Posts Tagged ‘leadership’


Proverbs 12:24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor

Trustworthy messengers

Proverbs 13:17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a   trustworthy messenger brings healings

Don’t penalize people for integrity

Proverbs 17:26 It is also not good to fine the righteous, nor to strike the noble for their uprightness

Listen before Answering

Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him

Able to discern

Proverbs 18:15 the heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out

Listen to both sides of the story

Proverbs 18:17 The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him

Able to stand up under adversity

Proverbs 24:10 If you falter in a time of trouble how small is your strength!

Able to stand up under praise

Proverbs 27:21 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise


 Honoring the wrong people backfires

Proverbs 26:08 Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool

A wicked ruler is dangerous

Proverbs 28:15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people

People despair

Proverbs 29:02 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan

A wicked ruler has wicked officials

Proverbs 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked 




Under Gods Command
Unity and Diversity in the Body                                                                                        

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 

Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: (1) being too proud of their abilities, or (2) thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should use our different gifts, together, to spread the Good News of salvation.

The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common—faith in Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. We don’t lose our individual identities, but we have an overriding oneness in Christ. When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence, and he or she is born into God’s family.

Lets Bring it Home: “We were all given the one Spirit to drink” means that the same Holy Spirit completely fills our innermost beings. As members of God’s family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we have a common goal.

Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 3:08-15 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursing dishonest gain.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.  They must first be tested, and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.  Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 

3:8–13 Deacon means “one who serves.” This position was possibly begun by the apostles in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:1–6) to care for the physical needs of the congregation—at that time it was the needs of the Greek-speaking widows. Deacons were leaders in the church, and their qualifications resemble those of the overseers. In some churches today, the office of deacon has lost its importance. New Christians are often asked to serve in this position, but that is not the New Testament pattern. Paul says that potential deacons should have high qualifications and should be very carefully chosen.

3:11 The women can refer to women helpers or deaconesses. It could also mean wives of deacons, or female leaders of the church (such as Phoebe, the deaconess mentioned in Romans 16:1). In either case, Paul expected the behavior of prominent women in the church to be just as responsible and blameless as that of prominent men.

3:14, 15 The Bible is the written form of what God expects us to know and do. God chose Paul to carry out one phase of the plan. Through Paul, the inspired teaching was written down. As such, it was passed on to Timothy. Then, it was passed on to others. Later, it was passed on to us.

Lets Bring it Home: Times have changed, but the original authority remains. Because the Bible is from God, it must be studied seriously, understood thoroughly, and applied faithfully. Paul intended this letter to teach believers how to conduct themselves. We would do well to read carefully.  How much time are we spending obtaining a relationship with God, by reading his word?


Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 3:01-07 Here is a trustworthy saying. If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

3:1 To be a church leader (“overseer”) is a heavy responsibility because the church belongs to the living God. The word overseer can refer to a pastor, church leader, or presiding elder. It is good to want to be a spiritual leader, but the standards are high. Paul lists some of the qualifications here. Church leaders should not be elected because they are popular, nor should they be allowed to push their way to the top. Instead they should be chosen by the church because of their respect for the truth, both in what they believe and in how they live.

3:2 Paul’s statement that each overseer should have only one wife prohibits both polygamy and promiscuity. This does not prohibit an unmarried person from becoming an elder or a widowed elder from remarrying.

3:4, 5 Christian workers and volunteers sometimes make the mistake of being so involved in their work that they neglect their families, and especially the firm discipline of their children. Spiritual leadership, however, must begin at home. If a man is not willing to care for, discipline, and teach his children, he is not qualified to lead the church. Don’t allow your volunteer activities to detract from your family responsibilities.

3:6 New believers should become secure and strong in the faith before taking leadership roles in the church. Too often, in a church desperate for workers, new believers are placed in positions of responsibility prematurely. New faith needs time to mature. New believers should have a place of service, but they should not be put into leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith, with a solid Christian lifestyle and a knowledge of the Word of God. Younger believers who are selected for office need to beware of the damaging effects of pride. Pride can seduce emotions and cloud reason. It can make those who are immature susceptible to the influence of unscrupulous people. Pride and conceit were the devil’s downfall, and he uses pride to trap others.

3:7 People outside the church should speak well of those who would lead in the church. The good reputation with outsiders that Paul required is realized when Christians act as dependable friends and good neighbors. How we carry out our duties as citizens, neighbors, and friends facilitates or frustrates our ability to communicate the gospel.

Lets Bring it Home: Do you have friends who are not believers? Does your conduct help or hinder the cause of Christ? As the church carries out its mission in an increasingly secular world, the church needs those who build bridges with unbelievers in order to bring them the gospel.

Do you hold a position of spiritual leadership, or would you like to be a leader some day? Check yourself against Paul’s standard of excellence. Those with great responsibility must meet high expectations.

Under Gods Command

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

We can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives. We honor our bosses so they will reward us, our employees so they will work harder, the wealthy so they will contribute to our cause, the powerful so they will use their power for us and not against us. God’s other way involves love. As Christians, we honor people because they have been created in God’s image, because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because they have a unique contribution to make to Christ’s church.

Lets Bring it home: Does god’s way of honoring others sound too difficult for your competitive nature? Why not try to outdo one another is showing honor? Put others first!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Can you win a person in authority? Gentleness will defeat power. What works best with a hard or angry person? Submissive yielding will defeat revenge. Here is precious wisdom to be successful in relationships. Instinctive responses will seldom work.

Wisdom includes ability to persuade those in power, which is very useful knowledge. The main authorities in life are parents, husbands, employers, government, and pastors. They are moved more by patient reverence than by bold debate. Though your cause might be important and right, wisdom calls for careful and respectful appeals.

Here is great wisdom for dealing with those over you. You may need to persuade a boss of your cause or dissuade one from punishing your offences. The proverb here deals with persuasion, but the same wisdom serves in dissuasion as well (Eccl 10:4). This rule, learned and remembered, will give great and peaceful skill for dealing with authorities.

The world teaches the opposite of this wisdom, and the results are horrible. Demanding your way and expecting an authority to cater to your needs and opinions is proud rebellion and creates bitterness. Rather than moving the one in authority toward your cause, it will force him to solidify his position and punish your insolent insubordination.

Human nature is proud, rebellious, and selfish. It assumes all men are created equal and having many rights. But the Bible rejects such arrogant presumption. No two men are created equal, and they are put in the five offices already listed that give them power over other men. God created the offices of authority, and exalting them makes a society great. Disrespect of authority is a widespread problem in our profane and rebellious world.

Solomon wrote as a monarch, when a king and princes had great authority. They had the power of life and death, and there was no separation of powers, threat of a hung jury, meddling media, or any other limitation to ruling. The example in the proverb is a prince. Solomon gave you divine wisdom to help you persuade a powerful authority to consider your person and your cause. Much of life involves convincing others, so the lesson is key.

Forbearing is putting up with disagreement or poor treatment. It is patient longsuffering in the face of adversity. It is used here to describe a patient approach with authority. If you seek to persuade an authority to change, you must wait for them to consider your cause. Impatiently demanding their change will totally work against you. Wait for them.

A soft tongue is a metonym for gentle and respectful speech (Pr 15:1). It is so effective that it is described as being able to break the bones of a prince. Rather than arguing or debating your case, a meek and reverent appeal works far better. Aggressive and harsh words ignore their important office and attack the integrity of their authority. Instead of soberly considering your cause, they will defend their position and rank by rejecting you.

The lower you go in humility, and the higher you lift a person for their rank, the greater leverage you have with them. To the degree you protect yourself and dilute this reverent, gentle, and patient approach, you give up leverage. Wisdom is profitable to direct!

David skillfully used this wisdom appealing to King Saul for mercy (I Sam 24:1-22; 26:1-25). And Abigail, a beautiful woman with great understanding, used it to persuade David against revenge, when he was passionately angry against her husband (I Sam 25:1-42). Read these three chapters and focus on the choice of words of David and Abigail.

Child, a respectful and kind letter to parents will work far better than arguing or pouting. Both of these actions indicate you are a spoiled brat and deserve nothing. Thank your parents for their goodness to you, and declare your love and obedience to them. Humbly state your request. Remember to patiently wait for their answer. They do not owe you!

Wife, a reverent and submissive appeal to your husband, carefully chosen for timing and location, will work far better than haughty demands, presumed rights, or sexual deprivation. Remember, he owes you nothing on the spot. Patiently wait for him to consider your request. Sarah and Bathsheba called their husbands lord, and they obtained great requests from powerful men. Godly women give up their “rights” to gain freedom!

Employers and government should be treated the same way. A grievance for poor working conditions or an undesirable assignment is received much better when made with respect and patience than with demands, insubordination, or threats. Everyone knows state troopers respond better to respectful answers than arrogant ones.

The godly application of this wisdom will bring peace and prosperity into your life, and it will exalt godly authority in the earth by its careful and patient respect for those in positions of rule. The lesson here was penned by a brilliant king for your profit. Believe it. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of princes, be given all the honor due unto Him!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

 You think outside the box? Make sure it is not the box of the government God picked for you! God chose your government and each person in its offices. He will change it when it pleases Him, but you do not have the ability, duty, or right to even consider it (Dan 2:21).

 The most valuable proverbs for you are the ones you compromise or violate. It is human nature to love the proverbs that condemn others, especially your competitors or enemies. But real wisdom, had only by a few rare men, loves the proverbs that hit nerves and point up a problem with you. Are you humble enough and wise enough to fully trust God here?

God commands you to honor and obey civil rulers. This includes presidents, governors, mayors, sheriffs, clerks, and all public offices. God ordained these offices and chose the persons in them, so He connects your reverence of them with your reverence of Him! Here is basic wisdom for the glory of God and the peace of nations.

He further commands you to avoid those with revolutionary rhetoric, ideas, or plans. They are guilty of sedition and treason against men and rebellion against God, and they deserve damnation (Rom 13:1-2). As you do not want a spouse, children, or employees fomenting rebellion against you, it is your duty to set the same standard for civil rulers.

If you want a peaceful, prosperous, God-blessed life, submit to this proverb and its strict wisdom. God hates free thinkers and talkers, and those who read them or listen to them. He says, “Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (II Pet 2:10). You have opened God’s word for wisdom. Here it is. Take it, and prosper!

Are there times when we should not submit to the government?  We should never allow government to force us to disobey God.  Jesus and his apostles never disobeyed the government for personal reason; when they disobeyed, it was in order to follow their higher loyalty to God.  Their disobedience was not cheap: they were threatened, beaten, thrown into jail, tortured, or executed for their convictions.  Like them, if we are compelled to disobey, we must be ready to accept the consequences.

Willingly or unwittingly, people in authority are God’s servants.  They are allowed their positions in order to do good.  When authorities are unjust, however, upright people are afraid.  When authorities are just, people who are doing right have nothing to fear.  This provides our principal motivation to pray for our leaders, Praying for those in authority over us will also mean that we will watch them closely.  If we pray diligently for our leaders, we will be functioning as God’s sentinels.

You should follow the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, though being the King of kings, submitted to Caesar’s de facto government’s taxing authority over Israel and avoided all unnecessary political offence (Matt 17:24-27; 22:15-22). Later, exercising His sovereign rule of the world, He ended the nation of Israel in 70 A.D. and the Roman Empire in 476. He rules heaven and earth with a rod of iron, and no earthly ruler causes Him any grief.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 21:03 – To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”

Sacrifices and offerings are not bribes to make God over-look our character faults. We can’t exchange good behavior in one area for bad behavior in another. If our personal and business dealings are not characterized by justice, no amount of generosity when the offering plate is passed will make up for it.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 

People with tunnel vision, those who are locked into one way of thinking, are likely to miss the right road because they have closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective.  Seek out the advice of those who know you and have a wealth of experience.  Build a network of advisers.  Then be open to new ideas and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully.  Your plans will be stronger and more likely to succeed.

Under Gods Command

Judges 8:1-3 Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?”  And they criticized him sharply.  But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer?  God gave Oereb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands.  What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided. 

 Ephraim’s leaders felt left out because Gideon had not called them to join the battle, but had left them in place to “clean up” the escaping Midianites (“the gleanings”), and so they angrily confronted him.  Gideon assured the leaders of Ephraim that their accomplishment was even greater than his own clan’s (Abiezer).  His diplomatic explanation pointed out that this rear guard had managed to capture the enemy’s generals, thus cutting off the leaders from their army.  Not every necessary job is a highly visible leadership role.  Much of the necessary labor of any effective enterprise is considered by many to be dirty work.  But such work is vital to getting and big task done.

Lets bring it home: Engineers and millionaires may design and finance an elegant building, but it is the bricklayers who get the work done.  Pride causes us to want recognition.  Are you content to be God’s bricklayer, or do you resent the work God has given you?