He (David) cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands. Psalm 78:72

Do you think you are a leader? Do you confuse your need to be in charge with thinking that is leadership? Do you suppose the church should be a place where everybody is a leader and no one follows? Do you know a good leader when you see one?

Leadership is a rare quality that is needed today. What marks a good leader? Godly leadership traits exemplify virtues such as honesty, honor, and humility.

I was privileged as a young man to be in the company of a few quality leaders, due to my father’s wealth of relationships. Some of them were well known. Others led in obscure places. A couple of them were giants in their field. Over the years I have observed the good, bad, and indifferent in ministry leadership. Here’s what I have seen:

First, a good leader is the epitome of integrity. If others are petty, they are big, always magnanimous at heart. They are generous in self giving and in sharing credit. They are thankful. They make others feel important. Their strength derives from their noble character, not from a loud mouthed, bossy demeanor. They are in command. They do not need to remind their followers “I’m in charge here!” They are followed simply because their examples have so much to teach us.

Then there are awful leaders. These people are usually control freaks who want everyone to know who’s in charge: “all decisions” must funnel through them. They habitually make others feel unimportant. They allow no one to speak into their lives, but they are quick to speak to others. They demand their way: “My way or the highway.” Their pattern does more harm than good.

The church platform is no place to learn leadership. You learn that in the school of servanthood. You learn to be a spokesman by closing your mouth and opening your ears. You can only learn to lead by being a true follower.

No wonder real leadership is a rare gift.

Daily Choices

When we come to Christ and accept His salvation, we are by grace given His righteous standing with God. However, we are not given His character. That has to be earned.

Character is distilled. It is perfected in our daily choices. How do we confront temptation? What is our routine response to the Holy Spirit’s call to obedience? These forge our character. We must cherish truth, value principles, approve things that are excellent. Our character mirrors all the daily choices and reactions to the choices that confront us. Good character sows good seed, which brings a good harvest. This requires daily devotion to God’s will.

There is no shortcut to this formation. Character demands self-discipline and accountability. Sometimes it is hammered into us by the unexpected challenges in life.

The distinguishing marks of good Christian character are patience, humility, and virtuous behavior. While this may not sound like all fun and games, the fact is we Believers must relate to God through this aspect of His grace. If we have God’s good character worked into us, we then experience God’s goodness towards us. Daily choices determine this. Daily choices are as important as all other aspects of our experience with God. Character matters! To you—and to God.

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil. Romans 2:8,9 NIV

Prayer: “May the choices I make today be choices based upon Your desires. I declare today that Your kingdom will come, Your will is going to be done in my life.”

Jesus’ Pattern for Miracles Today: Turning Water into Wine

Jesus demonstrated the power of God in working His first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. He turned water into wine. The Gospel of John states that all the miracles of Jesus testify to His glory as Messiah. (John 2:11,17:4-26) Also, this beginning of miracles was a type and pattern for all other divine miracles.
Jesus lived a prayer life. He walked with an open heaven. (John 1:51) At the wedding in Cana, Jesus utilized what was available for His miracle. The wedding host had run out of wine. Mary, our Lord’s mother, called on His help. She knew He had the power to remedy the problem. Mary told the servants (in her last recorded conversation), “Do whatever He tells you to do!” Read More

No Options: Driven into His Will

So when the ship was caught and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. Acts 27:15 NKJV

Paul had a rendezvous with destiny. Caught in the maw of a monster storm, Paul’s ship had its guidance system ripped away. His storm-tossed, helpless ship eventually ran aground on the island of Malta. All of this played right into God’s plan. Paul was able to bring the gospel to Malta accompanied by miracles, signs, and wonders.

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When the Fig Tree does not Blossom

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine…

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17,18 NKJV)

We often repeat a positive confession, “God is good, all the time!” And this is true, absolutely. But then we discover that God’s ways may at times be contrary to our ways. We pray for A, but He sends B.  How do we respond when we receive bad news or we face bad odds? Our response is important. Even in negative situations.

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Pilot Me

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters, they see the works of the Lord and wonders of the deep.” (Psalm 107:23,24)

I grew up in Houston within earshot of one of the nation’s busiest ports, the Houston Ship Channel. Crowding the waterway were tankers, freighters, naval vessels, cruise ships, and an infinite number of tugs pushing barges loaded with petrochemical products.

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Night Song

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. Isaiah 30:29

“Anyone can sing when the sun’s shining bright, But you need a song in your heart at night.” Ira Stanphill
“Like to the lark at break of day arising, sings hymns at Heaven’s gate…” from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29

The most comforting Bible theme is that of the ultimate triumph of our individual faith in God’s great faithfulness. Against the backdrop of the realities of life’s dark moments, the knowledge that God is still working to make bad things work for our good is the source of our hope and comfort.

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