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Daily Devotion

  • God’s Angel Armies

    Posted on April 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions [at least 60,000] of angels? Matthew 26:53

    Angels are at our Heavenly Father’s beckoning. They are poised at His prompting to support, protect and care for His children. Jesus could have called on a company of heavenly help, but He resisted and remained in the crucible of the Cross. He had an out for His suffering, however His great love led Him to sacrifice His life, so He could save mankind from sin. God’s angel armies are His agents who minister to our needs, but they may not necessarily deliver us from evil.

    Your Father in heaven has His angels assigned to your well being. They constantly experience the glory of God, so they can surround you with His glory. Since your angels see the face of the Lord, they are your support to face your difficulties. You have no need to fear, because the God of angel armies stands beside you, in front of you, behind you, above you and below you. You are covered by His host of angels. Thank the Lord of Hosts for His help in your time of need.

    See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:10

    Also, beware of bad angels who have fallen from the presence of God. Their pride drove them to displace God, because they wanted to be God. Lucifer lost the Lord’s favor and was cast into hell. Therefore, seek discernment to expose these impostors of angelic light. Oppose those who are counterfeit leaders, who lead unscrupulously in Jesus' name. These angels of darkness have dark motives that seek to darken our minds with selfish desires. Beware of bad angels!

    Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

    Above all, look for the angelic armies of Almighty God to defeat Satan’s forces on the spiritual battlefield. Like Job, your Heavenly Father’s strategy may be to use your faithfulness in the middle of suffering to disarm the devil’s plan to discredit your faith. Your obedience is oxygen to your spiritual lungs. Moreover, your angels adore the Lord with praise. Their example of genuine worship is worth emulating. Yes, your angels have God’s authority to support His will for you!

    After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. Revelation 18:1

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I bow at your throne of truth and trust you as my King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

    Related Readings: Isaiah 14:12-15; Acts 12:11-23; Hebrews 1:14, 2:7-9; Revelation 22:16

    Post/Tweet today: Since our angels see the face of God, they support us when we face fear. #angelsupport

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Making Your Mission Field

    Posted on April 11, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    from Hope TerKeurst

    "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

    My two sisters and I always wanted brothers.

    Prayed for brothers.

    Begged our parents for brothers.

    So when the decision was made to adopt two boys from Africa, my sisters and I were in awe the miracle was happening! Our mom and dad assured us it was real and God was behind it all—He had tugged at their hearts, He had prepared these boys and our family, and He had called us all to say "yes."

    Our saying yes to God as a family to adopt our brothers made me want to say yes to Him in all areas of my life.

    That's when I promised God my life would be His mission field and I'd be sold out to serving anywhere He sent me.

    When I was 14 years old, I went on my first mission trip to Nicaragua. I fell in love with the whole experience. Even though I had happily said yes, the trip was difficult. I was totally outside my comfort zone. But any initial craziness and chaos gave way to great joy and peace.

    The following summer I went to Ethiopia where I got to see a different way of life on the other side of the world. I experienced jitters being in a foreign land with a language, culture, and food I didn't understand, but the adjustment time was short and my passion grew great.

    Since that trip I have taken several more to Nicaragua, including one where I helped run a foot-and-shoe clinic. We welcomed everyone who visited the clinic, washed their feet, prayed for them, and then helped them choose a pair of shoes. It was incredibly humbling to serve the people from these two countries.

    They are grateful for their lives. Very few have anything of material value, yet their gratitude and joy flows without ceasing. They laugh, sing, dance, and give generously without holding back ... even to a stranger like me. I went to give. Yet, I was the one who received.

    I've found that when I say yes to God, a joy fills me and motivates me to be close to Him and to walk in His will. It makes me want to keep asking Him how He can use my life as a mission field, any where from my home to my hometown to around the world.

    We don't have to go overseas to do missions work. Opportunities are all around. Who has God placed in front of you that needs help? Who in your family needs support? Which friend has been struggling with a temptation or a broken heart?

    When God works through us to meet the needs of others—that's missions.

    Let's turn our everyday life into God's mission field. I think we'll be amazed at what He does as we step out of our comfort zone and partner with Him!

    Dear Lord, I want You to use me to love and bless someone today. Show me exactly how I can serve Your people, even if it's in the smallest way. I'm trusting You to move in my heart and in the hearts of those around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to be equipped and encouraged in her relationship with God? Read more about Hope TerKeurst's (Lysa TerKeurst's oldest daughter) journey of radical obedience as a teenager in What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God, co-written together. Click here to purchase your copy!

    Reflect and Respond:
    How can you bless those around you? Turn your everyday life into a mission field!

    Think about your job, your relationships, and your interactions with others as extraordinary opportunities to serve someone else.

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)

    Taken from What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God © Copyright 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst. Published by Harvest House Publishers Eugene, OR. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

    © 2013 by Hope TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Galatians, Mission

  • Throne of Life

    Posted on April 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. Luke 11:21-22

    Every life is ruled by self, Satan or a Savior. The desire for  control crowns self, the believer of lies crowns the devil, and faith in Jesus Christ crowns a Savior. Self and Satan are strong. They can sit on the throne of a man or woman’s heart, but the Lord is stronger. The only competent ruler of a life is God, because He is the originator and sustainer of life. He is all wisdom and understanding. Above all, the Lord deserves all worship and glory as ruler. He is King of Kings!

    If I try to reason what to do without God’s perspective, I lose the ability to make the best decision. I can seem strong as my possessions increase and I become smarter from evaluated experience. However, there is One stronger...Almighty God. It is foolish for me to crown myself King of my life when I am not qualified to do either: crown myself or be King. The enemy whispers vain suggestions of self sufficiency, but this is his plan to pull the strings of my pride.

    Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

     

    Therefore, we are wise when we surrender to the authority and power of Almighty God. We crown Him as King over our life when we submit to His rule over our attitudes and actions. Since Jesus suffered under a cruel crown of thorns for our sins, we can crown Him as our Savior and Lord. Oh, the gratitude and praise that flows from our hearts to think that our King would die for us. Indeed, King Jesus has no equal. He alone rules us with grace, truth, love and holiness.

     

    Have you completely and totally capitulated to Christ? Is every ounce of your being, being transformed by the truth and grace of God? It is in death to self that you find true life. It is in surrender to God that you find freedom in faith. It is out of respect for your Lord that you respect yourself. It is out of love for God that you love yourself and others. Bow, even lie prostrate at the foot of your Heavenly Father’s throne and He will lift you up strong in Him. He is your King!

     

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:7

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I bow at your throne of truth and trust you as my King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

    Related Readings: Psalm 5:2, 45:6, 46:4; Isaiah 37:16; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 20:12, 22:1

    Post/Tweet today: Since Jesus suffered under a cruel crown of thorns for our sins, we can crown Him as our Savior and Lord. #King

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke

  • How to Leave a Legacy

    Posted on April 10, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." 2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)

    Tod's family went to church faithfully. That's what they had always done. But once inside the brick walls of their home, the story was different. There the masks came off, and Tod and his little brother lived with the painful reality of their parents' bad choices. Living a double life became the norm for Tod, and he learned early that Christianity was something you put on with your church clothes.

    Summer, however, brought more than relief from school, homework, and the daily routine of life. Summer brought with it a short break from living in the craziness of his family, because summer meant time at his grandparent's home.

    Grandma and Grandpa Whitwer were humble people. They served alongside each other as ministers, sacrificially laying down their lives to travel from church to church in many different states. They served well into their retirement years, and never gave up ministering to others.

    Throughout the years they saw the pain of their son's choices, choices that drastically affected the lives of their grandchildren. But there was little they could do to intervene. At least it was little in the eyes of the world.

    What they were able to do had a lasting impact on Tod. Quietly and consistently, they showed their grandson love. Their never-wavering faith was an anchor. Their unconditional love was like water to a thirsty child. Their integrity was a light on a hill to a lost boy. Amel and Elise Whitwer gave hope to a young boy; hope that there was more to God and to this life than what he knew. Moreover, Tod learned that Christianity was something you lived out every day, not just on Sundays.

    Through the faith of two humble people, my husband and I learned that God's most effective influence often comes in quiet ways. God can change a life, and a generation of lives, using gentle, consistent, sincere people who love and serve Him.

    The faith of a godly woman ... the faith of a God-fearing man .... it changed my husband's life. It changed my life. And it is changing our children's lives. Never underestimate the power of faith, and a godly legacy, to make an impact over generations.

    Note from Author: Before Tod's parents passed away, we were blessed to see both of them receive healing and restoration, to God and to their families.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the model of faith You have given me through the lives of previous generations. Help me to honor those people who love and honor You. Like them, I long to be a woman who creates a legacy of faith to those who will follow in my footsteps. Help me be the woman You want me to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    The most impactful life-changer is the Bible! That's why we're excited about our brand new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, full of God's truth and our devotions throughout.

    Reflect and Respond:
    If your grandparents are still alive, take the time to write them a letter, or call them. If you are a grandparent, write your grandchildren a letter.

    Think of an older woman who has been a model of Christian faith. What are some of her most memorable characteristics?

    What can you do now to become a woman of faith who will leave a legacy?

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 55:11, "... so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." (NIV)

    Daniel 4:34b, "His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation." (NIV)

    Deuteronomy 7:9, "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 2 Timothy

  • Serve By Leading

    Posted on April 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. Acts 15:37-38

    Sometimes a critical circumstance requires the leader to assert influence for the good of the whole. There is no time for collaboration, since what’s best for the mission can’t be jeopardized. Good people can disagree, but the leader is responsible to do what he or she thinks is right. The risk of a failed project takes precedent over the risk of relational rejection. Hopefully there is eventual relational restoration when a leader wisely serves by saying no and clarifying the course.

    Yes, leaders lead. It is a disservice for the one in charge to not give direction when a situation is sticky. God places us in positions of authority to serve others by leading them down prayerful and productive paths. Followers look to leaders to instruct with integrity and intentionality. So, even if our ill timed decision meets the disapproval of someone we respect, we still move forward by faith. We serve by leading in doing the next right thing and trusting the Lord for His results.

    And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. Psalm 78:72

     

    You serve by leading when you reassess a person's past failure in light of lessons they’ve learned and their current faithfulness to the task at hand. Grace gives you permission to extend a second chance, working to restore someone’s youthful indiscretion that tarnished their integrity. Perhaps you take this occasion to bring a coworker back into good standing, so they have an opportunity to prove their trustworthiness. You serve by leading when you lead a friend back into faith’s fold.

     

    Lastly, you serve by leading when you lead others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. You lead well when the goodness of God wells up within you like the iconic geyser Old Faithful, intermittently boiling forth the refreshing fruit of the Spirit. The human heart is waiting for another human to lead them into an understanding of the Lord’s great grace. Indeed, the Spirit is interceding on behalf of unbelievers,  God will use you to introduce others to His Son Jesus.

    The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. Acts 8:34-35

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me courage to serve by leading others to know the good news of Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: Genesis 17:1; 1 Samuel 18:16; Isaiah 53:7; 2; Hosea 11:4; Timothy 4:11

    Post/Tweet today: Followers look to leaders to instruct them with integrity and intentionality. #leaders

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Serving, Acts

  • Entertaining 'Those' Thoughts

    Posted on April 9, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

    Elle's tiny hands hold tight as we fly high on the swing. Every time I visit, she runs into my arms, glad to see her grandmother but more excited about the possibility of walking to the playground.

    There's another playground I used to visit, one where I spent countless hours. It was the playground of my thoughts.

    When someone made me angry or when conflict arose and it hurt my heart, that's where I ran to entertain 'those' thoughts. I escaped there to think about all the things I should have said. Swinging high and then low, I reminded myself of how right I was and how wrong they were. Words or situations replayed, just like a child going in circles on a merry go round.

    In this playground I didn't have to deal with conflict in a healthy way, or speak the truth when it was needed. I didn't have to admit my own errors, because there I was always the hero.

    One day I sensed God asking me to leave the playground. Like Elle, I wasn't ready to go. But He took me by the hand and led me away to a place of grace for those who hurt me with their words, reminding me that we all stumble.

    God brought me to a place of well-being where I recognized that conflict takes place even in the healthiest of relationships.

    And He guided me to a place of letting go of those things I could not change, so that I could fully embrace those that I could.

    There were days I wanted to go back to my playground, but each time I saw a closed sign on the gate.

    Not for you, My daughter.

    Instead of hanging out in an imaginary place where I could avoid conflict and hurt, I embraced real life, with real people and real struggles. Although it took work to process hard situations, with each one I grew. It involved loving the people around me, enjoying each new day, and releasing hurtful events and people from the past.

    Our Heavenly Father knows when we struggle with our thoughts. They can be a place where we work through issues with wisdom and care, or a playground where bitterness sprouts and anger is fed.

    Is He taking you by the hand, like He did me so many years ago? If so, I celebrate with you. For He's leading you into growth.

    My prayer is that you'll swing high in day-to-day joys of real life as a strong woman of faith.

    Dear Jesus, I can spend hours in my angry thoughts, or thinking I'm the hero. Sometimes in my mind I put others in their place. That's a trap of the enemy. Today I shut the gate to the playground of unhealthy thoughts, with Your help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzie Eller

    Reflect and Respond:
    What thoughts are you struggling with today?

    Commit to leaving the playground of your mind. Choose a verse to meditate on, instead of negative thoughts.

    Power Verses:
    1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (NIV)

    Ephesians 4:26, "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger," (ESV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Philippians

  • Lead By Serving

    Posted on April 8, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God... After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:3,5

    A servant of the Lord is secure in  his service to others. Thus, those with the power share the power when they serve. Jesus showed the way. He knew He was the most powerful person in the room, but He leveraged His position for those around Him. He modeled humble service, so His followers would be inspired to follow His example. Jockeying over power is jettisoned when humility supersedes pride, gratitude overwhelms getting, and the glory of God is preeminent.

    Are you caught up in power plays and politicking for a position at work, in your church or any other organization? If so, let go of the drive to win and win over your competition with your heart to serve. Be reluctant to seek a role with greater responsibility, let it come to you. You are effectively equipped to handle power when it doesn’t have control over you. You lead best in a position of authority when you first bow to the authority of Almighty God. Lead by serving.

    The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. Luke 22:26

    Are you weighed down by the weight of leadership? Perhaps you pray about a partner or successor who can share the burden of being the person in charge. Trust the Lord to send you someone with a complimentary skill set who can earn the respect of the team. One plus one equals ten when two willing leaders join forces for the benefit of the whole. Yes, share the power with another servant of Jesus and enjoy the wise stewardship of spreading the responsibilities.

    Moreover, you may need to step away completely, so the team will take ownership and lead the movement or organization beyond your capability. Leaders who let go gain the most, but leaders who hang on too long hang themselves. Your greatest service of all may be your exit strategy. Trust God to lead you to your next assignment and bring behind you His next humble leader full of energy and ideas. The legacy of your leadership will linger long, even after the memories of how you served!

    Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me a heart of service like Jesus. I desire to give away power and rest in Your power.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 42:1; Luke 12:37, 22:27; John 13:13-16; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:7

    Post/Tweet today: You lead best in a position of authority when you first bow to the authority of Almighty God. #humbleleader

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Serving, John

  • The Right Words

    Posted on April 8, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances." Proverbs 25:11 (NASB)

    Church receptionists are powerful people. Just think about it. If your church's receptionist is a godly woman, the congregation, visitors and callers benefit from her kindness, wisdom and patience.

    But if she gossips ... gracious! Think how a lack of discernment, wicked words and malicious intent can spread. One person in a powerful position can poison the entire church.

    Mona, the receptionist at my church, always used her position for good. Situated at a desk at the entrance of the main office, she greeted every person walking through the door and answered each phone call personally. Mona was known not only as a wonderful receptionist, but as a godly woman.

    When I was a young woman in a leadership position, I was advised to seek out Mona as a mentor. It wasn't long until the tapestried bench in front of her desk became one of my favorite spots. I poured out my heart for the women of our church, and Mona joined me both to pray and to recruit the older women. I approached her with problems, and she helped me find wise solutions. I cried when my feelings were hurt and she urged me, "Beloved, run to Jesus!"

    I learned so many important lessons sitting on the bench in our church's office, but the most important one was modeled rather than taught aloud.

    I've always lamented that if we were given the life verse most fitting our untransformed self, mine would be Proverbs 10:19a, "Too much talk leads to sin" ... tattooed on my forehead. Mona taught me (a woman who struggles with an abundance of words) to be wise and discerning with words.

    Mona modeled discretion when my careless words abounded.

    I talked and talked, but watched as Mona listened carefully to everyone.

    Mona prayerfully paused before speaking, while I spoke without thinking.

    I voiced my own thoughts but responded in awe as Mona often spoke directly from God's Word.

    As time went by, I prayed and worked to emulate my mentor. Although I still wrestled with overusing words, I became much more sensitive to their power. I tried to follow Mona's godly example by using words carefully, stopping the constant flow of chatter and re-directing potentially negative conversation to be God-honoring.

    Several years passed, and I thought about Mona's life-changing influence as I packed for a move. Before I left for our new town, I wanted to find a gift to thank her for all the hours she had poured into me. I looked and looked for the perfect memento, until suddenly my eyes lit on a metallic, silver and gold apple pendant.

    Immediately, I thought of the verse which often came to mind when thinking of Mona, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances" (Proverbs 25:11 NASB). Wise words are valuable and precious, lovely and uncommon. I purchased the pendant, wrapped it carefully and took it to the church.

    As I gave Mona her gift, my eyes welled while thanking her. Without even knowing, she had taught me the priceless lesson of the beauty of well-chosen words. I pray I am doing the same for others in my life.

    Dear Lord, refine my words until they become lovely, pleasing to You, and uplifting to the people around me. Please help me stop words in mid-breath that dishonor You and tear down others. This transformation isn't easy, so I plead for Your power at work in me to change me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women includes devotions by Proverbs 31 Ministries authors who are learning, alongside you, how to make our words lovely and God-honoring!

    Reflect and Respond:
    How are you doing with words? Make a point to listen to yourself today.

    Thank a friend who is wise with her words and start to take note and learn from her.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 10:19-20, "Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value." (NIV)

    James 3:2, "We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Leadership and Friendship

    Posted on April 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

     

    Lead first and be a friend second, for an effective and efficient enterprise understands that leadership trumps friendship. As the old saying goes, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Wise and intentional leadership is necessary for the health of the organization;leadership is watered down when friendships dictate strategic direction. Friendships should forge the team but not unduly dilute excellent outcomes based on courageous leadership decisions. If a leader is preoccupied with what a friend may think or do, then he risks diminishing his decision for the sake of sparing someone’s feelings. Politics are not the plumb line. The values and principles of the organization are the standards by which leadership decisions are made.

     

    Friendship can become a fruit of wise leadership but it is not meant to drive wise leadership. Indeed, loyalty to friends is an important and valued attribute of an effective leader. But do not allow loyalty to cloud your rationale of what’s best for the team. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for the team and your friend is to either fire him or reassign him. Be sure your leadership is grounded in principle so your friendships will not get in the way of doing what’s right. Let a friend know up front how much you value him, but not to the detriment of what’s best for the business or ministry.

     

    Friends can be the hardest or the easiest to lead. It all depends on your and their expectations. Does your friend perceive you as a partner or a boss? Is your perception of your friend one of high value or just one of expedience that gets results? Lead first in humility, courage, and clarity. Let your friends know up front what you value as a leader and how they fit into the big picture of organizational success. Constantly ask, “What’s best for the team?” instead of “What does my friend want?” You lead first by defining the role of friendship on the team, and you keep leadership a priority by not playing favorites. This promotes teamwork and defuses jealousy.

     

    Lastly, wise leaders make hard decisions, even when it adversely affects a friend. This protects the integrity of the organization. Paul felt this tension when he decided that his friend, John Mark was not mature enough for the responsibility of a mission trip: “Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work” (Acts 15:37-38). Balancing leadership and friendship isn’t always easy.

     

    Post/Tweet: Be sure your leadership is grounded in principle so your friendships will not get in the way of doing what’s right. #leadingfriends

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Leadership, Friendship

  • Attractive Evangelism

    Posted on April 6, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35).

    Love is irresistible for those in search of a Savior. Everyone whose heart aches for authentic relationship will take notice when seeing Christians love one another. Parents who encourage and build up their sons and daughters are a magnet to their children’s friends who live lonely lives in discouraging and disruptive home environments.

    Have you thought of your home as a sanctuary for seeking souls? Every time a neighbor drops by, a friend stays overnight, or you host a party for your child’s team, you have an opportunity to model the love of Jesus toward those you know and to those whom you meet for the first time. Leverage love for the Lord, and He will draw people to Himself.

    “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).

    Being a disciple of Jesus does have its benefits, and being loved is close to the top. When you placed your faith in Christ, you became a giver and receiver of Christian love. So do not resist the righteous care that Christ followers extend on your behalf. Be glad you model the love of God’s children that can melt the hearts of outside observers. “Why,” they ask, “do people give so much, expecting nothing in return?”

    How do you intentionally love your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you share relationships, money, your vacation home, your primary residence, or your car? It may be showing up during a health issue, praying for a job interview, babysitting their little one, or mowing their grass. Unbelievers take notice when believers lavishly love each other.

    “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

    Our capacity to love is limited only by the Lord’s capacity to love us, to love in us, and to love through us. His love removes our insensitive heart and replaces it with sensitivity. The Almighty’s agape love arranges our priorities around the needs of others first and ours second. His love first comforts pain in people waiting for the appropriate time to administer truth. This level of unconditional love is a conduit for the lost to know Christ.

    “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11–12).

    Prayer: Am I receiving God’s love? Whom do I know who needs my unselfish love and attention?

    Related Readings: 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 3 John 1:7-8

     

    Post/Tweet: Our love first comforts pain in people,waiting for the appropriate time to administer truth. lovingevangelism

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with John, Evangelism

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