Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “character of God”

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

God’s Grace and My Good Works

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

No one can work for their salvation; it is an unearned gift from God.  God does not grade on the curve; His is a pass-fail course.  In His perfect justice He has said that all ‘fail’ because of sin.  But the Good News is that all can ‘pass’ through belief in Jesus as their Savior.

Though we can’t earn our salvation by doing good deeds, God does expect believers to do good.  These good works are the result of our gratefulness for all He has done, not a seeking to earn His favor for our salvation. By doing good works, believers bring honor and glory to God.

  • We are saved by the grace of God, not by doing good deeds.  What is said in the following passages about salvation and good works?  —  Galatians 2:15-16; Ephesians 2:8-10
  • God desires all believers to do good to others.  What is said about believers doing good works in the following passages?  —  Matthew 5:16; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:12

Questions to ponder:  What good work does God want you to do today?

Passages for further reflection: Acts 10:38; James 2:17-18

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

Sexual Purity

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV

Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but like many of God’s gifts, Satan tries to pervert it.   God has set a limit on the expression of this gift–no sexual intercourse outside of the marriage relationship.  Satan tempts us to seek sexual fulfillment before marriage or with someone other than our spouse.  But God says, for your greatest joy and fulfillment, wait until you are married and don’t violate your marriage vows.  Sex intimacy is to be with one partner for one life!

Sexual sin can be in our minds in the form of lust as well as the physical act.  We are commanded to flee from sexual immorality.  When the imagination does battle with the will our imagination is always the winner.  We must run from sexual temptation–avoid it!

  • Lust is sexual immorality of the mind.  What do the following passages say about lust? — Matthew 5:27-30; 1 John 2:15-17
  • Sexual purity is God’s design for His followers.  What is stated in the following passages about living a sexually pure life? — Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Question to ponder:  What can you do to flee from sexual immorality in your life and leadership?

Passages for further reflection: Galatians 5:16-21; Colossians 3:5

Safe and Secure

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV

Security is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.  Once we have trusted Christ and become a member of God’s family, He promises never to leave us or forsake us.  Nothing will separate us from Him; we are safe and secure in His care.

Jesus promises to be with us forever.  Though we still encounter trials and difficulties, He will be with us in the midst of them and see us through.  We need not fear that He will forsake or abandon us.  He will be faithful to us, even if we are unfaithful.  What amazing love!

  • God will never leave us!  What do the following passages say about God’s commitment to us? — Matthew 28:20; John 10:27-30
  • One person plus God is a majority!  What do the following passages say about the security we have in the presence of God? — Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:5-6

Question to ponder:  How does the fact of Christ’s presence with you always effect your daily attitude and activities?

Passages for further reflection: Proverbs 3:23-26; 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Fire Casts No Shadow

 

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.   Hebrews 12:28-29  ESV

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17  ESV

It’s amazing that a pure flame will not cast a shadow unless it is contaminated with soot or smoke.  Because the living God is pure and holy, there is no shadow of change within Him.  His purity is immutable and this reality brings great security and hope for all Kingdom people. The holiness of God and His unchanging character cause us to fall at His feet and worship Him with reverence and awe!

Kingdom leaders are His ambassadors who also reflect the light of God that shines into the darkness John 1:4-5 (ESV) says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  As His agents we too must strive to reflect the purity of God in our thoughts and deeds.

Paul describes his pursuit of this goal in Acts 24:16 (NIV) – “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” He was concerned about his conscience before God first, but also with regards to what others may think or even accuse him of.  Again when discussing his handling of a monetary gift for the poor, he says, “We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” (2 Corinthians 8:20-21 NIV)  Note the two-fold aspect of his actions – doing what is right before God first, but also seeking to be above reproach before others.

In 1 Timothy 3:2 (ESV) we read that one of the qualifications for the selection of Kingdom leaders: “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach…” That is, they are not to have anything in their lives that can cast as shadow or disparage the King or the Kingdom. They are to be pure and holy for they represent a Holy God.

May we too pursue this same goal in our lives and leadership – seeking to be above reproach; seeking to please both God and people, for He is worthy!

 

Why Go I Mourning?

“Why go I mourning?” — Psalm 42:9

Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair?

Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not. Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this? Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; He only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good.

Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold Him who sits at the top of it-thy covenant God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendors of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “for ever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane.          Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

“Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe and thou shalt see,
That Christ is all in all to thee.”          Hymn, Fight the Good Fight, by John S. B. Monsell (1863)

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