Who are You Leading For?

I recently had a conversation with a church leader who had just finished his term on his church’s leadership board. He shared that this had been his fourth term, and he had never been so relieved to see a term end. He shared how many complaints he had received, and difficult discussions he had been a part of. He felt like his time on the board had been a failure because so many people seemed dissatisfied. Here’s something thats very interesting though. By many measures his church experienced one of the best periods in its history. Worship attendance, membership, baptism, children’s ministry, and youth ministry all set all-time highs. The church is seeing people come to Christ like never before, and is doing a lot to better their community. They’ve taken a renewed interest in global missions, helping to plant churches and encourage and support missionaries like never before. The church is doing God’s work in incredible ways, and yet this leader has been completely beaten down by the feelings of a few. 

We are all leaders, whether we like it or not. We are all leading our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, and our friends, even if we don’t have an official church role. Here is my big question for today: as leaders, are we predominantly serving God or people? Here’s what I mean by that. Are we seeking to lead based on Biblical principals and the movement of the Holy Spirit, or are we seeking to simply make people happy? I know I sometimes find myself seeking to make people happy rather then pursuing a Biblical purpose. Like the leader I mentioned at the outset, sometimes I simply don’t want to make people unhappy, so I listen to them rather then listening to God. Now, is it good to make people happy? Yes, but not if it is at the expense of living out God’s purposes. 

Take a look at Nehemiah. Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. At first the people of Israel were behind him, but then things got difficult. The work became harder, enemy nations began threatening them, the financial burden increased, and people started complaining. In fact, Nehemiah 4:12 tells us that TEN TIMES groups came to complain to Nehemiah, to get him to stop doing God’s work. These were not outsiders, but Nehemiah’s own people. Here was Nehemiah’s response:

Do not be afraid. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. Nehemiah 4:14

As you lead for God people will inevitable become upset, leading to complaints and perhaps even unrest. In those moments remember that our service is first and foremost to God. Remember to trust that he is great and awesome, and to remind those who are struggling to trust in Him as well. Following God’s ways has always led His people to face opposition. But, following God’s ways has always led to God’s ways proving to be the best. Let’s always be leading for God instead of being led by the feelings of people. 

Everyone Is Called

1 Peter 2:10New International Version (NIV)

10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Every Christian you see has at least two major callings in their life. The first is the call to use your vocation for the Glory of God to bless other people. The second is the call to make disciples.

All to often we assume that only the people in ministry carry that obligation or calling on their lives. I have been privileged to live both in the day to day world and in ministry. But, guess what? Most of my opportunities came through my work as a builder in my day to day life.

It is important to realize that most people put up walls to people who are in ministry. To be truthful, in ministry, people want you to pray for them and solve their problems. In the secular world most people are not looking for you to solve their problems as to what they need to do. Most people look for that door. They are looking for advice our counsel.

I have found that in those moments in my day to day life, people are more open to hear the Gospel Message. You get to share your story. This is one awesome feeling knowing that Jesus used you to help someone find Him.

So, use that call on your life. You are called to use your vocation for His Glory, and you are called to make disciples. In essence, men, we are all called to advance His Kingdom.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Exodus 25:22New International Version (NIV)

22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

During worship God meets with us and speaks with us. That is an incredible thought. Our God wants to meet with us and speak to us. This next week in Vital Men, we are going to look at what it means to hear God’s voice through worship.

Most men struggle with how this works. Are you going to ask me to stand, lift my hands, and sing? Before we look at that question, let me pose another. What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do?

Think with me. You are in church, or you are in your vehicle, or maybe you are out in nature. How do you position yourself before the Great High God?

This past week I had the opportunity to get alone for three days and chase the Father. As I was out on a walking trail. I had music playing. I was in full worship. It was God, me, the trees, the eagles, and the deer. I was praising and worshipping. 

One of the songs I was using to worship was from Hillsong, ‘I Surrender’. I was walking fast. I had my hands up. There were tears falling as I sang ‘I’m desperate for you’. What a worship time it was. The Holy Spirit met with me and spoke to me. There is nothing better than being in His Presence.

Men, we have a powerful teaching this next week. Do not miss the blessing of what God has for us. We can hear His voice through worship.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

STAND!!!

II Timothy 3:12-15  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Where do you stand?  What are your convictions?  There is a whole, big mess of a world today, and if you don’t know who you are (a child of God), what you stand for, where your convictions reside, you are going to get swallowed up in the filth.  And that ain’t good, my friends!  

God has a plan for you, a purpose, His purpose.  Do you believe that?  You better, because it is truth.  God tells us over and over, throughout scripture.  A key element of that purpose is being representative of God, loving Him first, above all, and illustrating that.  

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Straight from the lips of Jesus Christ, we have here a command.  Let our lives serve as a testament to God’s eternal glory!  What’s that look like?  Simple, if it gives you pause, if you know that you wouldn’t do that or say that if Jesus were standing next to you, don’t, because He IS standing next to you!  In addition, you are His reflection in the mirror of this world.  When others see you… hear you, let it be Him.  You never know the impact God has meant that to have on another’s spiritual health. When you fall on your face, ask His forgiveness, pray for strength to get back in the fight and assistance from Him to combat it more effectively next time.  Engage in the battle.  When you feel God compelling you to a course of action, a thought, a phrase, engage!

Since man’s fall, the world has been an evil, dangerous place, no question.  Recently, however, it feels as though the insanity is multiplying exponentially.  Daily, christians are facing an ever increasing frontal assault.  The voice of opposition grows louder and louder in an all out attempt to bully you and I into silence.  Satan wants to shame us, shut us up, crush our confidence and render us utterly inconsequential.  Where do you stand?  When faced with opposition or opportunity, are you resolute?  Are you heeding God’s call in your day to day life or are you shrinking away, staying silent?  In those moments, opportunities, that God places before us, we must prayerfully ask, “how would you have me proceed Lord?”  Then, we must act.  We must represent the love and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Temper the anger, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the course you should take.  

Go out in to this difficult, hostile world, stand resolute and representative of God.  Do not be bullied, do not stay silent, be bold and courageous.  Remember, you ride on His shoulders!  I’m going to leave you with some words from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

The Long Haul

We live in a society that promotes a ‘get it now’ mindset when it comes to satisfying our carnal desires.  Eat as much as you want at our 50’ buffet, Buy now – pay later, use this and the women will swarm around you like flies, do this and you will get rich with little effort, there are lots of promises to make us feel better.  When you just live life for each moment, you lose sight of any long term purpose you are serving with your life.  While it takes more discipline, foregoing short term pleasures for long term gains is more beneficial to both you and others.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t splurge on ice cream once in a while, but keeping a more distant perspective can help us make better choices now and avoid regrets down the road.  Simple life lessons that we often forget. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  James 1:2-3

It is much easier to run harder when you can see the finish line.  I had to help cover for a co-worker for a couple months, and I actually enjoyed the new variety, especially since I knew the extra workload was only for a set time.  I have been given additional responsibilities without an end time, and these quickly become much more tedious.  I am currently playing Mr. Mom for two young children while my wife is away for 2 weeks, and while the extra work is not always convenient, knowing it is only for a season is helpful.  As we were reminded this past week, even experiencing several cloudy, grey days in a row can lead us to start yearning for the sun again.  I often wondered how Moses and the Israelites kept going after wandering in the desert for the 33rd year of waiting on the promised land.  Maybe they held out hope because it was exactly that…a promised land.  They trusted God to fulfill his promise.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Maybe it is human nature, but we always seem to want what we don’t have, while taking for granted what we do have.  We often overlook the blessings that our family, job, friends, etc. are in our lives.  At the same time, we selfishly long for a bigger or better house, car, bank account, family…and the list goes on.  We are dissatisfied and grumble with our current situation and what we have or have not, and may blame God after pleading with him and seeing no change, often when we are unwilling to change ourselves.  We lose sight of what is most important for the lesser things of this world and become blind and lost in the darkness, though there is a light.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:4-5

So, where is your hope?  We can all be fooled into the mentality ‘If I only had x, my life would be better’ for so many times before we start to see the emptiness of these promises.  When we put our hope in things and how we feel and the status of our current situation, we are destined for discouragement, and lots of it.  When we look beyond our world of materialism and longing for what we don’t have, we encounter things that last.  Things like faith, hope, and love.  As the song states “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness.’   So, when you get discouraged, be reminded to look up, see beyond your current situation and put your hope in the One who has always been and will be forever. 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Trusting in Christ,
Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW

Sign me up!

  • Yes, I would like to receive the the Vital Men Daily Devotion email. Sign me up!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.