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Posts tagged ‘Epistle to the Philippians’

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 46 BEING THANKFUL FOR ANOTHER THANKSGIVING

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 46 BEING THANKFUL FOR ANOTHER THANKSGIVING

VIRTUAL CHURCH 02

Greetings CHILDREN OF GOD, if it is Sunday, it is time to Rise, Shine, lift your heads towards heaven and begin to praise the Lord.  For He is truly worthy of all our Praises, He has woke us up this morning, breathe new life into our mortal bodies and given us a golden opportunity to make a brand new start, that alone is enough for us to want to shout from the top of the highest mountain praise upon to His Holy name.  Today’s message focuses upon giving thanks for our Blessings this Thanksgiving.

TODAY’S SONG OF PRAISE:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  (Psalm 100:1-5 ESV)

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (C)with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  (Philippians 4:6 ESV)

 TODAY’S MESSAGE OF PRAYER AND PRAISE:

In our message today, Pastor Davis focuses our attention upon giving thanks for our abundant harvest for this thanksgiving season.  We all have something to be thankful for, now let us pray together for those blessings that the Lord our God has showered upon each one of us.

 

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of believers and receive eternal life, repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I believe that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have eternal life in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

CLOSING PRAYER:

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise Godbe glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

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MY PRAYER FOR PEACE AND CONTENTMENT

MY PRAYER FOR PEACE AND CONTENTMENT

THE LORD'S HOUSE OF PRAYER, ENTER INTO THE SANCTUARY AND LET US PRAY TOGETHER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE LORD’S HOUSE OF PRAYER, ENTER INTO THE SANCTUARY AND LET US PRAY TOGETHER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

ETERNAL GOD, our Heavenly Father, In the name of Jesus, I bow my head in your present this day in complete peace and contentment. I empty my soul unto you Heavenly Father; for I know that it is you, and you only that provide me with all peace and contentment.  My sins are before you this day Heavenly Father, you know my weakness, my strength and my heart desires.  I seek your forgiveness as well as your blessings over my life Heavenly Father, and the lives of all those who you have placed before me that my life and the work you have called me to do will touch this day in some way. I seek healing for our NATION AND THE WORLD BODY OF BELIEVERS that you will bind up the wounds that so many are now experiencing, and suffering from because of the decisions or indecisions by our political leaders.  Search out their hearts and renew their Spirits Heavenly Father, lead and guide them in such a way that their heartfelt love will be centered on and for the needs and benefits of all its citizens that you have allowed them to be responsible for and teach them how to live in Peace and Contentment that they will experience your JOY AND PEACE.  There are many lives that have been lost during the great storms in the Philippians this past week.  Much destruction and devastation took place causing pain and suffering.  But you know the real needs of all your children and especially those who suffer the most.  My prayer this day is for all of your children that are suffering the most Heavenly Father, is that you will rain down from Heaven your blessings that will relieve the pain and suffering, restore the power to the community, the homes, business, shelters and hospitals that are in the greatest need, provide food and shelter for those who have lost so much and show them how they can still live in your peace and contentment in the face of the enemy who has taken so much from them.  Teach us all as a Nation and the World Body of Believers, how to have a Spirit of Humility and live in Peace, as one people, serving one God, enjoying the fruits of all that you have provided and have complete Contentment in all that we do, our hearts and minds filled with love, joy and peace for one another, In Jesus name, I pray, AMEN!

 

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BY EXPRESSING HUMILITY DO PEOPLE PRECEIVE YOU TO BE A WEAK PERSON?

BY EXPRESSING HUMILITY DO PEOPLE PRECEIVE YOU TO BE A WEAK PERSON?

STRENGTH IN HUMILITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

STRENGTH IN HUMILITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This is truly a profound question, one that I hope each person would pause their worldly thoughts and ponder the true answer to how they perceive themselves when people call them weak minded, cowards, and so many other things that we know that we are not, when we are attempting to live the life of Jesus Christ expressing our Humility towards our fellowman.

Now let us look at how the Apostle Paul teaches us by showing the example of Jesus as the Humble Servant.  He says, “Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]”

Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly graspedor retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!  (Philippians 2:5-8 AMP)

We as believers are to sit ourselves apart from the world.  In other words, we are to humble ourselves before God and resist the evil things that the devil will set before us.  We find that the bible dictionary meaning of Humility is, “the quality or condition of being humble, modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance.”

Now let us take a look at what James tells us about this subject.  He says, “Submit yourselves’ therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:7-10 ESV).

In this, we are given a choice, we can befriend God are we can befriend the world.  Some of us may say that we will befriend both God and the world, but in practice, we can only choose one way.  The more we give ourselves to the world, the stronger will be our allegiance to the world.  The more we give ourselves to God, the stronger will be our bond with him.  This is what Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. (Matthew 6:21)

We have to remember, that we can find strength in the Lord, although the world may consider us weak when we show humility.  This is because the world wants us to be filled with pride, and God sets himself against the proud because pride makes us self-centered and leads us to conclude that we deserve all we can see, touch, or imagine.  It creates greedy appetites for far more than we need.  Pride can subtly cause us to no longer see our sins or our need for forgiveness.

But remember this one great truth, humility opens the way for God’s grace to flow into our lives; thus, God shows favor to the humbleHumility is not weakness; instead, it is the only place that believers gain courage to face all their temptations and sins with God’s strength.  As God gives us more grace, we realize that this world’s seductive attractions are only cheap substitutes for what God has to offer.  It is our choice we can humble ourselves and receive God’s grace, or we can continue in our pride and self-sufficiency and experience his anger.

Now let me conclude this by leaving you with these two questions; (1).  How do we, so prone to pride at the very moment when we think we might be approaching humility, discover true humility?  (2). How do we become the kind of humble people who find the overflowing grace that God promises?

May the grace of God fill your lives with His overflowing blessings, and bring you much joy and peace now and forever, in Jesus name.  AMEN!

 

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LET US PRAY AND CONSIDER LIFE

LET US PRAY AND CONSIDER LIFE

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

A Proverb 31 woman is a Woman of Prayer

A Proverb 31 woman is a Woman of Prayer

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so why not pause your busy body and mind, you’re going and coming; go into your prayer closet and pour your heart out before God as you consider your life and where you are in it this day.  God is in the prayer answering busy and He wants to answer your prayers and show you how you can live a joyful, peaceful, and prosper in all you do.

Let’s consider life and how we may see it.

Every individual is entitled to their own opinion and or belief; no matter what, we all believe in something or someone. The Holy Bible, the written Word of God is studied and shared throughout the world. In it you find instructions for living life filled with hopes and dreams for all humanity, as well as wisdom teachings.

Let’s consider life:

When we take time to explore scripture, pray first and ask for revelation and understanding; you’ll find that when you do so in a quiet place the Word opens up and you’re able to grasp the true meaning of how life is a blessing from God, a blessing to be enjoyed and shared.  Remember Jesus’ teaching about the value and importance of love for each other. Once we are able to grasp the true definition of how that love operates we come into a deeper understanding about life.

Let’s consider life:

The book of Ecclesiastes provides us with a glimpse into the reality of this earthly journey. Once you’ve immerse yourself into the reading you’ll soon gain an understanding of our delicate nature. We are encouraged to make the most of what God gives; Life.  Advice such as, take care of yourself, have a good time and make the most of  whatever life you are privileged to share. We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It is “God’s” gift in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live. Jesus says he came so that we might have life, an abundant life. When we consider life, are we ourselves restricting the flow of God’s blessings designed especially for each one of us in due season?  We work to feed our appetites; meanwhile our souls go hungry.

Let’s consider life:

We are reminded in scripture; don’t fret or worry; instead pray–let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayer, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life (Philippians 4:5-7 MGS).

 

So when we consider life and become familiar with the process of how faith works we are able to experience growth in all areas of our lives, because we have a true friend in Jesus who promised to meet all our needs. He even lets us know how to approach the process, “Ask, and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will open for you”(Matthew 7:7 KJV). Unlock your door, open wide and receive the promise  by opening the Word of God and applying the teachings found there as you journey and live in your purpose. Let’s consider life and become a part of the pattern laid out by our Master Jesus.

 

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?

Humility

Humility (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?

As believers we are all called to live our lives as Christ would have us to do so.  Learning to have a spirit of humility, leaving our selfish ambition and conceit behind, while selfish ambition and conceit can ruin unity, genuine humility can build it.  Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves in relation to God, which in turn gives us a correct perspective on our relationships with others.  Being humble does not mean that we should put ourselves down.   Instead humility is a healthy respect for who God is, and then a healthy respect for ourselves because of what God did on our behalf.  Thinking of others as better than ourselves means that we are aware of our own failings and are thus willing to accept failings in others without looking down on them.  Therefore, the question still remains, “HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?”

James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.Listen to what Paul tells us in Philippians, he says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:4 ESV).  As we read this, let us understand that we as believers should not be completely absorbed in his or her own affairs, but should also be interested in others, nothing their good points and qualities.  A sure cure for selfish ambition is appreciative recognition of others’ good qualities and their walk with the Lord.  It is easy to get caught up in competition, aggressive acquiring and vying for our own rights and needs.  But compared to knowing Christ, those interests seem shallow.  We need Christ’s attitude of self-sacrifice to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. Now read and listen to how the scriptures teach us HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE! Matthew 5:6 ESV “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

James 5:15 ESV And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 4:10 ESV Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:8 ESV Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:3 ESV You asks and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:1 ESV What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this that your passions are at war within you?

Romans 12:10 ESV Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

John 13:34 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 4:10 ESV In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 2:1-5 ESV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …and by obeying the word of God we can truly learn HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE.

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE

As believers we are all called to live our lives as Christ would have us to do so.  Learning to have a spirit of humility, leaving our selfish ambition and conceit behind, while selfish ambition and conceit can ruin unity, genuine humility can build it.  Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves in relation to God, which in turn gives us a correct perspective on our relationships with others.  Being humble does not mean that we should put ourselves down.   Instead humility is a healthy respect for who God is, and then a healthy respect for ourselves because of what God did on our behalf.  Thinking of others as better than ourselves means that we are aware of our own failings and are thus willing to accept failings in others without looking down on them.  Therefore, the question still remains, “HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?”

James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.Listen to what Paul tells us in Philippians, he says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:4 ESV).  As we read this, let us understand that we as believers should not be completely absorbed in his or her own affairs, but should also be interested in others, nothing their good points and qualities.  A sure cure for selfish ambition is appreciative recognition of others’ good qualities and their walk with the Lord.  It is easy to get caught up in competition, aggressive acquiring and vying for our own rights and needs.  But compared to knowing Christ, those interests seem shallow.  We need Christ’s attitude of self-sacrifice to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. Now read and listen to how the scriptures teach us HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE! Matthew 5:6 ESV “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

James 5:15 ESV And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 4:10 ESV Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:8 ESV Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:3 ESV You asks and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:1 ESV What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this that your passions are at war within you?

Romans 12:10 ESV Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

John 13:34 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 4:10 ESV In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 2:1-29 ESV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …and by obeying the word of God we can truly learn HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE.

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DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING

Peace In The Valley (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Today, let us focus our attention on the subject at hand, which simply says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.   (Philippians 4:6 ESV).

My question to you is simple, what are you anxious [worried] about, and why are you anxious about it?  I do realize however, that a lot of you could tick of a long laundry list of things that would make you anxious and by listing them they would make you feel better in some strange way.  I will not tell you to set aside life’s responsibilities so as not to be anxious [worry] about them.  We as Christians are to be responsible for our needs and our families and to care about and be concerned for others, but we are not to worry.  Because worrying can cause other physical and mental problems within your body that can damage your health, so worrying about the many problems in life is never a good thing to do.

In our understanding, the most important reason for a Christian not to worry is because it shows a subtle form of distrust in God.  When a believer worry, you are saying that you do not trust that God will provide and you doubt that he cares or that he can handle your situation.  The antidote to your worrying about life’s problems should be prayer.  You should learn to pray about everything.  Prayer combats worry by allowing us catharsis.  We can off load our stress onto God.  We need to learn how to take all the energy that is used in worrying and put it into prayer.  This includes praying about everything.  No request is too small, difficult, or inconsequential to God.

I tell you this one truth, we as believers should pray about the things we need, then we should thank God for all that he has done in our lives, because if we pause and think about where we are today, we can find plenty to lift up our eyes towards heaven and say, “thank you Jesus,”  “for you have truly brought me a mighty long way.”

Sometimes in our thinking about the problems and complications we are facing in our daily lives, it may seem impossible not to worry about anything, but this can happen if we as believers truly give our worries to God, because worry and prayer cannot coexist.

Therefore, I tell you to stop worry and, “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING”

May God’s grace and mercy cover you in all that you seek out in this life, and let your mind abide in Jesus and He will always abide in you.  Certainly you will quickly learn that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.  We have ministered this message to you today from the throne of grace with peace, purpose, power and above all God’s love.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE BEING CONTENT WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES

MATERIAL WEALTH COULD BE A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE    

Bread from Heaven (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (Matthew 6:19-21 MSG)

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.

But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1Timothy 6:7-10 MSG)

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. (Philippians 4:11-12 MSG)

God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God. (Proverb 10:22 MSG)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33 ESV)

Now, may God continually to add a blessing for each of you to His Holy Word, in Jesus name we have ministered this word to you for the edification of your soul.  May the grace of God rest and abide in you now and forever, we pray, AMEN.

HOW WE CAN STAY CONNECTED TO THE POWER SOURCE

HOW WE CAN STAY CONNECTED TO THE POWER SOURCE

God says, we can live in this world, but we do not have to be of this world. For this world is not our home.  We are only temporary inhabitants of this world.  This world is to be our training ground for us to live in the eternity.  Therefore, we must keep our minds centered on God, who is the one and only power source that provides all power to this world.  We may think just because we can enter into our houses, and flip a switch on the wall and our lights come on, place the key in the ignition of our automobiles, turn the key and it starts right up, that we are receiving the power for all this to happen directly from the people whom we paid our money too, but this is really not the case if we think deeply on where our energy supply originates from.

As Believers, we were given a constant source of spiritual power that we can connect too, simply by taking our minds on a journey and keeping it connected to God at all times, in order to keep our batteries charge.  Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5 these words, “5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (KJV) by keeping our minds stayed on Jesus will help strengthen us in ways that we could never imagine at any other time.

However, we must do our part to make sure our batteries are able to stay fully charged at all times.  In order to do so a transformation must take place in our minds.  Our thinking must be centered on the spiritual power source and not relying on the physical power sources of this world.

Now listen to how the scripture describes it, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2-3 KJV)

You see, your mind is the power station that supplies all the electricity to your physical body that will help you transform it into a truly beautiful living sacrifice.  You must work daily to keep your bodies physical fit and your minds spiritual renewed.  Always renewing your mind, by going to the main power source in prayer, and seeking the blessings and guidance from the one source that knows all things.

Therefore as we journey each day through the jungles of this earth, let it be a reminder for us not to store our treasures up on this earth for they can be stolen or rote away.  Simply put, the treasures we have here in this earth is not connected to the main power source.  For if, we depend upon man for our primary source of energy it will soon disappear.  A prime example of what I am talking about is this.  If we would only look at our oil, gas, and other nature resources, we can see that with man in charge, prices for these nature resources are skyrocketing every day.

In addition, to some degree, a great number of our people are suffering because they do not have sufficient funds to purchase what God has provided so freely for all his people.  The people or finding it difficult to make ends meet, and now they are becoming discouraged.  Some are just dropping out, some are committing suicide, and others develop a very negative attitude and then begin to blame all of their troubles on someone else. Then they begin to ask, why me?  Why do I have such difficult time?  I treat my fellow man with the up most respect, I go to church every Sunday, I pay my tithes, and I am a respectful person in the community and try my level best to do what’s right, but yet I am having it so hard.

When you are living in this world and you feel that the world has control of you, your thinking is not too far from the truth.  The problem that we have as we journey through our temporary home is that we forget the calling that God placed upon our lives.

We begin to live in this world as though it is our permanent home.  We begin to honor the things of man, rather than the things of God.  We forget the mission that God has called us into.  For the life that we are living is not about us, it is about God.  Then you will ask a question, a question that so many of us always ponder.

If I am going to spend all of my time doing the Lord’s work, how am I going to be in a position to pay my house note or rent, pay my car note, put food on the table, cloth my children, pay my kids college tuition. How am I going to be in a position to meet my financial obligations?  These questions or truly legitimate questions when your mind is consumed about the things of the world, but as you ponder these questions, don’t ever forget to ask the real question, and that is, where does the power sources that all the things this world operate on, come from?  Who is the one person that supplies the world of all its power?

When we want to watch a T.V. program, the T.V. must first be plugged into a power outlet source, once we plug the T.V. into the outlet we then can push the power button and then turn on the T.V., proving we have paid our utility bills.  We therefore purchase our power from a power source that is provided by man.  By paying our utility bills, this allows us to stay connected to our main power supplier.  If we do not pay, we will be disconnected from the main power supplier.  What has become lost in our worldly thinking is who supplies the energy to the utility companies that we purchase for our individual use.

When we stop and think about the sun, moon, wind, rain, rivers, streams, lakes and the oceans.  We then realize that all of these are natural resources, and each one of these are connected to the main power supply unit.  Therefore, in order for you and I to live in this temporary home of ours, we must get reconnected to the main power supply and then stay connected to that main source of energy, because without it, we will continue to stumble through the obstacles in this world and be very disappointed when things don’t go our way.

In order for us to stay fully connected to God’s power source we need to spend time with Him, be in prayer at all times, reading His Word, confessing our sins keeps us plugged in.  God is our supply line for all our needs here on this earth.  Keep your mind stayed on Him and He will never put on you more than you can bare.  He will never leave you are fail you.  Stay focus on the prize.  Jesus is your victory.

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, may the grace of God abide in you now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen.

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.

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