1-3-4-Profiles of Leaders

These profiles of the New Testament, are both good and bad, weakness and mistakes, strengths and accomplishments, and key lessons are included:

Joseph

The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to suffer for those beliefs.  Joseph was a man with strong beliefs.  He was prepared to do what was right, despite the pain he knew it would cause.  But Joseph had another trait – he not only tried to do what is right, he also tried to do it the right way.

Joseph trained his son, made sure he had good spiritual training in Nazareth.  Joseph knew Jesus was someone special from the moment he heard the angels words.  His strong belief in that fact, and his willingness to follow God’s leading, empowered him to be Jesus chosen earthly father.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • A man of integrity

  • A person sensitive to God’s guidance and willing  to do God’s will no matter what the consequence.

Lessons from his life:

  • God honors integrity

  • Social position is of little importance when God chooses to use you.

  • Being obedient to the guidance we have from God leads to more guidance from him.

  • Feelings are not accurate measures of the rightness or wrongness of an action.

Herod

Herod is remembered as a builder of cities and the lavish rebuilder of the temple.  But he also destroyed people.  He showed little greatness in either his personal actions or his character.  Herod’s costly attempt to gain the loyalty of the people failed because it was superficial.  His only loyalty was to himself.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • Was an effective though ruthless ruler.

Weaknesses and Mistakes

  • Tended to treat those around him with fear, suspicion, and jealousy.

  • Although claiming to be a God-worshiper, he was still involved in many forms of pagan religion.

lessons from his life:

  • Great power brings neither peace nor security.

  • No one can prevent God’s plans from being carried out.

  • Superficial loyalty does not impress people of God.

Matthew

More than any other disciple, Matthew had a clear idea of how much it would cost to follow Jesus, yet he did not hesitate for a moment.  Two  changes happened to Matthew when he decided to follow Jesus.  First, Jesus gave him a new life.  Second, Jesus gave him a new purpose for his skills.

Matthew’s experience points out that each of us, from the beginning, is one of God’s works in progress.  Much of what God has for us  he gives long before we are able to consciously respond to him.  He trusts us with skills and abilities ahead of schedule.  He has made us capable of being his servant.  When we trust him with what he has given us, we begin a life of real adventure.

And God has no less meaningful a purpose for each one of us.  Have you recognized Jesus saying to you, “Follow Me”?  What has been your response?

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Responded immediately to Jesus’ call

Lessons-from his Life

  • Jesus consistently accepted people from every level of society.

  • Matthew was given a new life.

  • Matthew immediately tied to bring others into contact with Jesus.

We have glamorized vice and minimized virtue. We have played down gentleness, manners, and morals – while we have played up rudeness, savagery, and vice. We have reverted to the barbaric era of tooth and claw,” “the survival of the fittest,” and the philosophy of “might is right.”… We have heard the modern expression “Don’t fight it – it’s bigger than both of us.” Those who are meek do not fight back at life. They learn the secret of surrender, of yielding to God. He then fights for us!

The Bible says: “For as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity… even so now yield your members servants unto holiness” (Romans 6:19).

Instead of filling your mind with resentments, abusing your body by sinful diversions, and damaging your soul by willfulness, humbly give all over to God. Your conflicts will disappear and your inner tension will vanish into thin air.

Then your life will begin to count for something. It will begin to yield, to produce, to bear fruit. You will have the feeling of belonging to life. Boredom will melt away, and you will become vibrant with hope and expectation. Because you are meekly yielded, you will begin to “inherit the earth” of good things which God holds in store for those who trust Him with their all….

(From The Secret of Happiness by Billy Graham)

Living and cooperating with others requires God’s help. Are there people in your life who need help? Encourage them today with a letter or phone call. Let them know of your love for God and your commitment to them.

Mary-Lazarus’s Sister

Hospitality is an art.  Making sure a guest is welcomed, warmed and well fed requires creativity, organization, and teamwork.  What kind of hospitality does Jesus receive in your life?  Are you so busy planning, and running your life that you neglect precious time with him?  Or do you respond to him by listening to his Word, then finding ways to worship him with your life?

Strengths and accomplishment:

  • Learned when to listen and when to act.

Lessons from her life:

  • The busyness of serving God can become a barrier to knowing him personally.

  • Small acts of obedience and service have widespread effects.

Peter

Jesus’ first words to Simon Peter were “Come, follow me” (Mark 1:17).  His last words to him were, “You must follow me” (John 21:22).  Every step of the way between those two challenges, Peter never failed to follow-even though he often stumbled.

When Jesus entered Peter’s life, this plain fisherman become a new person with new goals and new priorities.  He did not become a perfect person, however, and he never stopped being Simon Peter.  He chooses people who could be changed by his love, and then he sent them out to communicate that his acceptance was available to anyone – even those who often fail.

We may wonder what Jesus sees in us, when he calls us to follow him.  Are you willing to keep following Jesus, even when you fail.

Weaknesses and mistakes

  • Often spoke without thinking: was brash and impulsive.

Lessons from his life

  • Enthusiasm has to be backed up by faith and understanding, or it fails.

  • It is better to be a follower who fails than one who fails to follow.

James

James enjoyed being in the inner circle but he misunderstood Jesus purpose.  Our expectations about life will be limited if this life is all we can see.  Jesus promised eternal life to those willing to trust him.  If we believe  this promise, he will give us the courage to stand for him even during dangerous times.

Lesson from his life:

  • Loss of life is not to heavy a price to pay for following Jesus.

For many people, it is less difficult to commit the present. Many recognize that we are helpless in regard to the future, but we feel as if the present is in our own hands and must be carried on our own shoulders.
I knew a Christian woman who had a great “burden” in her life. Her concern caused her to lose sleep and her appetite, and soon her health was in danger of breaking down…. She recognized, however, that she could in no way alter her circumstances and therefore resolved to try a new plan.
She took her circumstances to the Lord. He handed them over to His management. Then she simply believed from that very moment that He took them. She decided to leave all responsibility, and her mental worrying and anxious feelings, with Him, too.
Of course, all of these tormenting things tried time and again to return. And each time, she took them back to the Lord.
And so she felt a new light dawning within, and felt flooded with the gladness that comes when we know we belong to God. By applying this simple secret, she discovered it is possible to obey God’s loving commandment, contained in the words: “Do not worry about anything.”
The inevitable result is that the peace of God, which comes when we step beyond our understanding and into trust, will take hold of our heart and mind.
From “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life” by Hannah W. Smith)
God expect Believers to exercise faith and obey his leading, even when they face challenging obstacles. Although we might not find a way, God can. Faithful disciples wait patiently for him to work. What are your big concerns and worries? However imposing they may be, commit them to the Lord. Begin a conversation today with a close friend by explaining how God is working in your life. Ask the friend to pray with you.

Martha

Many older brothers and sisters have an irritating tendency to take charge, a habit developed while growing up.

Martha worried about details.  She wished to please, to serve, to do the right thing.  As a result, she found it hard to relax  and enjoy her guests.  She learned that worship begins with silence  and listening.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • Believed in Jesus with growing faith.

  • Had a strong desire to do everything right.

Weaknesses and mistakes

  • Limited Jesus power to this life.

  • Expected others to agree with her priorities

Lessons from her life:

  • Getting caught up in details can make us forget the main reasons for our actions.

  • There is a proper time to listen to Jesus and proper time to work for him.

John the Baptist

John did not aim at uniqueness for its own sake.  Instead, he aimed at obedience.  He knew he had a specific role to play in the world and he put all his energies into this task.  John remained faithful to that calling.

People were moved by his words because he spoke the truth.  God has given each of us a purpose for living, and we can trust him to guide us.  God can use you in a way he can use no one else.  Let him know your willingness to follow him today.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • A fearless confronter

  • Uncompromizing

Lessons from his life:

  • God does not guarantee on easy or safe life to these who serve him.

  • Doing what God desires is the greatest possible life investment.

  • Standing for the truth is more important than life itself.

Revival

Refreshed (2 Timothy 1:16) is a word from which we derive our concept of revival.  It means “to throw open a window so fresh air can come into a closed-up, stale room.”  A fresh wind from God revives His people, His church.  The effects extend for some time, giving fresh revelation from Scripture, a new commitment, and deeper experience with the Lord Jesus.  When revival comes, crucial elements often facilitate and fuel it.  God may send renewal, for example, when we admit our desperate need for it to take place.  Many are oblivious to the need, but God always has people who understand their condition and long for His renewed presence in the church.  We have seen some of then in the New Testament’s time.  Are our Christian Leaders ready.

The Bible is clear about what it takes to experience life-changing, church-changing revival: humility, seeking after God, and repentance (change).

“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin  and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

God is more willing to move on our lives when we humbly confess our emptiness than when we think we  are spiritually full.  Our admitted emptiness is a sign of humility, a confession that we are powerless to produce in ourselves and in our church the fullness of His character and grace.  It is an admission that we need something greater than we can do for ourselves.  It is a recognition that we are broken before God and  need Him to work in us through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our admitted emptiness enables God to break out in our lives so He can break into our church and spark revival.  Our admitted emptiness recognizes our need for God’s divine touch.  To experience true  revival, every church needs to know what it means to humble themselves and be broken before the Lord.

Second, a real seeking after more of God will hasten a move from God.  Many people do not have this kind of hunger.  Their relationship with God has lost intensity, and they have become satisfied snacking with God when He wants them to feast with Him.  God  has much more for us to experience if only we will seek Him with all our heart.

Seeking God means craving for Him.  What price are we willing to pay to know Him more intimately?  The cost  is laying aside our self-will and self-rule.  Seeking God with all our heart means prioritizing our schedule to spend extended times alone with Him to discover His heart.  If we want to hasten a move of God and experience him in a deeper dimension, we need to pay the price of prayer and fasting for revival to come individually and corporately.  God promised that if we seek Him wholeheartedly, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

Third, repentance touches the heart of God unlike anything else.  Repentance is not a one-time event.  It is not just saying, “Sorry, Lord, for the things I have done wrong.”  True repentance is a heartfelt conviction that my life is out of line with God’s will.  It is confessing to God my wrong and turning away from the things that keep me separated in heart and soul from experiencing the deep, cleansing, life-changing power of Jesus Christ.  By virtue of who we are.  When we realize our need for a repentant heart and begin to take action, God will move mightily upon His people.

If you have ever thought the church needs revival, you are not alone!  But in observing this, we admit our need for personal revival.  A revived church is the  result of a revived people: our church will only become what we are.  God desires to move powerfully among us so we can become the culture-changing force needed to reach this generation of lost people.  What we do for Christ and the impact we make on the world around us depend directly upon whether we will allow God to revive us personally so He can revive us corporately.

What price are we willing to go for revival to come?  If we are willing to humble ourselves, seek God wholeheartedly, and live a repentant lifestyle, we will be revived – and so will our church and then the world.

Recently, my wife and I had the pleasure of spending an evening with former astronaut General Charles m. Duke. All of us in the room sat in rapt fascination as the man told of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon, including some interesting tidbits related to driving “Rover,” the lunar vehicle, and actually walking on the surface of the planet. We were full of questions which General Duke patiently and carefully answered one after another.

I asked, “Once you were there, weren’t you free to make your own decisions and carry out some of your own experiments … you know, sort of do as you pleased – maybe stay a little longer if you liked?” He smiled back, “Sure, Chuck, if we didn’t want to return to earth!”

He then described the intricate plan the exact and precise instructions, the essential discipline, the instant obedience that was needed right down to the split second. By the way, he said they had landed somewhat “heavy” when they touched down on the moon. He was referring to their fuel supply. They had plenty left. Guess how much. One minute. They landed with sixty seconds of fuel remaining. Talk about being exact! I got the distinct impression that a rebel spirit doesn’t fit inside a space suit. Whoever represents the United States in the space program must have an unconditional respect for authority.

(From Strengthening Your Grip by Charles Swindoll)

Leaders deserve our respect and support, even during trying times. We must not take part in a rebellion or gossip against a leader. Today show loyalty to God when the way is rough and the future less bright than you want. Stay loyal to our great leader, sho surely knows the way home.

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About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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