Paul

Wisdom

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Last week I began a slow journey through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. They were a fleshly group of people who melded their faith in Christ with many values from the culture – wisdom being one of them. Take a moment to read Paul’s words.

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;” (1 Cor. 2:1-6)

Consider these questions:​

  1. How do you evaluate a speaker or one who ministers in the name of Jesus?
  2. How does Paul suggest we should evaluate them?
  3. In your ministry, what do you rely on?

Take a moment to offer your thoughts and reflections to the Lord.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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False Leaders

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Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14)

Those of us who participated in the committee that authored the False Leaders document, feel like Paul. We have become far more aware of our motives, our actions, our impact on the people we serve and what we teach.

None of us has attained perfection, but we are more determined, by His grace, to be more like Jesus in the way we lead, what we teach and how we treat people.

With this in mind, we invite you to download and read it. We are each looking inward as we compare ourselves to Jesus’ standards.

We also invite you to pass this around as a resource to people you think might value it for their own life or ministry.

Here is the link to the False Leaders page.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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Remember

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I did a personally significant study about a year ago when I looked at Paul and Peter and what their focus was in the later part of their lives. We have record of their priorities when they knew they only had days or weeks to live in 2 Peter and 2 Timothy.

Peter and Paul used these letters to remind people and their close associates of important things. Below is a portion of Paul’s words to Timothy. Take a few moments to read this portion. What does the Lord bring to your mind as you read?

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim. 1:3-7)

If you have time, read through the rest of 2 Timothy and see what else Paul’s reminds Timothy.

What do you think the Lord wants to remind you?

Maranatha,
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That Day

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These past few weeks, I have been privileged to participate in a mentor group via Skype with younger leaders from Colombia, Argentina, Togo, Nigeria, Vietnam, Norway and Ireland. We have been delving into what it means to lead in light of eternity. The discussions are rich and I am regularly challenged by their insights.

One passage jumped out at me this week. Paul was at the end of his life and knew that, as a prisoner of Nero, he only had days or weeks to live. This is what he wrote in that context:

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:6-8)

Take a few minutes to reflect on these verses. “That day” is coming for each of us. With the perspective of these verses, what is it the Lord is saying to you?

Maranatha,
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