Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “love of God”

When It Doesn’t Seem Fair

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. … The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Acts 12:1-3; 6-7 NIV

King Herod was out to quell an uprising among the Jews. This new ‘sect’ called the Way was causing all sorts of difficulties for him. So, he began to persecute the leaders of the Nazarene sect in the hopes to putting an end to this. He arrested James, brother of John, one of the three executive leaders and had him beheaded. Seeing a positive response to this draconian action, he moved on to arrest Peter – the second of the three leaders.

Peter was imprisoned and awaiting his trial before Herod with the foregone sentencing of death for leading an insurrection. His fate would be the same as his leadership teammate, James. But God had different plans! The night before the trial (interesting timing isn’t it?), God sent an angel to Peter’s prison cell. The chains the bound him came off Peter’s wrists and he was led by the angel outside of the prison. He was miraculously set free from the prison, the pending trial, and escaped the certain death sentence.

Now put yourself in John’s shoes. John had seen his brother, James arrested and beheaded. Yet now his teammate was delivered by God from the same fate. Why had God allowed James to die and set Peter free? It seems so unfair! Was God ‘playing favorites?’ Did He love Peter more than James? It would be so easy for John to become embittered towards God.

When God’s actions don’t make sense; when we are tempted to question His ‘fairness’ or His love; it’s time to remember that He is God and we are not! Take a chill pill! Who are we to question God’s wisdom, justice, sovereignty? Who are we to think we are wiser than God? It sounds a lot like Job!

I am not suggesting a type of Christian fatalism in our attitudes. But I am calling into question any leadership thinking that puts our thoughts above God’s. He is the potter and we are the clay. He has the right to make out of His clay anything He desires. He can choose His timing that best fits His purposes. We humbly fall before Him and agree with Him when He says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Identity and Purpose

I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:6-7 ESV

God is our Creator, and He is not ashamed of the work of His hands.  In His divine love and wisdom He determined our gender, race, physical characteristics, temperament, intellect, all that makes us uniquely different from every other person.  He designed us to be a special part of His creation.

God designed and created us for a divine purpose.  We are made in His image and made for His glory.  He has good works for us to do that will also glorify Him (see Ephesians 2:8-10).  We are created to understand our God-given, unique design and develop our potential for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:1).

  • All God’s creation brings glory to Him.  What do the following passages say about the purpose of God’s creation? — Psalm 19:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
  • All of our physical characteristics were designed by God–both those we like and those we don’t like.  What is said in the following passages about our unique design? — Job 33:4; Psalm 139:13-16; John 9:1-3

Question to ponder:  What does the world say your identity and purpose should be and how does that contrast with what God says about you and the purposes He has for you?

Passages for further study: Acts 17:24-28; Romans 1:18-25

Amazing Love!

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. Hosea 11:3-4 ESV

God’s love cannot be earned; it is a gift.  God loves the unlovable and He accepts us just as we are.  He loves us so much that He died for us.  If you were the only person who ever lived, He would have died for you.

God’s love is so overwhelming – so amazing!  He loves us even when we don’t love Him back.  He shows His love for us by caring for us, guiding us, healing us, and changing us day-by-day to be more like Himself.  Don’t run from God’s love, just embrace it and rest in it!

  • What do the following passages say is God’s ultimate demonstration of His love for us? — John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8
  • How is God’s love demonstrated in the lives of believers according to the following passages? — John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-12

Question to ponder:  What is hindering you from accepting God’s amazing love or demonstrating it as you lead others?

Passages for further study: John 15:12-13; 1 John 4:13-21

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