salvation is FREE for the asking.

 If you have not experienced the life saving blood of Jesus Christ, stop and take a moment wherever you may be, and ask the Lord to come into your heart. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and if you have spoken these few simple words in truth, you are saved, and now have eternal life.

May God continue to bless each one of you? Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

 

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 4)

The five dimensions of meta-leadership as deve...

THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF META LEADERSHIP

JESUS TEACHES US THE CORE PRINCIPALS OF GODLY LEADERSHIP

The most important thing that any leader can do is to lead by example. Jesus demonstrated by example in everything that He did that He was a true leader.  Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).  In today’s lesson, we will provide you with the two of the four example of Jesus true leadership abilities, and we will give you the last two in tomorrow’s lesson.

Now let us begin with this question, is there a need for godly leadership in the family? Whenever God‘s people have been without godly leadership, the result has been disastrous. For example, in the period of the judges, every man did what was right in his own eyes because there was no king in Israel. The result was the disastrous record of sin and rebellion, which we have recorded, in the biblical book of Judges. Today in those families where there is no strong godly leadership, families will predictably be torn apart by sin resulting in the suffering of family, church and society. Godly leadership requires more than just being able to quote scripture and telling our children the difference between right and wrong. Although knowing truth is essential, just knowing what is right does not prevent people from doing wrong.

Throughout scripture, God has given us various principles for godly leadership. These principles are interlocking and overlapping. It is difficult to speak of any one of them without describing to some extent at least some of the other principles also.

As we study this subject, we need to comprehend the basic truth that the godly principles for leading a family do not differ or contradict the general principles, which God has established for other areas of successful leadership. In others words, we should not expect God to teach his leaders within the congregation that they can achieve success by employing a particular set of leadership tools and objectives while expecting parents to achieve leadership success through an entirely different scheme which might even include contradictory principles and goals. Texts such as Titus 3:4-5 confirm that leadership principles in one area of life are applicable to others also. Therefore, when we speak of leading our family, we are pursuing a biblical study incorporating both how the great principles of leadership within the Bible find expression within the family setting as well as any additional biblical teachings which might be specifically applied to the family.

Unlike the world where only some people possess the necessary skills, knowledge and personality considered essential to be a successful leader, none of God’s principles for leadership are beyond the reach of any faithful Christian. I would like to suggest that scripture provides at least four basic principles for successful leadership, which can be applied to leading the family. These are:

  • Leaders need to base their security and identity upon God, not in false sources of security (idols).
  • Leaders need to be examples worthy of imitation.
  • Leaders need serve others instead of demanding to be served.
  • Leaders need to accept the responsibility, which God has given them.

1. God wants his leader to depend upon God, not upon other sources of strength or confidence.

The fact that God taught his people about what was required from the one who would lead his people ought to cause us to take notice. In Deuteronomy 17:15-20 God not only made provision for an Israelite king, he also laid out a number of rules that were to govern this king. This is a very interesting list especially when we realize what God did not include. God did not appear to be concerned about a king’s economic strategy, his managerial ability, his expertise or experience with proven techniques, his social status, etc. It appears that none of these characteristics were important to God for his ability to be a good leader.

Instead, through the rules listed in Deuteronomy 17:15-20 we discover that God was primarily concerned with one central tenet. God prohibited the king from acquiring those items which could tempt the king to confide in an alternative source of security. For example, God prohibited the king from increasing his horses. In modern language, this would be equivalent to prohibiting him from building up his supply of tanks, etc. Leaders must trust in something. Israel’s kings would face the strong temptation to trust in their own military or in the strength of another country. 2 Kings 16:7-9; Habakkuk 1:11; Hosea 5:13; (14:3) Having prohibited various sources of confidence, God then commanded that His law was to be continually with the king in order that he might learn to fear His God. Properly understood, such fear describes someone who in reverence worships God. And then finally, these rules in Deuteronomy stipulated that the heart of the king was not to be filled with self-centered arrogance. After all, the king was merely to be God’s prince (God’s son cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-15; Ps. 2:6-12) with both the kingdom and its king depending upon God as the King. God’s point was, “I want my king to depend only on me.”

When God chose Saul to be king, God did not make a mistake. When God selected Saul, he was someone who was “small in his own eyes” (1 Samuel 15:17; 10:16, 22) and who would therefore be required to depend upon God. In fact, Saul was immediately rejected by those who apparently measured leadership based upon worldly standards of personal power (1 Samuel 10:27). The problem with Saul’s leadership is that he changed as he falsely began to credit his successful leadership to himself instead of to God. This caused him to become proud (1 Samuel 15:12), to begin to take initiatives based upon himself and how he would appear to others, rather than upon God (I Samuel 15:30). Eventually, he disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15:11) and was rejected. Because of who Saul became, God was sorry that He had made Saul king.

Clearly, David did not possess the leadership qualities which the world demanded of a national leader. He was the youngest of eight brothers and merely a common youth taking care of some sheep when God chose him to be king over Israel. But David did possess the quality of heart which God valued, namely he utterly depended upon God (1 Samuel 16:7; 17:37).

Why is this such an important principle of leadership for God? Behind this principle of depending upon God, lies the contest between God and idols for the heart and the love of an individual. The love of a person’s life has always been and will always be devoted to what that person believes offers him the greatest source of security and meaning. Our beliefs create our values which we feel as powerful desires and objects of love that in turn empower our behavior and attitudes. If we believe that our own ability, our jobs, education, social connections, money, etc. is the bottom line of what will take care of us, then our primary devotion will be to something other than God. Whatever is our primary devotion will control how we make decisions and how time and resources will be spent. If our center for life is falsely built upon this world, then our leadership will be secular not godly. God demands that his leader be an individual whose heart relies upon him, not upon some other rock or shield. A godly leader’s identity and security needs to be founded upon his trust in God, not upon false sources of meaning and security (idols).

Any leader who fails to learn this lesson of leadership will find himself making many decisions, based upon values which are not rooted in God. The decisions he makes may reflect placing priority upon the status which his work may provide or which comes from owning the latest technology. Or perhaps he will be tempted to place too much value upon the power he has acquired, instead of upon God. There is nothing inherently wrong with technology, money, or possessions. The problem arises when these things become the sources of our security and identity. For reasons outlined elsewhere, the capacity for godly leadership becomes greatly crippled, if not fatally flawed, when someone fails to trust God first.

Although worldly status, wealth, position, power and influence may forever be beyond most of us, the principle of utterly depending upon God is within the reach of each one of us. Anyone can choose to apply this principle of leadership within his or her life.

2. A second principle of Godly leadership is that leadership comes from first being the type of person God wants me to be in order that I might become an example worthy of imitation.

One key requirement of pastoral leadership is for elders to be an example to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Being an example should not be understood as summarizing all of the means by which an elder leads. He also leads through teaching (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 5:17) and equipping the flock for good works (Ephesians 4:11-14). But unless the elder is “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7; 1 Timothy 3:2,7) and thus worthy of imitation, he has lost his capacity to be a godly leader within the church.

Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Although the answer is rather obvious, there is the need to ask the question, “an example of what?” Leadership involves knowing what is important and where the group ought to be headed. Fundamentally, there are two diametrically opposed goals which war for the heart of the leader. On the one hand, either we will seek to preserve Self or some human value which Self has embraced, or on the other hand we will seek the Lord. God’s primary goal for his people has been and will always be summarized by the command “to love the Lord your God will all of your heart, soul and strength.” The second priority is to love others as one loves himself. Accordingly, these should be the primary goals driving godly leadership.

Unfortunately, at times the religious shepherds of Israel failed to love God and others, as they ought. Instead, they fell into the idolatrousness of living to serve themselves (Ezekiel 34:1-3, 8; self-centered greed is idolatry Colossians 3:5). This predictably resulted in them abusing and failing in their leadership responsibilities toward the flock (Ezekiel 34:2-6).

In instructing parents what to teach their children, God focused parents upon the primary lesson and value within life, namely to love God with all of our being (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Success in raising children is not measured by their eventual economic security, societal status, power, prestige, ability to acquire material goods, how much leisure time they can afford, etc. Success is determined by whether they grow up to love God. The parent who through actions, words, time and financial means places the greatest emphasis upon his child’s development toward being a doctor or a sports hero, should not later wonder why his child left the church. The child learned and obeyed exactly the values of the parent.

Our goal should be to first love God and then to love our fellow human being. In this way, we will be an example worthy of imitation. The husband and father who selfishly demands that the TV be always tuned to his favorite programs or who insists on being with his friends and doing what he wants to do, will be virtually inept at teaching his family to love and to seek the well-being of other people. The parent who is easily angered when something breaks will reveal through his or her temper just how much he or she values the things of this world. Accordingly, the children will perceive any words about loving God and not the things of this world to be hypocritical and empty. Although the parent might fool himself, others will clearly see what matters most within his life. A parent should not expect his household to respond to him with love, patience, kindness and mercy unless he has first demonstrated these qualities to them. Do not expect your children to listen to you, to forgive you, to make decisions to serve God instead of pleasure and the hectic demands of life, etc. if you have not first modeled these values and behaviors through how you chose to act. This principle of leadership is not beyond the reach of anyone who has first died to self in order to live for God.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 2)

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (PART 2)

Why Are Families Breaking Down?  Written by Pastor Terry Coomer

Elwood Bible Baptist Church, Elwood, Indiana 46036

 Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you this day whom you will serve: whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I am greatly burdened about the family in America. The direction we are going today is total destruction. There are many reasons for this. We live in a day when words like love, commitment, responsibility, compassion, faith, church, righteousness, common sense, God, the Word of God, mean virtually nothing. I believe that much of that is due to the breakdown of the family.

Folks, the Bible strongly emphasize the family. Today, if you try to encourage a family to do as God has commanded, you will hear comments like “that church or pastor is weird, strict, legalistic, or a cult.” Most of these people have no idea what a cult is and are too spiritually ignorant to see the breakdown that is affecting their family.

The weakness of the family today is the lack of knowledge of the Word of God and an unwillingness to obey the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:15 says that Timothy knew the holy scriptures “from a child.” It is important for our children to know the Word of God. It takes parents who are willing to make the commitment to study the Word of God and then to teach it to their children. A child must learn to have a relationship with God through His Word. A family can never be right with God as long as the parents are not having a relationship with God through His Word.

The family is a divine creation. Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The family was created before the church. The family is a unit. Certainly, the family affects the church. The family is a divine institution. Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

I want you to notice something very important here, “father and mother” is a unit. It is important to understand that there is fidelity in that unit.

The family is important in the eyes of God, especially a godly family, which is rare today. (See Ephesians 6:22-33.)

How far away have we gotten from a godly family today? How far are we away from what the Word of God says on this issue? Unfortunately, very far. It is like night and day. The church today has done a miserable job. Most pastors are under tremendous pressure today to compromise the Word of God for entertainment. Many do compromise because they are afraid they will lose people. Many Independent Baptist Church bulletins look like an airline flight and departure schedule. The less time we can give to the Bible the more the average Christian likes it. They believe that activities make them spiritual rather than a relationship with God through His Word. Many Pastors seek to find out what works to draw a crowd rather than what is right. You have homes that are running themselves to death thinking they are doing the work of God.

Many churches today have ungodly music to appeal to the flesh so they can get a crowd. They cancel services where the word of God should be preached so they can have a southern gospel sing. These people do not worship God, they worship music and activities. It is nothing more than idolatry. Then they wonder why their kids grow up to live wicked, immoral, ungodly lives and have no desire for spiritual things. Divorce is rampant and we have many people living after the lusts of the flesh right in the church ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3 warns that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Folks, that time is now! You have people today running from church to church until they can hear it like they want it rather than what God really says. The way to build godly families is to have a good church that preaches the Word of God and stands for it. The parents who attend that church must desire the Word of God and take the time and have the commitment themselves to study the Word so they can teach the Word to their children.

I looked at some statistics for America. The numbers are alarming:

1.   Divorces granted 1970–708,000, 1980–1,170,000 up 65%
2.   Unmarried couples 1970–523,000, 1980–1,346,000 up 157%
3.   Persons living alone 1970–10,851,000, 1980–17,202,000 up 58.5%
4.   Children living with two parents 1970–58,926,000, 1980–48,295,000 down 18%
5.   Children living with one parent 1970–8,230,000, 1980–11,528,000 up 40.1%
6.   Families with both husband and wife working 1970–20,327,000, 1980–24,253,000 up 19.4%

These statistics reveal some serious problems that we are facing in the family, and these numbers were from a few years ago and are much worse now.

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE HOME IS FATHERS NOT FULFILLING THEIR BIBLICAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME. This is the most important reason for unhappy families.

God says, worship is to be led by the father. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:9).

Most fathers I know could care less. This is a wicked thing. There is more to being a father than just producing children. The lack of leadership by the father today in every area is the most important factor in the breakdown of the American home. I pray the Lord will give us more men like Joshua.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

There has to be a consecration by dad. There is more to a marriage than just living together in a physical relationship.

Lack of godly male leadership brings about the disastrous consequences of rebellion, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity. Divorce is usually caused by a father not taking his Biblical responsibilities and is something God hates, (See Malachi 2:12-17. Matthew 19:5-6.)

The most important cause of divorce in America is the lack of proper, godly leadership by the father and husband. It is also the most frequent cause of children’s feelings of rejection, behavioral problems, and anxieties.  Ephesians 6:1-4. Notice in verse 4, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word “wrath” means a strong desire to avenge. How does a father provoke a child to wrath? By not bringing him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Nurture means training with structure. Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father.

David Blankenhorn in his 1995 book, “Fatherless America,” says “the culture change from a stable, two parent home to the father’s abandonment of his responsibilities of marriage and parenting is America’s most urgent social problem. The father’s absence is the main reason for unhappy homes, many current social problems, and is a national crisis of our time.”

According to the National Fatherhood Institute, 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year! In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million. 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes. Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership. This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates. One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate. It is more than a physical presence. There are many homes where a father is there, but that is all. They want all their needs fulfilled, but do not want to take the spiritual, godly, or normal leadership that God intended. Instead children grow up listening to their parents fight, cuss, yell, scream, spend money on all kinds of entertainment and material possessions trying to be happy.

The father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

The family is in trouble in America because men fail to be the leaders God wants them to be. We desperately need to pray for the men of this country to do as God has commanded. The results of the men not obeying God have been disastrous. The great need is for men to repent of their sins, to really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then to be obedient to the commands of God from His Word. Men must be the leaders God desires them to be. May God help us to pray for the men of America.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (INTRODUCTION)

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH OF GODLY FAMILIES (INTRODUCTION)

This is an introduction to the series, which we will be teaching for the next seven days on the above topic.  We hope you mark your calendars and plan to study with us daily on this very important topic.  Our first lesson title, “WHY IS THERE AN INTERGITY AND VALUE CRISIS IN OUR LEADERSHIP?” will be posted on line after midnight today.  Please study this subject carefully, and post your thoughts, questions and are comments.

We know that God created man and placed him as the head of the family.  However, the family in America today is in deep trouble because the man has failed to be the leader God wants him to be.  Therefore, throughout this week and leading up to Father’s Day on Sunday, we will be discussing this very important topic.  This is because; we have come to the realization that the father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

In Mark 10:42-45 we see that Christ taught that spiritual leadership is just the opposite of worldly leadership. Those verses tell us, “But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom many.”
. . .
Spiritual leadership is serving others and helping them grow to spiritual maturity so that they become reproductive Christians. Peter shared this same thought in I Peter 5:1-3 when he wrote, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

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