Servant Leader

•April 18, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I recently applied for a leadership position where I work.  One of the questions they gave those who applied was, “what does servant leadership mean to you?”  This has had me thinking about my Savior.

Part of my answer was that a servant leader doesn’t point people where to go.  A servant leader leads people where to go by example and shows others the way in that example.  God was not happy just pointing us in the right direction.  He sent Christ who is THE WAY.  Christ is the ultimate servant leader.  He leads and we follow.

Now, this past week Pastor Nick spoke about Christ as our King.  He came and shattered everyone’s expectation of what a king is.  It’s funny, ironic funny, how God always had that battle with the Israelites where He wanted to be there KING but they wanted something different.  They had different expectations.  WORDLY expectations.  Fast forward to now.  Christ comes and God is still desiring to be our ONLY KING FOREVER and people still have other expectations.  WORDLY expectations.  Christ came in humility and with a servants heart.  He didn’t come physically conquering and going to war.  He ultimately came to die.  But, in His life He did nothing but SERVE and speak KINGDOM to His people.  He showed us the ultimate example of how to live.  He was the ultimate servant leader.  Jesus didn’t point at people and TELL them what they needed to do.  His heart and life pointed to the Father and His disciples followed that example.  He got stern when He needed to and always did it in love.

We recently had a thread on Connect talking about Christ cursing the fig tree and what this means.  Christ was hungry and he saw that this fig tree wasn’t going to produce fruit so BOOM.  Take that and apply it to us.  If someone is hungry and in need, spiritually speaking, and we aren’t producing fruit then we aren’t going to feed that person as we are CALLED to do.  Fruit isn’t something we manually produce on our own strength.  Fruit happens as we pursue our King and Savior.  Love happens because as we Love a King who loves us so much He died the most gruesome death known to man.  Joy happens because our hope is placed in a King who will never leave us.  Peace happens because our feet are planted firmly in the Word.  Worship happens because we know a God that will never leave us or forsake us and is always there.  A God who is worthy of all praise.  Christ gave the ultimate example in all He did.  Teaching and edifying in all He did.  He wasn’t a King that stood above all others pointing down at them.  He was and is a King to gets on His hands and knees with the worst of us all and pours into that person.  THAT is our King.

And you know what?

He is commanding us to be the same kind of leader He gave us the example and authority to be.  At some point we have to get over ourselves and just step out in faith.  We are going to look stupid at times.  We are going to look foolish at times.  Even crazy to people.  But, leading doesn’t mean waiting until someone else does.  It means stepping out with a heart permeated by the Spirit of God and pointing to a King that leads straight to the Father.  Stop thinking.  Stop waiting.  Step out in faith.

We have a King who loves us and gets His hands dirty with us.  When we step out in faith we aren’t alone.  We lead not on our own strength.  But, rather, we lead by follow His example.  Being a servant leader isn’t about power as much as it is humility and having a heart of a servant.  Through our serving we lead.  Through loving we lead.  Through stepping out in faith we lead.  Just as Christ lead.

When we accept Him for the King He IS and not the king that makes us comfortable.

Things change.

Advertisements

Don’t Just Hope. EXPECT.

•March 22, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The other day I pulled into a gas station and there was a lady that double parked.  I was so frustrated and annoyed.  The parking spaces were straight not at an angle.  There were two other cards parked correctly so it’s not like it wasn’t obvious.  My initial reaction was to let the lady KNOW.  But, the Holy Spirit didn’t let me.  “Jerod, don’t”.  I got back in the car and started thanking God and praising Him.  I am so grateful to have a God that leads us and guides us like that.  He stayed my mouth and I am so thankful for it.  We have a God that is active in us through His Spirit.  That rocks.

This past week Pastor Nick continued his teaching on the Holy Spirit.  This past week he dealt with Prophecy and Tongues.  He has done an amazing job and highly recommend subscribing to the podcast if you have missed any weeks.  In any case, I wanted to come from the angle of expectation today.  Are you praying and asking God to move?  Are you desiring to speak in tongues or to prophesy?  If you are asking the Holy Spirit to move then you better be ready for the Holy Spirit to move.  But here’s the kicker; don’t ask the Holy Spirit to move and then have your own agenda as to how He should move.  You better be surrendered and ready.

I know when we think in terms of the move of the Holy Spirit it can be intimidating.  That is because there is a good chance we are going to have to step out of our comfort zone.  A good chance we are going to have to RISK something.  Maybe look like a fool.  Let me tell you a secret….

IT’S OK!!!

Maybe God speaks to you and you have to walk up to a complete stranger and speak to them.  Maybe it’s speaking in tongues.  Maybe it’s speaking Healing over someone.  Maybe it’s a quiet prayer with someone struggling.  Two things in this: we must be obedient, and we must be expectant.  Don’t ask the Holy Spirit to move HOPING He shows up.  Ask the Holy Spirit to move and be ready to jump in and get your hands dirty because you KNOW He is there and ready to guide you.

Don’t just ask and hope He shows up.

Ask in expectation and in complete surrender because you are walking and talking with Him and KNOW He is going to lead you somewhere amazing.

The same Spirit that rose Christ from the grave lives in us.  That same Spirit will lead you to do amazing things.  We just need to wake up every morning in expectation.  EXPECT the impossible.  EXPECT the miraculous.  EXPECT the supernatural.  But, also, EXPECT God to walk and talk with you throughout the day and surrender full to Him.  Sometimes, it’s the Holy Spirit saying, “Jerod, don’t”.  I was wearing a Canvas shirt as well.  So in one word I could have represented our Church poorly and potentially tore this woman down.  The Holy Spirit is there guiding and moving.  In the MIRACLES and in the STILL SMALL VOICE moments.  He is there and is moving.

So don’t just hope for it.
EXPECT IT.

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

•March 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever seen the movie Rudy?  If not, turn off your computer, and watch that movie.  Seriously….

Ok, so in this movie Rudy grew up in a steel mill town where most people never leave.  He grew up being told he is too small and doesn’t have what it takes to make it in to the Notre Dame football team.  That was his dream.  Now, he didn’t do the best in school and he wasn’t the most athletic but the dude had more heart than 10 men combined.  He ended up walking on at Notre Dame where he would get DEMOLISHED by people.  He’d get hit 100 times before he even got a decent hit on someone.  But, he got back up everytime.  He couldn’t be kept down.  Even though he never really got a lot better he won over the coaches heart because he NEVER stopped.  I won’t tell you how it ends as it is pretty amazing.

But, my point is that he would take hit after hit after hit after hit.  He would get knocked down again and again and again and again.  He would be bleeding and hurting but would not stop running the plays.  He had heart and couldn’t be shut down.

You guys, we are going to get knocked down.  There are times the Spirit is going to lead us into very difficult and uncomfortable situations.  What I am about to say is going to be very difficult for some people to accept but it is truth.  God is far less concerned with your COMFORT than He is with your growth and obedience to His calling.  He cares less about you feeling comfortable than He does about the advancement of His Kingdom.  He will lead you into dark rooms.  He will lead you onto battlefields covered with a very hungry enemy.  He will lead you into places that seem abandoned and scarce  but that can’t stop us from continuing to follow Him as He does equip us.  I think about Rudy in this.  We have to keep hitting and keep pressing.  We have to want the advancement of the Kingdom so bad that even if we are bleeding and hurting we get up and keep fighting.  There are times we will have seasons of perseverance and we must dig our heels in.  David had these seasons.  Sitting in a cold cave; hiding.  He is promised a kingdom and yet he is hiding in a cave as not lose his life.  He had to rest in God.

Pastor Nick made a point this past week about praying for people.  He asked the question that if you were told that at least ONE person would be healed in a group of 100 people would you still pray knowing there could potentially be 99 of those not healed? (Ok, not a direct quote)  So 99 people you spoke and prayed over and they weren’t healed.  Would you get up and move to the next person in faith?  Or would you walk away because you are more concerned in how you look to those around you?  And eve more important question is are you more focused on the potential healing or on the Healer?

Sometimes it will hit our pride a little.  We will step out and feel as though we fall flat on our face.  If we know that our comfort isn’t the point.  Then maybe in that moment we just get up and keep running the play.  Sometimes, the healing isn’t the point.  Maybe God has other plans.  We must TRUST the ONE who creates the plays.   We are just obedient in running the plays.  Yes, we will get hit and knocked around.  But, we can learn a lesson from Rudy.  Get up.  Keep going.  God’s Spirit is with you so just trust His sovereignty and you will be amazing.

The Spirit of God is always with us.  He equips us to run the plays He asked us to run.  So, trust Him with it.  Again, that doesn’t mean we won’t undergo extreme discomfort.  But, it does mean we can come out on the other side ON TOP.  Standing over the enemy with a spring in our step and maybe even a victory dance and shout.  So….I challenge you to get up.  If you are feeling knocked down today…GET UP and keep going.  The Holy Spirit is with and will continue to guide you.  Just keep getting up and keep going in Him.

If you watch Rudy the title will make sense.

Focus on Him

•February 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I played baseball when I was younger.  I was athletic and enjoyed sports.  But, I was the type of player that would play anywhere the coach needed me.  My last year playing I think I played every position except pitcher.  I typically played Center field because I was very fast.  I also played catcher quite a bit as well.  Now, I didn’t see myself as the center fielder, or the catcher, or short stop.  I wanted my team to when and I would play whatever position my coach needed me to, to make that happen.  Now there are some that will play strictly one position.  You’ll have someone very specific that will play first base.  Or have a pitcher.  At the end of the day the coach needed people to play where they were at with excellence.

I say that to say this.  God will use us however He needs to further His Kingdom.  He will use some people more in a specific gifting but what we MUST realize is that is God’s grace and sovereignty and not how awesome that person is.  But, my point is this.  Our gifts are NOT positions or titles we earn or gain.  If we really truly position ourselves to be a conduit for the power of God He can you use you in whatever Gift He wants.  Again, I know people who He uses more in certain gifts.  I hate how so many people view gifts as a marker they can check or pin they can wear to show their gift.  I see gifts as positions assigned by God at any time He chooses to further the Kingdom of God.  Yes, it takes faith and obedience on our part.  But, don’t walk around with your chest and nose held high because you have “the gift of healing”.  It isn’t YOURS.  It’s HIS and He is choosing to use you because He is sovereign not because YOU are just so amazing.  Now, I’m not saying you’re not amazing.  All I am saying is that God will use people how HE wants.

Now, it does take obedience and faith on our part.  It does mean focusing on the GIVER and NOT the Gift itself.  We will at times ask for Wisdom.  Knowledge.  Or maybe you’re asking God to use You in a miracle.  That’s ok.  Just don’t let your focus be the GIFT more than the GIVER.  I think we make it way too complicated at times.  Just seek His Spirit.  Ask the Spirit to lead you and just be obedient.  Stop trying to strip apart things like the gifts of the Spirit and just focus on the Spirit.  He will use you.  He will equip you.  And the gifts of the Spirit are a part of that equipping.

When batting in baseball you cannot be focused on the fence.  You cannot be focusing only on the whole between the third basement and short stop.  Or between the center fielder and right fielder.  You have to focus on the ball.  Everything else can be a distraction.  My advise?  Focus on HIM.  Stop focusing on wanting to be USED by the Father and just get to KNOW the Father.  Love the Father.  Submit to the Father.  His Spirit will guide you everywhere else.

Don’t Hide Your Scars

•February 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Isn’t it curious that God could raise Jesus from the dead but didn’t heal the nail wounds in his hands? Was this an oversight? Surely not. The power of death is conquered, but the scars remain. – Richard Hays (Dean of Duke Divinity)

I don’t like how so many of us will verbalize how much we want to be like Christ and then when it comes to following the example He gave us we drop and run. For example, look at how Christ was very quick to open up His hands and show the scars.  We, on the other hand, keep our hands in our pockets because we don’t want people to think we are weak.  Or we don’t want to rehash the pain.  We just want to FORGET.  But, what I see is that there is something good about being proud of the scars.  That doesn’t mean you are proud of what you did or didn’t do to gain the scars.  That means you are grateful of what God did in your life.  If you want to be like Christ then maybe stop trying to hide something that can serve as proof of a healing or deliverance.  A physical showing of God’s goodness in your life.

John 20:26-29 “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I don’t believe that unbelievers are negatively affected by Christians “messing up” as much as they are when Christians mess up and don’t handle it well.   I think most people KNOW that Christians will mess up.  They look to see how you are going to come back from the “mess-up”.  Most people see your scars and see two things:

  1. How you dealt with the scar
  2. God brought you through it

Don’t hide your scars.  Just like the football helmet Pastor Nick was talking about this past Sunday.  It is a goal a football player to have the color of every team and then as many dents and scrapes on that helmet as possible.  It shows you are not to be messed with and that you will not back down.  You see, physical scars do the same thing.  Spiritual scars do the same thing.  You can look the enemy in the eye and say…”see this scar?  You didn’t defeat me then EITHER”.  We get knocked down.  We get back up.  We keep fighting.  The scars are healthy reminders as to how God has helped us through the battle.  Yes, some scars hurt more to obtain and heal.  Some scars we caused out of our own sin and filth.  But, that just proves a bigger victory and a stronger grace.

My challenge to you today?  STOP HIDING THE SCARS!  I am not saying live in the past.  Hopefully you have moved on and forgiven and healed from the pain.  But, let the scar be a reminder of God’s goodness and grace.

I share this scripture a lot because it is one of my favorites.  But, it is powerful.

Romans 8:31-39 – read it.  Let your scars remind you that you are more than a conqueror through Christ.

Eyes. Ears. Mind. Heart.

•January 8, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Open up my eyes.
I long to see You Lord.   To see Your movement and to see the works of Your hand.  To see Your Glory and beauty.  Open my eyes to see you Lord.  To see the hurting and the opportunities to pour Your love into others.  Open my eyes to see the things of Your Kingdom more clearly.  Open.  My.  Eyes.

Open up my ears.
I long hear You Lord.  To hear Your voice as clear as a car horn.  To hear the sound of heaven clearly each and every day.  Open my ears to hear You.  To hear you speak and be obedient in those moments.  To hear the song You sing over us.  Open.  My.  Ears.

Open up my mind.
I long to know You more.  To really know Your heart.  To really know Your nature.  Open my mind.  That my mind would be set on things above.  On KINGDOM BUSINESS.  Open my mind.  I want to know You intimately.  Keep time wasting thoughts out and live giving thoughts in.  I want to know You God.  Open.  My.  Mind.

Open up my heart.
I long to feel Your Spirit all day.  Everyday.  One of my greatest desires is to feel the rhythm of Your heart and know that my heart beats in rhythm with Your heart.  Open my heart.  To not just live for the MOMENTS that Your Spirit falls but to truly live IN Your Spirit and dwell there ALL DAY.  Open.  My.  Heart.

These are desires of mine Lord.  I pray this selfishly because I love you and want you all to myself.  But, at the same time I pray it selflessly because I want every person on the face of this earthy to know You.  I want this Spirit to overflow out of me and into every heart around me.  Open my Eyes.  Open my ears.  Open my mind.  Open my heart.  All so that You may be glorified in and through me.

I am a fool for You oh Lord.

You are my God.

Fit for a King

•December 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I read a story once about a man who had a job that included getting on his hands and knees to scrub the floor of this room.  Most of us would grumble and complain the whole time.  Heck, most of us grumble and complain about our jobs that DON’T involve getting on our hands and knees and scrubbing a floor.  We are a spoiled people.  But, this man had a different mentality that reminds me of this kid in the little drummer boy.  This man said that he would picture himself at the feet of Jesus, while scrubbing, just worshipping HIM.  So, scrubbing a dirty floor became an act of worship for Him.  Yes, the act of clean a floor became and expression of Worhsip for this man.  Why?  Because He truly believed and lived Colossians 3:23-24Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  All he hand on hand was a brush and his sweat but that was all he needed.

I don’t know this man.  So I don’t know if this man considered himself talented in other areas or if he saw himself as worthless.  I don’t know his perception of things.  But, I do know his mentality was one that wanted to honor his King no matter what he was facing.  The boy in this song, Little Drummer Boy, didn’t have much.  But, what he did have was a desire to adore the King.  To honor this baby with what he had.  He wasn’t saying, “well, one day I will once things look better for me.”  Right?  How many of you are waiting for things to change before you lay it all out before HIM?  How many of you are waiting to get BETTER or more SUCCESSFUL before you give it ALL to Him?

This is a simple blog today.  Not profound or very deep.  Just a challenge.  Take what you have and honor Him with it.  If it is nothing but a dirty, filthy brush then wash your Kings feet.  If you aren’t good with your hands then lift up your hands to your King.  Maybe you don’t feel you are talented at much.  Heck, maybe you’re NOT.  Does it really matter?  Does being the most talented and able really matter at all when it comes to worshipping our King?  Does being the best at things or being an outgoing person really matter?  NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I believe you are probably talented at things.  I believe everyone has a set of gifts and skills.  But, at the end of the day all of that means absolutely NOTHING when we are talking about honoring our King with our hearts and our lives.  The little drummer boy took what he was good at and gave it to Jesus.  This man scrubbing the floor took something that wasn’t worshipful and MADE IT WORSHIP.

My challenge to you today is to take what you have and just give it to him.  Take your crappy situation and worship God with it.  Take your filthy brush and wash His feet.  You are blessed.  Do this:

Shut your eyes.  Ok, you have to read this but when you are done….stop what your doing and shut your eyes.  Ask the Holy Spirit to come.  Not just once but over and over.  “Spirit come. Spirit come.  Holy Spirit come”.  Begin to feel Him cover you. Begin to feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.  Stop thinking about the worldly talents and all of the STUFF we feel we have to DO.  Just let His Spirit begin to fall on you.  And, just worship Him.  Just sit or stand there and love on Him.  Adore your King.  Honor your King.  Do this every sing day for a week a few times each day and see if it doesn’t become habit.

Take what you have and Worship Him with it.