Leadership

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)

Sometimes there’s a synergy between your Bible study, or daily reading, and something you hear on the radio, or a sermon your pastor preaches and you see a topic in a deeper way. A few months ago, I was doing a study in Esther. (Courtesy of Love God Greatly.) I happened to hear a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on a TV show I was watching. I looked up the quote and it appears valid.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The more I thought about this, the more I realized it was true. A leader can’t follow the crowd. A leader has to know where he is going. He has to know what he stands for and not be swayed because he meets opposition.

At this same time, my pastor was doing a sermon series on David, entitled “A Heart for God”. During one sermon, he contrasted Saul’s kingship with David’s. David had the power of the Holy Spirit. Saul had lost the Spirit and he reacted with fear and worry about what others were saying about him. A good leader depends on the Lord rather than the opinions of men, which can easily change.

Haman from Esther’s story comes from a banquet where he was the guest of the Queen, along with the King. He is full of himself and brags to his family. Yet, because he sees Mordecai, who will not bow to him, his attitude is soured and he is filled with rage. He tells his family, “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” Esther 5:12 (NIV)

How many times have we let self-consciousness and fear of other people’s opinions, sway us? How much am I like Haman, caring so much what other are saying about me, and letting it ruin my day? I am no great leader, and yet I have influence. What I say and do affects people in my church, people in my family and people in my community. May my convictions be strong and may they come from a closeness to the Lord.

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Adoption

The Bible says in John 1 that all who received Jesus, “to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV) Adoption is an important concept in Christianity. Jesus is the one and only son of God, but through our belief in him, we become adopted into God’s family.

The Bible also says in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Those in the broadcast area for Channel 11 in Toledo, OH (SE Michigan and NW Ohio), will remember a segment called “Home for Keeps.” Chrys Peterson would meet with kids in foster care in Lucas County and give a brief introduction to their lives. One evening, my husband and I saw a broadcast about two sisters who were in separate foster homes, needing to be adopted together. At the end of the segment, we looked at each other and in a moment that seemed an inspiration from God, we said, “That’s what we can do!”

We had been married eight years, and although we wanted children, we didn’t have any. We realized that through adoption we could become parents, and we could offer a home to kids who needed one.

Indeed, two years later, it seemed a God-send when we got a call from a social worker about two sisters, currently living in separate foster homes, who needed to be adopted together. We recently celebrated the eighth anniversary of our legal adoption of those siblings. Of course, those who have adopted or worked with foster kids can tell you, it isn’t easy. I hope in this section of the blog, however, to encourage those who want to adopt and who have adopted. Preserve.

My wisdom is hard-won, it comes from failing and making mistakes, like most personal testimonies. The adoption has taught me more about God and about myself than any other experience I’ve ever had.

 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 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 4:7-12, NIV)

 

Originally posted July 20, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=152

Great resource: the Journal of Biblical Counseling

I recommend the Journal of Biblical Counseling for those who want to help others deal with difficult issues in life. This publication helps people look at life with the Word of God. The journal would be encouraging for any believer facing trials and hard decisions. It is put out by CCEF. If someone in your life is struggling, or you are struggling yourself, check out the CCEF website and think about subscribing to the Journal of Biblical Counseling.

 

Originally published July 20, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=146

Resurrection

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®, Biblegateway.com

This was the memory verse in my Bible study this week. The theme of the week is “Why the Resurrection Matters”. This is a short but helpful study of verses put together by GoodMorningGirls.org.

Good Morning Girls uses a method of study called SOAP. S=Scripture, O=Observation, A=Application and P=Prayer. It is similar to the Bible study method taught in How to Study Your Bible by David Arthur, Kay Arthur and Pete De Lacy. You write out the Scripture you are studying and examine the words slowly and carefully. Sometimes, just the act of writing out the words will bring you a new understanding and let you slow down and notice things you didn’t notice before.

For instance, by looking at these verses (including 1 Peter 1:3-5) closely, we see:

God

  • is to be praised
  • Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • has shown great mercy
  • has given us birth

The birth is

  • into a living hope
  • through Christ’s resurrection
  • into an inheritance

The inheritance

  • will never spoil or fade
  • is kept in heaven for you

May you have a joyous Good Friday and Happy Easter!
Originally posted April 18, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=31