Psalm 96 is one that emphasizes numerous areas about who our God is and all He has done. Specifically, two verses highlight the glory of the Lord.
Three times in these two verses the word “ascribe” is used to indicate what God’s people attribute to Him.
The idea is to ascribe glory to the Lord. The question is how can God’s people fulfill such a notable task?
The text explains by saying, “Bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the Lord in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth.”
Worship involves two key areas: an intentional meeting with God and bringing a gift. When fulfilled as God instructs, then He is glorified.
The need for leaders is to direct those who follow in understanding the purpose for which worship is conducted, how it is to be offered, and following the instructions provided by God.
Somehow it seems fitting for leaders to set the example and serve to remind others of all that belongs to the Lord.
Patience is often claimed to be a desired virtue, but one we fail to obtain. How can patience be cultivated in a society that is geared toward productivity.
The clock becomes a slave driver and the loss of control challenges our level of patience.
Kenneson identifies how patience and being a patient have the common thread of yielding control to another (109).
Biblical patience has an object, not patience for the purpose of patience, but for the sake of another.
The obstacles to patience include several areas: segmenting, regulating, and hoarding time, as well as, exalting productivity, and the desire for speed. In a culture driven by such areas our patience is tested to its full strength.
Patience can be cultivated by remembering our relationship with God, including God’s patience with us in those times we were stumbling through life trying to determine our place in God’s redemptive story.
We also cultivate patience by thinking of time differently, a gift instead of commodity.
Demonstrating patience helps support the strength of leadership, as others are led to see the working of God through Christ in their lives.
The idea of a masterpiece brings a number of different thoughts to different people. The most common idea involves a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship.
These terms relate to several areas, from art to mechanics. However, one of the most fascinating areas is connected to humanity.
The Greek term is poiema; the workmanship of God. The description given by Paul in his letter to the church in Ephesus paints a beautiful picture of what God creates in Christ Jesus.
The term is extremely interesting because it is closely connected to another word, both from a root meaning “to make happen.” The indication is that God is instrumental in making a new creation happen through Christ Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17).
The idea further indicates the purpose for which we have been made this masterpiece: to make good works happen which were previously prepared by God.
An application to leadership seems obvious. God has given leaders an opportunity to lead in the greatest work on earth, the poiema of God to make His will happen.
Biblical leadership involves areas such as qualities, traits, virtues, and principles that are instrumental in guiding the character formation of each leader.
Over the next few weeks we will examine a few of these areas as they define a biblical leader.
A biblical leader is one who knows God and His will.
Scripture is filled with passages emphasizing the need to know God, beginning in the Old Testament. God’s message through Hosea indicted His people being destroyed for lack of knowledge.
In the New Testament Jesus said eternal life is aligned with knowing God and the One who was sent by Him.
Paul also spoke of the significance of knowing God and His will in profound expression by claiming his willingness to count everything as loss for the “surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:8).
Heritage, material possessions, academic achievement, and religious position were all worthless in view of this knowledge.
Biblical leaders are driven by a passion to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, because that knowledge is the key to the whole of life, now and eternally.
“Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” Robert Tew
There is no doubt that the real world is filled with negativity. We cannot escape the abundance of negative and toxic people, activities, or news.
However, the choice is ours to allow or not allow this negative and toxic element to take up residence in our mind.
A few suggestions might help when considering what to do when this element exists.
Avoid as much negativity as possible. Caution should be given to what we listen to or read.
Learn to walk away or turn it off. Subjecting ourselves to negativity when it begins will not achieve positive results.
Find positive people to spend time with daily. A few minutes with a positive influence lifts the spirit like nothing else.
Be the most enthusiastic person you know. Positive reinforcement is biblical; “for as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov. 23:7).
The choice is ours to make, but leadership cannot thrive when the mind dwells on negative and toxic influence (cf. Phil. 4:8).
The common word in the Bible for being “set apart” is holy. Throughout the Old and New Testament certain items and people were set apart for use by, for and to God.
In an interesting Psalm, David emphatically claims we should “…know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.”
This is such a powerful thought. To consider that God has taken action toward the godly for Himself indicates a special relationship between God and the godly.
The result is followed by the activity of the godly.
Tremble, and do not sin.
Meditate…and be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness.
Trust in the Lord.
Godly leaders understand that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Meditation stabilizes leadership on the word of God. Offering sacrifices indicates a godly desire to be obedient. Trust is the vital link to a godly leaders’ strength.
The combination of these four areas provides a powerful foundation for the success of leadership.
While peace is often associated with the cessation or absence of conflict, there is a positive connotation to peace; a wholeness.
The Hebrew word shalom and the Greek word eirênê both carry the idea of wholeness and harmony that characterizes a way of life.
Kenneson discusses several obstacles that stand in the way of this kind of biblical peace.
Individualism, and the promotion of such individualism, strikes at the heart of achieving biblical peace.
The privatization of faith takes individualism even further; as many often speak of a “personal relationship with Jesus,” meaning one’s own private relationship. Perhaps this explains why so many “self-professed Christians believe they can be perfectly good Christians apart from the church” (92).
Compartmentalizing life, defending our rights, and sanctioning violence are only a few of the ways peace is destroyed.
Incorporating baptism, edifying one another, admonishing one another, and forgiving one another are a few ways to support biblical peace.
When peace becomes a way of life there will be a harmony and wholeness that can only be the result of a relationship with God and one another.