1 Cor 13:8 But Love will last forever!
Love has to power to heal every relationship and any situation. Love is the foundation by which we are to live our lives and validate our faith. Love was summed up by Jesus as being the most important command, and later by the Apostle Paul as proof of our faith. Yet for most people love is defined by a feeling instead of an action.
Unfortunately, for so many our actions don't match our feelings...which is why we feel like our love is failing. When I read 1 Cor 13:4-7 the Apostle Paul is very clear in defining love as being actionable on our part. The Apostle Paul describes love in two ways for us. What Love doesn't do and what Love does do. For our love to win we have to add action to it.
1) Love is patient. Sometimes we get irritated or angered by others., and we don't know why. Much of our irritability comes from a personal love of perfection...a deep desire that programs, meetings and structures be run perfectly. A desire to run things perfectly often erupts into anger at events or people who get in the way or ruin that desire. Our love perfection is really control issue which is the opposite of patience.
Patience is often translated into "long suffering" an attribute of God. So often in our desire for perfection be fail to remember that perfection only exists with God. We need to love him and others more than the visions we have for perfection here on earth.
2) Love is kind. Kindness takes the initiative in responding generously to others' needs before our own. What drives our action of kindness is the receipt of kindness. Its easy give back what you have first received. What we fail to recognize however is that we are looking to receive something from someone else instead of what we have already received by the Father. Kind love is gentle and mild, always ready to show compassion, especially to those in need.
3. Love is not jealous. The jealous person desires what another has. This was a particular problem in the church in Corinth. Those with "lesser gifts" envied those with "greater gifts". Envy comes from a lack mentality. Another way to look at it is like this...the other person was more important to God than you because they received "greater gifts" and you received perceived "lesser gifts" The lack comes from you not valuing you enough and a result you believe God must not value you enough either. Its a pride of live issue. And a result, the seeds of envy will always lead to anger and hatred...weeds of jealously.
4. Love is not boastful or proud. While some believers may have a problem with envy, those with the perceived 'greater gifts" may have the problem of boasting or pride. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are doing someone else a favor and that they should somehow be grateful to you. Being boastful and pride, the "look what I did" mentality will always lead you to believing that you are far superior to others.
5.) Love is not rude. Actions that are improper, impolite, discourteous, or crude. It is important for us to be careful to act in a manner worthy of our calling before God as it actions of love prove our faith.
6.) Love does not demand it's own way. Love looks outs for others seeking their best interests first. It's a willingness to give up for ourselves for sake of others. It boils down to this you either want what you want or you want to be right. Most of time, we want both, but both are the same road going in opposite directions. Our desire to be right, to have our way often leads to us not getting what we want. If you are always right, then someone else is always wrong!
7.) Love is not irritable...meaning easily angered. The only reason why you get angry is because something didn't or hasn't gone your way!
8.) Love keeps no record of when it has been wronged. Such people will remember ever offense against them as though it were written in a book and tallied. This always leads to harbored feelings of resentment. Love, however, makes allowances for peoples flaws and willingly forgets when wrongs are done. This frees use to mature in Christ and to grow in our ability to serve and use our gifts. The connection is that God keeps no records of our wrongs as believers, because he LOVED us to send his son...a piece of him... to die for us. For us to grow is for us to love others in a way that allows a piece of us to die on the cross as Christ did, for us to keep no records of wrongs. The ultimate act of love is for one to sacrifice his life for another.
Love in the relationship is NEVER about you, it is ALWAYS about the other person. That is why love always wins when two people focus on love above all else. They are naturally focusing on each other more than themselves. It boils down to this. The attributes of what Love isn't can be viewed as lusting for what we want. Every aspect of what Love is not is focused on self. We must always be evaluating our love, letting it be displayed in a way that proves our faith to be real. Is your display of love really lusting for what you want or is it for what God wants?
Look for part two tomorrow.
So much of the activity I see among Christian leaders today is focused on reaching the masses. “Successful leaders” speak at big conferences, host popular television or radio shows, publish bestselling books, or write successful blogs. Their goal is to extend their influence to as many people as possible, and most people would argue that was the goal of Jesus. Where Jesus himself giving us the command in Matthew 28 to go out into the world.
Although on the surface it sounds like the best way to reach the world is to have the largest platform by which your voice can be heard...it's not necessarily the example we are given by Jesus to follow.
Jesus had a much different leadership strategy. His goal was not “reach” or popularity. In fact, as strange as it sounds today, he actively discouraged publicity. On more than one occasion, after performing a jaw-dropping miracle, he told those who witnessed it, “Tell no one what you have seen” (see e.g., Matthew 8:4; 16:20; 17:9; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; and 8:56). He was a publicist’s nightmare.
Instead, Jesus focused on true depth and long-term impact. To achieve this, he had a four-pronged leadership strategy:
- He taught the multitudes. Yes, Jesus had a public ministry. He occasionally spoke to thousands. However, he didn’t pander to these groups or “tickle their ears.” He confronted the status quo, jarred his listeners’ sensibilities, and often taught in parables. He didn’t feel the need to clarify everything. He often left his audience confused and wondering what he meant. His goal was apparently to shift their paradigm and get them to think.
- He mobilized the seventy. Jesus had a smaller, more intimate group to whom he gave specific assignments. He sent them out two-by-two. He asked for a BIG commitment. He gave them virtually no resources. Yet he demanded that they perform miracles. He told them to expect opposition (see Luke 10:1–12) and promised no earthly reward (see Luke 10:18–20).
- He trained the twelve. He chose the twelve disciples to be “with him” (see Mark 3:14a) He taught them and also gave them assignments (see Mark 3:14b–19). However, he also shared with them his daily life. Like the Apostle Paul would do years later, he poured into them his very life (see 1 Thessalonians 2:8). Because of this, he entrusted them with power to do the work he himself had done. In fact, he promised them that they would actually do greater works (see John 14:12–14).
- He confided in the three. Jesus had an inner circle comprised of Peter, James, and John. He took them on special outings (see Matthew 17:1). He allowed them to witness his greatest glory (see Mark 9:2–3) and his deepest temptation (see Mark 14:33–34). He prayed with them (see Luke 9:28f). He taught them things He did not teach the others (see Matthew 17:2; Mark 5:37–43). He even introduced them to His heavenly family (see Matthew 17:3). They were his closest friends and confidants.
Jesus’ leadership strategy evidently worked well. Within a generation, His followers turned the world upside down (see Acts 17:6). Within seven generations (318 A.D.), the emperor Constantine accepted his message and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. And here I am, almost two millennia later, writing about it.
What most "Christian Leadrers" focus on is the first two...Teaching the multitudes and sending out the 70. Somewhere along the line we have distorted the command of Jesus to go into the world and make disciples as "go into the world and teach Jesus!" Unfortunately there is a huge difference between teaching someone about Jesus and discipling someone to live like Jesus.
There is a power that is most often overlooked by leaders whom focus on the teaching the masses and mobilizing the 70. It s a power that Jesus know about "small leadership"
Here is what Jesus understood...
If you have a group of 8 eight disciples who each go out and disciple 8 new disciples, and those 8 groups of 8 disciples repeat the process, by the time the process is repeated 10 times you have "discipled" not taught, preached or anything else that we do instead of discipling...1,073,741,824 people. That is over a billion people discipled!
Happy Valentines Day! You married the WRONG person! Yep, you read that right. As a matter of fact, we all did. Each and every person that is married is married to the wrong person. And if you are not married, know the person you are with is wrong!
How about that for an opening paragraph. But the reality is this...The person who courted you is not the same person you married. Have you ever noticed how the relationship changes after the marriage? I bet that if you knew what you know now, you NEVER would have said yes! And here's why, the person who was courting you is a conartist, and honestly...you were too in the beginning. Both of you acted in a way that was a lie. You feel in love thinking it is always going to be like this and now it's not.
See... we all married the wrong person ,but the wrong person being loved the right way becomes the right person, and the wrong person being loved the wrong way...well....is still the wrong person. Relationships are alot like sales. There is three sides to selling:
1) Courting the person,
2) Selling the person on what you have to offer,
3) and Servicing the person after the sale.
Relationships are the same way, however the servicing of the relationship usually stops after the marriage starts. This is also where the problems start.
Servicing the marriage is more important than the dance of courtship was to get married. Servicing the relationship is where in sales you keep the customer, and in marriage you keep your spouse. This is why it's so important to treat your spouse... the wrong person... the right way. Even though he or she is not really what you thought you were saying YES to, the value of treating them the right way goes to keeping the marriage alive.
So what is the right way? What is the servicing aspect to marriage?
We can learn alot from the sales business that can help us in our relationship. Here are few tips to help you out today.
1) Always be upselling. In sales you have a product and the goal is to upsell the product to the customer. The idea behind the upsell is this...Both you and the customer win. They get an added value while you get the increased montary benefit from the sale. The same principle holds true in the marriage. Always be upselling your spouse. Here is what this looks like in marraige....The product is happiness...aka...YOU! Are you personally adding enough value to the relationship for your spouse to be upsold on you? Can you spouse benefit from more of you? Or is she better off with less of you?
Less of the bitterness, the awakardness, the walking on egg shells, the anger, the meanness, the attitude, the shortness with her...you get the idea. Is he or she better off with more of you or less of you? If the answer is less of you then the truth is...YOUR NOT ADDING VALUE. You have to make some changes to become valuable again.
2) Know your customer! In sales you have to know your customers needs. In some cases you have to know their needs, wants, goals, desires and capabilities. But any and all future sales are 100% dependent upon knowing your customer. The same is true in the marriage. So often we stop learning about our spouse and rest in the idea of well he or she ain't going anywhere. We think that the contract of marriage somehow locks the other person to us for life. And if we lived in a perfect fantasy world that would be the case, but the reality is this...so many couples check out of the marriage because they stopped learning about one another.
Here is the beauty of being to the wrong person in the right way. As you learn more, you fall in love more, as you fall in love more, you grow more. It is a beautiful cycle. Like sales, we should be always be learning and discovering new needs, wants, desires, goals, attributes, etc about our partners. It's what keeps the relationship fresh.
3) Keep in constant contact. In sales contact is key. I know so many sales people that have lost future sales because they had the mentality of "win it and forget it" with their customers. They missed out on easy sales because they didn't communicate after the sale. The same is true in the relationship. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I hear that one spouse feels the other spouse doesn't communicate anymore. If you can sit for hours and hours on end and barely have a conversation with your spouse...SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!! Here is my question....how would that have worked out when you were courting him or her. I can see it now...Hey babe let's just sit here and not say anything to one another. How long would that have worked before you said, "forget this." Can I tell you something....I guarantee your spouse is thinking it but just won't say it.
Do you remember those super late nights on the phone with your spouse when you first got together? Do remember how much you used to talk and talk....talking about everything. The bible tells us our spouse is our help mate, how is he or she supposed to help if you don't communicate.
4) Create a raving fan for life by delivering more than you promised. This was always the goal when I was in sales. To create a raving fan for life by delivering more than I promised. The idea was they would refer me out to everyone and anyone because I had created a fan. Can I tell you, I believe this concept is what every marriage should be based on. Over delivering on everything. Here is a question for you to think about....Is your spouse your biggest fan or your biggest critic. If they critize you more than they praise you, you have to wonder what is wrong with you and not them. It's easy to play the blame game....well my wife this and my husband that...but the reality is this...they wouldn't be a critic if they didn't have something to first critize.
Ultimately it's about our integerity. Are you delivering on what we say. Can we be taken for our word. It's about are we doing what ever we can to create a raving fan for life from our spouse? How often are you going that extra mile? Like taking the trash out before she actually asks you to. Or how about taking the time to clean the house before she has to?
In sales it all about the little things that create a fan for life. Remembering a birthday, an anniversary, remembering a favorite food, color, place, movie, song....etc. It's about taking those extra steps to be remembered. This is the process in sales and this is the same process in the relationship. When you spouse is out with his or her friends is he or she sing your praises or damning your name?
As I wrap up for today, know that it's never to late to start the servicing process in your relationship. Yes, it is Valentines day and I am sure that you have taken some time to do something nice today...my question is this, (and I guarantee your spouses) what happens tomorrow?
One of the phrases that is common amongst church going Christians is this...Doing Life Together. Although "Doing Life Together" is important what is even more important is...Doing Life Together With The RIGHT PEOPLE.
The idea that church promote is this...Get into a small group and that small group is to do life together. My question is this... Is that that most accurate biblical understanding of doing life together? So often we get in a small group for the study, or the common interest of the group, but just because we are in the group for those reasons, are the people in the group necessarily the right people to be doing life together with? What do you really know of those people? How about how those people live their lives? We all know Christians that take on the title of Christian but definately don't live their life accordingly. Should we be really doing life together with those Christians? Now I am not saying that we should live our life in an effort to influence those Christians, but are they the right ones to influence us?
2 Chronicles gives us some wonderful wisdom on this subject. There is a story in 2 Chronicles 10 about a young king named Rehoboam who doing life together with the wrong people. Those wrong people were giving this young new king the wrong advice. King Rehoboam had the benefit of his father's inner circle, men who gave him wise Godly counsel. But the foolish young king rejected their advice and instead looked for advice that agreed with his own opinion. HUGE MISTAKE!
Here is six qualities of individuals you should consider doing life with...
1. EXPERIENCE. People who have been down the road of life and understand it.
2. HEART FOR GOD: People who place God FIRST and uphold HIS values in their life.
3. OBJECTIVITY: People who can see the pro's and con's of the issues.
4. LOVE FOR PEOPLE: People who love others and value them more than things.
5. COMPLEMENTARY GIFTS: People who bring diverse gifts to the relationship.
6. LOYALTY TO THE LEADER: People who truly love and are connected to you with you best at heart.
Worthy vision always outlasts those whose casts them. I want to share three things about generational vision today.
King David's personal vision and passion extended far beyond his own lifetime. Although he knew that Solomon would build the temple, he did some long term, long range planning and preparation for it's construction. "Solomon my son is young and inexperienced," he explained, "and the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparations for it." (1 Chr. 22:5)
David appointed stone cutters, gathered cedar logs, acquired mounds of iron for the nails, and even gave Solomon a charge to finish the job. This is the kind of thing that separates leaders from followers. As Christians, as parents, we have been given the task by God to spread his message, to make disciples, to effectively build his temple in the lives of others. How we live our life now will determine how that vision outlasts our life.
As a parent, and a son it is my responsibility to be better than my father and to make the preparations for my kids to be better than me. It is my responsibility to start the work by making the necessary preparations into their lives for them to succeed in carrying on the work of the gospel far beyond my life. This is a vision we have been given by God. Our focus must be generational, not focused on the here and now. This is a vision that also yields generational rewards.
Here is what it takes to have a generational vision....
1. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be beyond others...meaning that the vision of seeing lives impacted for Jesus must be looked at past our own future to the generation that follows. The question that has to be asked...especially if you are a parent is this...How are you building up that vision into the lives of your children? Are you raising your kids or are you discipling your kids? There is a HUGE difference!!! Any body can raise a child, few can disciple a child. As a parent are you leaving your God appointed responsibility to disciple your child to a stranger?
2. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be before others...meaning that we must see what is going to happen before others are ready for the gospel. We must be see and believe that our friends, and loved ones who are far from God will come to God. This is a vision that carries us forward during the dark times when we feel like we are seeing no fruit. We all face temporary rejection when trying to spread the gospel message of Jesus. The question is....is your vision for their lives being impacted greater than the feeling of rejection you face?
3. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be bigger than others....meaning that we must have a larger than normal vision of what can happen when we spread the gospel message. So often we don't spread the message of Jesus because if we are honest with ourselves....We don't really feel that different being a Christian than we did before we were one. We give our life to Jesus to avoid Hell...not for the difference it really makes in our lives. To have a vision that is bigger than others starts with recognizing the IMPACT the gospel of Jesus makes in your own life.
King David not only prepared the materials for construction of the temple and challenged his son to faithfully build the Lord's house, but he also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon complete the task. "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your GOD," he told them. "Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD GOD" (Chr 22:19). Worthy vision always outlasts those who cast them.
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
-Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (NIV)
We can learn a lot from Solomon's mistakes. The king like so many of us pursued multiple unrelated goals in a vain attempt to satisfy himself. I believe that like me, so many Christians have found themselves at some point pursuing something we want, but don't know to get.
By the time Solomon wrote these words he had reached a high level of success, but still felt empty. He couldn't put his finger on why fulfillment continued to escape him. Because he lacked focus, he searched, experimented with all kinds of goals, yet never achieved satisfaction. Like so many Christians he attempted to solve an inward problem with an outward solution.
There is a saying that is always true...if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. This was certainly true of Solomon's futile attempts to reach his various goals. Just in Ecclesiastes 2 alone, he pursued eight separate goals.
Clearly there was a focus problem...
Here is four things I want you to know about FOCUS.
1. Pursuing the wrong goals will always lead to the wrong outcome. The only goal in life we should be pursuing is loving God more. The fruit we bear will be a result of our pursuit of loving God more, not in our accomplishments. Our joy will be made complete in loving God more. Our joy will never be complete in pursuing the wrong goals. Anything less than loving God is simply joy trying to pursue joy...which will always lead to us to being even more incomplete.
2. Pursuing self-serving goals will always lead you to create a separation between what God wants for you and what you want. Pursuing what you want verses what God wants will always create a void in experiencing God. Here is the question you have to ask yourself...Am I dictating my will to God...claiming, hoping and justifying it to be Gods will, or am I letting God really direct my life to what he wants? What if God kept you where you are at because he knew that something big...his will was about to happen to you? This happened with Solomon's father King David when David wanted to build God a temple. God said, "not right now because your Son is going to build it instead but you will be blessed because of it." That son was Solomon the product of a sin that David had yet to commit, when he asked God if he could build a temple. God knew what was in store for David before David ever did. But because David stayed still and continue to pursue God instead of pursuing what he wanted for God he was blessed in spite of his sins.
3. Your focus should never be about what you want, but rather what God wants for you. So many Christians make the mistake of leaving what God wants for them to pursue what they want for themselves. The irony of this mistake is they use "leaving to pursue God more" as the reason to leave where God has them. Don't be so quick to leave where God has you because you think the grass is greener on the other side. Remember the only reason why it seems greener is because it's over a septic system.
4. Trying to pursue too many things at once will always lead you to failing at all of them. This mistake is easy to make in Christian ministry. We so desperately want people to know Jesus (That is the good thing), that we begin every little project we can do to try and reach people in the name of Jesus. Then we get burned out because our plate is way to full to effectively reach anybody. Jesus plate was never full. He encountered and reached exactly who God had intended him to reach...as HE pursued God. Notice Jesus didn't pursue people. He always pursued God and the people came to him. The word disciple doesn't mean pursued but rather it means a follower. Our job is to live a life so pursuing God that in our life others can learn the same thing.
At the end of the day our FOCUS should be 100% on the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not about what God is doing at another church, or through another Christian but rather the kingdom of God is always about what God is doing in you and through you. Only when you realize this will your focus become clear and your path to growing with God become stronger.
There is a story in the bible about Jesus walking on water and Peter seeing him gets out of the boat as Jesus calls to him to COME. Peter begins to walk on the water in faith and then somewhere along the line he takes his eyes off of Jesus and he begins to sink....but Jesus was there to pick up him out of the water.
So times in life we get so wrapped up in never taking the first step because we don't have the faith to see the end result. Consequently, we don't take the first step. We see the potential in what Jesus wants us to do in life but we can't see the end result of us actually doing that very thing. We know we are called to and empowered to reach the world, to be the voice to lost, to be the light to darkness in the life of the hopeless...we know this and have faith in God for this but we never step out of the boat like Peter because we can't see the end result.
Here is what I want you to know today...YOU DON"T NEED TO SEE THE END RESULT...You only have to have the faith to take the first step. Peter had the faith to take the first step and he walked on water. You only have to have the faith for the first step. Because like Peter, even if somewhere along the way between step 3 and 4 you begin to sink...It's ok because like Peter, Jesus was there and is there to pick you up. For Peter Jesus was there no matter what, but he was showing Peter the power of just taking the first step. Peter was never in danger of drowning because Jesus was there, and you are never in danger of drowning because Jesus is there waiting for you, and is there to pick you up along the way if need be.
Like Peter, Jesus wants you to have the faith to take the first step. There is a immense power that is released in taking the first step on the water, and trust him when you start to sink when it's windy out there and the waves are ragging he is there to catch you.
Peter experienced this power just days after he denied Jesus three times when he took another first step after Jesus had appeared after his death. Just days after denying Jesus Peter got up and preached and 3000 gave their life to Jesus that day and were baptized. You have the power in you to take the first step.
For most of us we would say we are responsible in life. We work hard, provide for a family, take care of any needs that come up through out the year, and for the most part follow through on our word. So when asked the question are we responsible...our natural answer would be YES! How about the question of our Christian responsibility to spread the good news?
Most of us wouldn't dare compare ourselves to someone like Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who washed his hands of Jesus. In fact, most people would be insulted by such a statement, however when it comes to sharing the good news and making disciples that is exactly who we are....We are Pontius Pilating Jesus.
Here is five problems that plagued Pontius Pilate then and Christians today.
1. He had a problem with foundation. Pilate never forged the character to withstand adversity. Conflict paralyzed him. So often in our lives we become paralyzed by conflict. In fact most people go out of their way to avoid conflict at all costs. We have a failure to realize that in our position as a leader it is our responsibility to engage in conflict with the crowds when necessary. As Christians we see this play out when sharing our faith. Most Christians never experience the joy of helping to lead someone to Christ because they fear the conflict of being labeled a Christian. So they justify their failure to engage in conflict by making statements like this, "My friends, co-workers, loved ones will see how I live my life as a Christian and that will lead them to Jesus." The problem with this is two things..
1) If Jesus were standing next to you, you probably wouldn't be mistaken for his twin.
2) There is no biblical example of someone simply coming to Jesus because of how someone else lived.
The disciples, the Apostle Paul and even Jesus himself had to engage in conflict with the people to help them move towards them.
2. He had a problem with futility. Pilate perceived that no good would come from the right decision, so why waste time? Apathy proliferates when we sense that action seems useless. So often we throw our hands up in the air and say why bother....For some of us we have literally given up on friends, family and loved ones on coming to Jesus. I know wives who have given up on their husbands, kids....They believe and hold out hope but it's hope without action.
3. He had a problem with fear. Pilate felt preoccupied with survival. If he fought the Jews, he feared the loss of control, image or position. His wife's warnings only added fuel to his fear. Most Christians suffer from the same thing. We fear a change in our perception by others more than we fear God himself.
4. He had a problem with failure. Pilate knew a riot was brewing. The last time it happened, he failed to rise to the occasion and the Jews called his bluff. They knew he worried more about failure than they did. This still plays out today when it comes to sharing our faith. Have you ever told yourself, " I don't know where to begin?' or how about this one, "that is not my job, I am not a trained pastor." For some reason we care more about our failure of getting it right every time when sharing our faith then the person who needs the good news does. They don't even know the news that you are sharing to be able to judge you successful or not.
5. He had a problem with focus. Leaders cannot be neutral or passive over crucial decisions. Pilate picked up a basin and tried to wash his hands of whole mess. As christians called to share our faith we cannot be passive or neutral. We cannot let our focus be deterred by anything. Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing our faith our focus on is everything but the main thing. We have to learn that the main thing is the only thing.
Have you ever wondered how entire nations of people could rally behind the leadership of a mad man. I was recently watching a documentary about Hitler. Clearly this man was jacked up and had some major issues, but there is a major life lesson to be learned from Hitler. During this documentary it was obvious Hitler possessed four traits of leadership that are undeniable. These four traits explain his rise to power and how millions of people could follow him regardless of his insanity.
Four Leadership Lessons From Hitler.
1. Although he was crazy he projected CALM instead of CRAZINESS. People naturally follow the leadership of someone who is calm when everything and everyone else is freaking out.
2. He projected CONFIDENCE instead of COWARDICE. The people rallied around this confidence that the world be better for them. He casted positive vision for the people to follow.
3. He projected CLARITY instead of CONFUSION. His vision was clear and he was the man with a plan. He even wrote about his vision and plan while in prison long before he ever rose to power. He had a plan, casted the plan calmly, with confidence that the plan could be achieved and was crystal clear about the plan. Everyone knew the objective and how to achieve the objective.
4. He projected COMPETENCE instead of CLUMSINESS. Hitler proved his plan to work for the German people. The economy thrived during his reign, they led the world in innovation, and conquered a larger majority of Europe.
One of the worst things in life is to wait. Be it to wait on something, or someone, or some act...it just sucks to have to wait. Yet so often in life we find ourselves waiting on the Lord. Waiting on his justice on those who wronged us...waiting on new beginnings... waiting on miracles...waiting on him to speak to us even though we pray and pray. Waiting is the act that most of us hate the most.
Habakkuk teaches us that as leaders and christians we must learn to cherish the waiting time before we get answers. In Habakkuk 1 we see that the prophet is positioned to watch and see. In Habakkuk 2 he is positioned to stand and see, and by Habakkuk 3 he is positioned to kneel and see. The ironic aspect to this book Habakkuk is that there is no Habakkuk 4 where we see action being taken.
During the waiting time in Habakkuk 2 God declares five "woes"...describing his intense displeasure with the people. Yet if God is sovereign, reigning over everything, then why doesn't He use His leader Habakkuk to bring about justice immediately? For God it wasn't about bringing the justice immediately but rather a process. Before God wants to lead the world he wants to he lead his leaders. While Habakkuk was waiting, God did a wonderful work in his heart.
Habakkuk concluded his book with a new declaration of his commitment. He recommits himself to God, to his Vision, and to the destiny of the nation. Regardless of what happens, he would trust the process in which God had placed him.
Habakkuk learned four lessons while waiting.
1. Not everything that happens conforms to God's will and wishes.
2. Nothing that happens get overlooked by God....EVER!
3. Everything that happens will ultimately be addressed with justice or mercy.
4. Nothing that happens should distract us from continuing to respond faithfully.
Once Habakkuk grasped God's leadership of the world and the process of waiting, he was able to lead with confidence and poise. He once felt perplexed by God not responding immediately; now he had peace. He once felt confused, now he had contentment. He once felt fearful, now he had faith in the future God had planned. What changed while Habakkuk was waiting....HIS PERSPECTIVE of God.