Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the category “#3 DO – What a Leader Does”

Proper Speech

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24 ESV

As followers of Christ we are His representatives.  Those around us are observing our lives to see what difference Christ makes.  One of the main things that people observe about us is our speech.  They watch what we talk about and how we say it.

Disciples of Jesus are to exercise self-control in speech.  We are to speak truthfully and sensitively.  We are to use our words to encourage, comfort, and edify others, carefully avoiding judgmental statements and slanderous remarks.  Once someone is hurt by our words it is difficult to restore the damage (see Proverbs 18:19).

  • Controlling our tongue is a constant struggle.  What is said about proper speech in the following passages? — Ephesians 5:3-4; 1 Timothy 4:12; James 3:1-12
  • The overall tone of a believer’s speech should be positive–encouraging, comforting, and edifying.  What can you observe about positive speech in the following passages? —  Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Question to ponder:  How do you know what is improper speech for a believer?

Passages for further study: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Colossians 4:5-6

Giving Back to GOD

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV

Giving is a privilege, not a burden; it is an act of joy and not duty.  We give because God first gave to us.  Because God owns everything in this world, He entrusts part of it to each of us to manage.  He still retains ownership, but we are expected to be good stewards of all He owns (Matthew 25:14-30).

Though some believers have the gift of giving (Romans 12:6-8), all are expected to give.  We are to give back to God a percentage of what He has given us.  Believers in the New Testament are given freedom to determine the exact amount we give depending on our faith.

  • In the Old Testament believers were instructed to give specific amounts to God.  But in the New Testament we are free to determine the amount we give.  What is said about giving in the following passages? — 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
  • There are more needs than we can meet, so deciding who to give to can be a challenge.  What do the following passages say about the object of our giving? — Galatians 6:6; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:16-18

Question to ponder:  Why does God expect you to give?

Passages for further study: Psalm 50:9-12; 1 Corinthians 16:2

It’s Not the Great Suggestion!

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:18-20  ESV

This passage has been called the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion!  It is a command given to all followers of Jesus Christ.  It is “great” because it is the culmination of all Jesus taught and because of the scope of the commission – the whole world.

Disciples (followers) of Jesus are to make other disciples as they go through life.  These new disciples are to be baptized (publicly identify with Jesus) and taught to obey the whole Word of God.  Then, they too are to go and do the same, eventually reaching all the nations (peoples) of the earth.  With each succeeding generation, the Great Commission stands as a fresh, new challenge.

  • God has always had the whole world on His heart.  What do the following passages say about God’s heart for the world? — Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 49:6
  • After the resurrection, Jesus repeated this commission several times in various forms.  What else did Jesus say in the following verses when He reminded the disciples of His world vision? — Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:4-8

Question to ponder:  How are you personally involved in helping to fulfill the Great Commission?

Passages for further study:  John 3:16-17; Revelation 7:9-10

Prayer – Opening Your Heart

And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:35-36 ESV

Does God always answer our prayers?  Yes, but sometimes His answer is “No.”  Even Jesus, the Son of God, was told “no” by His Father when He asked not to be crucified (Luke 22:41-44)!  God always listens, He always answers, but there are times when His better way is that we don’t receive what we request.

God listens to our hearts not our words when we pray.  Prayer is sharing our heart, our thoughts, and our feelings with our Father in heaven.  Prayer is being real, open, and transparent in our communication with God.  As we talk with God, we can tell Him how we really feel.  He can take it! We can ask Him for big things – impossible things. He’s not overwhelmed or stressed out by our great requests. He can handle whatever we bring up.

  • What promises does God make in the following passages to those who pray? — John 14:12-14; 1 John 5:14-15
  • In the following verses, what conditions are mentioned for answered prayer? —  Matthew 6:5-15; James 4:3

Questions to ponder:  Why do you think God takes a long time to answer some prayers?

Passages for further study: Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8

The Cost of Discipleship

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 NIV

Salvation is a free gift, but following Christ will cost everything!  We begin by giving up our rights (deny self).  We give up the right to determine our own future and let Jesus determine it for us.  We give up the right to a comfortable, peaceful, self-determined life and give Jesus the right to use and place us as He sees best for furthering His purposes.

He not only calls us to deny ourselves, but to die to self (take up our cross) daily.  Each day and every moment of each day we must choose to live for Jesus instead of self.  Each day we strive to please Him and not people.  Following and obeying Him is our passion.  We live for Him and Him alone, playing our life to an audience of One — seeking to end our lives by hearing Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

  • What does Jesus say in the following passages it will cost to follow Him? — Matthew 8:18-22; Luke 14:25-33
  • What do the following verses say is involved in dying to self? — John 12:24-26; Romans 12:1-2

Question to ponder:  What is keeping you from unreservedly and wholeheartedly following Jesus?

Passages for further study: Mark 10:28-31; Philippians 3:7-11

Speaking the Truth

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalm 119:160 NIV

God is truth and His actions are always truthful.  God cannot lie.  God’s truth is absolute and found in His Word – the Bible.  It is unchanging because God is unchanging.  Because God’s Word is truth it is completely trustworthy.

As followers of Christ, we are always to deal truthfully with others.  Our words must be truthful so that others can trust what we say.  Because Jesus is ‘the Truth,’ believers are to share Christ, who is the truth, with others.

  • The Scriptures testify that God is truth.   What do the following passages say about God being truth? — John 14:6; John 18:33-37
  • God’s Word is the measuring rod for believers to gauge whether something is truthful or not.  What is said about the Word of God in the following passages? —  Psalm 119:142,151,160; John 17:17

Question to ponder:  Is there ever a time when you should not tell the truth, the whole truth?

Passages for further reflection: John 1:17; Hebrews 6:13-20

Celebrating Life’s Milestones

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. Nehemiah 8:10-12 NIV

God wants his people to enjoy him and celebrate His dealings with them.  This can be done corporately or individually.  Many celebrations (feasts) were instituted by the Lord in the Old Testament.  These were done to commemorate significant events in Israel’s history. In the New Testament God instituted the Lord’s Supper as a way of remembering Christ’s death and sacrifice for us.

The celebration of the Old Testament feasts was originally intended to bring joy and encouragement as the celebrants remembered God’s dealings with them.  Unfortunately, the keeping of the feasts became more and more legalistic and their original meaning was lost.

  • The people of God and those of this world celebrate in different ways.  What is stated about the contrast in celebration styles in the following passages? — Nehemiah 8:1-12; Daniel 5:1-6
  • Celebrating the Lord’s Supper (communion) is a reminder of Christ’s death for our sin.  What is said in the following passages concerning celebrating the Lord’s Supper? — Luke 22:7-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Question to ponder:  What should your attitude be when celebrating the Lord’s Supper?

Passages for further reflection: Leviticus 23:1-44; Mark 14:22-26

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!

God’s Resources and Power

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings 6:15-16 NIV

There are one-hundred billion stars like our sun in the Milky Way galaxy.  Traveling at the speed of light it would take one-hundred thousand years to cross the galaxy.  Our God made it all.  He spoke and it came into existence from nothing. He has unlimited resources and infinite power.  All of creation is His and He can do with it as He wants. 

When we are thrust into situations where we need to rely on God’s resources, we often respond like Elisha’s servant.  We can be fearful as we look at our own limited resources compared to the need of the hour.  We tend to look at the visible rather than trusting our invisible, heavenly Father.  Our Father’s resources are always sufficient to meet any need. 

  • The Lord possesses all that He created.  What do the following passages say about God’s ownership of His creation? — Psalm 50:10-12; Psalm 24:1-2
  • When facing challenging circumstances, we must be controlled by faith, not fear.  What do the following passages about trusting God and His resources? –- Psalm 23:1-4; Matthew 6:25-34

Question to ponder:  What makes it difficult for you to trust in God’s resources and power?

Passages for further reflection: Psalm 46:1-3; Romans 8:31

Praising God!

“The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!

2 Samuel 22:47 NIV

David’s heart overflowed with praise for the kindness God had shown him.  But so often our prayer time is self-centered rather than God-centered.  The Lord God Almighty is worthy of our praise.  We can praise God for who He is and thank him for what He has done or has promised to do.  Praise is worshiping, honoring, and exalting Him.  When we pray, we are acknowledging our dependency upon Him.

Praise can be done in song, like this song of David and the many Psalms of David; or it can be done in prayer.  Praising God can be done individually or corporately.  It is a deep expression from our inner being where the created one focuses on the Creator.

  • God rules over His creation as Lord.  He is the sovereign king over His universe.  What do the following passages say about God’s reign? -– Psalm 47:1-9; Psalm 103:19-22
  • God not only rules His creation, but He does so with goodness.  What do the following passages say about God’s goodness and His good works? -– Psalm 119:68; Nahum 1:7

Question to ponder:  What can you be praising God for today?

Passages for further reflection: Nehemiah 9:5-6, Revelation 4:9-11

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: