Brave People

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 Today I want to talk about an unusual revelation I had last week as I was working through the scriptures. For brave people, fear is actually a gift. You’ll hear many sermons about how fear corrupts, and it does, or how fear can paralyze us and yes, it can. But if you’re brave, and I think you are, there’s also a gift in it. When you’re courageous and receive a dream in your heart from God, that dream may cause you to feel overwhelmed and unsure of yourself. But take note that God’s plan for you may seem massive, but it’s good.  At times, insecurity may keep even a brave person up at night. You may be afraid

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People Respond Well to Humility and Vulnerability

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ ” – James 4:6 Great leaders tend to be individuals who are strong and confident, yet vulnerable and humble as well. This is something I had to learn as a leader. When you’re insecure or green in this arena, it’s tempting to give off an aura of strength or overtly-strong confidence. But very often what you think is assurance and tenacity, is often interpreted as arrogance or creates a fearful environment. There’s a difference between the two. In general, if you come off as pompous and self-important, your actions will turn people off. People do not respond well to prideful, arrogant, self-glorifying, or controlling ways in which we try to hold onto things that we really shouldn’t. Leaders, whether they’re pastors of large churches, empty nesters, or founding CEOs,

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Servant Leadership

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” – John 13:14 What do you think about when you hear the phrase “love your enemies”? If you’re like me, it’s possible that you ask yourself the question, “Do I really have enemies?” If you’re a Christian and one who is serious about your walk with God, it may feel strange to define people as enemies — especially if you are trying to live at peace with everyone. But what happens if you replace the word enemies in that question with competitors. How do you love your competitors? More often than not in our modern world, we are dealing not with people who are out to get us specifically, but with those who are out for their own gain. They view everyone in the world as a competitor, and that includes you.

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The Pain of Provocation

“Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’” – 1 Samuel 1:6-8 We learned yesterday that Hannah, who was married to a man named Elkanah, was unable to have children. Her pain was amplified by the fact that her husband had another wife named Penninah, and she seemed to have no problem getting pregnant. Despite the fact that Elkanah favored her and had a genuine love and affection for her, Hannah’s pain burned and led her to a place of agonizing jealousy. Even worse, Penninah

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“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.” -Isaiah 61:7a

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