Challenge: Follow your dream

I was at a Women of Faith Conference last year ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The theme of the conference was BELIEVE.

Simply: Believe.

And when I think of the word “believe”, a flood of thoughts come pouring through my mind.  You often hear motivational-speakers or motivational coaches say:  Believe in the impossible,

Believe you have it in you!

Believe and you will achieve!

Believe to reach that goal, dream, ambition or position in life.

And while these self-motivating phrases may be good and even noteworthy; WITHOUT Christ as the center of your dreams, goals or ambitions- what profit is it!!

Mark 8:36 reads

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Matthew 16:26,   “…Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Nothing.

And when we look around we see very many successful and famous people of the world, but so many giants and leaders for Christ!

And I believe Jesus wants us to dream and go far in reaching great heights for Him.  And I believe He wants us to do it as unto Him.

Are you dreaming? Good.

But who is at the center of your dreams?

 

Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:9 and Romans 10:9

Characteristics of a good Leader

1. Good leaders have a vision:

Proverbs 29:18 says,

             “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Knowing where the people or the organization will be one, five or ten years from now is essential.  They can not lead others to a place they themselves do not know of.   Weather building a carpet cleaning business, leading the fleet of a ship or a world-wide organization for orphans and the poor; bearing a vision is useful and beneficial.  A Vision, when adhered, provides a direction and a compass for the group, but also motivation for the end result.

2. Good leaders are diligent and determined in work.

They understand that anything worth getting require lots of work.  They are constantly seeking ways to improve and enhance their skills and are open to suggestions for expanding and developing the group they lead.  They are willing to work and promote the group, but are relentless in seeking improvements.  Sometimes going without sleep and working overtime to accomplish daily tasks and assignments.

3. Leaders make initiatives.

To lead a group you must be willing to reach new heights, cover new areas, etc.  Areas that were not covered before.  By definition, a leader leads!  They go ahead and in front of a group and are not afraid to move in areas of unfamiliarity.  They chart a course and thread in territories which were sometimes never thread before.  “Leaders do not wait.” – Myles Monroe.  Sometimes they don’t know where the road will lead, but the thought of not trying far outweighs the many rewards of having pursued the endeavor.

4. Leaders stay with the “flock” they are leading.

Imagine, not knowing how to ski, being told by the instructor, “Let me show you how to ski.” However, when you’re at the top of  a very high ski slope, the instructor says, “GO ahead of me!”  Leaders take/direct/lead the people to ther destination and not simply send them there.  They maximize the training [discipleship]  involved in the process.

5. Leaders recognize fake/ Protect followers.

Sheep and Shepherd relationship are frequently used in scripture. In John 10, Jesus describes this relationship. Sheep are interesting animals, for they know their shepherd.   Jesus says that the sheep recognizes the voice of their shepherd and when a stranger come, they “will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Thieves and robbers were used to describe others who seek to imitate, and confuse followers.  Leaders, like shepherd chase off wolves and lions no matter the cost.

They live a life of accountability, determination AND moral and ethical principles.

Virtues of a Woman of Character

This is a recent teaching on Character at Church of God National Women’s Conference

by Jovette Archer

Character –

´  a set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group, country, or so on.

´  **A set of qualities that make a group of people different or distinct from other groups of people.

Who Are We?

Genesis 2- WOMEN

´  18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable [suitable] to him.”           -NKJV

´  21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a WOMAN, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

´                                  “This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

Fearfully-Made Creatures

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

– Psalms 139:14

15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

-Psalms 139:15-17

Purposefully-made Creatures

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

– Jeremiah 1:5

Everything about you was designed by Him;

Designed exactly the way it is.

We are Purposefully designed, masterfully made.

How do we carry ourselves?

  1. Pure heart, pure motives and conversation.

1 Peter 3:1-2

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the CONDUCT of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

Chaste – pure or decent, simple or plain, clean and spotless

2. Strength & Dignity

´  She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

– Proverbs 31:25

´  She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

– Proverbs 31:17

3. Gentle & Self-controlled

1Peter 3:3-5

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible BEAUTY of a gentle (meek) and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

Meek – not creating disturbances

**biblestudytools.com

What attitude should we portray?

Proverbs 31:12-13

She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
And WILLINGLY works with her hands.

Ruth 2:13-15

´  “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

´  13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”

“She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

-Proverbs 31:26

´  Ruth 3:1-4

´  Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do…”

Proverbs 13:3

´  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips

´  shall have destruction.

Proverbs 31:20

´  She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

What is our self-portrait?

´  Women of Dignity,

´  Women of Respect,

´  Women of Confidence.

´  Women Chosen “for such a time as this” Esther 4,

God’s Great Grace

What is (this) Grace?

First, grace is undeserved favor. Undeserved acts of kindness and love.  People can show grace to other people.  That is, by showing love and kindness to someone that has not shown it to you.  By not bringing up their past or mistakes or wrongdoings.  Or by not being critical, or condescending of others, rather offering hope in their circumstance.

… All of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing.

–          I Peter 3:8-9

People can and even should according to scripture show grace to one another; but, Grace, true grace was first demonstrate to all of humanity for all time in the person of Jesus Christ.

You see mankind was in danger of dying without a relationship with God, their Creator.  Without reconnecting the bond that was broken when Adam & Eve, our first parents disobeyed God and ate of the tree, they were instructed not to eat. (Gen. 3:2)  In that moment man disobeyed God, ate of that tree, he was deserving of death. (Rom. 3:23)  Not just physical death, when one’s body stops breathing and it goes six feet under the ground; but an everlasting, continual, spiritual death and separation from God –> Seeing we ARE spiritual beings. (1Thess. 5:23)   This death was something even God could fathom happening his people he created.

And[a] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:16-17

The man(kind) he formed from the dust and gave a destiny and purpose to, was now in danger of death.(Gen. 2:7) Like any hero, He devised a plan.  He knew of this plan from the beginning of the world and that plan was this: “I will send my son, my one and only son, to take on man’s punishment.”

And this son = Jesus, will be and already has be punished in man’s place; that whoever believes in Him will receive God’s Great Grace and LIVE eternally. (John 3:16)

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.1   And raised us up together, … that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.2 —Eph.2:4-8

 

God’s Great Grace was sending his Son to die for our sins and LIVE. AMAZING!

Some Reference Scriptures: Ephesians 3:1-2, Proverbs 3:33-34

1.New Living Translation

2. New King James Version

How Envy gives false perspective

There is nothing worse than envy to break up close ties.

There is a story found in Luke 15 where a younger brother went and asked his father to give him his inheritance.  So the dad did, and gave him a good sum of inheritance money just as he requested.  Let’s say this son/younger brother name is Steve.  Before you could say, Savings Plan, Steve had spent all of it on parties, entertainment, gambling and harlots – contemporarily speaking.  Steve’s money had vanished and of course his many friends did also.

When he searched for a place to work, the only place he found was a farm area feeding pigs. Scripture says, “no one gave him anything.” (V.16)  Although he was in desperate need and wanting, no one gave him a plate of food, helped him find a job or lend a helping hand.  Things became so bad for him, that the husks he was feeding the pig with, he found himself longing to eat! Until he remembered that even his father’s servants had food in abundance and place of comfort to live.  Steve thought, “I should just join the servants’ staff at my father’s house, I blew being a son, a servant will do.  At least I know I will be fed!!!!”

When this prodigal, wayward, squandering son returned to his father, his dad DID NOT condemn him for his choices, but hugged and kissed him and threw a big celebration in his honor.  The bible says that they had “fattened calf” [sounds like fresh grilled streak to me].  (V.22)  Just that morning, Dad didn’t know if his son was still alive.  He didn’t know if his son was well; so now that he held him in his arms.  A big party seem nothing less than suitable red for this young man that had returned.  When the older brother heard of this big celebration for his prodigal brother.  Rather he refused to attend  the celebration.   The young man older brother simply could not catch the fathers perspective of having found a lost son.

The brother’s perspective should have been, yesterday and for five years, I had no idea where my brother was.  If he was alive or dead.  I had no connection and friendship with him for all these years.  We couldn’t speak to each other, do things together or go out for fun; but now I know my brother is alive and well and I can do things with my brother. We can now have a relationship.  Instead, the older brother griped, I have been in this house many years and no one celebrated and held a party in my honor!  These were brothers from the same family: they had the same parents, grew and live in the same house- One family, one organization, one church. Yet someone found a way to be envious and hold contempt for each other.

The family was designed by the creator for individuals to encourage, uphold each other, to share struggles and hardships together– to LOVE each other. Love your neighbor as yourself [the 2nd greatest commandment].   When one member of the family turns away from the others for whatever reason, it affects the entire family. Unity would no longer be present.  But they were of the SAME family and there was no room for envy and things of the sort!!

Is there something holding you from freely, and willingly loving others in your life.  Past hurts and disappointments, past griefs or personal shame.  Remember to leave the past, the past and like the Apostle Paul, press towards the mark that  is before!

And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. – Mark 3:25

Father,

Teach me to live as unto you, loving all those that you placed in my life.  Forgive and cleanse me of any envy

and jealousy and may your love and grace exude from me to a lost and hurting world around me.

In Jesus’ name.