A Lesson on Leadership

Today’s reading: Luke 21, Psalm 69

I had always thought of the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:1-4) as a lesson on giving but through a recent study I’ve come to believe it is actually a warning of the implications of false leadership, specifically self-righteous, legalistic religious systems and their false leaders.  A good thing to know how to spot and avoid (Psalm 1) and a good thing to help us refine our beliefs on true leadership. 

When taken in context this account is surrounded by diatribes of false teachers.  (Luke 20:47, Luke 21:5-36)  In addition to the lack of the subject matter of giving in the surrounding scripture, is the lack of any principle taught on giving in this passage.  Jesus neither condemns the rich for their giving nor commends the widows for hers.  In my estimation, Jesus never said He was pleased with the widows giving, nor did he even imply it.  

On the contrary, we know that Jesus did not approve of the religious system that was receiving the gifts and from that we can even go as far as to assume he may not have been pleased with the fact that this widow was being separated from her last coin on account of it.  All throughout scripture, God’s Word protects and provides for widows, it never leaves them destitute.  (Exodus 22:22, Psalm 146:9, Proverbs 15:25, Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 10: 1-4, Jeremiah 49:11, James 1:27)

The word rich used here is ‘plousios’ and means those who have enough. The word poor used in verse two is ‘penichors’, meaning someone who is needy but not destitute. The second mention of the widow being poor in verse three after she is seen giving all she had, is a different word ‘ptochos’ meaning someone who has nothing and has been reduced to begging.

The lesson, in my estimation, is this: the widow’s involvement in this false religious system has cost her everything.  The warning; false leaders and their systems prey on the weak and pry from them what little possessions they have.  Why give this warning?  Perhaps, this will help us identify these systems so we can avoid them and not be party to them.

Another identifying characteristic of these systems is in the preceding two verses. The leaders of these systems create them so that they can accumulate what they desire; influence, position, power, money, etc. at the expense of the weak. (Luke 20-46-47)  They are systems designed to serve the leader. 

Contrasting false from true: real leaders do two things.

  1. They serve those they lead and
  2. they lead by example.  

(Mark 10: 42-45, Philippians 2:3, Matthew 17,12, 1Timothy 4:12, 1Peter 5:1-3, Hebrews 13:7)

Here is a lesson of the cost of false leadership, a warning to false leaders and an aid to help us discern true from false leaders.  In a culture that has so much to say about leadership, God’s word helps us understand the truth and protects us.  Praise God!

 

Study resource: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Luke 18-24

Painting by James Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

Be Strong

Today’s reading gives us the patterns of a Godly man.  Paul is exhorting Timothy to “be strong” (v1), but Paul doesn’t stop there.  He gives us relatable examples of what it means to “be strong”.  

Paul gives us the example of the teacher, the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer, then he commissions Timothy to  “think over what [he said]”.  The examples are not long and exhaustive but Paul promises Timothy that “the Lord will give [him] understanding in everything” if he thinks over it.  (2Timothy 2:7)  

A wise man once said, “better to read little and think much than to read much and think little.”  Today’s journal entry includes some thoughts and reflections on these short powerful examples.  I would love if you would share some of yours in the comments or on facebook.   

The Teacher.  Christ instructed us to teach His commandments to all nations and modeled this for us through discipleship. (Matthew 28:20) . Discipleship is a chain.  Position yourself in the chain, between someone who will disciple you and who you can disciple.  Those you disciple should be carefully selected people who are faithful and trustworthy to carry on the chain.  (2Timothy 2:2)

The Soldier.  We are at war.  The soldier is not confused about work-life balance.  The two are integrated and his purpose is singular.  Full of integrity, his life is whole and complete.  There are no situations in which he changes modes or leaves something behind.  There is no clocking out.  A soldier at war is always on active duty.  He does not concern himself with things of the world.  His eye is single in the battle and pleasing his commander.  (2Timothy 2:3-4)

The Athlete.  It is a given that athletics require effort.  Even though some athletes have incredible natural abilities, fans tend to cheer on an underdog who gives it his all over the more skilled athlete who doesn’t.  Fans tend to gravitate to athletes who are ok with giving it their all and being beaten, even if it means everyone knows they could not have done any better or given an ounce more effort.  An athlete looks at the cost of defeat and competes anyways.  Humble athletes are fun to watch.  Still, even though effort is a given for athletics, no matter the effort expended, if the athlete breaks the rules he is disqualified.  (2Timothy 2:5)  

The Farmer.  The farmer is hard working.  This word is from a Greek verb meaning ‘to labor to the point of exhaustion.’  Day in, day out the farmer works amidst circumstances outside their control.  The farmer can not control the water, the bugs, the temperature, the sun, the clouds, or the shifting seasons, yet he works to the point of exhaustion in hopes that he might reap a harvest.  A farmer is truly seasoned in the art of sowing to the LORD and trusting Him with the harvest.  (2Timothy 2:6)

May we all continue to think over the Scripture and trust in the LORD to give us understanding.

Reading quote reference: Mastering Self: To Lead Self and Others by Chief Hanna

Stewards of the Mysteries of God

Today’s picture is from a lesson to the Unit 5 Innovative Entrepreneur class. It was drawn to deconstruct a chapter on the leadership from Chief Hanna’s book Mastering Self: to Lead Self and Others.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 4, Paul helps us understand the responsibility and power of leadership.  As I read through today’s chapter, Chief Hanna’s principles on the power of leadership continued to surface in Paul’s life.  

Challenge: See if you can draw any similarities from Paul’s account and the image above as you read through the chapter.  If you find any that you’d like to share, or any other scripture that comes to mind, put them in the comments.  

I’ve included some takeaways from the reading below along with some other scripture that came to mind when reading it.

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.- 1Corinthians 4:1-2

A follower of Christ is a steward of the truth.  The mysteries of God have been revealed plainly to us in the New Testament. (John 14:26)  The steward’s job is to protect the truth from perversion and proclaim it unfettered. (2Timothy 1:14, Romans 1:16)  The Word of God saves souls so I can see why it is important to steward it well, (James 1:21) but what does it mean to be a faithful steward?

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. – 1 Corinthians 4:3-5

Perhaps the first step in being faithful is to recognize who we are to be faithful to. We are not men pleasers but God pleasers. (Ephesians 6:6-8)  We are slaves of God and we seek our Master’s glory.  We trust his Word and are not ashamed of it.  God is the only one fit to judge.  Comparison is empty if left to us.  Only One can compare rightly.  The Sprit compares us to God’s word.  This is a personal gift to help us each individually.  In the same way, we should not try to unwrap a friend’s birthday gift, we should not attempt to unwrap the Spirit’s gift of comparing others to the Word.  We only need protect the Word and proclaim it. 

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. – 1 Corinthians 4:6-8

Perhaps the second step in being faithful is to admit our position.  We own nothing but that which God has given us.  God has given us everything to steward for His glory.  

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 1Corinthians 9-13

Paul’s proper view of himself places him at the bottom which gives him the personal power to minister, save souls, and bring glory to God.

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? – 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Paul’s example is faithfulness.  Words would not do, therefore Paul sent Timothy as a reminder of the power of a life.  Wisdom is not knowing things.  Wisdom is shown in a life lived well. (James 3:13)  Paul warns that he will inspect lives and discern the presence or absence of the power of God.

Humble Servanthood

     Today, we are reading Acts 28 together.  In this chapter, the final one in the book of Acts, we continue to travel with Paul and his close friend Luke.  Luke, Paul and the rest of their group have recently been shipwrecked after a terrible storm; in fact, they have not eaten in 14 days and were forced to swim to the nearest island  (see Acts 27:14; Acts 27:33; Acts 27:43).  They learned that the island was called Malta, and they remained there for three months.  Fortunately, the native Maltans welcomed Paul and his group wholeheartedly.  From Malta, the group traveled to Rome and here Paul’s circumstances changed dramatically.  In verse 16, Luke writes, “When we actually entered Rome, they let Paul live in his own private quarters with a soldier who had been assigned to guard him.”  (Acts 28:16)   In fact, Paul was now under house arrest, and he knew that his years of ministry would soon come to a close.

Despite his imprisonment and impending death, Paul somehow managed to remain humble.  It is this character trait, humility, that I would like us to focus on today.  We see evidence of Paul’s humility right after he arrives in Malta.  Despite having just survived a terrifying shipwreck – he is most likely exhausted and starving – Paul doesn’t hesitate to help his hosts when it begins to rain:

     “It had begun to rain and was cold…Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire…:” (Acts 28:3). 

Paul’s humility is evident here in his service to others despite his own physical weakness.

When Paul arrives in Rome and begins his season of house arrest, he remains humble here as well.  We read that Paul constantly places others before himself:

“From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus…” (Acts 28:23)

Paul could easily have chosen an attitude of bitterness regarding the loss of his personal freedom, but he did not.  Instead, he chose to spend his days – from morning to evening – telling others about Christ, so that they too might be saved.

It takes humility to serve others who are treating you as an honored guest, and it takes humility to serve others when you are imprisoned with a guard watching over your every move. From guest of honor to prisoner, Paul remained humble and served those around him.  In doing this, he taught people about Jesus.  Although few of us will experience either shipwreck or imprisonment in our lives, we can all try to set aside our current circumstances, whatever they are, and serve others in humility.  In doing this, our actions reveal Christ and his love for the world.  How can you, today,  humbly serve those around you?

Maybe You’re the One

 

Good morning and happy Monday.  As we head into Easter week I hope your heart is opening to miracle of the Risen Christ! Today, I’d like to introduce my friend Amy Perschall.  Amy and I sing together on Eastview’s vocal team. A few weeks ago, I learned that her devotion to Christ and skill in sharing His word goes far beyond the music. After hearing her present a morning devotional for a group of musicians, I knew I had to share her gift here! Amy holds a B.S. in Music from ISU, a Master of Divinity, a Masters in Christian Counseling and is working on her Doctor of Ministry. She has experience as a Pastor, Chaplain, Christian Counselor and Youth Pastor.  She has worked in churches, hospitals, prisons and led missions in the name of Jesus. As she completes her doctoral work, Amy is praying for a new opportunity to share her ministry. She is in the process of ordination and I know the next chapter for her will bless so many. I’m excited to share her with our Bible Journal readers!

Today’s Reading: Acts 6

Have you ever seen a need in the church and wondered why someone wasn’t addressing it?  Maybe there are rowdy kids running around between church services and you think, “someone should give them something to do.”  Or maybe there is a concern in the community with homelessness and you wonder, “why doesn’t a church step up and attend to the needs of this population?”  Or maybe you read an article about a school whose students’ grades are failing and you question, “why doesn’t a group step up and help with tutoring or after-school programs?”

A similar questioning arose amongst the Hellenists (or Grecian Jews) and the Hebrews (or Hebraic Jews) in Acts 6.  The Hellenists were a community of believers from places other than Israel and most likely spoke Greek as their primary language.  Their social and religious practices would probably have differed from the Hebrews as well.  And when bringing two different cultures together, there will always be challenges to overcome.

The dispute between the Hellenists and the Hebrews was over the treatment of their widows.  In the Ancient Near East, widows were often unable to provide for themselves and their care was left to the community.  Israelite farmers were to leave grain unharvested so widows, orphans, and foreigners could glean the leftovers and eat (Deut. 24:17-22).  Also, the tithes given to the priests were to provide for the widows, orphans, aliens and priests every third year (Deut. 26:12-13).  So, when the Hellenists complained because, “their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution” (Acts 6:1b), it was a big deal!

Now, I imagine when the Hellenists lodged their complaint to the Twelve (think Twelve Disciples of Jesus), they were expecting one of the leadership to do something.  However, the Twelve had a different plan.  They needed to continue in the call on their lives to preach the Gospel and spread the word of God.  So, just as any good leader does, they delegated.  In developing a team of seven who are “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3b), the Twelve involve more people in ministry and leadership.  Instead of trying to do everything themselves, the Twelve encourage those who had identified the problem to step up and serve within their giftedness and they were ready to serve!  I’m sure there were growing pains as these new leaders learned how to lead, but in spreading out the work, more people were served in the end.

So, as you notice needs within the church and your community, instead of wondering why someone else doesn’t step up, maybe God is trying to get your attention!  Maybe you are exactly the person God has in mind to spearhead a new ministry.  Are you ready to serve?

All You Need Is Love

When Jesus speaks of the perfect life, He is very clear: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” -Luke 10:27. In perfect love, God desires our wellbeing, our fellowship and obedience.

Obedience is a hard word for me to hear, let alone to say or do! But obedience to God’s precepts ultimately make us better, stronger, healthier and happier. God’s law is no longer imposed, but encouraged in love. It’s not offered in oppression, but in freedom from sin through a life of tangible fellowship with the Creator of the Universe. Obedience to a perfect God is to seek the love Jesus speaks of.

Love gets more complicated when we are concerned for our well being, when others threaten our way of life, our freedom or interests. This is when we must chose between our own understanding or trusting God.

I am fascinated by the intensity of the discourse after this very unusual and surprising election. I have had to remind myself that God is eternally sovereign and we are not.

Living out our faith is about love in action, showing love without favoritism, loving the unlovable, practicing grace and gratitude. It is helpful to recognize our hypocrisy and self-righteousness, avoiding demagoguery, so easily embraced.

Personal spiritual transformation is the true source of social change. It is born in Love. God’s Spirit guides us. There is no other way.

God is sovereign and everything, even political power, comes from Him or is allowed by Him.

We have a lifetime of opportunity to live out values like kindness, humility, forgiveness, bravery, sacrifice, integrity, generosity, and compassion. We might easily claim these as our own, and overlook them in others, but love is the champion of justice and truth.

More than anything Jesus is saying to me, “trust God, surrender all to Him and love each other like there is no tomorrow.”

Perhaps John Lennon had it right; “all you need is love!”

1 Chronicles 15; James 2. Secret: Amos 9; Luke 4

Our Prince

 

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Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Hebrews 9, Amos 3, Psalms 146-147

“I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 

Put not your trust in princes,

in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;

on that very day his plans perish.”

Psalm 146: 2-4

 It’s been quite a week to live here on this earth in our little country called The United States. At least I’m sure our country is small to our Heavenly Father who is looking down on us, shaking his head as we struggle to be united. My heart has been heavy with the responsibility of writing today. Mostly, because I want to deliver an uplifting message to everyone and maybe because I need one myself. We’ve spent this week, this month, this year focused on the plans that one person has for our country. But we forgot. We forgot that there isn’t a person on this earth that can have dominion over everything.

“…when his breath departs, he returns to earth; on that very day his plans perish.” 

When we put all of our hope and our trust and our faith in a human being, there will be hardship. No matter who it is. No one can carry our lives in their hand, keep us safe, and protect our souls like our Father. It has been a hard lesson, but we are learning. Our country is swept up in fear, hostility and in some places violence. The division is deep, and it hurts. There is one that can heal us. One that shows us each day that our plans are just for now, while we are here. What endures is God’s love, generation after generation.

At another time in my life when I was afraid and alone, a friend took the time to write encouraging scriptures for me on some little yellow note cards. Those cards saved me. Literally, those cards brought the Bible into my life for the very first time. Despite growing up Catholic I had never opened a Bible. The first time I read about God’s promises, they were written on yellow index cards. This opportunity to write for Bible Journal has matured my faith more than I could have imagined, I am reading many of His sacred words for the first time. Now, I hold those passages close to my heart. I speak them out loud, read them in a quiet moment or simply think them while driving from place to place. That small act of taking an hour to write scripture onto note cards had such an impact on my life. As I prayed about what to write for you today, God told me to bring it back to the simplicity of his word. He reminded me that we can’t fix things here on earth. We are a broken world with broken people. He is the only “fixer.” I realized that the uplifting message I have to share with you today is just Jesus. He is our salvation.

Lord, we know that you are in control of everything. We know that you lead us each and every day. Help us to see your way Father.

A few of the yellow cards:

 

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

 

“Faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see…By faith, I understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3

 

“God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of calm and well balanced mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

 

“Now unto Him who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

 

“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach me, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures I might have hope.” Romans 15:4

A Nation’s Leader

Psalm 72 is a beautiful prayer for a nation. It’s focus is primarily on its leader. In its recipe for a prosperous nation we find a leader who knows the truth from lies and acts in truth and righteousness, a leader who brings up other strong leaders, a system that brings peace to the people and a people who fear the LORD. On the other hand, we see in scripture how a nation and people who turn from God are handed over to confusion, not being able to discern the truth from lies, they pursue emptiness and the nation declines.

  • Romans 1:18-32 – Turning away from God, being handed over
  • Isaiah 1:21-31 – Outcomes: systematic ruin of economy and justice
  • Isaiah 3:2-6 – Outcomes: weak leaders
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-7 – Outcomes: false believers
  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4 – Outcomes: false religion
  • Deuteronomy 28 – Compare and contrast

May we be the salt of the earth and preserve the old ways.

Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 17; 2 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 24; Psalm 72

The Chameleon Man

Have you ever told someone how you were going to tell so and so how upset you were about something that they did, only to find yourself in that moment of confrontation somehow not being able to convey your true feelings? Sometimes it’s probably better that way. This is a soft skill that allows us to avoid conflict and to work towards solutions and sometimes compromise. It is probably a better way to solve problems than anger, condemnation and retribution, better for everyone.

There is a concept in sales called mirroring. This is when we consciously mimic the body language of another, hoping to establish trust on a subconscious level. Another important skill in any situation where we want to be heard is to build rapport, to ask questions and to listen; taking a genuine interest in others. In a sense what we are trying to do is to conform, to blend in, to become familiar and be liked. We are mostly wired to want to be around people we like, to want to help them, to want to do business with them, to share not only time but opportunities.

Now I do realize these social skills and techniques (and a whole host of others) can be used selfishly to attempt to trick or otherwise manipulate people. And if our motives are in the end to serve ourselves, than no doubt this is how it will be. Of course things are not that simple, and we aren’t either, so how we interact with others will probably be some combination of sincerity and selfishness.

I love how Paul writes about “becoming all things to all people”:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. -1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NIV

I used to think it was a bad thing to try to be all things to all people, though I admired people that had this ability. I even had a friend that we called “The Chameleon Man.” He blended in better than anyone we knew. Was this the epitome of hypocrisy and phoniness or some higher gift. I came to see it as both, depending on our motives. Paul is simply trying to be effective, connecting to people on their own terms, making friends so as to more effectively share the gospel. What’s wrong with that? God is willing to meet all of us where we are at at any point in our lives, if we are willing. It sure seems like good behavior to get along with those who we are trying to share our faith, but there is a boundary that we must consider.

If blending-in and making friends is to the glory of God then we are on the right track. If it is for our own purposes then we are at risk of being the only one who is changed, and not for the better. The problem we want to avoid, in all cases, is conforming to the world. Avoiding this worldly assimilation is the gold standard in spiritual formation. Ideally we find our identity in God, in God’s will for our lives, in the pursuit of God’s greater glory, not our own. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2

Reading Link: 1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

By listening for God’s will I have always found peace and purpose. This is a life changing pursuit that I’m already writing about for next week. See you then.

Lessons in Leadership

Ever since I was a young kid I would say that I want to live to be 100 years old. To this day I will say the same thing until I read Deuteronomy 33-34. I’ve change my mind,  I’d like to 120. Yesterday, in Jillian’s post The Not So Promised Land Jill talked about the life of Moses and the missing out of this promise land because of a prior choices.  At the top of Mount Nebo in Moab the Lord speaks to Moses one more time before he dies.

Deuteronomy 34:7 says that His eye was undimmed, and his vigor was unabated.

Moses was seeing clearly and his mind was still focused on the Lord. Moses then gives one final blessing to Israel. Instead of worrying about himself and the fact he was told he was about to die. He gives a final blessing to Israel. Moses was serving others, just like he had his whole life.  Today, I want to share a couple lessons on leadership we can learn from Moses.

Today’s Date: June 28, 2016

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 33–34; Psalm 119:145–176; Isaiah 60; Matthew 8

Moses life of leadership (excluding the run in he had with an Egyptian who was hurting a Hebrew, even in this event he saw something was wrong and he was trying to do something about it. ) models principles of how we can become better disciples of the Lord.

  • God is always speaking in our lives. The first thing that we need to always do is trust that God has a plan for your life.  From Moses’s birth in Exodus 2, God has his plan for Moses The life of Moses shows how He will take care of you. Moses kept this faith in adversity.
  • Moses cared for others.  The phrase, “people don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care” comes to mind.  He truly cared for others and their well being. It was more then a superficial level. Moses showed concern for his people while they were in Egypt and at the time of the exodus, but as well in his continued care for them during their wanderings in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land.
  • Moses was a great listener.  We read about Moses listening to God and listening to the Israelites. He believed in the message of the Lord and shared this message so they could also be brothers and sisters in Christ.  (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)  Personally, I know I could do more whole body listening as I tell students at school. We listen with our ears, eyes, and mind.  I need to continue to empathize and affirm the things others say to me. This is especially true when people share their emotions and feelings in a situations where I do not share those same emotions and feelings. I need to make sure I am whole body listening to the people I’m around and actively adjusting what I say and do in light of what they feel.
  • Be humble in your leadership. Moses showed humility. Exodus 4:10 But Moses said to the Lord, Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Moses was always willing to listen to others and not do everything by his own accord. He would listen and give credit to others.
  • Moses didn’t change or compromise in the face of adversity. He stayed true to what the Lord asked him to do.  He was responsible in making sure that the job gets done. Throughout the life of Moses God was always in charge and always provided direction for what Moses did and how Moses led. Whether it was from when Moses was first called by God in Exodus 3:1-3  or Moses taking steps to ensure the people were obedient to God’s teaching in Deuteronomy 31:9. Moses never changed when staying faithful to God and His word.

A defining character trait of a leader is someone who is willing to take responsibility. Moses is willing to step up to the plate because the job needs to be done. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t experienced, and he stuttered when he spoke. But when he saw his people were in trouble, when he saw a job that needed to be done, he acted on it. He took responsibility, even at risk to his own life. Therefore the Almighty chose him to lead. We demonstrate our leadership traits to ourselves, our partners, our children, our friends, our colleagues, our community, and what is important to us by our actions.

Will you find ways to mirror some of the leadership traits from Moses in your life today?

At times we can feel inadequate in our ability to lead people and do God’s work. Personally, based on Moses’s life I need to have more belief and confidence in God. We need to have more confidence because if we allow God to be in charge of leading the way for me to follow, then He will do what He wants done.

What leadership qualities have you learned from the life of Moses?

Dear God, We pray for your presence in us and in our world. We pray you impact our hearts to lead our lives, families, and others in a manner that would fulfill Your will.  Thanks you for sharing examples of disciples of Christ like Moses. Help us to understand Your word so we can open doors for others and lead like Moses.  Thank you for your Love and Grace in order to help us  “Finish ” the journey.  Amen

Psalm 90 offers the Prayer of Moses, the man of God