Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “leader development”

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

Pride – Corruption of the Heart

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:16 NIV

Uzziah started well in his walk with God, but his pride caused his downfall.  Pride does not blast its way into our life, it is insidious. It comes creeping in with small steps.  It gains a foothold little by little, feeding on itself, it grows until it consumes a life and brings ruin.

God opposes the proud person.  He will actively work to humble the proud.  Because God is committed to building humility into us, we have two choices.  We can take the easy road and humble ourselves, or we can let God take us down a hard road where He humbles us.

  • What is said in the following passages about God’s opposition to pride? — Proverbs 6:16-17; James 4:4-6
  • Pride wrecks a life.  Nothing good comes from it. What are the results of pride noted in the following passages? — Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 13:10

Question to ponder:  How can you recognize pride in your own life?

Passages for further reflection: Isaiah 25:11; 1 Peter 5:5-6

Integrity – A Matter of the Heart

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity… 1 Chronicles 29:17 NIV

When God measures a person, He puts the “tape measure” around their heart.  Who we are is more important to God than what we do.  He looks at our hearts, not our activities.  If our hearts are right, then our actions will follow.

Integrity, a basic building block in our character, is rooted in our hearts.  It begins with a commitment in our hearts to honor and obey God wholeheartedly.  Integrity is then manifested by being truthful in all that we say and do.  Believers are people of their word, who fulfill promises—even to our own detriment if necessary.

  • God has integrity.  He does not lie, and we can count on Him always doing what He says He will do.  What do the following passages say about the importance of integrity? -— Numbers 23:19; Mark 12:14
  • The Lord uses people of integrity.  What do these passages say regarding the type of person God uses? -— 2 Timothy 2:20-21; Titus 1:6-7

Question to ponder:  Kingdom leaders represent God’s leadership of His people. Are you and your leadership known for integrity?

Passages for further reflection : Joshua 21:45; Luke 16:10

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

The Promises of God

Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21:45 ESV

Someone has said, “Promises are like pie crust–lightly made and easily broken.”  Promises are only as good as the character and the resources available to the one who makes the promises.  When God makes promises His perfect character and unlimited resources stand behind them. 

The Christian life begins by trusting the promises of God.  By believing Jesus’ promise of forgiveness and new life, we have our sins forgiven and are born again into God’s family.  We not only begin our relationship with God by believing His promises, but we also continue to live our daily lives proving the trustworthiness of His promises.  We can trust God’s promises for He never changes!

  • Eternal life and the forgiveness of sin are obtained by believing the promises of God.  What does God promise in the following passages? — John 5:24; John 6:40
  • When we examine God’s promises, we may be tempted to ask, “How can God do this?”  We need not focus on the “how,” rather, we concentrate on “what” and “Who” we are believing.  What promises about God’s answers to prayer are in the following passages? — Psalm 50:15; Luke 11:9-10

Question to ponder:  What is keeping you from trusting the promises of God for your life and leadership?

Passages for further reflection: John 16:24; 1 John 2:25

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

Attitudes and Authority

The LORD is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him? Numbers 16:11 NLT

God has ordained certain authority-submission relationships in His creation.  Examples of these are: God and people, government and citizens, employer and employee, spiritual leader and follower, husband and wife, and parents and children.  These relationships do not imply that those in authority have more value or worth in God’s eyes than those that are called to follow.  For even within the Trinity there is authority and submission (see 1 Corinthians 11:3). 

God in His wisdom and love, places His authorities over each of us.  These authorities are there for His purposes and rebellion against them is taken very seriously.  Moses saw Korah’s rebellion as not against his leadership, but ultimately a rebellion against God (v. 11).  We can willingly submit to the authorities over us knowing that God will care for us, even if our authorities are ungodly. 

  • What insights can you gain from how Daniel and his friends responded to the ungodly authority over them in Daniel 1:1-16?
  • What was the response of Daniel’s three friends when they faced another difficult submission decision in Daniel 3:1-30?  Pay special attention to their attitudes in verses 16-18.

Question to ponder:  When and under what circumstances would you ever not submit to an authority?

Passages for further reflection: Matthew 26:36-64; Matthew 27:11-14

Becoming God’s Friend

Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend… Exodus 33:11 ESV

Can someone really become a friend with God?  Moses met regularly with God, speaking with Him face to face, building a deep, personal relationship. By spending time alone with God, Moses developed a growing friendship with Him.  As Moses grew in his friendship and intimacy with God, his requests from God grew bolder. As he grew in his understanding of God’s character, he was emboldened to ask God for such things as wanting His presence to go with them and asking to see God’s glory (see the rest of Exodus 33).

The Lord desires to build an intimate, personal relationship with each of us also.  But, like Moses, we too must set aside regular time to meet with Him that we may get to know Him better.  Daily devotions built around the Word and prayer are anchors in this growing friendship. We can talk with Him through prayer, and He talks to us through His Word.

  • Eternal life is not something that we have to wait to experience after we die.  Rather, it is a personal relationship with God that begins the moment we believe in Christ and then continues for eternity.  Reflect on the following passages, noting what they say about our relationship with God?  — John 1:12-13; John 17:3,20-26
  • How did Jesus model and teach us to pursue a relationship with our heavenly Father — Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15-16

Question to ponder:  What can you do cultivate a deeper personal relationship with God?

Passages for further reflection: Psalm 5:3; Matthew 6:6

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