Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Faithfulness”

Leading with Courage – 5

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!               Psalm 27:14 (ESV)

The power of modeling courage is not hard to imagine.  One leader who leads courageously will encourage others to do the same.  You can be catalytic in your courageous leadership.  Below are several examples of courage that can serve to inspire and motivate you and others.

Abraham and the Offering of Isaac   (Genesis 22:1-24)

God chose to test Abraham by telling him to offer his only son as a burnt offering (v. 1-2).  Abraham displays courage immediately in his response as he rose early (v. 3) to assure completion of the journey.  After 3 days of travel he saw the mountain God led him to. He told the men traveling with him to stay behind as he and his son would worship and return to them (v. 5).  This statement not only displays his faith and hope but also the courage Abraham possessed to go alone to the mountain top to offer his only son.   Abraham’s immediate reward was the salvation of his son and God’s provision of a ram for offering instead (v. 13).  One can only imagine the impact on Isaac for the rest of his life.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego   (Daniel 3)

The king, Nebuchadnezzar, made an image of gold (v. 1) for the province of Babylon to worship.  He assembled the residents and authorities to hear his proclamation (v. 4-6) commanding worship of this idol or death by being cast into a furnace of blazing fire. Once it was recognized that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not obey the proclamation (v. 12), King Nebuchadnezzar sent for them (v. 13).  Standing before the king, they were confronted with the king’s commands.  Without hesitation, bold in courage, they told Nebuchadnezzar that their God was above all others and able to rescue them, if he chose to do so, and that they would not worship his gods or images. The king responded in anger and had them thrown into the furnace (v. 23).  Because of their faithfulness and courage to give the king an honest answer, risking death, the Most-High God (v. 26) saved them and changed the life of the king and Babylon.

Perhaps you will not be asked to risk death or sacrifice a loved one, but life is full of challenges that call for courageous responses, especially for Kingdom leaders.  What challenge are you currently facing that needs a courageous response?  Lead with courage!

Rewards for Laboring

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.   If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.   1 Corinthians 3:10-15  (NIV  1984)

In the passage above Paul is talking about his labors for Christ.  He, the ‘expert builder’ of people, reminds the Corinthians that there will be rewards given at the ‘bema’ judgment seat at the end of days.  All of our labors will be tested by the fire of God, revealing true motives and outcomes.  Some will lose potential rewards while others will be rewarded for their faithfulness.  Salvation is not at risk, this is rewards for service.

As Kingdom leaders who labor for the Lord and His purposes, the reminder that we will have to give an account of our labors should be sobering.  The writer of Hebrews says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.”  Hebrews 13:17  (NIV  1984)  We are stewards of a trust given to us by the Lord, the trust of leading His people to accomplish His purposes.

In the parable of the Talents there is an accounting when the servants are called to report to their Master the results of their labor.  Faithfulness is rewarded by the Master (see Matthew 25).  Immediately following this parable is another titled the Sheep and the Goats.  Referring to the final judgment, the sheep (faithful ones) are welcomed into heaven and are surprised at their reward.  Note that in this instance, they are rewarded for service given to other believers -“whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  (Matthew 25:40)  We see similar principles of reward for labor taught in the parable of the Ten Gold Coins (see Luke 19).

Your labor for the Lord does not go unnoticed by Him.  There will be a reckoning one day and rewards will be given for your faithful service.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.   1 Corinthians 15:58   (NIV  1984)

Leaders and Faithfulness

Dr. Francis Dixon – a well known evangelist in Australia and NZ, revivals / crusades – but led a church in England told the following story:

One Sunday night Dixon asked a man, Peter, in his church to share his testimony.  Peter said, “This is how I was saved… I was in the Royal Navy stationed in Sydney, Australia and one night I was walking down George St. and out of nowhere stepped this little grey-haired old man.  He said, ‘Excuse me sir, but may I ask you a question?  I hope you won’t be offended but if you were to die today, do you know where you would spend eternity?  The Bible says it will either be in hell or it will be in heaven.  Will you think about that?  Thank you.  God bless you.’  And he left.  I had never been asked that question before and I could not get it out of my mind.  When I got back to England, I sought out a pastor and was converted to Christ.”

Several weeks later a revival team came to Dr. Dixon’s church and on a Wednesday night he asked one of the team members (Noel) to share how he had been saved.  The guy stood stood up and said,  “I was stationed with the Royal Navy stationed in Sydney, Australia and one night I was walking down George Street and out of no where stepped this little grey-haired old man.  He said, ‘Excuse me sir, but may I ask you a question?  I hope you won’t be offended but if you were to die today, do you know where you would spend eternity?  The Bible says it will either be in hell or it will be in heaven.  Will you think about that.  Thank you.  God bless you.’  Noel said I couldn’t  get that out of my mind.  When I got back to England I sought out a Christian businessman and I came to know Christ as my Savior and Lord.”

Several months after that Dr. Dixon was in Adelaide.  He was doing an evangelistic crusade and said that he just had to share this so he shared about Peter and Noel.  As he was sharing a man stood up in the congregation waving his hands.  Dr. Dixon stopped and asked what was the problem – to which the man replied, “I’m another.  I was in  Sydney, Australia and one night I was walking down George Street and out of no where stepped this little grey-haired old man.  He said, ‘Excuse me sir, but may I ask you a question?  I hope you won’t be offended but if you were to die today, do you know where you would spend eternity?  The Bible says it will either be in hell or it will be in heaven.  Will you think about that.  Thank you.  God bless you.’  Later I was converted to Christ.

When he came back to his church he shared about the crusade experience – specifically about Peter, Noel, and the man in Adelaide.  Afterwards a woman came up to Dr. Dixon and said, “Well, I’m another.  I was visiting Sydney Australia and walking down George Street….  Later I was converted to Christ.”

Shortly after that he was teaching at a convention in Northern England and he was asked to address a group of pastors.  When he started talking he said, “I’ve got to share this,  This is exciting.”  So he told them about Peter, Noel, the man in Adelaide and the woman in his church.  Afterwards a pastor came up to him and said, “I am another. I was in Sydney walking down George St and out of no where came this grey-haired old man…  Later I was converted to Christ.”

A year later Dr. Dixon went on a world tour and he was in India and was asked to speak to a group of missionaries on evangelism.  So he told them the story and afterwards a missionary came up to him and said, “Dr. Dixon, I am another.  I was walking down George St…. Later I was converted to Christ.”

From there he went to Jamaica.  He was in Kingston addressing a group of businessmen at a luncheon.  He shared this story and afterwards a man came up to him and said, “I am another.  I was on a business trip in Sydney, Australia and I was walking down George Street and out of no where stepped this little old man…Later I was converted to Christ.

Where do you think Dr. Dixon Went next?…Sydney, Australia

He went to a Christian businessman there and told him this story and asked, “Do you know who this man is?”

“Sure, that’s Mr. Jenner.  He’s been doing that for 23 years.  But he is very feeble now.  He just got out of the hospital, is confined to his bed and is almost blind.”

Dr. Dixon said, “Would you take me to him?”

The man said, “Of course.”

So they went to this little grey-haired old man’s house.  As they walked into his bedroom, Dr. Dixon introduced himself and began to unravel one of the most incredible witnessing stories ever verified.  As he started to share about how one after another had come to know Christ, the little old grey-haired man started to weep to the point that Dr. Dixon had to stop.  “Excuse me sir, but what is wrong?.”

Mr. Jenner said, “After 23 years, that is the first time I have ever heard of anyone coming to Christ through my testimony.”

23 years of faithfulness…23 years of sowing and never knowing that the seeds had sprouted and born fruit…23 years of serving out of obedience to Christ.  May we be found faithful!

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