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Posts tagged ‘Solomon’

7 Common Mistakes Young Leaders Make.


Young pastor

With experience, young pastors can learn from their mistakes. (Lightstock)

As a person who started off in full-time ministry at the ripe old age of 21, I write the following out of personal experience and not only observation.

We desperately need young leaders to emerge. We older leaders need to help them come forth. That being said, there are some common mistakes young leaders make that could hinder their progress.

The following are seven of the top mistakes young leaders make:

1. Young leaders often have zeal without knowledge. Perhaps the greatest attribute of young leaders can also be their greatest weakness: zeal. The Bible tells us it is possible to have zeal (great energy and passion) without knowledge (Rom. 10:2).

This can manifest in having great excitement and motivation to accomplish a great task, but in that excitement overlooking many of the necessary details needed to ensure success. They see the forest but fail to see the individual trees that make up the forest.

2. Young leaders often neglect the advice of older, wiser leaders. Like Rehoboam (1 Kings 12), the son of Solomon, young leaders often surround themselves with like-minded leaders their own age and neglect the advice of older, more seasoned leaders. Perhaps this is because the next generation always thinks it understands contemporary culture better than older leaders, or perhaps because of a generation gap. Whatever the reason, young leaders make huge mistakes (as did King Rehoboam) if they attempt to lead without the advice and accountability of more experienced leaders.

3. Young leaders often put their work before their families. All young leaders struggle with having balance in this area. One of the main reasons is because young people have an intense need to prove their competency and accomplish great things to satisfy their egos and lift their self-esteem. Consequently, this intense desire often blinds them to the needs of their families, which often leads to emotionally neglecting their spouses and children.

If this is not rectified soon enough, the foundations of their families will be faulty and they may have huge issues in the future. Older ministers have learned that it doesn’t pay to win the world and lose their families.

4. Young leaders often compete with, instead of partner with, other leaders. Along with an inordinate desire to prove themselves comes an intense, subconscious drive to be more successful than other leaders their own age. (Even pastors fall into this.)

Young leaders need to learn not to compare themselves with their peers since we all have unique gifts and callings others cannot easily replicate (2 Cor. 10:12). They also need to understand how partnering with other like-minded leaders will actually maximize their ability to get things done for the sake of the kingdom.

5. Young leaders have unrealistic goals. Often young leaders believe they will be able to see quick results and bring incredible transformation overnight. Their goals are often unrealistic and idealistic. This recalls the words of an old rabbi: “When I was young I wanted to change the world. When I got a little older I modified my goals and wanted to change my nation. Then, as I got older I was content to merely change my city. Then my community. Now that I am very old I would just like to change myself!”

Although I do believe God can use a young person to change their nation and/or the world (for example, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham, John Wesley, Charles Finney, George Whitefield and Dr. Martin Luther King, to name a few), for the most part young leaders have to avoid being precocious regarding their goals and be more practical in regard to following a process capable of facilitating their vision.

6. Young leaders lack biblical balance regarding truth. Often young leaders are just focused on one area of truth that gives them passion to the neglect of other areas of their lives. For example, young senior pastors may focus on one subject, such as prosperity, healing, deliverance or evangelism, but if they neglect other truths of the Bible, they will build unbalanced congregations. Young leaders need to study the whole counsel of God and not just areas based on their passions.

7. Young leaders often build without a proper foundation. Often young leaders will build a business or even plant a church without taking the time needed to build a proper foundation. Whether it is having a strong leadership team in place or a plan for sustainable growth, young leaders often put the cart before the horse and may even experience immediate success without long-term fruit. The deeper the roots of a tree grow into the ground, the taller it can grow!

In the beginning, young leaders need to take more time building a proper foundation than being concerned about how quickly they can make money and/or grow their businesses or ministries.

Written by Joseph Mattera

Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can read more on josephmattera.org or connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Worshipping Toward God.


I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth.
Psalm 138:2

Recommended Reading
2 Chronicles 6:36-39 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%206:36-39&version=NKJV)

In Babylon, David prayed three times daily (Psalm 55:17) “toward Jerusalem” (Daniel 6:10). Solomon made reference to praying toward Jerusalem in his prayer of dedication for the temple. If God‘s people were taken captive to another land and they prayed toward Jerusalem in repentance, he asked God to hear their prayers (2 Chronicles 6:38-39). Solomon may have learned about praying toward Jerusalem from his father, David. In Psalm 138:2, David wrote, “I will worship toward Your holy temple.” Though the temple had not been built when David wrote this psalm, he was probably referring to the tent he constructed to house the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 6:17).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

The idea is this: Wherever God is, that is where we turn our face in worship. So David worshipped toward the ark of the covenant, where God dwelt. Besides worshipping obediently, David worshipped gratefully: He worshipped God because of His “lovingkindness” and “truth” (Psalm 138:2).

We should worship the same way today — directing our worship and praise toward the God whose loyal and unconditional love draws us to Himself.

The heart of prayer is gratitude. The voice of prayer is obedience.
William A. Ward

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Romans 8-10

By David Jeremiah.

Gossip: Feathers in the Wind.


This is 1 of 100 devotionals from my book The ABCs of Wisdom: Building Character With Solomon.

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
Proverbs 18:8

Here are a few verses to ponder: “He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool” (10:18). “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” (16:28). “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much” (20:19).

Once upon a time a man said something about his neighbor that was untrue. The word spread around the village as one person told another. But soon the truth came out—what could the man do? He went to see the village priest and the priest gave him some strange instructions.

“Take a bag full of feathers and place one feather on the doorstep of each person who heard the untrue story you told. Then go back a day later, pick up the feather, and bring the bag back to me.”

So the man did as the priest said. But when he went back to pick up the feathers nearly all of them were gone. When he went back to the priest he said, “Father, I did as you said but when I went back the wind had blown the feathers away and I could not get them back.” And the priest replied, “So it is with careless words, my son. Once they are spoken, they cannot be taken back. You may ask forgiveness for what you said but you cannot take your words back. The damage has already been done.”

So it is with gossip. “Hey, did you hear about what Tom did?” “Let me tell you what Phil just told me.” “I just heard Susan and George are separating. Can you believe it?” “Jay is about to lose his job—he’s been goofing off again.” “Ethel finally talked Lloyd into buying a new car. And you know how Lloyd is about money.” And on and on it goes.

It’s not just that we play fast and loose with the truth. Sometimes we tell 80% of the truth and conveniently forget part of the story. Sometimes we tell all the truth we know, but the part we don’t know changes the whole picture. Sometimes we tell the truth but in such a way as to make someone look stupid. Sometimes we just plain lie.

Anyway you slice it … it’s gossip. And it’s hurtful. And it’s wrong. And God hates it. And we should, too.

There is an easy cure. But it takes tremendous discipline. Keep your mouth shut. It works every time.

If you must share what you know, use three questions as a guide before telling what you know to someone else.

Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?

There wouldn’t be any gossip if we used those three questions before speaking.

Spirit of Truth, Holiness and Love, fill us with your divine presence that our words may reflect the character of Jesus. Amen.

Going Deeper
How do you define gossip? How often are you guilty of spreading gossip?
What changes do you need to make in this area of your life?

Dr. Ray Pritchard

Author, Speaker, President of Keep Believing Ministries

Do Not Be Afraid!: Fear and Trust.


And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God — my God — will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
1 Chronicles 28:20

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 13:5-6 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2013:5-6&version=NKJV )

Anyone who has ever started a new job — or been promoted to increased responsibility — knows the feeling: “I’m not sure I’m ready for this; I don’t know if I can do what’s expected!” And then it always happens: A month, or six months, down the road, you’re doing the job like a seasoned veteran. It’s just the thought of doing something new and challenging that can be scary.

Watch This Week‘s TV Broadcast ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/television.aspx?tid=email_watchedevo )

Solomon knew the feeling. He had never built a temple before, much less a temple as large and grandiose as the one his father, David, had planned. Not to mention — it was a temple for Yahweh, the God of Israel. It must have been evident to David that Solomon was fearful and dismayed. Why? Because David told him, “Do not fear nor be dismayed”! And David gave Solomon just one reason to be confident of succeeding: “God will be with you until you have finished the work.”

If you are facing a challenge as a child of God, do not fear or be dismayed. God is a Father who never leaves His children until their work is finished.

It is a blessed fear which drives us to trust.
Charles H. Spurgeon

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Matthew 10-13

By David Jeremiah.

How to Be Miserable: And How to Cheer Up!.


Julie Barrier

Solomon was an A-lister. He made the Hollywood pantheon of gorgeous billionaire gods and goddesses with front-page cover fame look like losers. The Israeli monarch possessed wealth, women, wisdom and fame. Yet he was absolutely miserable. Why? Solomon means “shalom,” peace. In 2 Samuel 12: 25, Nathan gave Solomon another name, Jedidiah, or “loved by God.”

 

 

Ecclesiastes reveals the naked truth. The ruler was filthy rich and uber-powerful. Everything was gold-plated. He was smarter than Einstein. And he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The lusty king had 1,000 one-night stands and never felt guilty about jilting the women in his life. He just sent them back to his burgeoning harem. So why was he so sad? What went so horribly wrong?

I’ll ask you the same question.

Are you miserable, disgruntled, discontent or just plain crabby? Solomon’s initial words in Ecclesiastes will cause you to grow gloomy, desperate, even suicidal. But, believe it or not, the most depressing book in the Bible (other than Job!) can teach you how to be truly happy.

Ecclesiastes 9:2-3, the jaded ruler laments:

“Anything’s possible. It’s one fate for everybody—righteous and wicked, good people, bad people, the nice and the nasty, worshipers and non-worshipers, committed and uncommitted. I find this outrageous—the worst thing about living on this earth—that everyone’s lumped together in one fate. Is it any wonder that so many people are obsessed with evil? Is it any wonder that people go crazy right and left? Life leads to death. That’s it. Their loves, their hates, yes, even their dreams, are long gone.” The Message

Bummer. I feel worse already.

Pubmedhealth.com states that brain chemistry or genetic predisposition can trigger depression. Long-term pain, sleeping problems, certain types of cancer, steroids and under-active thyroid can trigger a downward mood swing. Stressful life events such as abuse, neglect, broken relationships, failure, job loss, long-tem family illness, chronic pain and social isolation are just a few reasons people spiral downward.

Solomon the sage gave us two key verses that can help us claw our way out of the pit of despair to the highlands of peace and joy. They’re really quite simple.

Ecclesiastes 11:8: “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.”

Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”

1. Enjoy your life.

Dr. David Ferguson taught me a great lesson about delightful, abundant life. (John 10:10). Abundant life can only be lived in the present. If you are bound up with guilt from the past or paralyzed with fear from of the future, you will never find fun in the moment. I have a daughter who is seriously, chronically ill. If I don’t revel in the moments with her, cherishing her love, her little girls and the kindred spirit that we share, I lose everything. I borrow trouble for the future, dreading the worst. I get angry with God and it shakes my faith. And I ruin my health by living in the misery of “what if’s.”

I must enjoy each moment-savoring them, treasuring each one. That is where I experience God’s presence, grace and power.

2. Remember your Creator.

Solomon’s second secret is a doozy. When Jesus was talking to the Ephesians in Revelation chapter three, He told them to remember their first Love. Do you remember when you met Jesus? He wasn’t just an ideology, He was the very real Friend who laid down His life for you. Simply remembering how much Jesus loves you, protects you, plans your every moment can change you.

I love my husband Roger. We’ve been married a long time. I delight in how he calls me  “Muffin” when I feel like “Pumpkin.” I remember how he read the Bible to me over the phone when we were dating. I remember the way he gazed into my eyes and took me in his arms to kiss me for the first time. (This was no small task since I am very short. Smooching usually involved a porch step.) His love for me has never wavered.

You see, remembering how much he loves me makes me look forward to waking up in the morning, just to see his face.

When I remember God, I remember our adventures together. I’ve journeyed through devastating valleys and ecstatic mountaintops with Him. I’m watching my beloved parents die…ever so slowly as they become more elderly. But as I feel sadness overwhelm me, I remember holding my first daughter in my arms when she breathed her last breath. I recall how God’s grace was enough during those horrific months as a young mother. Reminders of my kind Savior brings me joy in my not so pleasant present.

Roger and I sat in our driveway today after church. For the first time, we were brutally honest about the hurts and losses in our lives. And the power and glory of God poured into the front seat. We counted His blessings. Wow. What a list! God also reminded us of an old sermon illustration from one of Roger’s “sugar sticks” (greatest hits in the sermon department). Pastor Charles Spurgeon was once asked if he were dragged to the village square to be martyred for Christ tomorrow at noon, would he have the strength to stand strong? He said, “No.” “But tomorrow at noon I will…” We can enjoy today because there is grace for tomorrow.

That, my friends, was Solomon’s secret. Enjoy and remember. Try it. You’ll like it.

How to Achieve Ultimate Success.


Turn on the TV and you’ll see all kinds of gurus telling you how to be successful and fulfilled.

You’ll see Oprah and Doctor Phil dispensing advice on successful relationships. You’ll see Joel Osteen telling you how to have your best life now. Go to a Barnes and Noble and you’ll find books like: The Real Truth About Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently, Why They Won’t Tell You, and How You Can Do It. (Why won’t they tell me?)

Proverbs 2 is a father’s appeal to a son. This father wants what’s best for his son. The dad is Solomon, the wisest man who had ever lived. He wants his son to be a success, but not in the way we usually think about it. He wants his son to be a SPIRITUAL success. But Proverbs 2 is more than an ancient sage appealing to his son. It’s God appealing to and instructing us. GOD wants us to be spiritually successful.

So what does Solomon (and God) have to say to us about spiritual success?

My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.  (Proverbs 2:1-5)

First of all, spiritual success is conditional. It won’t happen automatically. Notice how many times Solomon says “IF” before he gets to the “THEN” – IF you receive my words… IF you call out… IF you seek it like silver… THEN you will understand.

We must pursue God whole-heartedly. Though God pours out all things freely as gifts of grace, he gives us what the Puritans called “means of grace” – things like Bible intake, prayer, fellowship, preaching, and reading books – means by which we receive grace. IF we pursue God through these means, God promises to freely give grace.

Seeking God is like turning on a faucet. Millions of gallons of water are just waiting to quench our thirst, but we have to turn on the faucet. God has bags and bags of grace stored up for us, but we must pursue him. James said, “You have not because you ask not.” Jesus said if we keep asking, seeking, and knocking we will receive, find, and the door will be opened.

Solomon tells his son that the 2 most important things in life are to know God and to fear him:

then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (5)

This is true success. Parents, this is all that really matters with your kids. Things like education, sports, learning a musical instrument, dance, and art classes – all these are fine, but really don’t matter in eternity. When my kids were little, as Stephen mentioned last week, I told them I don’t care what you do in life, whethere you are “successful” or not – all I care about is that you would love and serve Jesus.

The fear of the Lord is not slavish, grovelling fear but a healthy knowledge of God’s holiness. It’s knowing that God hates sin and will not be mocked if we willfully go on in it. I don’t go around all the time fearing that God will suddenly strike me down with lightning. But I know that if I give in to certain temptations, God will deal with it. He’s not mocked. When I’m all by myself in an airport somewhere, maybe no one I know would see me buy an impure magazine, but I know God surely would. This is a healthy fear of the Lord.

“Find the knowledge of God” doesn’t mean we merely get knowledge ABOUT God.  It means to KNOW GOD PERSONALLY.

In John 17:3 Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

We can know God! There is no greater joy. Jesus came to reveal the Father and bring us to him. There is nothing sweeter than an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. This is the ultimate success. The ultimate in happiness, joy, and satisfaction. This should be our ultimate goal in life.

The Apostle Paul would have been considered a huge success before Jesus saved him. An expert in the Jewish law, he was at the top of his game, a rising star, respected and admired by many. Yet here’s what he said about all his achievements after Jesus saved him”

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. [8] Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8)

Nothing mattered more to Paul than knowing Jesus. That’s the success he was running after.

Make Paul’s pursuit yours. Read God’s word. Cry out to him for wisdom, strength, and help. You won’t cry out in vain. You’ll find healthy fear and you’ll know Jesus more and more. That’s the ultimate success.

By Mark Altrogge


Mark Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church. Find out more at The Blazing Center.

Dating for a Godly Man: 4 Keys to Success.


Man and woman
What are some of the more difficult aspects of dating for godly men? (Imagerymajestic/Free Digital Photos)

Dating is one of the most interesting social studies. Two people with different personalities begin arelationship. With past baggage, a variety of cultural expectations, socio-economic histories, family background, values, morals and faith, you might wonder if it’s possible that dating can actually lead tomarriage.

From the very opening line to the closing technique, finding dating truths for God’s men can be difficult because there’s not much “dating,” as we know it today, in the Bible.

For example:

Do you ever wonder what Adam’s approach to Eve was? Something like, “Hey, God made me. He made you. Let’s get it on.”

Or Ruth, who slept at Boaz’s feet, in nonverbal communication that says, “Take me. I am yours.”

Samson jumped the gun with Delilah, falling deep into a premarital relationship that probably involved sex and eventually short-circuited Samson’s ultimate potential.

David never bothered to date Bathsheba; instead, he just had her husband killed.

Then there’s that book in the Bible called Song of Solomon. This interesting book is located in the very middle, or “heart,” of the Bible. It’s a lovelorn exchange of adoration between two people obviously very smitten. Song of Solomon shows me that God is a big fan of dating. It also tells me dating must involve respect, patience, self-control and fearlessness.

Respect. Each player in this love story humbles themselves while showing ultimate respect for the other. I know men love to feel respected, but in Song of Solomon, the male writer also shows respect for his woman with compliments, protective language and encouraging words.

Patience. When two people are dating each other and cannot be together, there’s a test of patience. In Song of Solomon, I see that each player dealt with their longing desire by taking time to write down their thoughts. This is a sign of patience. If they did not write out these love notes, they could have become impatient and looked for another substitute.

Self-control. When reading this book, I wonder what self-control they actually had. For God’s man, dating must be an exercise in self-control. (I’ll explain in future articles the difference between “quick” and “quality” dating.) Ultimately, controlling your thoughts, words and behavior will show your potential mate you can be trusted. So, how do you show self-control? Trust God’s plan and obey His Word. She will totally dig this about you!

Fearlessness. Let’s face it: Dating is scary. There’s a lot on the line, including your heart. You have to take a step of faith and be fearless for God’s way. But if you have respect, patience and self-control operating in you, then there’s no need to fear. You can rest in the peace that God’s plan is good and you are following His path.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

KENNY LUCK/EVERY MAN MINISTRIES

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries and Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church, provides biblically-oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

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