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This is the second entry of “The Top Ten Things I Have Learned This Year.”  You can see part one heretop_10

3. Loyalty is a two way street.

  • There are those that think that above everything else, loyalty to them and their agenda is the most important thing… even if it means turning your back on what God has called you to do.  For some reason, some people think that they deserve your loyalty just because of their position.  But loyalty usually only goes one way with them.  They are the first one to throw you under the bus if it helps them avoid looking bad.
  • Those that preach and demand loyalty from the pulpit are usually the last ones that deserve it.  You do not have to preach or demand loyalty.  Loyalty is earned from people by your character and your actions.  If you do not have good character, you will not have loyalty.  If your actions stink or are always done with a personal agenda, you will not have loyalty.   Hammering it from the pulpit only makes people resent you, not follow you.  If you lead well, you will have the loyalty of the people you are leading.
  • You have to model loyalty to receive it.  If you are always the one expecting to receive, but never give loyalty, you do not deserve it.  The team you work with needs to know that there is loyalty to the team… loyalty to one another in the day to day stuff (this obviously does not apply to covering sin or secret agendas of self-centered people).

4. If you think you are leading, but no one is following… you are just out for a walk

  • No, this is not an original statement from me, but it is so true.  My desire is to live a life for God that will impact other people.  If God gives me the ability to lead, I need to lead where he wants me to go and to where He wants me to lead others to go.  I NEVER want to be in a position where I decide I will lead where I want to go, or where I want others to go.  That will not only hinder my ability to be who God has intended me to be, but it will hinder others from being able to be who God created them to be, which is the exact opposite of what we are suppose to be about.

That is it for this entry… part three tomorrow!

top_10Ok, I will have to admit that I have learned a lot more than ten things this year.  Just being in God’s Word should teach us a lot more than ten things!  Going through a transition this year has allowed me see and learn some things that I would not have learned otherwise, or at least not to the extent that I would have learned as much.  So, over the next few days, I am going to list some things that have been important for me to learn.

1. People are depending on me to be in the Word

  • Not because I can impart some great wisdom to them, but because me being able to be who God intended me to be is dependent on me being in the Word so I know what God wants.
  • If I am going to lead people, that leadership has to be based on something greater than me.  I will only go so far, but God’s Word has unlimited potential to change lives and help people take their next step towards Christ.
  • My daily time in the Word is the most important time I spend during the day.  It energizes me and empowers me to love God, love people and serve both.
  • It also helps me to be able to be a good example and leader for my family.  They need to know that God’s Word is the ultimate authority in my life.  If I am not in the Word, they will not be.
  • If I am teaching or preaching God’s Word, I cannot rely on past experiences or lessons.  I have to take the time to be in the Word so that God can work on me first.  Only then can I have a message that is worth sharing.  There is nothing worse than hearing someone get up and preach “pretending” they have studied (and everyone else knows they have heard it before… maybe two or three times before!).  That is laziness, and there is no passion in that!

2. You may know what you want, but God knows what you need

  • I am so glad that God works the way He does.  Even during the transition this year, there were times when I thought that things were going to happen, and they did not.  At the time, it was tough, but in the end, God took care of us.
  • God has always done what was needed in my life at the right time.  I may have wanted things to happen quicker, but God had His timing in mind.  And I am so thankful for that.
  • Being able to tell the difference between what we need and what we want is difficult at times.  That is another reason why it is important to be in God’s Word.  It helps us see the difference between perceived needs (wants) and actual needs.  At times, Jesus would meet perceived needs in order to show someone their real needs.  He did not always do that though.  In the end, God’s plan was accomplished.  God’s plan will always be accomplished!

What are some of the things you have learned this year?

(To be continued… tomorrow!)

Do ever get mad at people? DUH! Stupid question isn’t it? We all do. Do you ever just look at people, and see the way that they do something, or hear the things that they say, or witness the way that they act towards other people and think that they are just stupid? A lot of that is plain old personality stuff. My wife and I are guilty at times of asking ourselves if we are the only normal people left on the earth. We usually end up reminding ourselves that someone else thinks that we are weird. Personality differences are what make this world interesting. I am often guilty of treating people how they treat me. Or I treat them according to the value they have to me. I am so glad that God does not think or act like me.

I think as Christ-followers, we tend to get this holier-than-thou attitude that makes us think that no one should sin, and that we are better than other people. But let’s face it, people without Christ are going to act like people without Christ. And that is not a statement of arrogance from a Christ follower, like we are better. It should be a statement that gives us a longing in our heart to reach out and love people so that they can know that God loves them, that God is interested in them, and interested in their lives.

Many Christ-followers have forgotten this truth as they have dealt with people, and consequently, people who are outside of the church have been driven away from Christ and the church. We need to remember one thing:

Everybody you lay your eyes on is somebody for who Christ died.

No matter who it is. You are surrounded by people today of immeasurable value. You interact with people every day and in every area of your life that are of immeasurable worth to God.

There are people outside the walls of your church that have been mistreated and bumped around by the Church. We, as Christians, have gotten into our little Churchianity sub-culture, and have only viewed those that are just like us as being valuable. And that is so not like Jesus. That is so unlike what He did as He walked this earth.

1 John 4: says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

God says here, “If I can love you, and you know how wicked you are (you know the thoughts you think, you know the things you have done) than certainly, you can love other people as well. You ought to love them because I paid a high price for them!

No matter who it is, everyone you meet is someone for which your heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for. You are surrounded by people today of immeasurable value. You interact with people every day and in every area of your life that are of immeasurable worth to God.

How do you treat someone who has that much worth and value?

You love them, because God has loved us.

What do people around us need? They need to know that they matter to God. How do they learn that? By the way that we love them. Let’s treat people as if they are of incredible value to God. And they are… in fact, they are of so much value that God allowed His Son to die for them. All of them!