The Greatest Need of our Day – COURAGE!

In the myriad complexities of this tech savvy world, filled with challenge and responsibility, one can feel overwhelmed. Pressure, challenges, tests, relationships, time crunches…do not require another trip to the gym, a better vitamin or supplement, or a better nights sleep. I believe the greatest need of our day is courage. The comforts of the […]

In the myriad complexities of this tech savvy world, filled with challenge and responsibility, one can feel overwhelmed. Pressure, challenges, tests, relationships, time crunches…do not require another trip to the gym, a better vitamin or supplement, or a better nights sleep. I believe the greatest need of our day is courage. The comforts of the familiar are gone, our upbringing is not enough to navigate a planet populated by now over 7 billion people, daily, we must face the fear of the unknown.

courage baby

Yet, we were never designed to face these things alone! Jesus, is with us!

He will never leave us nor forsake us. We can be strong in Him, and the power of HIS might.

This morning, these words from the Scripture leaped off the page at me:

Joshua 1: 7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Just like God spoke to Joshua so many years ago, I feel Him speaking to me today from these passages:

BE STRONG! BE COURAGEOUS! I AM WITH YOU!

May you join me in this incredible journey Jesus promised, this life and life more abundantly.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come – carpe diem – ‘Seize the Day!’

Now faith is, Today is the day of salvation, His steadfast love never ceases, but His mercies are new every morning – His name is I AM!

future known

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I need You! I seek You today. Jesus, lead me, and rule and overrule all my distractions, fears, and discouragement, as together we face the future unknown to me, but fully known to You, I love You Lord, Amen’

Glorify God in YOUR Body!

Glorify God in YOUR Body!
therapist

As I read one of my textbooks for graduate theology I came across this quote:

1 Corinthians 6:20

NKJV “therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
TNIV “Therefore honor God with your bodies”

This example was chosen to illustrate that, on occasion, changes to the original text were made by copyists for theological reasons.  The words “and in your spirit, which are God’s,” though found in most of the late medieval Greek manuscripts, do not appear in any early Greek evidence or in the Latin-speaking church in the West.  Had they been in Paul’s original letter, it is nearly impossible to explain how/why they would have been left out so early and so often.  But their late appearance in Greek manuscripts can be easily explained.  All such manuscripts were copied in monasteries at a time when Greek philosophy, with its low view of the body, had made inroads into the Christian theology.  So some monks added “in your spirit” and then concluded that both body and spirit “are God’s.”  While this is true, these additional words deflect Paul’s obvious concern with the body in this passage and are thus no part of the Spirit’s inspiration of the apostle.

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003

glorify-god
As most of you know, I swam on the varsity team during my undergraduate years, but after graduation, I became born-again, and left competitive sports right after. Problem was, I completely left off all exercise, and instead of staying in shape, I did not enter into another fitness program really, for almost ten years. Not healthy! Poured myself into work, prayer and ministry, and eventually, in 2009 had a mini-stroke, blacking out at the wheel while driving down a local highway here in Oklahoma. Fortunately doctors, meds, and discipline had its way with me, and I lost a pile of fat, began to watch my diet, and hit the gym again.
make-time-arnold
I know these verses:

1 Timothy 4:7

But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
1 Timothy 4:8

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
So I began the disciplines of prayer, Bible study, weekly church attendance, financial stewardship, and carefully watching my words, my attitudes, and managing my time.

Yet what about bodily exercise?
leg-day

I mean, I want to be all that I can be in Jesus, 1 Tim 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little..

So, I will take a little profit!

So, over the past twenty five years of life and ministry I have watched great Christian leaders, and watched their walks with the Lord, and noticed a couple of things.
temple-stretch

Seems many Christian leaders, both in ministry, or whatever field of endeavor they find themselves involved in have often let themselves go physically.

I have wondered if a regular exercise program is a waste of time, or could actually help one in our pursuit of the press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Well, amazing thing about common sense, is that it is not always very common.

Clearly, there are tons of benefits from regular exercise, from stress release, to hundreds of clear health benefits. Think about Jesus for a minute, he walked everywhere, and ate non-processed natural foods, and clearly He was not only healthy, but not only not sick, but so full of the life and power of God, that He healed the sick.
food-health
We are created in the image of God, and we need to honor God in our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit.

That means getting in shape, cutting the fat, and becoming strong in the Lord, and the power of His might.

I was speaking this week with a friend of mine that does missions trips like I have, to native American reservations, and takes a team of people to build something for them while there. His lament, and I agree, is that often local pastors cannot help with the actual work, because they are so out of shape physically, obese, or struggling with diabetes, or some other diability, that prevents them from hard manual labor that is a joy, to those of us that are in shape.

Come on leaders,

2 Thessalonians 3:9

Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
strong-example

Not sure how to say this really clearly, but it is true nonetheless: When you are strong, people respect you. When you are strong, you are able to lift others up…

So much more can be said here, and perhaps I will edit this at a later date, but let’s pray:


‘Father, help me to add a fitness program to my life, that will glorify You. Strengthen me, and give me the courage and discipline to lose extra weight, and to get into shape physically, that I might be strong in Your Lord, and in the power of Your might. I ask this Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’

The Greatest Need of our Day – COURAGE!

In the myriad complexities of this tech savvy world, filled with challenge and responsibility, one can feel overwhelmed. Pressure, challenges, tests, relationships, time crunches…do not require another trip to the gym, a better vitamin or supplement, or a better nights sleep. I believe the greatest need of our day is courage. The comforts of the familiar are gone, our upbringing is not enough to navigate a planet populated by now over 7 billion people, daily, we must face the fear of the unknown.

courage baby

Yet, we were never designed to face these things alone! Jesus, is with us!

He will never leave us nor forsake us. We can be strong in Him, and the power of HIS might.

This morning, these words from the Scripture leaped off the page at me:

Joshua 1: 7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Just like God spoke to Joshua so many years ago, I feel Him speaking to me today from these passages:

BE STRONG! BE COURAGEOUS! I AM WITH YOU!

May you join me in this incredible journey Jesus promised, this life and life more abundantly.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come – carpe diem – ‘Seize the Day!’

Now faith is, Today is the day of salvation, His steadfast love never ceases, but His mercies are new every morning – His name is I AM!

future known

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I need You! I seek You today. Jesus, lead me, and rule and overrule all my distractions, fears, and discouragement, as together we face the future unknown to me, but fully known to You, I love You Lord, Amen’

Courage Scripture

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

courage angels

Acts 4:23
[ The Believers Pray for Courage ] As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.

29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

courage2

Let’s pray like they did!
“Father, you see the threats and brutality of Islam, ISIS, and other enemies of our faith, freedom, families and the gospel. NOW, Grant us boldness in preaching Your Word, and stretch forth Your hand, and may mighty signs and wonders again be wrought through the name Your precious Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen’

Manhood – A Bit of Redneck Righteousness

Redneck Righteousness – A challenge to manhood

redneck Jesus
It has been said that a Redneck is a guy, who grew up country. A rough and ready kind of guy, that is a man of action, taking care of business. Strong.

I originally wrote this on veterans day, a time to honor freedom, and the men who give it to us…

Most of you who know me, know that I have worked construction many years, and co-owned a millwork company in the rough and tumble of Oklahoma for seven years.

Here I think of some of the oilmen, ranchers, construction workers, military, police, and firemen I have met over the years, that would embrace these seven claims to manhood.

Men who love God, their families and this country.

Seven Claims of Manhood

1. A Man keeps his word – Word given, word kept

redneck word
Ps 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

Heard a preacher preach this verse one day, made me chuckle: Psalm 50:9 (RSVCE) |
9 I will accept no bull from your house

redneck bull
Our words should count! We do not need to be cute and full of show and no go. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, and you will be respected.

Read Job 29, the whole chapter and see what a man of God, respected in the community and by God looks like:

I pick it up here in verse:
8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth

Be that man!

2. Finishes what He starts:

redneck finish
Re 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Re 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

If you bit off more than you can chew: chew! Get yourself some help if you need to, but finish what you start. The world is full of dreamers, schemers, and wanna be’s. Be a man of conviction, if you start something, finish it.

redneck excuse
3. Keeps a good name –

Many of you know, my father served 32 years as a naval officer. I grew up on military bases all over the place, but have learned that no matter where in the world you are, you need to keep a good name….

Pr 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Ec 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

redneck nameWhy is the day of our death better than the day of our birth? Because if we have served God, when we die, we enter into our eternal reward, the rest of the Lord we have worked our whole life for.

Don’t get all proud and haughty over this one. What I want to say here is stay faithful to God, and stay in the fight. When you do, you will end up with a good name, God Himself will make sure of it. You don’t need to blow your own horn:

John 12:26
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

All these people running around promoting themselves, get outta the rat race. You are not a rat, you are running a different kind of race.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

God is not deaf nor blind. If you seek Him first, and put Him and His Word first place in your every decision, your promotion will come, and nothing and no one can stop it. Keep learning, growing, developing, and He will open doors for you that no man can shut.

Psalm 75: 5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another

Servanthood, honesty and hard work will promote you, God has set these things in the earth for our eternal development, embrace the process. Read, learn, and grow…Push your limits, find a way around your limitations…

4. Attends Church –

redneck church
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Need some more reasons? Read this: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/

Find yourself a good, life-giving, Bible believing church, where you can raise your family in truth. Shop if you need to. You do not need to attend the one you grew up in, if it is poison, and an inbred brood of snakes. Go somewhere with vision, where you can worship, serve, love people, and walk with Jesus.

reneck be church

Never let your church become your God, Jesus alone reserves that place…six men

5. Protects and Provides for His Family, Home, Community, and nation

redneck work
1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Go to work!

Proverbs 14:23
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

The old saying: ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’ has some truth in it. Intending to do something, and doing it are different animals. Get busy with what you know to do, and plan your work, and work your plan.

If you have been around the block a couple of times, we have all seen the latest greatest ‘get rich quick’ scheme, and truth be told, some of them actually work, IF YOU WORK THEM! There is no free lunch in life. Whatever you put your hand to, you gotta work at, and not half heartedly, go for it!

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

We only have one life to live, and living in light of eternity, with passion, purpose, enthusiasm, determined to write your eternal testimony on the fabric of HISstory is honorable.

reneck Christ

We are all going to die one day, but not today: so let’s bust a move and get something done, make something happen.

Live in such a way, that the great cloud of witnesses in heaven is leaning over the balcony, cheering you on, and each day,
you are putting a smile on Jesus face. I’m not wimpering through death’s door, with a whine of ‘Phew! I made it’, nope, when I hit heaven, it will be with a shout, yelling: ‘Jesus! That was a rush! Now where is David, Paul, and those mighty men I’ve been reading about?’

I’m going out with a shout!

redneck one life
6. Helps folks in tragedy or with the poor

Isa 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

De 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive

Pr 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Pr 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

Pr 29:13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Was complaining to a buddy one day, about the homeless guys at the intersection panhandling, that would not work. This wise friend of mine said quietly: ‘I know we can’t give them money, or they will only drink it, so I keep a box of fruit, bottled water, granola bars and stuff in my console, so that when a guy asks me for something, I can at least give them something to eat.’

Made me think back on all the times I’ve been dealt a brutal turn in life, and been knocked down. Gotta help folks…

Wisdom, love, we are all gonna meet God one day, and if we need mercy, we need to give it…

Pr 29:14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

Help your neighbor, your co-worker. If a guy goes to jail, visit him, and pray with him. If someone loses a loved one, love them, help them get their affairs in order, transition. People leave a big hole when they go, I know, buried eight of my family at one point, felt like a walking zombie for those years, like I’d been sucker punched. Great people walked with me those years and saw me through, now it’s my turn to be one of those great people…Someone ends up in the hospital, go see them. See someone without food or clothes, help them or point them towards help, love children and be a good example to them.

Be strong, stay fit, so that you can help the weak:

There might be someone needing help moving, or a vehicle needing pushed off the road somewhere. The Bible says to glorify God in your body, and to remain strong in the Lord. Be strong!

7. Submits to Righteous authority and Rebukes and prays for unrighteous authority.

Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

A man of God works hard, and fights to keep his word, strong in the love of God. When he sees someone playing games pretending to know something he doesn’t he is not afraid to speak up and be heard, silencing foolish men.

Jesus is a man under authority, and so are we. We honor just laws and uphold the honor of God and this nation. We are also not afraid to rebuke unjust, corrupt laws, as Deitrich Bonhoeffer said: ‘Silence in the presence of evil, is evil.’

redneck speak
You want respect and authority, you must learn to first submit to righteous authority. Jesus did it, so can you.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Mt 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

If you think that you are like a wild stallion, that no one will ever put a rope on you, sign up for the military and learn honor.

You will respect authority, if you want to be respected.

We are to pray for authority, asking God to give them wisdom and help.
1 Tim 2:1 ¶ I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Notice this verse: We pray, so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives, godly and honest.
I get angry when I see television constantly blasting leaders, politicians, or anything honorable. We may hate what a leader is doing, and cannot respect him. Respect the position, not the man! Pray for the office of the President, even if you do not like our current president.

You can stand against abortion, same-sex marriage, lying, bribery and corruption in government, and Islam, and still honor the offices of people in authority. We may hate certain decisions they make, but we can still pray for them, and honor God’s authority in this nation.

This is the verse we have used in our men’s group at church:
1 Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

This is a very simple look at manhood. I have written a number of articles on manhood:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-four-stages-of-manhood-the-age-of-the-patriarch/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/four-stages-of-manhood-fatherhood/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/four-stages-of-manhood-manhood-part-two/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/the-four-stages-of-biblical-manhood-part-one-boyhood/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/manhood-a-bit-of-redneck-righteousness/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/no-bull/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/the-warrior-heart-of-god/
I think I still need to write one on the importance of a man keeping his word, or watching over it to fulfill it. Sure, stuff comes up, and we cannot always do what we planned, but we can always pick up the phone, and communicate what we are doing, letting people know why we are doing what we are doing: respect…

redneck respect
Let’s pray:
‘Father, make us men of honor, responsibility, respectable, strong, and courageous. Give us wisdom how to treat all people, and to treat all honorably. Make us men of prayer and action, quick to seek you for direction, quick to correct our mistakes, quick to forgive, love, and make wrongs right. Raise us up as pillars in our families, communities, and this nation, in your name we pray Lord Jesus. Amen’

Leadership – The Fate of the World Depends Upon It!

Leadership - The Fate of the World Depends Upon It!

 The Eleven Leadership Principals:

On top of my daily disciplines of prayer, confession of God’s Word, and Bible study, I have determined to read many great books, as the Holy Spirit directs. A man I met, Jim Stovell, has disciplined himself to read a book every single day. This might be remarkable in and of itself, but Jim is legally blind! His mind however, processes information at such a pace, that he had the books narrated, and he is listens to them, often at an accelerated pace, to maintain this daily discipline in his life! I had the privilege of meeting Jim in the waiting room of the Golden Eagle broadcasting television studio, as we were both preparing to film segments of Tom Leding’s television show. In the brief 15-20 mins that Jim and I visited, I quickly realized that I was in the presence of an extremely rare individual, and this has proved true in subsequent encounters with Jim.

I set myself a discipline of reading two good books a week, in January of 2013, and have possibly exceeded that goal this year, devouring good, edifying books, like a parched man would drink after several days in the desert.

The Bible, the Word of God, is the final authority in my life. As I read any book, on any topic, I am always mining it for truth, revelation, keys of knowledge that will better equip me to become a better man, husband, father, leader, and minister of the gospel, determined to make my mark on this generation with the Word of God.

What began as a reading list from Professor Jane Malcolm of Oral Roberts University, has primed my intellectual and spiritual pump so to speak, and helped me develop a life style of continued personal growth, study, prayer, and pursuit of excellence.

My topics of passionate interest are:
1. Leadership, morality and integrity.
2. Christian life and world missions.
3. The history, plight, and spirituality of the North American Indian.
4. Racism, and how to aggressively defeat it.

One of the books on my reading list, is ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, first published in 1937. Mr. Hill spent 25 years of his life, developing his 13 principals of success, by researching, and interviewing 500 of the wealthiest and most successful men in America in his day. Yet, I am no student of mere leadership. Hitler and Stalin were able to move the masses, yet their legacy of evil, probably earned them eternal damnation. I wish to lead for Jesus, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, writing HIS story, on the tapestry of time, the brief sliver that is my generation.

I am reminded of Jesus own words, and cautioned by them, whenever I read any other source, than the infallible, canon of Scripture:

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

This is an image file scanned by a Microtek scanne

There is a literal Heaven, and a literal Hell, and my study, purpose, and actions are governed by a healthy love of the former, and fear of the latter.

Mt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The fear of God, is the beginning of wisdom, and the purpose of my study, is always the pursuit of wisdom, graciously passed down through the generations, through the written word.

John the Baptist uttered these words, during the earthly ministry of Jesus:

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Though they were written to describe the superiority of Christ, over the ministry of John the Baptist, yet how much more applicable are they to each or us, that would seek to lead, build, and change the world, leaving it a better place for generations to come?

Only in Jesus, is there found eternal life; only His gospel, has the power to breath that eternity into any human heart. Only what is done for Him, has eternal consequence and reward…

Jesus is Lord

 

So, as I read the wonderful principals of Mr. Hill, I am interpreting them in light of my understanding of the Scripture, to be sure that the principals he expresses are not only applicable in the 1930’s in America, but rather upon the solid rock of the Word of God, eternally established in the heaven’s, for all ages!

The Eleven Major Attributes Of Leadership by Napoleon Hill

1..UNWAVERING COURAGE – based upon knowledge of self and ones occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.

Napoleon-Hill

While I agree that leaders must have unwavering courage, I do not agree as to its source. It is good to study, learn, grow, and understand our particular fields of endeavor, but true courage, must come from God, and God alone. All true leadership is God given, and it’s principals can be mined, understood, and applied, through study of the Word of God.
Here are some verses to develop true courage from, as true faith only comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God:

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

In this verse, God instructs His people how to act, in war, in the presence of their enemies. Strong, courageous, because we recognize we have a covenant with Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, is with us, and if God be for us, who can stand against us?

We see leadership granted to Joshua, after the death of Moses, first by Moses, then by God Himself, and in each case, both Moses and God command this leader, to do, exactly what Mr. Hill would counsel: Be strong, and of good courage!

Deuteronomy 31:7
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.

Joshua 1:7
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Obviously, if God, who cannot lie, in His holiness, gives a commandment, He must give the power, grace, and strength to fulfill it! God commands us to be strong and of good courage….Therefore we can, and must be!

Boldness – 3954 παῤῥ ησία parrhesia par-rhay-see’-ah

AV-boldness 8, confidence 6, openly 4, plainly 4, openly + 1722 2, boldly + 1722 1, misc 6; 31

1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
1a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment
1b) without ambiguity or circumlocution
1c) without the use of figures and comparisons
2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance
3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

Ac 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Ac 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

2Co 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

So we see here that strength, courage, and boldness are all qualities of leadership, granted by God, that come by faith. So, let’s ask our heavenly Father for these, Let’s pray:

‘Father, I see Your commandments to be strong and of good courage, and how the Holy Spirit granted boldness of speech and action to the early leaders of Your church, so I believe if You did it then, You will do it now, in my life, in this generation. I ask you for strength, courage, and boldness of speech and action, to lead for You in this, my generation, for the glory and honor of Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

2. Self-Control

self control

“The man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.” Napoleon Hill

I agree with Mr. Hill here, self control IS an essential element of leadership, but the question I must ask is, where does self-control come from? Can we read a book on it? Take a course to develop it? Learn it at the feet of a seasoned mentor?
I would state, that true self-control comes from God, the Holy Spirit, operating in the heart of a person, fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

Proverbs 16:32
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

Proverbs 16:32
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

So we see here, that true self control, is the control of one’s heart, or our very spirit.

1 Timothy 3:2
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

The word overseer here translated into modern English and culture, as ‘leader.’

I have learned this about God: He never gives us a commandment in his Word that He does not give us grace, that is available power and strength to fulfill.

Self-control, is a fruit of the born-again, developed, human spirit, and heart, by the process of the Word and Spirit of God.

Gal 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

I have learned, that fruit is grown, developed, and produced, over time, through a walk with God, allowing the cross to meet our selfish passions and desires, and the Word and Holy Spirit to go deep into our souls, and root us deeply in the love of God. Gods love is patient and kind, and does not lash out in anger at people, but puts up with their development, graciously, as a parent with a child.

Yes, self-control is an essential part of leadership!

Let us humbly ask Holy Spirit to impart to us, this gift of heart:
“Father God, no matter what is going on, I ask You to grant me self-control, to not act from emotion, or situational ethics, but only by the principals of Your Word, and the direct leadership of Holy Spirit. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

3. A Keen Sense Of Justice

justice

“Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.” Napoleon Hill

Micah 6:8
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

If we believe, we are called of God to lead, we govern ourselves in respect, reverence, and a healthy fear of God, causing us to act responsibly, equitably, and honestly, in all of our dealings with people.

justice jesusMatthew 23:23
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Though I chose the King James Old English version of this verse, I did it on purpose. Jesus, in rebuking religious leaders of the days He walked the earth, spoke of the weightier matters of the Word of God: judgment, mercy and faith. These are often ‘the heart of the matter’ in dealing with people, we need to look not only at what they have done, but often, why, before we judge….

Hebrews 5:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

We must grow in this, over years of study of the Word of God, developing our conscience, to accurately know good from evil, and what is appropriate in each case.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

God loves each of us equally, but does not treat us all the same. He treats us based upon His Word, and our personal development. To whom much is given, much is required.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

As leaders, we must daily, seek God’s wisdom in our daily affairs, and as our responsibility grows, we all find ourselves, like Abraham Lincoln did:

Abraham Lincoln met crises on his knees! During the Civil War he once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.”

Rather, than wait for crisis, why not prepare for the responsibilities and challenges of the day through prayer:

‘Father, grant me a razor sharp sense of discernment, justice, equity, and fairness in all my dealings with people. Show me clearly when to say and do, or when to merely pray, and leave the results to You. Lord Jesus, I ask You for Your heavenly wisdom today, and each day, Amen’

4. DEFINITENESS OF DECISION:
“The man who wavers on his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself . He cannot lead others successfully.” Napoleon Hill

James 1:8 (KJV) |
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways

This is true. No matter how much research, counsel, study, and prayer we must perform, before we make a decision, after we announce our direction, we must stick to it, without compromise.

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

Not much to pray here. When you know clearly what to do, DO IT!

5. DEFINITENESS OF PLANS:

vision
“The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical definite plans, is like a ship without a rudder, Sooner or later, he will land upon the rocks.” Napoleon Hill

I remember a quote my dad made, as a naval officer with 32 years of service. When I had made a radical life change at one point in my life, to get out of a horrible relationship he succinctly stated:
‘Son, course corrections can be brutal in life, but shipwrecks are fatal”

 

Our business or ministry plan is like the rudder of our ship, and we use our words, work and deeds to make happen, what we believe is God’s will for our lives, we must stay with our plan, avoiding distractions or obstacles to our stated purpose.

compass1 chart

The classic Scripture quoted in almost every Christian leadership conference I seem to attend is this:

Habakkuk 2 King James Version (KJV)

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith

In verse two, we see the practical business of getting a ministry, business, or project moving, on-time, on schedule:

1. Write the vision: If it is worth doing, it is worth writing down. Notice the emphasis here is on DOING. I have seen supposed ‘think-tanks’ that take a God breathed idea, and choke it by paralysis by analysis. Sure it is good to look at possible scenarios and outcomes, and plan for them, but leaders, LEAD. Action is their middle name, and the vision, written plainly, should speak loudly, with a strong call to action implied in its writing.

2. Make it plain – Leave the research, articles, and underlying thoughts in the appendix, or footnotes. Make the vision PLAIN, simple to understand, clearly articulated, and blunt if nessesary. This is not a research paper, rather a call to action, a plan to be implemented, with measurable time lines, schedules, and yardsticks for measuring goals accomplished.

3. That he may run, that readeth it: Make it so easily understandable, and doable, that when other workers come alongside, to make their part of it work, they can do their job, quickly, with excellence, and with minimum of friction to other team members, vendors, or customers.

Let’s pray:

‘Father, help me to create clearly, Your vision for that which You have ordained me to create or contribute to, adjusting it accordingly, as You add to it, in easily understandable terms, so that the people called alongside of me to get this great work done, can do their part with speed, accuracy, and excellence, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

6. THE HABIT OF DOING MORE THAN PAID FOR:
“One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.” Napoleon Hill

extra

Mt 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

‘The extra-mile highway, is the road less travelled…’ business proverb.

One of our company slogans that we borrowed from popular business jargon was “UNDERPROMISE AND OVERDELIVER’.

My previous company was a finish carpentry company. We did this, as a company, on purpose, on every job we performed, in general. Here is what we would do:

Our primary market was upper end homes, and nicely pannelled offices. When we bid the job, we carefully deliniated the scope of work that we would perform, for a given price. Yet, our craftsman were so skilled at what we did, that we were usually able to run through the fixed scope of work, pretty quickly, as the design part was already done, and we could simply go by another cute motto: ‘If you can see it, we can saw it’, providing quality woodwork, quickly, on time, on budget. Yet, we too know how to design, and as contractors, were often in a lot more exotic building projects, than the average homeowner, or even designer or architect. On top of this, we were constantly reading architectural magazines, and looking up pictures on the internet. When we found something that would provide a real centerpiece to an office or home (might be a cool ceiling treatment of beams and coffered ceiling, or perhaps a mantle, stair detail, or office pannelling treatment), we would offer it to the client at our hard cost, or sometimes, for free, on the condition we could take pictures, or show future clients through to showcase our work. In every project, we endeavoured to throw in at least one of these exotic ‘freebies’, knowing that discerning architects, designers, builders, and the clients friends would see what we did, and would covet our services. It worked well for many years!

Jesus said: Mt 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mt 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mr 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
Mr 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, help me to under promise, and over deliver, with a servant heart, keeping my word, and exceeding my commitments, by Your grace and power. I ask this Lord Jesus, in Your mighty name, Amen!”

7. A PLEASING PERSONALITY: “No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader, who does not grade high on all aspects of a Pleasing Personality.” Napoleon Hill

people

I personally don’t believe in evolution, but I do believe strongly in personal growth. My brutish, callous ways are not acceptable as a leader, they reflect poorly upon Jesus, myself, my family, and the image of the organization I am called to lead.

Ec 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

I believe that leaders should exhibit excellent people skills, and this goes deeper than mere outward actions. People intuitively know when you care for them, and hold their best interests at heart. Boils down to love. Mr. Hill calls this a pleasing personality, but I call it the love of God in operation. Sure, we can be movers and shakers, getting things done, with stilletto focus, and tough on making goals and deadlines, but we can still exhibit kindness, respect, concern, and gentleness and mercy to those we are called to lead.

I heard that Andrew Carnegie made the statement that the difference between a $50,000 per year manager, and a million dollar per year executive was only in the way they treated people.

people1

Pr 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Psalm 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Yes, we are to be strong, courageous and bold, but not ruthless, brutal, and so direct we crush everyone around us. Empower people, don’t break them….

Let’s pray:
‘Father, give me favor, and ways pleasing in Your sight, that even my enemies might be at peace with me, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

8. SYMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING; “The sucessful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them, and their problems.” Napoleon Hill

sympathy

Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Lu 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

I heard of a Japanese leadership style, that requires all auto executives, to work a full week on the assembly line, so that they can better understand not only the process, but the daily grind auto plant workers face each day, so that they can be more understanding and  compassionate (and I’m sure, intimately aware of the production process, to ensure not only better production, but probably better working conditions for their staff).

2Co 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
2Co 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Life can be hard. Make it easier on the next guy, wherever possible.

Let’s pray:

‘Father, Your gentleness, love, mercy and compassion for me, are what has caused me to become great. Protect me from pride, and the brutality of my own self will, that I might be gracious, compassionate, merciful, and understanding with others. I ask this, in Your mighty name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

9. MASTERY OF DETAIL: “Successful Leadership calls for mastery of details of the leader’s position.” Napoleon Hill

detail

John Maxwell says: ‘Those that don’t organize, agonize’.

Good quote.

There are administrative or organizational gifts that are given to people, directly from God. If you don’t have one, quickly ask God for one, and surround yourself with people who can help you with this. In order for any organization to run smoothly, there must be an administrative process. As leaders we must implement, and oversee these processes, and then refine or eliminate them if they become too cumbersome.

1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Rom 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, help me to fully organize and administrate, with excellence that which you have given me to lead, grant me gifts of administration I pray, in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

10. WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY: “The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift the responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of the followers made a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.” Napoleon Hill

responsible

Leadership Equals Responsibility!

Let’s read:

Joshua 7:1 ¶ But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.
4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
6 ¶ And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!
8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!
9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
10 ¶ And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

In this account, one man, Achan, had stolen some articles of demonic ritual, but notice God’s response: v11, Israel has sinned!

Joshua, in crying out to God, and taking responsibility to seek Him, for understanding, got the entire nation of Israel, delivered.

Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 ¶ And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Daniel assumed responsibility for the sin of the entire nation of Israel before God!

God can hear and answer the prayer of a leader on behalf of their entire organization for deliverance and blessing, and it is clear from these verses that He will hear and answer if the leader is right with Him!

LEADERSHIP EQUALS RESPONSIBILITY!

Let’s pray:

Father, make me responsible, and strong enough to never blame shift, that which I am responsible for. Give me faith, to trust You to show me how to handle any problem I might face in my leadership, and courage to take decisive action to rectify it. I ask this Lord Jesus, again, in Your name I pray, Amen’

11. COOPERATION: “The successful leader must understand, and apply the pricipals of cooperative effort, and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for POWER, and powers calls for COOPERATION.” Napoleon Hill

unity peace

All that Mr. Hill has discovered here, is the Biblical principal of unity producing power.

People will help you, for much more than a paycheck when you are following God accurately:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…If you are doing the right things, the right way, in right timings of God, people with you will count it an honour to serve…

Every leader must bring unity of vision and purpose to his or her team.

unity mother teresa

Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ps 133:1 ¶ «A Song of degrees of David.» Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

In this psalm, we see the principal taught, unity produces a commanded blessing from God!

unity victory

The problem in this is the account given to us in:
Gen 11: 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Here we have people unified, around an ungodly purpose. God Himself destroyed their work and purpose.

It is critical then, that whatever we intend to build, must be according to the will of God. The ends do not justify the means!

unity

This is the end of Napoleon Hill’s eleven principals of leadership, and they are good!

Yet, without Jesus, they have no eternal worth or consequence.

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I believe that putting God first, in all of are affairs, is the most important thing we must do, no matter what it may appear to cost, personally, at the time.

Jesus had 12 disciples, one was a traitor, so 11 is a good number to choose by Napoleon Hill!

If for some reason, you have not yet met Jesus personally, and accepted His gracious offer of forgiveness and eternal life:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!