Monday, June 21, 2010

Requirement for Overseers

Requirement for Overseers

S - 1 Tim 3: 1-7 (NASB)
1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care ofthe church of God?),

6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into thecondemnation incurred by the devil.

7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

O - These are the requirements I am to aspire to. When I first read these requirements a few years ago, I thought I might be ready to be an overseer, but now realize that a degree of maturity in ones walk is what is required, showing the ability to lead a small group of church members, and my own family according to His word first, before I seek to lead a much larger congregation.

A - The area's I need to focus on in preparation for God's plan for my life are learning to be gentle and peaceable, and free from the love of money, followed by leading my household well with children that are under control. I am still learning how to shepherd the lives of my children and divorce our families lifestyle from the love of money, but I know see these as learning and growing opportunities to prepare my family for the future calling.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's scripture that speaks truth into my life. I pray that you would help me to grow into the leader of my own family that you desire me to be so that I may lead them well, and one day follow your calling on my life to be an overseer. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Do all things without grumbling and disputing

Do all things without grumbling and disputing

S - Phil 2:12-16 (NASB)
12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

14Do all things without grumbling or disputing;

15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

O - To be a servant of Christ is not easy, and requires a lot of dieing to self. The scripture reminds us that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling; the reason though is because God is going to do something extra ordinary with our lives no that we have given our lives to Christ. And since we freely chose and received salvation we are then to take on these challenges without complaining or arguing with God, especially in front of other people. We are to be a light to the world, and if we as Christians serve the lord while walking around grumbling, people won't be drawn to the light, they instead think, what's different about being a Christian, they too toil and grumble.

A - The application for me is at work, in ministry and at home, I can not be caught externally grumbling, for my witness as a Christian needs to be true - i.e. I must actually be living a life of challenges which are overcome by the power of Christ in my life. This needs to be done by realizing that God is working through me through my challenges and trials, to reach the world and change lives. I am to ground my grumbling to Christ, and to other men who can act as lightning rods to the struggles and complaints I have in my life, so that light is all that is revealed to the world.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. Lord I pray you would prompt me to ground all things in Christ, and help me shine the light you have put in me, so the world may know the truth of who you are and the promises you offer. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anger management, the gift of learning to love others unconditionally

Anger management, the gift of learning to love others unconditionally

(seven habits - love others)

S - Eph 4:26-27,31-32 (NASB)

26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

27and do not give the devil an opportunity.


31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

O - I believe that I growing in this area of anger management, and reading a few familiar passages from Ephesians has caused me to re-assess how far I have come and yet how far I still need to go. I believe I truly understand now that I get angry, and that won't go away but how I respond is the important part. God does not want me to sin as a result of my anger. In this area I believe I have grown, I no longer immediately along my wicked tongue to spit fire and brimstone at people in response to my anger; however, the emotion of anger is still affecting my non-verbal communication of my anger and/or disapproval. That is why verses 31-32 are a good reminder of where I still need to work, I need to be sure I am letting all bitterness, wrath, and anger be put away that resides inside me.

A - The application for me is to work on the next level of anger management and transformation into a more Christ like response to circumstances that will come and bring up the anger emotion within me. In order to do this I need to focus on performing the actions listed in verse 31 -

1. Be kind to one another - act kindly, the feeling of love follows

2. Be tender hearted - empathetic to the other persons perspective

3. Forgive others - as God has forgiven me (grace)

These actions will allow me to set aside the anger, bitterness and wrath I hold inside of me so that I might love others how Christ loves me.

P - Dear heavenly Father I pray that you would help me in this area of anger management, that has such potential to inflict damage into relationships that surround me. I can not do this on my own, and ask for prompting and guidance of the holy spirit, as well as a deliverance from whatever lie or scar inside of me that my anger and lack of self control comes from. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trusting deeply in my wife

Trusting deeply in my wife
S- Prov 31:10-11 (NASB)
10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

O - I really do have a proverbs 31 wife, and I am convicted that I have not done my part in leading and shepherding her well. I am thankful that God is teaching me and revealing what that should look like. Today He is showing me that in my heart I must trust my wife. I think I know what that means, I must die to the thoughts that can run through my head about what her motives are and why she doesn't do things the way I would do them. It is my lack of trust at times that is the biggest barrier to my fulling loving my wife the way God intended.

A - The application for me is to submit to God and do as he wisely commands through this proverb to trust deeply in my heart, my wife. For me this requires a lot of dieing to myself, and I confess that my flesh at times is stubborn, prideful, and judgmental, and these barriers must be continually died to in order for me to truly trust in my heart my wife.

P - Lord, I need your help with this, I can't do this on my own. Though I know the right thing to do, the battle inside of me continue to rage on to behave in a manner pleasing to you and honoring to my wife. I pray for real transformation in me Lord, to find freedom from my pride and truth in mind in times of judgment. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Facing opposition the wise way

Facing opposition the wise way
S - Prov 25:15,21-22 (NASB)
15By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

(NLT) 15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

O - This wisdom for leaders is huge because it is so non-intuitive and goes against some physical instincts we have developed. Those instincts are survival of the fittest, and alpha dog behavior in which the loudest and fiercest gets their way. Solomon shows us there is a better way, one which is truly more effective in the long run, and more importantly aligned with the Lord's will for how people should treat each other. The effectiveness I have learned to believe in and my leadership effectiveness is changing, learning to use a soft tongue to break bones, and heaping coals on your enemies head with kindness.

A - The application for me is specific as a leader who desires to bring wisdom and influence in a godly manner to the team:

1. Use patient persistence and soft words - vice unleashed fury and sharp words, this ultimately will move what appears to be the immovable.

2. When confronted with opposition - treat it with kindness and assistance; ultimately the oppositions defenses will be lowered, and more opportunity and openings will be available.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would continue to mentor me and speak truth into my leadership experiences and understanding. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not judging other Christians or causing them to stumble

Not judging other Christians or causing them to stumble
S - Romans 14:1-4,13 (NASB)
1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.
2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.

3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.

4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.


13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.

O - I feel this is for those of us in ministry who struggle at times with other brothers and sisters we serve along side. We each know that God has transformed our lives, and that he continues to grow us each and every day; however, we often treat others as if they should be held to the standard of where we are in our faith and discipline. I have seen (and probably been a part of myself) situations where one Christian will be speaking (complaining) about another Christian's "un-Christian" like behavior, and sit in judgement of the individual. This scripture helps me understand we are to accept those who are weaker in faith, and more importantly we are to leave it to the Lord to evaluate and discipline their faith, because He is their Lord , and not us.

A - The application for me is to understand my role as a leader, equipper, and servant that I am to help others understand the principle of not judging others we serve along side with of differing levels of spiritual maturity, we are to release that t the Lord, and even more so ensure we ourselves don't become a stumbling block for the individuals we serve along side.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your lesson today, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord you would continue to speak truth and life into me, my ministry, and change and transform me to be more like Christ everyday, especially when it comes to interacting with other Christians. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seeking wise counsel when making strategic decisions

Seeking wise counsel when making strategic decisions
S - Prov 20:18 (NASB)
"Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance."

O - I am struggling a little with understanding God's ways, especially when it comes to be a strategic thinker, and vision oriented person. I can passionately apply my gifts, talents, and natural abilities, and still not produce the fruit that I had hoped. This proverb reveals/confirms to me the truth of His ways, he desires us to seek wise counsel before making big strategic decisions, and certainly before making war (or taking on a challenge that will be a battle). I am still growing in this area, as when God gives me an inspired mission, I passionately pursue it, seeking wise counsel of friends and mentors, but still falling short of seeking God's truth and guidance in situations.

A - The application the Lord is speaking to me is that I am am to continue seeking counsel of men and women who are "wise" by His standard, wise in the word, wise in His ways. This will help guide and prompt me a direction to head. Ultimately the wise counsel I must allow to make the final decision is the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit. This is the area I need to practice diligently and hold firm to this proverb.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord your voice would become clearer to me, and that my discipline to seeking you would be strengthened when making plans, especially for things that you have called me to. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.