Archive for June 2018

A MANDATE

1 Cor 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. 15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. 

1 Cor 16:13 (NASB) Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

There are two kinds of people and men: 1) Those who are living mainly for themselves and their ambitions: 2) Those who live mainly to serve others. 

The end of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church offers sound advice for men and fathers (and everyone by example). Be on the alert

  1. Stand firm in the faith
  2. Act like men
  3. Be strong
  4. That all that you do be done in love

Greek word for "act like men" means, "to make a man of, or make brave...to show one's self a man, be brave"

Brave definition: Ready to face and endure danger or pain

Here’s a good question: How does a man act?

A MALADY

There are a lot of negative perceptions about men. Part of this comes from the bad things that some men have done that are highlighted over and over again. This bad behavior gets assigned to all men, especially black men. 

Frederick Douglass said in a different day and time: "You degrade us and then ask why we are degraded. You shut our mouths and ask why we don't speak. You close your colleges and seminaries against us and then ask why we don't know.

A MOTIVATION

Good men are already motivated to do the right thing, even against all odds. 

If you encourage and honor a father and a man, that will empower him raise above all challenges and shortcomings.

What blesses men and fathers is honor. A lack of honor for fathers and men is reflection of a lack of honor for the Lord. Remember this Scripture, 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

In his book “Honor’s Reward,” John Bevere shared the following: The greek word for honor literally means “a valuing.” The picture is one of something valuable, precious or weighty, such as gold. Other definitions: appreciation, esteem, favorable regard, respect.

Flattery is insincere praise, especially that given to further one's own interests.

The antonym for “honor” is “dishonor” or to treat as common or ordinary, to not show respect or value.

Honor can be shown in actions, words, or thoughts, but all true honor originates from the heart. This is what the Pharisees and most religious leaders in Jesus’ day lacked. This is why they lacked power and moral authority.,

Even Jesus had to deal with a lack of honor and is hindered the release of God’s power.

Mark 6:1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. 4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

What I have seen all of my life is the extraordinary things that men do in service to the community, family, business and ministry. Just here in Indy, there are men I have met and worked with who “act like men” in extraordinary ways. We have men who are well known doing great deeds, but we also have men acting like men under the radar.

Men like Brian Carter, Denell Howard, Derris Ross, Jonathan Thompson, Robert Townsend, Jim Strietelmeier, Eugene Potter, Anthony Beverly and many more 

 

Godly men won't lose motivation for a lack of honor, though he might lose heart. Motivation is the will to act and do what is necessary and right. Losing heart is to lose confidence or to stop believing that you can succeed. Godly men do not throw their hands up in defeat. Motivation has to be inward. This is something that separates men from boys. Boys have to be told what to do. Men know what to do.

 

If you waited for someone to encourage or help you to do something, you would not get a lot done. Help and encouragement follow action – and it often comes from unexpected places and people.

 

Later in life, and especially after your father is gone, you will appreciate how much he loved you, how much he did, how hard he worked. Don't let people hear all that at his funeral, tell him now. That’s way I honor my father with words and deeds.

 

The Bible says "Honor your mother and faith." A lot of people don't understand what honor is or how to honor.

 

How does honor affect our identity and blessings in life?

Mark 6:5 – Jesus goes to a city looking for the messiah – “Now he could do no mighty work there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”

What really got my attention was that he could do no mighty work. I understand if he would do no mighty work. He says “could” do no mighty work. He was restrained.

We’ve got to know what restrains Jesus, because if we know what restrains him, we’ll know what restrains us.

A lack of honor and reducing Him to something lesser and familiar, blocked the blessing they could have received from him. To his family, friends, and neighbors, Jesus was just the kid down the street, or “the carpenter.” He was more than his occupation, but “familiarity” hindered their ability to see beyond the natural.

Jesus comes to this city that is looking for the Messiah, and the result is that even though he comes with the spirit of God without measure, only a few people get healed. They get a small reward because of honor.

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Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles [strategies]  of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Strategy: A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall objective.

Tactic: The actual means used to gain an objective,

The devil overall aim is to hinder and disrupt God’s plan in the lives of believers and prevent unbelievers from coming to faith in Christ. 

His tactics involve the use of dark spiritual forces, people, circumstances, and our own carnal minds. The most effective strategies are specifically designed and tailored to disrupt you.

 

Some well know strategies and tactics of warfare:

1. When the enemy is too strong to attack directly, then attack something he holds dear. Somewhere there is a gap in the armour, a weakness that can be attacked instead.

2. Delay entering the field of battle the others have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves. 

3. Never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its position. Instead lure him away from his position thus separating him from his source of strength.

4. Prepare a trap then lure your enemy into the trap by using bait. In war, the bait is the illusion of an opportunity for gain.

5. When faced with an enemy too powerful to engage directly you must first weaken him by undermining his foundation and attacking his source of power.

6. Disrupt the enemy's formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training. 

We also see this tactic manifest as “hidden agendas” were people keep something purposely hidden from people, usually authority figures, in order to accomplish a usually illegitimate, illegal, immoral or self-serving purpose.

7. Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

8. Defeat the enemy from within by infiltrating the enemy's camp under the guise of cooperation, surrender, or peace treaties.

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Expectation: The Key to Excellence in Leadership and Follow-ship

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You. And to the saints who are on the earth, "They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."(Psalms 16:1-3)

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)

Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Philippians 3:1)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:7, 17)

Expectation defined: The state of one who looks forward to something; Expectancy, Anticipation, Something that is expected; Hope, Intention, Motive, Notion, Prospect

Expectation is cultivated by focus, placing our attention to the right/best things, having high standards, mutual submission, and good ethics.

One of the greatest things we can do for one another, and for ourselves, is to have high expectations. We live in a world of low expectations followed by low achievement and low morals. It has been shown that people will rise to meet the reasonable expectations of parents, leaders and other key persons in one’s life.  Leadership and fellow-ship are essential ingredients.

Leaders’ and followers’ characteristics and expectations. 

We all alternately lead and follow. How will we follow creates moral authority to lead. Leadership and follow-ship must be in balance as it relates to mutual responsibility and covenant relationship.

Philippians 2: 2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others

LEADERSHIP

L oving support, direction, and re-direction when needed 

E ncouragement during difficult seasons

A ccountability to others

D evotion to God in every area of life

E ffective prayer life that bears fruit

R eadiness to go first where others are expected to follow

S teadfastness in doctrine and service

H igher goals and standards which lifts others to new dimensions of living

I ntegrity and honesty in all dealings

P reaching and teaching anointed of God, born of extensive preparation

FOLLOW-SHIP

F earlessly, strongly and visibly support recognized leaders

O pen heart to new understanding and new directions

L ove your leaders with covenant love; do not allow others to “run them down” 

L earn from their example; be inspired by the works of God manifested through them

O ppose satan in any way he tries to manifest himself; cover your leaders and God’s vision through intercessory prayer and supplications

W ork and move constantly toward the stated vision and shared goals; search for the wisdom of God in helping to bring the vision to pass

S upport leaders publicly and privately, recognizing the enemy’s efforts to “smite the shepherd and scatter the sheep”(Zechariah 13:7)

H helping leaders by responding quickly and removing concerns

I  nsight on mission, messages, methods

P reared to serve when called upon and helping when not called upon

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