Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Leadership”

A Heart for People

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 ESV

What was the purpose in Jesus’ coming?  Jesus Himself summed it up by saying that He, “came to seek and to save the lost.”  People without a personal relationship with Jesus are lost—separated from God.  In another place He refers to them as sheep without a shepherd. Jesus came seeking those people that they might be reconciled once again to God.  He still seeks the lost today.

Jesus has committed to His followers the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).  As Christ’s ambassadors, we seek to persuade men and women to put their trust in Him that they may be reconciled back to God.  Our passion is Christ and His passion is people.  As we grow in our heart for God we will also grow in His passion for people.

  • God deeply cares for the lost.  What do the three parables in Luke 15 reveal about God’s heart for the lost? —  Luke 15:1-7; Luke 15:8-10; Luke 15:11-32
  • We can grow in our own heart for the lost.  What is said in the following passages about growing in our heart for people?  —  Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Peter 1:5-9

Questions to ponder:  What are your passions in life? Is one of them a passion to see people reconciled back to God? Why or why not?

Passages for further study: Psalm 51:10; Romans 8:5-11

GOD’s Guidance

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

God certainly knows the plans He has for our lives, but how can we know those plans?  The Lord is not wanting to hide His plans from us. Rather, He wants us to know and align our choices with His plans. If He sees a child of His who sincerely desires to obey and follow His will, He will not leave us wondering about His plans.  He loves us too much for that.  He will show us the way to go.

Much of our struggle is not knowing God’s will but doing it.  God reveals His will one step at a time; we are not shown the entire plan.  We are to trust Him for today knowing that He holds the future in His hands.  He will give us the guidance we need for tomorrow when tomorrow comes. It is a walk by faith, not by sight.

  • A primary means God uses to communicate His will is His Word, the Bible.  What is stated about God’s direction in the following verses? — Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • God also guides us through wise counselors.  What do the following passages say about getting counsel from others? — Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20

Question to ponder:  What is hindering you from being truly willing to obey and follow God’s plans for your life?

Passages for further study: Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 12:1-2

A Divine Heart Transplant

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:25-27 ESV

Hearts of stone–that describes many of us.  Our hearts are often hard and cold toward God and people.  To change these hearts from stone to flesh we need more than just a little tweak here and there, a little “medicine.”  We need a heart transplant – a brand-new heart that beats passionately for God and is compassionate towards people.

God promises to perform this divine heart transplant.  He promises to remove our old hearts and give us new hearts that desire Him and love people.  We can ask God to perform this “divine surgery” today!

  • What do the following passages say about why the condition of our heart so important? — Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 6:19-21
  • How did Jesus model a heart of compassion towards people in the following verses? — Matthew 9:35-38; John 11:1-44

Question to ponder:  How does your life and leadership demonstrate a heart for God?

Passages for further study: Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 7:11-15

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

God’s Protection

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Psalm 91:5-8 ESV

Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of the Lord.  God’s continual presence with all believers is a great comfort and source of peace.  Nothing can happen to us unless He allows it.  And what He allows He uses for good.

But unexpected and difficult times do come into the lives of all – including believers.  Why?  We can’t answer this difficult question completely because we don’t have God’s perspective.  But we do know that God is in control of all aspects of our lives.  He loves us and is committed to caring for us.  And He has promised us a future life free from pain and difficulty.

  • The Lord does not promise a pain-free life of ease.  What is said about the life of believers in the following verses? — John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12-13
  • No doubt much of God’s protection goes unseen and unnoticed.  What is said about God’s protection in the following passages? — Psalm 34:7,19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Question to ponder:  What should be your reaction when unexpected difficulties come into your life?

Passages for further reflection: Psalm 50:15; 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Purity of Life

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. Job 31:1 NIV

The battle is for control of our minds and what enters our eyes greatly influences our thoughts.  Job made a conscience decision to limit what he saw and not look lustfully at a woman.  He committed himself to moral purity in his thought life.  Moral purity begins in our thoughts and continues to our actions.  We are called to live holy lives in thoughts as well as behavior.

God is holy and therefore His followers are to be holy.  Personal holiness is a struggle between our bodies (the flesh) and God’s Spirit within each believer.  Though we are already positionally holy before God because we have trusted Christ as our Savior, experientially we strive to overcome our flesh and yield to the controlling power of the Holy Spirit.

  • What do the following passages say about God’s holiness? — Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 20:7,26
  • Because God is holy, we as his ambassadors are called to live holy lives.  What is said about our calling to holiness in the following passages? — 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:14-15.

Question to ponder:  What means is the enemy currently using in your life to gain entry to your thoughts?

Passages for further reflection: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Ephesians 4:20-24

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!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: