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LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

Written by: Unknown    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

Lifestyle Leadership Series

Lesson 1  Lifestyle ÿLeadership Class 1. Lesson 2  Communication. Lesson 3  Difficulties and Resoultion. Lesson 4  Source of Power. Lesson 5  Traits of Character. Lesson 6  Dangers of Leadership. Lesson 7  Attitude toward Others. Lesson 8  Inner Lifestyle I. Lesson 9  Inner Lifestyle II. Lesson 10 Inner Lifestyle III.

                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                            Class One

      James ÿ3:1 ÿtells us of the greater responsibility ÿof ÿthe leader ÿas ÿcalled by God: ÿ"My brethren, ÿbe not ÿmany ÿmasters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."       It is important that we take note of the fact that a leader will ÿbe ÿheld ÿin more severe and stricter ÿjudgement ÿthan ÿhis followers.  ÿÿThe very next sentence informs us that "For in many things we offend all."       Because ÿwe stumble as humans will, ÿand because we ÿoffend others when we "slip" we usually maintain that we are not "called to ÿbe ÿa ÿleader."  ÿÿThe world has set up ÿmany ÿstandards ÿfor leadership, ÿÿwhich many believers think should be the ÿstandards that ÿGod uses to select His leaders.  ÿUsing God's WORD and ÿthe guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will look at the examples God has set ÿbefore us to see what God wants us to know about ÿleadership in His Kingdom. 

MOSES

      What do we know about Moses?  We are usually well versed in the ÿlife ÿof Moses and the reed basket that carried him ÿto ÿthe daughter ÿof Pharaoh.  ÿWe also know that he was highly educated, and accustomed to power, prestige and comfort.  At his calling by God, ÿwhere was Moses?  At the backside of the dessert engaged in one of the lowliest occupations of that day.  ÿHe could have been embittered ÿand blamed society for his troubles.  ÿHe could ÿhave been to his own party, ÿa pity party, ÿand been so wrapped in his decline from acclaim that he might have missed the calling of the Lord.  ÿ(He was even, in this job of sheep herder, having to work for his in-laws!)       Let's turn to Exodus 3:2 ÿand see what happened.  ÿ"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; ÿand he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed."       It ÿis important to take special note that the ÿvery ÿFIRST action taken by God was to reveal Himself to Moses (v:5,6).  ÿÿIf we are asked to serve in some capacity, ÿmake certain that God is in it.  ÿDon't move an inch until you have determined the will of God in the matter.  ÿMany times the will of God is made clear ÿto us suddenly, ÿother times we have to wait, abide, ÿuntil He makes it clear.  ÿWe can be certain of this - God will show you. God is not a God of confusion and He is well able to communicate to ÿHis children, if they are listening.       In Psalm 32:8 ÿGod tells us "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I ÿwill guide thee with Mine eye."  ÿÿGuidance is God's responsibility - "I will instruct.  ÿI will teach.  ÿI ÿwill guide."  ÿIn Psalm 48:14 ÿwe are ÿinformed:  "For this God is our God for ever and ever: ÿHe will be our guide even unto death."  ÿJust as Moses was certain, ÿwe can be certain that God has spoken.       The second action taken by God was to reveal to Moses ÿthat He, ÿtoo, ÿhad a burden for His people.  ÿ"And the Lord said, ÿ'I have ÿsurely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and ÿhave heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; ÿfor ÿI know their sorrows'"(3:7).       Can you picture Moses?  ÿThe very burden that had been ÿthe cause ÿof ÿhis ÿremoval and exile from Egypt was shared ÿby ÿGod!  Then God stated  "I AM come down to deliver them out of the ÿhand of ÿthe Egyptians, ÿand to bring them up out of that land unto ÿa good ÿland and a large, ÿunto a land flowing with milk and honey" (3:8).       Now picture Moses.  ÿI can see him thinking, "OH BOY! ÿThis powerful ÿGod ÿis ÿgoing ÿto remedy ÿthe ÿmatter ÿand ÿstraighten everything ÿout!  ÿÿGod, ÿHimself, ÿwas going to PERSONALLY ÿtake charge!"       Then the other shoe is dropped!  God tells Moses "Come now, therefore, ÿÿand I will send thee unto Pharaoh, ÿthat thou mayest bring ÿforth ÿMy ÿpeople the children of ÿIsrael ÿout ÿof ÿEgypt" (3:10).       Now, ÿÿwhat is running in the mind of Moses?  ÿ"But-But-But YOU ÿsaid YOU were going to do it YOURSELF!  ÿIf YOU are going to do it, why do I need to go?"       Right ÿÿhere ÿis ÿthe ÿcrossroads ÿof ÿour ÿlives ÿin ÿÿour relationship with God.  ÿIt is important to commit to our ÿhearts that ÿGod's method is to use His children to accomplish His ÿplan and purposes.  ÿWhen we can understand this, then we can begin to understand our role in the Kingdom of God.       What is the immediate response of Moses in verse 11?  ÿLook at his statement.  ÿWhat was God's response to that question?  It was so immaterial to God's plan that God did not even acknowledge the "Who am I" of Moses!       Here, God allows us one of the first concepts of leadership in His kingdom.  ÿIn verse 12 ÿGod states:  ÿ"Certainly I will be with ÿthee."  ÿÿGod ÿtells us all a powerful ÿtruth ÿby ÿHis ÿnot acknowledging ÿthe cry of Moses.  ÿIn our terms, ÿGod told ÿMoses that it didn't matter who Moses was, ÿwhether he was qualified or unqualified, ÿÿwhether he was capable or incapable.  ÿGod ÿstates clearly "I AM going to be there, ÿI ÿAM going to do it, ÿand I AM going ÿto give you the blessing and privilege of being in it with me ÿ- ÿin ÿfact ÿI ÿAM going to ÿuse ÿyou ÿas ÿmy ÿinstrument ÿof deliverance."       In II Corinthians 3:5, the Apostle Paul tells us, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but ÿour ÿsufficiency is of God."  ÿIn God's Kingdom, ÿit ÿis ÿan asset, ÿÿnot ÿa ÿhandicap, ÿto have a strong sense ÿof ÿneed ÿand inadequacy.  ÿLater, in chapter 12:9,10, Paul confirms this idea.  "And He said unto me, ÿ'My grace is sufficient for thee: ÿfor ÿMy strength ÿis made perfect in weakness.'  ÿMost ÿgladly ÿtherefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, ÿthat the power of ÿChrist may ÿrest ÿupon me .... ÿFor when I am weak, ÿthen I am ÿstrong."  Look again, ÿPaul - the Apostle to the Gentile (us) ÿfelt exactly like we do!  ÿBut, ÿbecause he acknowledged the method of God was to ÿwork through men, ÿGod used him in a mighty way to accomplish His Plan and Purpose - to give the Gospel to us!     Let's ÿgo ÿback ÿto Exodus 3:13 ÿwhere Moses ÿsays ÿto ÿGod "Behold, ÿÿwhen I come unto the children of Israel and ÿsay ÿunto them, ÿ'The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you': ÿand they shall ÿsay ÿunto me, ÿ'What is His name?' ÿwhat shall I say ÿunto them?"       Again, ÿÿin God's way we are given an answer that man would not have conceived:  "And God said unto Moses, ÿ"I AM THAT I AM": and He said, "thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, 'I AM hath sent me unto you.'"       Now read through verse 15.  ÿI ÿhave always looked at ÿthat statement ÿof God and His declaration of His self-existent nature - ÿÿthat ÿis until this study.  ÿCan you see what I see ÿin ÿthat statement of I AM?  I see God telling me:  ÿ"Whatever you need to do as I send, ÿthat is what I AM."  He is telling each of us that whatever we need - Comfort? ÿ- ÿI ÿAM your comfort (1 ÿPeter 5:7) Victory ÿover ÿa ÿsin ÿthat ails us? ÿ- ÿI ÿAM ÿyour ÿvictory ÿ(I Corinthians 15:57) Love? - I AM love (I John 4:8).  ÿLook it over - ÿis there any area that you can think of that God cannot ÿfill. God's ÿstatement ÿof I AM can be held in our heart as "I ÿAM ÿall that my people need." 

GIDEON

      Our ÿknowledge ÿof Gideon is usually centered on ÿthe ÿmany battles ÿand victories won by this warrior of God.  ÿWith just ÿa handful of men, ÿGideon was able to defeat large armies.  ÿÿBold, courageous ÿand ÿvaliant ÿare ÿterms that I have ÿheard ÿused ÿto describe ÿthis ÿmighty man of God.  ÿLet's look at the record ÿin Scripture.  Judges 6:1 ÿtells us the condition of the children of Israel.  ÿÿThey were suffering oppression under the rule ÿof ÿthe Midianites ÿ- ÿhiding ÿin caves in the mountains ÿ- ÿtheir ÿcrops ruined by their oppressors.  ÿWhy?  ÿVerse 6 tells us:  ÿ"And the children ÿof ÿIsrael did evil in the sight of the Lord; ÿand ÿthe Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years."       One night, ÿGideon was found by God threshing some wheat to hide it from the Midianites.  ÿGod sent His angel to tell ÿGideon that ÿhe ÿwas to be God's instrument to deliver Israel ÿfrom ÿthe Midianites.  ÿVerse 15 gives us Gideon's first response:  ÿ"Oh my Lord, ÿwherewith shall I save Israel?  Behold, ÿmy family is poor in Manasseh, ÿand I am the least in my father's house."  ÿLook at God's response.  Recall Moses?       Again, God pays no attention to the cry of man to prove his worthlessness ÿ- ÿGod ÿis well aware of that fact ÿand ÿneeds ÿno reminder!       God responds:  "Surely I will be with thee, ÿand thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man."  ÿGod, in essence, tells Gideon and ÿus that "it doesn't matter who you are, ÿbut that I AM ÿwith thee.  ÿIt is not how weak you are, but how My strength will work through you."

JEREMIAH

      One ÿof ÿthe great prophets of God.  ÿCalled ÿthe ÿ"weeping prophet" ÿbecause of his broken heart at the sin of Israel before the ÿLord.  ÿÿRecalled ÿby every minister of the Gospel ÿfor ÿhis success ÿand his determination to do God's will.  ÿLet's look ÿat the record.       Jeremiah ÿ1:4,5 ÿshows us how God took the first ÿstep ÿand communicated with Jeremiah: ÿ"Then the word of the Lord came unto me, ÿsaying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; ÿand before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.'"  Now, a prophet is to declare the Word of God.  In the Old Testament, prophets declared God's doctrines, today they expound on them.  Do we find Jeremiah jumping at the chance to answer this call?  ÿ"Then said I, ÿÿ'Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child.'"       The ÿnext two verses give us the response God wants each of us ÿto ÿacknowledge when we come off with excuses.  ÿÿRead ÿthese verses.  ÿ"Say not, 'I am a child,' for thou shalt go to all that I ÿshall ÿsend ÿthee, ÿand whatsoever I command thee ÿthou ÿshalt speak. ÿÿBe ÿnot afraid of their faces: ÿfor I AM ÿwith ÿthee ÿto deliver thee."  ÿAgain, "I AM with thee."  ÿGod was by Jeremiah's side and He promises to be at our side.  ÿGod further promises to us, ÿÿthrough His words to Jeremiah in verse 19 ÿ"And they ÿshall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; ÿfor I AM with thee 'sayeth the Lord', "to deliver thee."       Now, ÿJesus Christ gave each of us one last order before He departed: ÿ"Go and make disciples of all the nations."  ÿHe ÿthen proceeds in Matthew 28:20 ÿto give us the same basis for ÿserving Him ÿwith ÿconfidence that He gave to these others of the ÿFaith, "Lo, ÿÿI ÿAM with you always..."  ÿThe message is still the ÿsame "Yesterday, ÿÿtoday and tomorrow" ÿand we need to plant it in our hearts "I AM with you."       One ÿof ÿthe ÿareas where the devil has ÿa ÿplayground ÿand neutralizes ÿÿour ÿresponse ÿto ÿGod's ÿcall ÿis ÿto ÿmake ÿÿsome disparaging remark about something EVIL in our background.  Satan tells ÿus ÿthat we cannot be used of God with THIS THING ÿin ÿour past or that it will hinder any work God may have for us.  Again, God's ÿway is not the way of the world.  ÿTurn to Acts ÿ22:19-20.  In shame, ÿPaul tells us what his past was "I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on Thee; And when the blood of ÿThy ÿmartyr Stephen was shed, ÿI ÿalso was standing by, ÿÿand consenting ÿunto ÿhis death, ÿand kept the rainment of them ÿthat slew ÿhim."  ÿPaul further elaborated in I Corinthians ÿ15:9 ÿÿin claiming that he was "not meet to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."       Do ÿyou relate to this?  ÿLook at I Timothy 1:12,13 ÿÿwhere Paul ÿstates why he is at peace by saying "I thank ÿJesus ÿChrist our Lord, ÿwho hath enabled me, ÿfor that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, ÿwho was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious."       Now, ÿaccording to the standards of the world (Satan) ÿthis man Paul was unfit for anything!  But in God's way and God's plan Paul ÿwas to be a mighty vessel for God to pour forth His Love to us all.  ÿHowever; ÿeven the Apostle Paul showed how human he was when evaluating others for leadership.       We ÿlook ÿat ÿthe matter of John Mark.  ÿBecause ÿof ÿprior failures ÿand unfaithfulness, ÿPaul refused to allow John Mark to accompany him (Acts 15:36-38).  This is the very man that God had called ÿto ÿbe the author of the Gospel of Mark, ÿÿwhich ÿis ÿthe Gospel ÿthat ÿtells ÿus about the faithful servanthood ÿof ÿJesus Christ.  ÿÿIt ÿwasn't on the basis of Mark's background that ÿGod selected him for His service.       The ÿpoint ÿis, ÿwhen God calls you, ÿby His Word, ÿby ÿHis servants ÿand ÿministers ÿor by answer to prayer we ÿare ÿto ÿlet neither a feeling of being inadequate or having a "past" restrain us ÿfrom ÿfollowing ÿHis ÿcall.  ÿAs a final ÿmessage, ÿÿlook ÿat Philippians 2:13  ÿ"For it is God which worketh in you, ÿboth ÿto will ÿand to do His good pleasure."  ÿI ÿask that you seek Him to outline ÿto you the area of leadership that He has called you ÿto as an immediate area of service, ÿwhether it be in the home or on your job, ÿas father or mother, ÿas supervisor or employee, ÿas a Sunday ÿSchool ÿteacher or a youth counselor.  ÿWherever God ÿhas called, ÿÿpray that He will communicate to you what He wants done and that you will be open to follow His leading.       If you want to have a guideline on how to determine or test an INNER MESSAGE I suggest the following:

(1) ÿIs it scriptural and in context with the entire Bible.  (The Bible ÿis ÿconsistent from Genesis to Revelation ÿand ÿshould ÿbe followed ÿin ÿcontext.  ÿÿOut of context, ÿthe Bible is ÿused ÿto justify many actions that God would not want.)

(2) ÿLook for counsel from friends who are (also) ÿseeking ÿGod's leading.  ÿÿ(God uses your friends as His voice many times, ÿÿand encourages the fellowship with one another for this purpose.)

(3) Acknowledge and expect Providential circumstances.  (God will open doors for His plan to be accomplished.  ÿHe will arrange for certain people or circumstances to confirm His will and plan.)

(4) Apply our own judgement in a form of Sanctified Common Sense.  (So many believers today are less than effective in their witness due ÿto their failure to hear that inner voice of the Holy Spirit and ÿto heed that voice.  ÿOnce we hear that voice and the ÿabove conditions ÿare ÿmet, ÿÿthen we are to APPLY that ÿto ÿour ÿdaily living.)



                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                          Communication

                      EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

      The ÿstory ÿis ÿtold about a mouse ÿand ÿan ÿelephant ÿthat traveled together for many years.  One day they arrived at one of those ÿhanging rope bridges over a ravine and began to ÿcross ÿit together.  ÿAs they stepped on the bridge the ropes strained from the load and the wood slats creaked and swayed in the wind.  When they arrived on the other side of the bridge, the mouse looked up at ÿthe ÿelephant ÿand said, ÿ"Boy we really shook ÿthat ÿbridge, didn't we?"       We, ÿas Christians, ÿmany times fail to recognize the ÿFACT that we are chosen to have the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE along side each of us.  ÿ"If God be for us, ÿwho can stand against us?"  ÿAs leaders, ÿas EKKLESIA, ÿwe need to be mindful of this fact in our lives.  ÿÿPrayfully we will look back after a "shaky bridge" ÿÿof life ÿand ÿbe able to look at God and say the same words as ÿthat little mouse - "Boy did WE really shake them up, Lord!"       One ÿmajor area where many of us need special grace ÿis ÿin the area of COMMUNICATION.  ÿGod left His Word to allow us to ÿbe informed.  ÿWHY?  ÿBecause it is the very nature of God to inform His ÿpeople ÿof ÿwhat ÿis necessary to allow us ÿto ÿperform ÿour calling.  ÿÿThe Psalmist tells us that "He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel" (Psalm 103:7).       "In the know" is a catch phrase used to designate a special group ÿof ÿpeople ÿwith extra information not normally ÿgiven ÿto others.  ÿThe Leader of Christ's Kingdom should make certain that everyone ÿthat ÿthe leader is in authority over, ÿÿis ÿassured ÿa position of being "in the know."       Turn to Colossians 4:7-9 ÿand see what Paul told this ÿbody of ÿbelievers.  ÿLook at II Timothy 4:20.  ÿLook at Romans 16:21, and ÿII ÿTimothy 4:11.  ÿWhy does God through Paul allow so ÿmuch Scripture to be used to "update" some of the believers.  WHY?  To motivate or keep them motivated?  ÿTo involve them with what Paul was doing?  To inspire some additional prayer warriors?  ÿTo show them ÿthey ÿwere important to the Kingdom of God and His work ÿin the world?  ÿALL OF THE ABOVE!  ÿWe should take special note ÿand put this concern for communication to others in our heart.  ÿÿOur LIFESTYLE ÿshould ÿreflect that we inform those with whom we ÿare working.       Proverbs 15:7 gives us the reverse to review.  "The lips of the wise spread knowledge, ÿbut the hearts of fools are not ÿso."  A wise leader spreads the word - a fool does not.  Pretty simple?  The Truths of God are in line with this truth, ÿsimple and clear.  We, ÿwhen we give consideration to our own needs, realize that we have ÿan ÿinsatiable desire to know what is going to ÿaffect ÿour lives, yet we think that some people don't need to be "let in" on certain ÿmatters ÿuntil we deem it necessary.  ÿBy so doing, ÿÿwe breed ÿconfusion and misunderstanding and we demoralize those ÿwe are charged to lead.       We need to increase our ability to be pleasant.  ÿ"Pleasant words ÿare ÿa honeycomb, ÿsweet to the soul and ÿhealing ÿto ÿthe bones" ÿ(Proverbs 16:24).  ÿA ÿleader needs to inform the ÿpeople with ÿpleasant ÿtones ÿand strive for the ÿresult ÿthat ÿeveryone involved will have high morale.       Solomon ÿÿhad ÿÿmany ÿwords ÿon ÿthe ÿdifferent ÿkinds ÿÿof information that a leader is to provide:       "A ÿman has joy in an apt answer, ÿand how delightful is ÿa timely word!" ÿ(Proverbs 15:23)  There is a time to speak.  If we jump the gun and give information before the people are ready ÿwe may ÿcause our brother to stumble; ÿyet if we wait too long, ÿthe "rumor mill" ÿgets into gear and causes disruptions.  ÿThe leader must ÿseek God's will and plan and time.  ÿGod will make ÿcertain that ÿthe ÿleader ÿis given what is necessary to perform ÿas ÿGod would desire.   "Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness" ÿ(Proverbs 20:28).  People will not, knowingly, follow ÿa ÿliar, ÿanyone who does not tell the full truth at ÿall times.  ÿThe leader who tells the TRUTH in all situations creates an ÿenvironment of trust, ÿand God uses this environment to ÿmove His kingdom forward.  ÿEven "white lies" ÿcan prepare a road that people do not trust, and where people cannot trust fully, ÿpeople do not go.   "The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable" ÿÿ(Proverbs 15:2).  ÿToo much, ÿtoo soon can breed many negative fruits.  ÿÿA Leader ÿneeds to pray continually for guidance that he tells ÿthe necessary ÿinformation ÿto ÿthose under his charge and ÿdoes ÿnot "overload" ÿÿthe circuits by giving too much.  ÿÿThe ÿinformation withheld cannot be vital information, ÿbut information that would not assist the follower.       "The ÿheart ÿof ÿthe ÿwise teaches ÿhis ÿmouth, ÿÿand ÿadds persuasiveness to his lips."  ÿLeaders motivated by their ÿhearts are persuasive.  How many of you have been turned off by a leader quoting from so-and-so or Dr. ÿSo-and-So?  ÿLeadership means that you ÿhave taken a position in front and are ready to ÿshare ÿwhat happens ÿto you "up there" ÿto those behind you to show that ÿGod provides.

                        WHOLEHEARTEDNESS

    Paul, ÿagain to the Colossians wrote: "Whatsoever ye do, ÿdo it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."  ÿ"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, ÿdo it with thy might; ÿfor there is no work, nor device, ÿnor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest" ÿ(Colossians 3:23 & ÿEcclesiastes 9:10).  ÿGod through two men ÿof diverse heritage and separated by many hundreds of ÿyears both spoke what God told them to say - exhorting us to strive for the excellence and wholeheartedness that God does EVERYTHING!       How ÿdo we respond, ÿwe say "Take it easy" ÿor "Don't ÿBurn Out" ÿÿor "Don't work too hard, ÿbuddy."  ÿThis whole attitude is seen ÿin the world today and contributes to its mediocrity.  ÿÿWe best ÿbe ÿaware that that is what lies ahead for us if ÿwe ÿadopt this ÿhalf-hearted attitude.  ÿOur standards and our ÿperformance MUST be high.  ÿGod set a standard of PERFECTION.  ÿWe must ÿopen our ÿhearts ÿto ÿhave Him produce His PERFECT works ÿthrough ÿour wholehearted dedication to Him.       Jesus tells us today: ÿ"If any man will come after Me, ÿlet him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me," and Jesus ÿMEANT ÿevery ÿword of this passage!  ÿWe ÿas ÿleaders ÿare blessed ÿthat we build for the present.  ÿWhat we do has ÿpresent results.  ÿWe must be mindful that our LIFESTYLE also builds ÿfor the ÿfuture.  ÿIf our heart is not TOTAL for the Lord, ÿwhat will our "charges" be like?  Fire is the only thing that kindles fire.  We are charged by Jesus to be the igniters of the world, yet many of us think, ÿ"Well, I spent my hour of devotion today, ÿnow I'll watch the football game!"  ÿIn John 2:17, ÿwe read the words "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up."  ÿCan we show the power of Christ and have the zeal of Christ?  If not, then who!?       Jesus also gave us the commandment of Mark 12:29-30.  ÿRead these verses.  ÿThey remain in His Word and are as valid TODAY as they were when Jesus spoke them.  In the Army, there is a saying: "When ÿwe ÿplay men's games ONLY men will come to play."  ÿIf ÿwe have ÿa LIFESTYLE of this standard of WHOLEHEARTEDNESS, ÿwe ÿwill attract those of like desire.

                        SINGLEMINDEDNESS

      Everything in this world will pass away.  ÿNothing is going to remain!  Two things will survive the events of Revelation, the Word ÿof God and the souls of mankind!  ÿEach of the ÿleaders ÿwe read ÿof in the Scripture were not sidetracked from their ÿchosen path, ÿÿÿor ÿwere ÿfainthearted ÿbecause ÿof ÿoverwhelming ÿodds.  Ridicule, ÿÿopposition and even death did not deter those who had given ÿtheir ÿwhole ÿheart ÿto God and ÿwere ÿof ÿone ÿpurpose ÿ- singleminded in purpose.       Our ÿlife is too short.  ÿJames 4:14 ÿgives us God's ÿview.  Keep ÿthis ÿin your minds and hearts.  ÿHebrews 12:1-2 ÿtells ÿus where we are to look.  Turn there.       Everything that we do as 'sent' ÿmessengers and ambassadors of ÿÿthe ÿKing ÿis ÿanother ÿreason ÿfor ÿsinglemindedness.  ÿÿÿI Corinthians 15:58 tells us "Therefore my beloved brethren, ÿbe ye steadfast, ÿunmovable, ÿalways abounding in the work of the Lord, for ÿas ÿmuch ÿas ye know THAT YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN ÿin ÿthe LORD."  ÿWe are GUARANTEED that what we do in service TO THE LORD is worth something EVERLASTING!       A rich woman had a dream about being allowed to walk on the streets ÿof heaven.  ÿShe came to a large structure and asked who that MANSION was being built for.  ÿShe was told the name and she remarked, ÿ"That is my gardener.  He wastes his money on the poor and ÿlives ÿin a small house.  ÿWhy should he get such a ÿhouse?"  The ÿworkmen ÿtold ÿher to take the matter ÿup ÿwith ÿthe ÿMaster Builder; ÿso she proceeded down the street.  ÿShortly she came to another ÿstructure, ÿvery small and shabby.  ÿShe asked who ÿthat house was for and she was given a name.  She realized that it was HER NAME!  ÿShe stated, "Why, I ÿlive in a big mansion and have a big car and want for nothing.  Why should I live here?" Again she was told to take the matter up with the Master Builder.  She then dreamed ÿshe ÿwas ÿbefore the Master Builder and ÿasked ÿwhy ÿthe difference ÿin buildings.  ÿThe Master Builder looked her in ÿthe eye, ÿand tears were in His, when He said; "Daughter, I ÿcan only build with what you send up here for me to use."       Luke ÿtells us of the time that Jesus "Steadfastly set ÿHis face ÿto go to Jerusalem."  ÿJesus is our best example, ÿand Paul sets the course in his letter to the Philippians (3:13-14).  Read this ÿpassage.  ÿIn both instances, ÿboth knew what lay ahead ÿof them.  ÿÿOne, ÿJesus, ÿwas the LEADER by LIFESTYLE and Paul, ÿthe follower ÿof the Perfect Leader.  ÿPaul elaborates in Acts 20:24.  Read ÿthis passage.  ÿNow, ÿI ÿcall your attention to ÿColossians 4:17, ÿwhere WE are told: "Say to Archippus (or John, or Sally or ...), ÿ"Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord that thou may fulfill it."       Each of us is called to a LIFE and a LIFESTYLE to follow, a mission to complete, a path to walk on without straying.  We need God ÿand His indwelling power and strength to make it to the end, because it IS HARD!  Praise God that you have been chosen to lead where many do not walk.        

                      LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP

                  Difficulties and Resolution

      You ÿhave been chosen to lead. ÿYou have prayed ÿabout ÿthe calling ÿand ÿare ÿdoing all possible to be in the Will ÿof ÿGod.  Yet, ÿyou find the going tough, ÿdifficulties arise and ÿproblems abound. ÿÿThe problems always seem to fall into two categories ÿ- problems ÿin ÿour ÿpersonal lives and ÿwitness ÿand ÿproblems ÿor friction in the group.       God, ÿin His Holy Scriptures gives us many "case histories" of leaders who became embroiled in difficulties and problems.  We have ÿreviewed many of these leaders in this study, ÿbut ÿnot ÿin relation to the problems that they faced.       Moses was the first leader that we began with, ÿand we ÿnow are ÿable to use Moses as our example of how problems come ÿabout and ÿhow ÿthey ÿcan be handled in the manner ÿGod ÿwould ÿdesire.  Moses ÿgot himself into a situation because he acted in much ÿthe same way that we seem to operate.  ÿMoses came to believe that he alone was capable of leading the nation of Israel. Today, we have many ÿpeople ÿwho have the motto "If you want a job ÿdone ÿright, then you have got to do it yourself!"       All ÿthat we read about Moses shows us that he was involved in ÿthe lives of his charges - the children of Israel. ÿThis very strength became his weakness.       Turn ÿto ÿExodus ÿ18:13.  ÿCan you picture ÿthe ÿsituation?  Moses was spending the entire day helping the very people who had tried to kill him by stoning.  ÿMoses was taking all this time to help ÿthese people.  ÿIt is easy to assist those you like and are nice to you, ÿbut to take this time to help people who have tried to ÿdo ÿyou ÿwrong?!  ÿÿPeople who were hateful?  ÿÿWho ÿdid ÿnot appreciate Moses or his efforts?  ÿBut Moses was doing all things "as unto God" and was demonstrating qualities of God.       Now, ÿin Exodus 18:14, ÿwe find the father-in-law, ÿJethro, observing Moses and his "waste of time" ÿand questioning Moses as to ÿwhy.  ÿIn the next two verses, ÿMoses gives rational reasons. Jethro then gives advice, unsolicited, ÿto Moses in the next five verses.       As ÿwe covered in our first session, ÿwe now ÿtake ÿanother look at the matter.  ÿMoses did not "pull rank" or tell Jethro to keep ÿhis opinions to himself. ÿMoses, ÿbeing a servant ÿof ÿGod, listened to the advice and adopted the counsel.  Why?  Let's take a close look at the advice and counsel.       Moses' ÿÿfirst ÿfunction ÿas a leader was to pray ÿfor ÿthe people ÿplaced ÿunder his charge.  ÿPaul confirms this advice ÿin Colossians 4:12 ÿwhen he makes the statement: ÿ"Epaphras, ÿwho is one of you, ÿa ÿservant of Christ, saluteth you, ÿalways laboring fervently ÿfor ÿyou ÿin prayers, ÿthat ye may stand ÿperfect ÿand complete ÿin the will of God."  ÿWe need to pray for each person God places in our path - BY NAME.  ÿIn our jobs, ÿwe need to pray for ÿeach person that reports to us, ÿand that we report to - ÿBY NAME.       Moses was to te

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