Effective Christian leaders make long range plans and give God room to actively direct or change those plans. Read Romans 15:22-29.
In today’s verses the Apostle Paul is in process of taking a love offering from the churches in Macedonia to the church in Jerusalem that had fallen on hard times. While on his way to Jerusalem, Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome discussing some long range plans to visit their church on his way to preach the Gospel in Spain.
We know little about the author of the book of Mark or as he was also known, John Mark. Our first introduction (at least according to many Bible experts) shows him as part of the group at the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was taken captive the night before His crucifixion. Not a real flattering moment for Mark. The next time we meet him he is accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Again, not all that flattering for Mark because for some unexplained reason Mark leaves his friends and returns to Jerusalem. This act created such tension that Paul refused to allow Mark to accompany him on his second missionary journey explaining “…he had deserted them.” Mark’s beginnings didn’t show much promise that he would be a major contributor to the faith.
Do you find it difficult to restrain yourself from using your authority in stressful situations? (197-1)
Effective leaders practice restraint when using their power and influence. Read Matthew 26:57-68.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had finally had enough of His public statements pointing out their outright disobedience to the spirit of God’s laws for governing the people. Jesus was arrested and brought before the religious Supreme Court called the Sanhedrin. Even though Jesus had the power to call down legions of angels as His character witnesses or for His protection He endured the false accusations and attacks because He knew His Father was in control of the situation (1 Peter 2:23). Jesus restrained the use of His power, trusting God to bring justice as it fit into His perfect plan.
The ultimate test of any Christian leader’s willingness to obey God comes when obedience has a high cost to them personally. Read Matthew 26:36-46.
It is just hours before Jesus is arrested by the Jewish religious leaders, put on trial for trumped up charges and His physical death. He is spending these last hours with His disciples and also finding some time to be alone in prayer. They have eaten their final meal together and now in a remote garden, Jesus is alone with God His Father. During these private moments Jesus expressed His personal desire that the horrible agony of physical torture and death be removed from His future. In the ultimate statement of obedience to God Jesus said, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done” (v. 42). Jesus was fully aware of what lay ahead but, professed His conviction that God’s will was best.
God requires leaders to use all the skill He has given them while depending on Him for the outcome. Read Zechariah 4:1-9.
Zerubbabel was among the first group of exiled Hebrews to return from Babylonian captivity. God’s first assignment and His number one priority was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem that Babylon had destroyed some 70 years earlier. He had a difficult assignment. When God tasked Solomon to build the original temple he had nearly unlimited resources, a willing workforce and Israel was at peace with their neighbors. Zerubbabel had strong opposition, a small demoralized workforce and very limited resources. With all these elements against him, Zerubbabel had allowed the construction to grind to a halt. At this low moment, through Zechariah, God reminds Zerubbabel and all the people that they would succeed but not because of their own might and power; He would be their source of victory.
Tags: Demoralized Workforce, Difficult Assignment, Generate Strategy, Grivences, Intervention, Manage Resources, Number one priority, Personnel problems, Skill, Strategy, Wisdom, Work hard and smart, Zerubbabel