We are all guilty. Things don’t go our way and we complain about this and whine about that. We make excuses to shift blame and play the victim. Yet the Bible says that complaining is a sin and reveals that you are ungrateful and bitter in your heart. See Psalm 106:24-26 and 1 Corinthians 10:10. Admit it, quit it and forget it.
Anybody here done with their Christmas shopping now?
Last week Message Review
We went shopping down aisles position, possession, adventure, relationships looking for the perfect gift
Immanuel – God with us
Greatest gift is “God with us” – Jesus put skin on
Conception is coming together
Female ovum supplies no blood to baby
Dna of mother and father forms blood cells – Jesus had blood type from his father / divine nature
Blood was pure – undefiled from curse of sin and death
Kenosis – emptying of one’s self
Incarnation does not mean Christ ceased being God, he simply added human nature to divine nature at Incarnation. Of his free will he made himself subject as God-man to Father’s will via total dependence on the Holy Spirit.
In self emptying Jesus:
1) gave up glory and majesty of outward expression of god head john 17:5
2) gave up form of God and took on form of a servant John 1:14, phil 2:6-8, 1 Peter 1:16-18
3) taught only what father told to say John 5:30, 8:28 and 35, 12:44-50
4) did only what father showed him John 5:36
5) exercised only authority the father gave him John 10:18
6) voluntary dependant on power of Holy Spirit and anointing Acts 1:2; 10:38, Luke 4:14-18, Matthew 12:38, Hebrews 9:14
7) laid aside independent exercise of divine attributes John 14:28, 3:16, 10:18, 1 Cor 11:3, 15:27-28
Jesus dropped – emptied himself to find us
We must drop and empty ourselves to find him
Leaders in the first century church had nothing to pattern their structure from. No traditions, no leadership training, no seminars, no John Maxwell books, etc…
They had no choice but to develop the pattern as they went along. The Apostles couldn’t keep all the plates spinning like a circus act and had to do something about the growth in the church.
They found themselves in the food service business, see Acts 6:1-7. Somebody had to do it. It’s called servant leadership – Jesus washed their feet. Nothing is beyond us to do – anyone for that matter.
The mission of the church was at risk and they had to do something. The main thing was no longer the main thing! So they did what any other church would do, they called a meeting! Hahaha
What they found themselves doing was not an unimportant thing but it wasn’t the best thing for them. If they continued the momentum and focus of the church would suffer. It was time to delegate.
Notice they did not ask for volunteers and put a sign-up sheet in the foyer. They chose, appointed and commissioned! Laid hands on and sent out as a delegate.
See Ephesians 4:7-16
Leadership principle #1 COMPETENCE
You must concentrate your energy towards areas in which you are most likely to excel.
What has in the past been a natural and necessary component to getting ministry accomplished must make a radical shift because it is now limiting our effectiveness.
1. The less you do, the more you accomplish
2. The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish
Actively pursue what fuels you and replace yourself to do the things that drain you.
Write down two or three things that you and only you are responsible for.
What have you been chosen for? Volunteered for? Signed up for? Been hired to do?
What is the success for a person in your position?
Ok, now…of the two or three things that define success for you, which are in line with your giftedness?
For the tasks you are doing, which of them are you specifically gifted to do?
Learn to leverage yourself! Identify areas where you will most likely add unique value to the ministry (something no one else can do or match) now, how can you leverage your skills to their absolute max?
That is what any smart employer expects from his employee. Leveraging yourself will generate the greatest and satisfying return on your God given abilities!
1. Play to your strengths!
Balance is good in many areas but not in becoming an effective leader! Good leaders are not “well rounded” they are men and women of FOCUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Balance in the organization is imperative but not in the sphere of our personal abilities! You obtain balance by bringing people around you who offset your shortcomings and weaknesses.
2. Learn to distinguish between authority and competence
Understand when your authority and competency doesn’t agree. You don’t need to become an expert in every area of your authority to be a good leader. If you attempt to exert authority in areas where you have no competency then you will hinder everything and everyone in that department.
Just because you may have authority doesn’t mean you should go into an area and begin to demand others to do it your way…they may be more competent than you. If you begin to demand your way and you are not as competent it results in abuse.
3. Distinguish between competencies and non-competencies
Inability to own up to personal shortcomings is rooted in some sort of insecurity. This may be easy for others to see but difficult for us to see ourselves. It takes personal security to admit weakness…but actually admitting weakness is a sign of strength.
Successful leaders usually assume they will be competent in other areas as well even when the reality is often that they are not. Some leaders attempt to hide their weakness which diminishes their effectiveness.
We don’t play only to our strengths because we feel guilty delegating our weaknesses.
Not everyone hates to do what you hate to do! Others may be energized by what drains the life out of you!
Your weakness is someone else’s opportunity!
5. Unwillingness to develop other leaders
“If you want it done right, do it yourself” may be true but doesn’t produce disciples. It really is easier and less time consuming to just simply do it yourself than to train someone else.
Redefine leadership – it is not doing things right, it is doing things through other people. Great leaders work through other leaders!!!!!!!!!!!
Multiplying efforts will result in multiplying results.
*outline adapted from The Next Generation by Andy Stanly, Multnomah Publishers, Inc
In a recent sermon I said that God valued man higher than Jesus when He purchased us or redeemed us from our state of death. This statement has raised many eyebrows! Honesty, I should have stated that “God esteemed man higher than Himself” to be more accurately correct theologically. For the record though I do not wish to create an issue of semantics.
Now, let’s dive into what was meant contextually. The original question was, “What is our value to God?” God is the only one who sets the standard for true value so the question was posed to help us gain revelation on what value He has for us. It is my opinion that the answer to this question cannot be correctly analyzed without reviewing what we have been taught about our worth by the world. From the false liberal definition of a fetus being only tissue all the way to the insane theory of humanity’s evolution – the world continually tells us that as a person we hold no value. Consider the gross world product which is valued at well over $35 trillion dollars not including real estate. Jesus asks a question in Matt 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus tells you and me that we make a bad deal if we exchange our soul for all that wealth!
So, if our worth – the value that God places on us, is more than the world’s, what is our true value? John 3:16, Psalm 49:8, 1 Corinthians 6:20 and Ephesians 1:7 state plainly that God values us so highly that no payment could ever be enough but He paid for us with His very Son! There is nothing more valuable to the Father then His Son yet He bought us back from sin’s dominion with the payment of His Son. With this purchase I believe that God declared our value as being much higher than we place ourselves. God is a good steward – one does not need to look long or hard in Scripture to find the value He places on proper stewardship. God will not purchase something that is not worth “equal to” or “more” than the payment. God did not get a bad deal when He purchased us with the very life and blood of His Son. He considers it a good deal by obtaining us…WOW what worth!
It almost seems heretical to think that the Lord would esteem us higher than Himself but this is, in my opinion what Scripture teaches and here are just a few scripture verses which lead me to the induction (gaining a general conclusion based on reasoning of separate verses or facts) of the value God places on us.
1) Philippians 2:3 clearly states that we must esteem others better than ourselves. Just as my relationship with my children, I would never expect them to do something that I would not do myself. The same is true with our heavenly Father – I don’t believe that the Father would tell me to do something that He does not do Himself – that would go against His character.
2) 1 Peter 2:24 says that Jesus bore our sins so that we might live for righteousness. He did not deserve what He received for He is righteous, innocent and perfect – having received something He did not deserve proves that He considered us of more value or esteemed us higher than Himself.
3) Romans 12:10 says that we must give preference to one another with brotherly love and Romans 8:29 says that He is the first born of many…we are truly special and a treasure of incredible worth to God! We are the apple of His eye.
If you took up a cross and died for just one of your children, in principle, you would be esteeming them higher than yourself. Consider Psalm 8:3-4, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” WOW! We have done nothing to deserve this value from God but we are His prized possession and ultimate treasure nonetheless! God has seen in us something that only God could possibly see, value that only His grace could produce.
I don’t know about you but I checked in with God this morning; I was excited to find out that He is in a good mood today and He told me that he likes you & me.
Isn’t it great to realize that God never has a bad hair day or wakes up with a headache? It is so reassuring to me to know that God is never in a bad mood or discouraged. He’s never surprised by the so-called sudden catastrophes in life and it doesn’t ever cause Him to lose sight of who He is and His relationship with you & me. God is comfortable with Himself and He is excited that you have showed up this morning to draw closer to Him. He is elated that many Christians are finally waking up to the reality of who He really is, humbling themselves and accepting His grace.
See James 3:13 – 4:12
I can hear some of you right now, “How dare you…” If you think that is harsh you should read your Bible and find out what Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day! There is a comparison scripturally between those who are growing round and fat, doing nothing for the kingdom of heaven verses those who are growing strong and accomplishing supernatural feats for the kingdom of heaven.Here is the Biblical definition of mature (spiritual) and immature (carnal) people based on 1 Corinthians 3:1- and Hebrews 5:11-14. Are you really ready?
-Can only eat food served to them by someone else.
-Can eat in only 1 location – a high chair.
-Can eat only 1 type of food – soft, mashed or pre-chewed
-Have to rely on someone else’s faithfulness to be fed and grow.
-Cry a lot… about everything whenever they need attention!
-The only thing they do more than suck… is crap….
-The only thing they do more than crap… is sleep…
-Find the food themselves.
-Are able to eat anywhere.
-Are able to eat many different foods.
-Know that to grow healthy they SHOULD eat a variety of foods.
-Instead of laying in or leaving the mess they create…know where to dispose of their mess.
-Know that HEALTH is defined by diet and EXERCISE.
-Understand the more you exercise the MORE YOU GET TO EAT.
All of us start out needing to be bottle fed and our diapers changed but why are there those who still need all this maintenance? What can we do about this immaturity with-in our church community and those we know who are just sitting on a “pew”?
This has been a bizarre year to say the least. Normally I get multiple plates of cookies and fudge this time of the year. So far only one incredible, lovely, kind and thoughtful person has brought in cookies for the staff and myself. I will claim being a victim of the healthy eating my family is doing and the church has been reinforcing as being the culprit for the lack of holiday spirit being shown this year. I wonder if I should attribute it as well to the overwhelming schedules everyone has this year? Time is becoming a treasured commodity…if only I could bottle it for resale or when I need an extra dose.
Can sombody say, “Bah hum bug?” Maybe now we will see some more baked goodies! ;-p
I don’t remember where I ran across this but I have had this in my files for years. I did not write it so I can not take credit but I don’t know who did so I can not give credit as well.
Anyway, I hope you can enjoy the nuggets of truth as much as I did this morning.
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
Love Them Anyway
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
Do Good Anyway
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
Do Good Anyway
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
Be Honest and Frank Anyway
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight,
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth,
Give The World The Best You’ve Got Anyway
This is my first post. It is my post, all mine. You may post a reply but you may not post in my post. I get to share what I want to share although it will actually be what God wants me to share. For I am not my own but I belong to Him, I’ve been bought with a price.
WOW! Think about that for a minute…no seriously, think about that for a minute. You’ve been purchased. Paid for. God didn’t make payments for you but instead paid for you in full with everything He had. How can one give His life for another? It is a tough thing to comprehend and it is especially difficult for the majority of us to accept.
“Now, wait a minute! I HAVE accepted Christ” you say to me. “Yea great, so what? I reply, my question is, “have you accepted His payment for you in the form of dying to yourself?” Sure He has paid for your salvation and it is a free gift of grace but have you truly received His payment by “taking up your cross, dying to yourself and living for Him?”
It is a free gift BUT it will cost you EVERYTHING. He paid it all…what price have you paid to recieve it all?