Thursday, October 27, 2016

Top-down Distinctions

I have referenced in a past blog that "Whatever the leaders are, the people become." John MacArthur. 
When a leader goes before their people and lives out what is expected it becomes apart of the culture. Leaders would do well to pray daily for God's help and grace to be a godly and growing example to those around them.

Whether in the home, business, community or church it is important that the leaders don't live by a different set of standards than those that they lead. We must labor to help those around us love the standard, and if they see the leaders avoiding the standard than more than likely they will likewise avoid the standard.

What standards do you live by? How does God feel about those? If we are going to let our light shine than we must be living in such a way that we are maturing up into all that Jesus Christ has commanded us. How are we helping others grow up to love the standard? Are we as patient with others as God has been with us?

When a father joyfully and sacrificially pursues a life to honor and glorify God it will only influence those in his home. It is how God works. He uses changed hearts to change hearts. We must walk by faith and not by sight. May walking by faith make us more patient, humble and loving. If we are honest we are like the people we lead. In other words, we don't have it all together.

So men, go out and labor in joy. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, May the Lord continue to grow and encourage our men to be strong and courageous in His strength. We have the gospel and we need it daily and without it you only stand naked and without hope.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Make A Sacrifice

One of my pastors shared this at our men to men meeting: "It is easier to put up with things than to make a sacrifice." That is worth thinking about. May the Lord convict me to move because it is easy to sit back watching to see if someone else will pick up responsibility. Sacrifice says hold outs are out of the question! It is the way of the selfish and slothful and I want to be done with that game.

The gospel changes everything. It gets me off the sideline and into the game of life. When I consider what God has done for me through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, I can't just put up with things and sit back. He gave me a better example to follow.

The gospel has changed how I relate to my wife and children. It has changed how I relate to my work and all that I put my hands to. It has changed my relationships and responsibilities, including others responsibilities. I don't keep the gospel and God's grace to myself. I want to get it on everything I touch.

Men, now is the time to stand up and to be making a sacrifice for those around you. Be known as one that wants to pick up responsibility. Be known as a man that goes first and serves those around you rather than to be served. May the Lord open our hearts to His gospel and cause you to walk worthy of it today! Seek the Lord's help and go be a difference maker!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Becoming More Like Jesus

I believe we ought to be hard workers. I also believe we ought to give our best effort in whatever we put our hands to. But sometimes it seems people think they have to work hard to be more like Christ. And on that I would say stop trying or working hard to be more like Christ.

If you are a Christian you just need to behold the Lord. Consider, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18-19.

This text says it is not about trying harder or even working hard at being like Christ that we become more like Christ. It says as we behold the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image.

On one level I am not saying we are to be passive and on another level becoming more like the Lord is less about trying and working but more about beholding Him. We ought to give the Lord our best in everything we do and wanting to grow more and more. But if we want to become more like Him it happens as we behold Him by faith. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

What Would Jesus Do

You have probably heard this before. I am reading through A Call To Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson and he brings this up but in asking the question a different way. Here is what he said:
If we are to join Paul in his petition, we will have to align ourselves with his motives: "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way." In thought, word, and deed, in action and in reaction, I must be asking myself, "What would Jesus have me do? What is speech or conduct worthy of him? What sort of speech or conduct in this context should I avoid, simply because it would shame him? What would please him the most?
Rightly pursued, these simple questions would transform how we work, what we do with leisure time, how we talk with our spouses and children, what responsibilities we take on in our churches, what we read, what we watch on television, how we treat our neighbors, what we do with our money. 
Transparently, we cannot begin to be utterly pleasing to Jesus unless God fills us with the knowledge of his will. Conversely, the knowledge of his will is not at end in itself but has as its goal such Christian maturity that our deepest desire is to please the Lord Christ. 
Even here, Paul will not permit these concerns to remain at a theoretical or abstract level. He goes on to describe what it means to be utterly pleasing to the Lord.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Most Important Move

Right now I am reading through The Outward Mindset seeing beyond ourselves. I really am enjoying this read and considering mindsets. Chapter 10 titled, Don't Wait On Others has been great. Here are some take-a-ways from it.

Most people with an inward mindset look and see all the problems and issues others are causing. They are the victim of the blame game. Never coming to responsibility because of circumstances and people they can't control. I mean when you consider a problem in your life are you thinking, "As far as I am concerned, the problem is me."

It is must easier to point the finger and blame. The gift about this chapter is that is gets into some truth that you will never get anywhere waiting for someone else to make the first move. If you want people around you to change it has to start with you (me) first. Thinking that they problem is out there is a weed we must pull from the garden of our heart. Repentance is the tool for weeding the garden of our hearts.

"The most important move in mindset is to make the move one is waiting for the other to make." Waiting for someone else to get their things together is never an option. If one would just consider Galatians 6:1-2 they can see that this is grounded in Scripture.

The book goes on to say some people are afraid to make the move because they think that others may take advantage of them if they do. And the book goes on to say that this is a wrong mindset. The point is that waiting is never an option. It only blinds people and causes others to remain inward instead of outward in their mindset.

People become what their leaders are. Leaders need to be all in for the people they shepherd and lead. If a leader waits for those around them to make the first move than they are no leader. Leader go first in making the most important move. We are always teaching. We need to be the leader that God has called us to be. Be an example worth following. Go show others what dying to bring life looks like!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Good Perspective on Character

I ran into an article that talked about what kind of qualities Coach Popovich looks for in players and staff. I found this to be very good and wanted to share it.
"For us, it's easy. We're looking for character, but what the hell does that mean? We're looking for people - and I've said it many times - [who] have gotten over themselves, and you can tell that pretty quickly. You can talk to somebody for four or five minutes, and you can tell if it's about them, or if they understand that they're just a piece of the puzzle. So we look for that. A sense of humor is a huge thing with us. You've got to be able to laugh. You've got to be able to take a dig, give a dig - that sort of thing. And [you have to] feel comfortable in your own skin that you don't have all the answers. [We want] people who are participatory. The guys in the film room can tell me what they think of how we played last night if they want to. [Former Assistant GM] Sean Marks would sit in on our coaches' meetings when we're arguing about how to play the pick-and-roll or who we're going to play or who we're going to sit.
 "We need people who can handle information and not take it personally because in most of these organizations, there's a big divide. All of a sudden, the wall goes up between management and coaching and everybody is ready to blame back and forth and that's the rule rather than the exception. It just happens. but that's about people. It's about finding people who have all those qualities. So, we do our best to look for that and when somebody comes, they figure it out pretty quick."
Full article:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Living with Intentionality

There is no better time than today to stand up and be a man! If your a man than God made you with purpose. He made us to lead our wives and children. The Lord has each of us right were He wants us and in the best position for growth. If only we would by faith believe Him. 

Trust me the grass is never greener on the other side. The grass is green exactly where you stand. The reason why our grass is not green is because we don't cultivate it like men should. We want a perfectly landscaped field. We want to garden that overflows with fruitfulness in many colors and tastes. We just don't want to work for it. But God made us for work so we ought to do it well and hard!

God has given us many different spheres to take dominion in. They range from our home, workplace, church, community and many more. We need to have a heart that wants to love, give and bless those around us. We need to repent of our selfish hearts that tends to only see things in how the can benefit ourselves. 

Last night at our leaders meeting we talked about how we live with intentionality. This will be a game changer for anyone that goes after it. I know that I want to. This is a good word and worth much pondering over and pursuing. Maybe you might want to grow in loving-encouraging-blessing others....maybe you can come up with your own way of living with intentionality. 

We are always teaching those around us. I don't know about you but I want to be a man that lives with intentionality and in such a way that I am proud of those around me that follow in my footsteps. I confess this is an area I can grow in. May the Lord help me and give me a heart to endure and persevere in living with intentionality. May all we do be for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. When we as men start submitting to Him watch out!