A leader’s attitude is determined by their perspective. Read Matthew 20:1-16.
In His public ministry, Jesus’ primary method of teaching was through parables (short case studies). His parable always fit the situation and His audience could transfer the principles if they gave careful thought to the situation and Jesus’ story. In today’s verses Jesus’ direct point deals with God’s grace to give the same reward to a person who serves their whole life in His service and to someone who comes to believe and serve later in life. However, within the parable there is a second truth about attitude toward any given circumstance that leaders can apply to their personal growth.
Wise leaders involve their team in solving difficult problems. Read Matthew 15:29-39.
As the crowds following Jesus grew He moved further into the remote regions of Judea using the open area to accommodate His ever expanding audience. At one point large crowds had been following Jesus for three days and were totally out of food. Jesus disciples urged Jesus to send the people away to purchase food but Jesus, afraid some may actually faint on their way to find food, told His disciples to feed them before they left. This presented a major problem because the crowd numbered 4,000 not including the women and children and the lack of food was the problem.
Instead of simply calling bread down from heaven, Jesus involved His disciples in solving the problem. He had the disciples determine the available resources, and then asked the disciples to become the primary means of distribution of those resources; He asked them to be stewards of whatever may be leftover. Jesus did the miracle of expanding the resources but He gave the disciples confidence by giving them a role in the process.
John Maxwell discusses the fastest way to gain leadership credibility in his notes in the Maxwell Leadership Bible:
- Jesus deepened His credibility by solving the problem of a hungry crowd:
- He identified the problem and informed His team (v. 32).
- He instructed them to brainstorm the solution (vv. 33, 34).
- He invited them into the problem-solving process (vv. 35, 36).
- He included them in the solution (vv. 34-37).
Even though leaders won’t be able to supply the miracle Jesus supplied in solving this problem, the wise leader can learn from the team involvement processes Jesus used.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
God’s leadership can be like a judge or a father depending upon the situation. Read Nahum 1:2-13.
Nahum had the task of prophesying against the most powerful people in the known world. God asked him to help the people living in Nineveh, the capitol city of the Assyrian Empire, to realize the cruelty they had inflicted on other nations, including Israel, was bringing judgment on them; their nation would be destroyed and the people either killed or taken into captivity. Nahum uses the picture of a father and that of a judge to help them understand the serious nature of God’s judgment in this situation.
God-honoring leaders place extreme importance on values in long-range planning. Read Micah 2:1-5.
Micah shows us what it looks like when leaders eliminate godly values when making plans for the future. He paints a picture of leaders who plan evil and carry it out “because they have the power to do it.” Israel’s leaders forced their plans on the poor and oppressed who were unable to stop them. The government, religious, and business leaders were defrauding them of their homes and inheritance. Through Micah God gave a stern warning that He would thwart the schemes of those who plan and plot evil for their own gain.
Tags: Core Truths, Defrauding people, Do not plot evil for personal gain, Emotional Stability, God-honoring leaders, godly values, Inheritance, Long-Range Planning, Planning evil, Principles that please God, The poor and oppressed, Values
One God-honoring, God-required use of a leader’s power is to protect the powerless. Read Obadiah 8-14.
The book of Obadiah was written in the mid 800s B.C. prophesying about Edom’s actions both past and future. In the past they had withheld mercy by refusing to allow the tribes of Israel to pass through their land while traveling from Egypt to the Promise Land. In the future, during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B. C, the Edomites will join with the Babylonians in destroying the people in Jerusalem, they will demonstrate genuine joy that the Jews are being slaughtered, they will take part in the looting of the city and the temple, and they will wait at the river crossings and capture those few that escape Jerusalem and turn them over to the Babylonians for execution. When the Jews were at their most powerless moment the Edomites did not use their power to help them but rather used their power and influence to inflict more pain and suffering.