Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the category “#1 KNOW- How a Leader Thinks”

It’s a New Year!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

What a year 2021 was!  As we end one and begin a new calendar year, it’s good to pause and reflect upon what was and what we hope will be.  The promise above reminds us not to “dwell” on the past because God wants to do a new thing this year in and through us. But “reflection on the past” is not “dwelling on the past.” It is through reflection that we gain perspective and see more clearly the overarching, God-orchestrated, macro-movements of our lives.

Leaders are often too busy to stop and reflect.  We always have more things to do and people to see.  We take one item off of the do-list and add three more!  Who has time to stop and think, let alone, pause to reflect?

Today…..now is the time to stop and reflect upon who you are becoming and what you are doing!  Your personal diary, journal, or devotional notebook can be of great help as you look back and observe themes or topics the Lord has been addressing.  Here are some questions to get you started in this reflection process.

Are you satisfied with your own personal spiritual walk and growth?  More importantly, is Jesus pleased with your pursuit of Him?  How’s your current pace of life?  Is it sustainable long-term?  Do you have a margin in your schedule?  Are you living and leading from an overflow?  How’s your family doing?  Are you paying the price to experience the marriage you committed to on your wedding day?  Are you investing deeply in your children and grandchildren, knowing that the years for significant influence are rapidly passing you by?

What fears are you trying to ignore related to your leadership?  Are you leading with faith and courage?  Are you more concerned about your reputation or God’s glory?  Is the vision of where you are leading to focused or foggy?  Do you have a leadership team that is unified and empowered around a shared vision?  Are you making progress in the God-given mission that you intended to accomplish?

These and many more questions are helpful for taking stock of where you are today and where you intend to be/go tomorrow.  Use this season for reflection and refocus as you start a new year full of new hope and new beginnings.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.    Hebrews 12:1-2  NIV

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Relativism vs. Truth

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25 ESV

Life isn’t fair, but God is.  Because God is just, He must have a standard ‘measuring rod’ with which to judge people fairly.  To be fair and just to all, this ‘measuring rod’ must be unchanging.  God’s ‘measuring rod’ is His revealed truth.  His truth is absolute and unchanging. It is the Bible!

The Word of God, the Bible originated from God and is truth because God is truth and in Him there is no falsehood.  If we saturate our minds with God’s truth, the Scriptures, we will be able to think God’s thoughts.  The Holy Spirit, God himself, who lives within all believers, will use His Word to guide us and keep us from the traps of our enemy, the devil.

  • Truth is absolute, not relative.  What is truth today will also be truth tomorrow, for truth does not change with time or context.  What does God say about truth in the following passages? — John 14:1,6,16-17; John 16:13-15
  • God will judge people based upon their response to His revealed truth.  What do the following passages say about God’s judgment of mankind? — Romans 1:18-20; Romans 2:1-2,8; Romans 3:21-26

Question to ponder:  Why can you trust God to do what is right when He judges people?

Passages for further reflection: Luke 12:47-48; Revelation 21:11-15

God’s Word – Your Life!

And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:45-47 ESV

When lost in the woods, a compass can save our life.  The compass needle always points due north and from it we can get our bearings.  The Bible always points us to God and truth and from it we can know His direction.  Every day we face many trials, temptations, and important decisions that will impact the rest of our lives.  God has given His Word, the Bible, as a refuge, counsel, and a compass for these times. 

As Moses records for the Israelites, the key is not knowledge of the Word of God, but obedience to it (v. 46).  These words are not like the words recorded in other books; these words are inspired by God Himself.  They are life! And they give life!

  • Especially for Kingdom leaders, the Word of God is not only good; it is absolutely necessary.  What is stated in the following passages about the importance of the Word of God? — Matthew 4:4; Acts 20:32
  • It is the application of the Word of God to our lives that gives life and brings joy.  Why is obedience to God’s Word so important? — Matthew 7:24-27; John 15:9-11

Question to ponder: How will you know if the Word of God is considered something good for you or whether it is essential?

Passages for further reflection: Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Reality of Heaven

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.   Revelation 22:3-5  NIV

You, a believer in Christ, were made to reign with Him forever and ever!  You will live with Him in an eternal city, the New Jerusalem, with eternal bodies, and reign with Him over His creation.  Heaven is real and our eternal destiny is assured.    

The reality of heaven should impact our life today.  We are passing through this life on our way to a better one, a life with the living God for eternity!  Heaven is our hope and our final home.

  • As believers, our citizenship is in heaven, not this world.  What is said in the following passages about heaven? — Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 7:9-17
  • Our existence in heaven will be much different than our earthly existence.  What do the following passages say about our life in heaven? — Romans 8:17; Revelation 21:4; Revelation 22:5

Question to ponder:  How is the reality of heaven impacting your life and leadership today?

Passages for further reflection:  2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:10

The Adversary

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8  ESV

Satan, the devil, is a powerful angel who led a rebellion in heaven against God.  God put down the rebellion and sentenced Satan and his rebellious angels to eternal punishment in the lake of fire – hell.  For this present age the devil is permitted limited freedom in the universe to accomplish God’s ultimate purposes.

The devil is a created being and as such his power is no match for his Creator’s.  All children of God have access to God’s power and thus have power over Satan and evil spirits.  We are not to fear our enemy, rather respect him, for we have victory over him through our union with Christ.

  • Satan is out to destroy mankind.  What do the following passages say about the devil? — Genesis 3:1-20; Job 1:6-12; Revelation 20:7-10
  • The devil is a defeated foe who we need not fear.  What is said in the following passages about our struggle with him? — Hebrews 2:14-18; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9

Question to ponder:  How do you see Satan working in your life to keep you from leading well for Christ?

Passages for further reflection:  Ephesians 4:26-27; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 

God’s Discipline

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11  ESV

Just as a loving parent disciplines their child, so too does God discipline his children.  God’s discipline is hard and painful, but it is pain with a purpose.  God disciplines us to make us more like Himself, more Christlike.  

Our response to the Lord’s discipline can be one of two choices.  We can submit to it and reap the benefits, or we can resist it.  If we try to run from it, God will raise up new opportunities to teach us the lessons He intends.  He loves His children too much to let them go undisciplined.

  • God disciplines all His children because He loves them.  What do the following verses say about God’s discipline? — Job 5:17-18;  Psalm 119:65-68; Proverbs 3:11-12
  • God’s discipline is designed to build Christlike character into our lives.  What do the following verses say about the results of God’s discipline? — John 15:1-2; Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 1:6-7

Question to ponder:  Is there an area of disobedience in your life that is bringing God’s discipline? 

Passages for further reflection:  Deuteronomy 8:1-5; Job 23:10

Live for the World to Come!

For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…  2 Timothy 4:10  ESV

Demas started well but did not end well.  He had been one of Paul’s co-workers for several years (see Colossians 4:14;  Philemon 1:24).  But now, during Paul’s later years, Demas deserted him because he loved the world more than Christ.

If the enemy can’t keep us from trusting Christ, he will seek to mute our witness and stifle our growth in Jesus through this world’s temptations.  Demas gave in to that temptation and shipwrecked his faith.

We are not living for this world, but for an unseen world that is yet to come.  This current world is but a brief experience compared to life in our future home for all eternity.  We must not love this world for we will leave it behind.  We live for the world to come!

  • We must be on our guard not to fall in love with this world.  What do the following passages say about loving this world? — James 4:4-10; 1 John 2:15-16
  • The world to come is so much more in every way.  What is said about a believer’s future world in the following passages? — John 14:1-4; 1 Peter 1: 3-9

Question to ponder:  What worldly temptation is the enemy currently using against you and what can you about it?

Passages for further reflection:  Matthew 16:26; Colossians 3:2

Good News!

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.   1 Timothy 2:3-6  ESV

Because of sin, all people are separated from a holy God.  Because God is just, He must punish sin.  Because God is love, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sin so that we will not have to die.  Those who believe in Him by faith are forgiven for all their sins and reconciled back to God.  This is the Good News!  This is the gospel!  

The Good News of forgiveness and reconciliation is for all people.  We who have discovered the Good News are to share it with others.  Simply, one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread. Sharing the Good News with others not only brings joy to those who receive it, but also to those who share it. 

  • The Gospel is good news to those that are lost and separated from God.  What do the following passages say about the Gospel? — Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10
  • The Gospel is meant to be shared with others.  What is said in the following passages about sharing Christ with others? — Romans 10:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Philippians 1:27-30

Question to ponder:  When was the last time you shared the Good News?  What steps can you take to share the Good News with someone today?

Passages for further reflection:  Acts 20:24; Ephesians 6:19-20

The Greatness of Knowing Christ

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 ESV

God could have created humans on any third rock out from any star amidst the billions in His vast universe and then hidden Himself away, never to be heard or seen.  He could have retired to a corner of His creation and we would never have known Him.  But God desires a relationship with the people He creates.  He does not want to hide from us, rather, He wants to build a deep, intimate friendship with us.

God came to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, that we might know Him better.  One day, those who believe in Him, will see Him face-to-face and fellowship with Him forever.  We will reign with Him over all of His creation!  Yes, it is the greatest privilege a person can have–personally knowing the living God!

  • Jesus is God incarnate, God in the flesh.  What do the following passages say about knowing God through Christ? — John 14:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Through belief in Christ as our Savior, we enter a personal relationship with God.  What do the following passages say about our relationship with God? — John 15:14-17;  Romans 8:12-17

Question to ponder:  How does your deepening friendship with God impact your leadership?

Passages for further reflection: John 12:44-46; John 16:12-15

By God’s Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

God’s grace is an unearned gift!  It is His unmerited favor granted us through faith in Christ as Savior. Motivated by His love for us, God acted to deliver us from our deepest problem–sin and its consequence.  His grace caused Him to die for us, freeing us from sin and its penalty–death (Romans 5:8).

But God’s grace is more than a past gift; it is a present power within each believer.  It is not a license to live as we want, but rather the power to live a life that is pleasing to God.  Whatever paths in life God calls us to travel, we can be certain that His grace, His power will be sufficient to see us through.

  • God’s grace moved him to offer salvation to all who believe in Christ.  What is said about God’s grace in the following passages? — Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Having been saved by God’s grace, believers have been called and empowered to live lives that honor him.  What do the following passages say about a believer’s life and lifestyle? — Galatians 5:13-18; Titus 2:11-14

Question to ponder:  How does God’s grace motivate you to want to live for Him?

Passages for further reflection: Acts 15:6-11; Romans 5:15-17

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