Leaders: Some Rise and Some Fall

 

thumbs upIf you take a causal walk down the self-help aisle of most book stores, you find shelves stocked full of books on leadership.  A common principle in many of these books is the need to study the lives of leaders.

To accomplish this, you can thumb through the pages of the Bible where you will discover a long list of leaders.  Some them are polished and practical; others are hopeless and hapless; but, the stories are fair a fair and balanced account that opens the door that reveals the skeletons in their closets.

Two of the better-known leaders are Saul and David.  Saul, the first king of Israel, could whip most anyone, but his ego got the best of him.  Samuel, the priest, issued a stern rebuke and no-holds-barred reprimand to King Saul: Now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee (I Samuel 13:14).

The man after God’s own heart was David, and he knew the key of his strength would be a dependence on God.  David said: You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3).

Like David, we can and should, look to God for strength and guidance:

  • Psalm 5:8: Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.
  • Psalm 25:5: Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.
  • Psalm 23:2-3: He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
  • Psalm 143:10: Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

When you begin to trust in the goodness of God, you hear the rhythm and cadence of His voice and begin to walk in step with Him—He leads; you follow.

Solomon said, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Are you a King Saul who continually tried to prop himself up with his own wisdom; or, are you a David who found a life of blessings by trusting God and letting Him direct his paths?

Who has your ear? Whose voice are you hearing?  Which path in life are you walking? Are you following God’s lead?

Second Hand News

timeThe rhythmic and timely sound of a ticking second hand has been hushed by the advance of technology and the proliferation of digital watches. The value of a second isn’t found in its sound but in the action that transpires within this brief span of time that’s 1/86400th of a day and 1/60th of a minute.

Most people don’t give a second thought to the length of a second, but something unusual will happen on New Year’s Eve. When clocks strikes midnight in England, the final minute of 2016 will be 61 seconds long to adjust the world clock to the correct time.

Just how important is a second?

  • If you’re an astronaut it’s important since the speed of light travels at 18600 feet per second ( At the speed of light, the moon is about 1.5 seconds from the earth)
  • If you like hot rods, you know that a fraction of a second is the difference between winning and losing at the drag strip.
  • If you play baseball, one second is the time it takes for a baseball to leave the pitcher’s hand, get hit by the batter, and then be line-driven back to the pitcher.
  • Beekeepers think of one second as the time it takes for a honey bee to flap its wings 200 times.
  • One second is the amount of the time it takes for the earth to receive 48,600,000,000kw of energy form the sun (kilowatt = 1000 watts).

What is one second?  It’s the time it takes to say three words: “Goodbye and Hello.” When you bid farewell to 2016 and roll out the welcome mat to 2017, I hope you’ll take a second to turn a frown into a smile; change a bad impulse into a good one; and to say a simple “God bless you” to the person who is on your heart and in your mind.

Psalm 90:12: Teach us to number our days carefully, so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts 

The Time Is Right

whatever2I hate the two times each year that we’re forced to try and manipulate time by changing our clocks.  Regardless of whether it’s forward one hour in the Spring or back one hour in the Fall, my internal clock doesn’t change; and, I’m out of sync with the rest of the world.

As I was setting my clock before I went to bed last night, I thought about a time related statement from the Apostle Paul:  “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . demonstrating His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).”

As I thought of Paul’s “right time” statement, it occurred to me, that the right time is the time when God is present:

Because God intervenes at the right moment, you can know He is always present: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you (2 Chronicles 20:17).”

God promises to help battle the bullies, calm your fears, and give you hope for tomorrow, “for the Lord is with you.”