Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Daily Devotional Tuesday 16th August

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”Romans 14:8 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide."
Genesis 24:63

Very admirable was his occupation. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed. Isaac found Rebecca while engaged in private musings; many others have found their best beloved there.

Very admirable was the choice of place. In the field we have a study hung round with texts for thought. From the cedar to the hyssop, from the soaring eagle down to the chirping grasshopper, from the blue expanse of heaven to a drop of dew, all things are full of teaching, and when the eye is divinely opened, that teaching flashes upon the mind far more vividly than from written books. Our little rooms are neither so healthy, so suggestive, so agreeable, or so inspiring as the fields. Let us count nothing common or unclean, but feel that all created things point to their Maker, and the field will at once be hallowed.

Very admirable was the season. The season of sunset as it draws a veil over the day, befits that repose of the soul when earthborn cares yield to the joys of heavenly communion. The glory of the setting sun excites our wonder, and the solemnity of approaching night awakens our awe. If the business of this day will permit it, it will be well, dear reader, if you can spare an hour to walk in the field at eventide, but if not, the Lord is in the town too, and will meet with thee in thy chamber or in the crowded street. Let thy heart go forth to meet him.

Evening

"And I will give you an heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26

A heart of flesh is known by its tenderness concerning sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, or to have allowed a wild desire to tarry even for a moment, is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.

"If to the right or left I stray,

That moment, Lord, reprove;

And let me weep my life away,

For having grieved thy love"

The heart of flesh is tender of God's will. My Lord Will-be-will is a great blusterer, and it is hard to subject him to God's will; but when the heart of flesh is given, the will quivers like an aspen leaf in every breath of heaven, and bows like an osier in every breeze of God's Spirit. The natural will is cold, hard iron, which is not to be hammered into form, but the renewed will, like molten metal, is soon moulded by the hand of grace. In the fleshy heart there is a tenderness of the affections. The hard heart does not love the Redeemer, but the renewed heart burns with affection towards him. The hard heart is selfish and coldly demands, "Why should I weep for sin? Why should I love the Lord?" But the heart of flesh says; "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee; help me to love thee more!" Many are the privileges of this renewed heart; "'Tis here the Spirit dwells, 'tis here that Jesus rests." It is fitted to receive every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. It is prepared to yield every heavenly fruit to the honour and praise of God, and therefore the Lord delights in it. A tender heart is the best defence against sin, and the best preparation for heaven. A renewed heart stands on its watchtower looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Have you this heart of flesh?

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Today's reading: Psalm 91-93, Romans 15:1-13 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 91-93

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Romans 15:1-13

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ....

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Hannah

The Woman Who Personifies Ideal Motherhood

Scripture References - 1 Samuel 1; 2:1, 21

Name Meaning - The Hebrew setting of Hannah has the beautiful and attractive meaning of "gracious" or "graciousness" or "favor" and by a slight change becomes the smoother Ann, Anne, or Anna - the latter form touching the classic world with keen interest. Anna was the name given by Virgil to the twin-souled sister of the lovelorn Queen Dido.

And now Aurora from the heavens had rent the mist apart,

Sick-souled her sister (Anna) she bespeaks, the sharer of her heart.

Family Connections - Hannah was the favorite wife of Elkanah, a Levite of Ramathaim Zophim who belonged to one of the most honorable families of that priestly portion of Jacob's progeny - the Kohathites. Although a godly man he followed the common custom of polygamy in those days when "every man did that which was right in the sight of his own eyes." As it was the burning desire of every Hebrew parent to have a son, Hannah who was barren, may have urged her husband to take another wife, as Sarah arranged with Abraham to do, so that Elkanah's name might be perpetuated. The second wife was Peninnah, of whom we know nothing save that she bore Elkanah several children, and grieved Hannah with her cruel and scurrilous tongue. "The sacred writer does not keep us long in Peninnah's company," says Alexander Whyte, "he hastens past Peninnah to tell us about Hannah, that sorely-fretted and sequestered woman, who waters her couch with her tears." The curse accompanying polygamy shows up in Elkanah's home life. Hannah became the mother of the renowned Samuel, and also bore Elkanah three other sons and two daughters none of whom are mentioned by name (1 Samuel 2:21)

The Bible has been called "The World's Gallery of Lasting Fame," and in this gallery the portrait of Hannah occupies a conspicuous place. All that is recorded of this mother, who was one of the most noble Hebrews who ever lived, is an inspiration and a benediction. Whether she was as beautiful as Sarah we are not told, but because of her inner serenity she must have had "a very sensitive face, in which her moods were reflected like sunshine and shadow on a quiet lake." The story we have of her is "a harp-note of the immortal triumph of patience." Hannah is a beautiful example of how the most unpleasant and untoward circumstances can produce a character blessing the world. "The outline touches of her life," says John F. Jurst, "sombre and mournful at first, but radiant with faith and hope at last, form the fitting introduction to the narrative of the career of her great son Samuel in his combined character of Judge and Prophet of Israel." Perhaps we can best summarize Hannah's career in the following fivefold way -

Her Sanctity

From the record we have of Hannah she appears to have been a woman with an unblemished character. Piety reigned in her heart, and she maintained constant communion with the religious ordinances of her nation. Pious Hannah was separated unto the Lord, and amidst trying domestic relationships knew how to have recourse to Him for all necessary grace to bear her troubles. She cried day and night unto the Lord, and was heard in that she feared Him whom her soul loved. Because of her godliness, devotion, trust, patience and self-sacrifice, she came to be signally blessed of the Lord, and, in turn, communicated to her renowned son Samuel something of her saintliness of life and character. It was no easy task to live for years with a nasty woman like Peninnah, but Hannah retained her serenity of soul and was a veritable lily among thorns.

Her Sorrow

While Hannah had a house she did not have a home. The ideal of every Jewess was to be "head of the home," but she had no child, no family. True, she had a devout husband who loved her, and bestowed richer gifts upon her than he did upon his other wife, but she was childless. Comforting her yearning heart Elkanah said, "Am I not better to thee than ten sons?" Hannah, however, longed for a son out of her own womb to love and fondle. As the years went by her agony became more intense, and her barrenness was a greater burden because of the jealousy and heartlessness of her rival, Peninnah, who frequently tantalized Hannah for being childless. But true to her name, she manifested the grace of self-control amid the cruel chidings and reproaches of Peninnah, "her adversary who provoked her sore, and made her to fret." Can we wonder that Hannah referred to herself as, "a woman of a sorrowful spirit"? Jealousy, "the green-eyed monster that mocks the meat it feeds on," had taken possession of Peninnah, but not of Hannah. Although the Lord had "shut up her womb" her heart was still open toward Him. Made to sorrow by those nearest to her, Hannah was never guilty of any unwomanly, retaliatory conduct. Whenever her husband tried to comfort her stricken heart, her adversary was provoked to fresh insults and taunts. The fact that Elkanah loved Hannah and bestowed a double portion upon her only added more fuel to the fire of contempt in Peninnah's heart.

Her Supplication

Childless, Hannah was not prayerless. Barren, she still believed, and her pain found a refuge in prayer. In God's house, she besought the Creator "to raise her into the empire of motherhood," and to interfere with the law of nature on her behalf. How moving is the episode of Hannah pouring out her soul before God in His house and vowing that if He would give her a son, then she would give him back to God for His exclusive use! She bargained with God, and kept her bargain. She took her particular sorrow to God, and prayed, not that Peninnah's joy might be less, but that He would take away the cause of her own anguish. She gave herself to prayer, and in the presence of God her sorrow burst its bonds. Yet even in God's house at Shiloh she did not find at first the sympathy and understanding she sought. Think, for a moment, about some of the features of her heartfelt cry!

First of all, her prayer was of a peculiar kind. It was a supplication without external speech. Her lips moved but there was no sound. Her prayer was internal, and as she spoke thus to herself she created the impression that she was drunk with wine. She had learned that prayer is the Christian's native breath, "unuttered or expressed." While she never said a prayer, "she breathed a wish in her soul and sent it up unspoken right to the throne of God. It is a unique experience for the age of the Judges; the piety of Hannah is a ripe flower in an almost sterile field." The old priest Eli, not meaning to be unkind when he saw Hannah's lips moving and her whole being caught up in the fervency of her supplication and yet heard no words being expressed, somewhat felt that Hannah was drunk and upbraided her for coming into God's house in such a condition. How his hasty, ill-founded conclusions added gall to the sorrow of her heart.

Hannah protested her innocence and declared that she had never taken strong drink, and then poured out her soul to Eli who, discerning that her desire for a child was intense and her spirit, sacrificial, for she wanted nothing for herself alone, assured her that her inarticulate prayer had been heard. "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him." Down she went to her house content forshe believed. She was no longer forlorn, sorrowful, heart-hungry, but joyous and buoyant. God granted her wish, and the yearned-for child arrived and she called his name Samuel, which means, "asked of the Lord."

Her Song

Hannah's Psalm of Thanksgiving marks her out as a poetess and prophetess of no mean order. With her desire fulfilled she bursts into song and pours forth her gratitude to God for His goodness, and her Magnificat became the basis of the one the blessed Virgin Mary was to offer to the same covenant-keeping God. The reader will find a strong resemblance between Hannah's song and that of Mary's (Luke 1:46-55 ). The spiritual lyric of Hannah is equal to any of the Psalms and is eloquent with the divine attributes of power, holiness, knowledge, majesty and grace. Such an elevated poetic utterance elicited by God's answer to her prayer, has stirred the hearts of saints all down the centuries. The following parallel arrangement brings out the points of resemblance between Hannah's song and that of Mary's -

Mary's Song

My soul doth magnify the Lord
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
He hath shewed strength with his arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
And exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
And the rich he hath sent empty away.
Hannah's Song

My heart rejoiceth in the Lord,
Mine horn is exalted in the Lord;
The bows of the mighty men are broken
And they that stumbled are girded with strength.
The Lord killeth, and maketh alive:
He bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up;
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread;
And they that were hungry ceased.

Her Sacrifice

Hannah prayed and promised, and when her prayer was answered she quietly redeemed her promise. More than anything in the world she wanted a son, and when God gave her one, she gave him back to the Lord. Although Samuel was not born to the priesthood, his mother had sacredly pledged him to the Lord; and that pledge must be kept no matter what it might cost her in loneliness. So when weaned, Samuel was taken to the house of the Lord, "there to abide forever." Once a year she visited him and what a human touch we have in that she made a little coat for him to wear. Her saintliness and sacrifice were rewarded for she bore Elkanah five more children. As for Samuel, he grew up to reflect his revered mother's godliness. True to the meaning of his own name, and in likeness to his mother's prevailing intercession, he became a man of prayer and intercession all his days - and beyond all men had power with, and from, God. How appropriate are the lines of Tennyson as we think of Samuel and his saintly mother, Hannah -

Happy he

With such a mother! Faith in womankind

Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high

Comes easy to him, and tho' he trip and fall

He shall not blind his soul with clay.

The lessons to be gathered from the fascinating story of Hannah are clearly evident. First of all, as we think of all Samuel became we realize how the excellencies of many men have usually been foreshadowed, if not exemplified, in the characters of their mothers. "The genius and intellectual sweep of Goethe were foretokened in the manysided brilliancy of Frau Rath." The mother of John Wesley was remarkable for her intelligence, godliness and executive ability earning her the title of "The Mother of Methodism." As no one in all the bleak world is more fitted to guide little feet God-ward, may heaven grant us more mothers like godly Hannah.

From Peninnah's harsh treatment of Hannah we discover how a thoughtless, unloving word of ours can give sorrow to others. How necessary it is to guard our tongues! (James 3:9, 10 ). From Hannah's conduct under much provocation we first of all learn that the heart of God is a comforting retreat for a sorrowful soul. Whatever our particular sorrow may be, the Man of Sorrows waits to undertake. Hannah carried her trial and yearning to God in prayer and she teaches us something about the necessity for form and the spirit of intercession. Compare her silent heart-prayer with Psalm 19:14 . From Eli who misjudged Hannah we learn not to be too hasty in our conclusions. Too often we wrong others by misinterpreting their motives. In Hannah's mild and dignified defense of her character we learn how to defend our rights in all humility (seeJohn 8:48, 49; Acts 26:24-26).

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Jozabad, Josabad

[Jŏz'abăd, Jŏs'a băd] - jehovah hath bestowed or endowed.

  1. A Gederathite of Judah who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chron. 12:4). Also called Josabad.
  2. A man of Manasseh who did the same (1 Chron. 12:20).
  3. Another Manassite who did the same (1 Chron. 12:20).
  4. A Levite , and one of the overseers of tithes in Hezekiah's reign (2 Chron. 31:13).
  5. A Levite chief in Josiah's reign (2 Chron. 35:9).
  6. A son of Jeshua, employed in weighing the sanctuary vessels brought from Babylon (Ezra 8:33).
  7. A priest who had married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:22).
  8. A Levite who had also married a foreign wife ( Ezra 10:23 ).
  9. A Levite interpreter of the Law read by Ezra (Neh. 8:7).
  10. A chief Levite in Jerusalem after the exile (Neh. 11:16).
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August 15, 2011

Grumbling Grumbling Grumbling

Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

Moses also said, 'You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling again him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD' (Exodus 16:8 NIV emphasis added).

Friend to Friend

Yesterday we looked at Miriam and how she grumbled against Moses, but Miriam was not the only one who grumbled while heading toward the Promised Land. The Israelites grumbled at every turn. God cared for the Israelites by His own hand - providing water from a rock, manna from heaven, quail from the sky, clothes that never wore out, a fire by night and a cloud by day. And yet...they grumbled.(See Exodus 15:24, 16:2,7,8,9,11, 17:2,3 ) Do you think they all started grumbling at once? I don't. I think it started with a few murmurs and grew like an approaching train.

Back in the late 50's, there was a movie called "The Blob." The blob looked like a massive pile of silly putty that rolled along swallowing up everything and everyone in its path. That's what grumbling and gossiping can do among believers. It too rolls along swallowing up unsuspecting victims along the way.

God didn't take too kindly to Miriam's grumbling. While she started out whispering about Moses' choice of a wife, that was not really the issue at all. It was jealousy pure and simple. Actually, there was nothing "pure" about it.

"Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken as well through us?" Her words and attitude of jealousy were just as destructive to the cause of God as infectious leprosy that ate away at her fingers and toes. Why was only Miriam punished and not Aaron? I imagine that she was the principle instigator of the ill-spoken words and Aaron happened to be in the blob's path.

Let's back up to Numbers 12:3: "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." Theologians suggest that the word "miserable" is a better translation of the Hebrew word than "humble." "Ever since Numbers 11:1 , one thing after another had brought pressure on Moses so that in 11:14 he whimpers to God that he is not able to bear the load any longer. He even asks that he might die to be relieved of the pressures. Now with this assault of his sister and brother, it was simply too much. He was now the most "miserable" man on the earth. He had found his lot so difficult, his task so unmanageable, his pressure so intense that he called out to God saying, "It is too much!" (11:4) "Now the man Moses was exceedingly miserable, more than any man on the face of the earth!"

( Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Commentary Volume I: Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Micigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p. 198.)

When someone is bending under the pressure of trying to please God and the grumblers he or she is trying to serve, what is needed is not more booing and hissing from the crowd but cheers and holy pep talks from the team. "Do all things without grumbling," Paul encourages the church at Philippi (Philippians 2:14 NASB). Timothy writes, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

So we have a choice. We can be like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible who dispensed encouragement from under the honey tree and walked side-by-side with Christian soldiers into battle. (See Judges 4-5). Or we can be like the prophetess Miriam who stirred up strife and caused the march to the Promised Land to come to a complete stop. The difference lies right under our noses.

Let's Pray

Dear Lord, forgive me when I grumble. I know that ultimately, when I grumble, I am grumbling against You. Help me to be an encourager and use my words to minister to those around me. Help me to build up and not tear down, to encourage and not discourage, and to fan the flames of hope rather than extinguish the sparks of a dream.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Now It's Your Turn

Just try saying the word grumble with a smile on your face. It doesn't work, does it? I'm sitting here trying now. I sure hope no one's looking.

Let's think about this. When we are grumbling about our circumstances, who are we really grumbling against?

Do you see yourself as a person who grumbles or a person who is grateful?

What do you need to do to change?

Make a list of things you are grateful for today!

More from the Girlfriends

If you would like to learn more about how to be a Deborah who encourages others to walk into battle rather than a Miriam who stops progress, you'll want to read The Power of a Woman's Words. And to go deeper into God's Word and learn about the incredible gift of words that He has entrusted to us, you'll want to read The Power of a Woman's Words Bible Study Guide. It is perfect for individual or group study.

Seeking God?

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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

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Glynnis Whitwer

August 15, 2011

Why You Should Hang Up Your Robe
Glynnis Whitwer

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me..." Acts 20:24 (NIV)

My first instinct was to leave the clean, folded clothes on top of the dresser. Granted, my arms were filled with freshly laundered items, so it would have been difficult to open the drawer while balancing the stack. I had an excuse for leaving them on top. Didn't I? Instead, I pushed past my instinct, took 30 more seconds, and placed the clothes neatly in the drawer.

This tendency to not complete a task happens with surprising regularity. I toss my bathrobe on the bed, drape jeans on the tub, and set the television remote on the nearest counter top. However, sometimes, when I'm a bit more self-aware, I take the few extra steps needed to actually finish the task.

Years ago, I realized my practice of stopping short of finishing what I started led to a cluttered home and office. Back then, I had a multitude of unfinished tasks that I just lived with. It wasn't all simple things like putting away clothes, but included larger tasks like leaving a wall half painted.

Starting a project is fun, and usually involves a burst of energy. Then, that energy wanes as I approach the finish line. Instead of pushing to complete the task, assignment or project with excellence, I lean towards settling for good enough. Unfortunately, when I settle for "good enough" consistently, I learn to live with mediocrity. And accepting mediocrity is far from where God wants me to be. You see, finishing what we start is more than a good organizational or home management skill. It's also a spiritual discipline.

As I identified the tendency to settle, I realized it affected me in a variety of ways throughout my life. In the past I accepted a distant relationship with God rather than one of intimacy. I've limited my understanding of Scripture to a surface level. My relationships with others have gone no deeper than, "Hi, how are you doing?" Instead of pushing to explore the fullness of what God offers in all areas, it is easier to stop short. Perhaps it's safer. Simpler. And with less personal discomfort or inconvenience.

Interestingly, it's actually been somewhat easy to address this issue. I admit the tendency within myself to settle, and I get firm with myself about it. Now, when I would prefer to leave the dryer full of clothes, or emails half typed, I say to myself, "Finish what you start." I make a conscientious decision to finish the task at hand before I move on to something new. Obviously, there are some projects that require more effort, but this works on many of my issues.

I'm not sure of all the reasons for stopping short of finishing with excellence, but I do know the results. I end up with unfulfilled commitments, open loops and shallow relationships. That's a far cry from the life Jesus came to bring, which is full and abundant. Not a partial life, but one lived with pushing to the limits and exploring the outer reaches.

Maybe that seems a deep principle to pull from putting clothes in a drawer or a dirty bowl in the dishwasher. However, the discipline of finishing well is one that is woven through my life...or it's not.

So I guess I'll take the extra step and actually hang up my robe. It's one more stitch in this tapestry of finishing well that God is trying to create in my life.

Dear Lord, thank You for demonstrating finishing well through the life of Jesus. I know Jesus could have stopped short of paying the price for my salvation. But He didn't. For that I will be eternally grateful. Please help me push through mediocrity in my life and explore the fullness You long to bring. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Glynnis' blog for tips on ways to address the loose ends in your life and a giveaway of her new book, I Used to Be So Organized.

I Used to Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace by Glynnis Whitwer

P31 Woman magazine Senior Editor, Glynnis Whitwer

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Identify one home or office task that would take you less than 30 minutes to finish. Commit to finishing this in the next five days.

Reflections:
What are some reasons I avoid finishing certain tasks?

Could procrastination reflect a deeper spiritual issue for me?

Power Verses:
John 19:30, "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (NIV)

Genesis 2:2, "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." (NIV)

© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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LeadershipBible-Header-550

Leadership Principle: Structure and Organization

Read Exodus 18:1-27.

Organizations are good. They gather multiple resources and focus them on a mutually desirable outcome. Well-led organizations can accomplish far more than any individual can hope to accomplish alone. That's the truth. But how many organizations are anything but organized? A number of successful business people are purposely keeping their operations very small--or working alone--because they feel that bigger is anything but better. Today's reading shows us that this doesn't have to be the case.


Moses was overwhelmed by the problems of leading a large number of people. His father-in-law invented what has become a thriving profession: Jethro is history's first recorded management consultant. He helped Moses to see that organization and structure are essential to effective operation. Not only is work accomplished more efficiently, but people are better served and supported in doing the work.

Moses discovered the importance of organizational structure when he was still a fledgling leader. The principle embodied here is that effective leaders create a structure that nurtures the health of those they lead. Moses did this by hand-picking potential leaders, training them and empowering them. Moses teaches us that key leaders can still maintain some control--when problems arose, he still acted as a final arbiter. But through effective delegation a leader can multiply his or her effectiveness and better meet the needs of those who require personal attention.

It's worth noting that the idea for the organizational structure didn't come from Moses but from his father-in-law, Jethro. A strong leader is approachable and willing to allow others to tweak the structure of his or her organization, if doing so will strengthen it. To whom do you turn to find help in strengthening your organization?

Structure/Organization and Who God Is

The cosmos is a universe, not a multiverse. The created order is replete with evidence of intelligent design, and even the simplest living system--let alone the human brain-is more complex and subtle than the most sophisticated computer yet devised. It should come as no surprise, then, that the God of the Bible uses structure and organization to accomplish his many purposes. Turn to Revelation 4:2-11 for a glimpse of God's magnificent heavenly order.

This Week's Verse to Memorize

Genesis 1:31-2:1: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good... Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Structure/Organization and Who I Am

Just as God turns chaos into form, structure and resplendent beauty, so he calls upon those who have been created in his image to order and shape our own inner and outer worlds. Through discipline and skill we can bring greater structure and harmony into our personal and social environments. Turn to 1 Corinthians 14:40 for a succinct statement of an important Biblical principle of order.

Structure/Organization and How It Works

Organizations are important; they help us to achieve some of the most important outcomes by structuring multiple resources around a common task. But at times the very organization that is created to serve becomes an obstacle to the outcome. Numbers 11:1-35 illustrates how structure serves rather than dominates an enterprise.

Structure/Organization and What I Do

What kind of structure does an organization require in order to function effectively? Scripture doesn't provide us with any rock-solid systems for organizational structure. Why? Because no such structures exist. Organizational structure is designed to channel resources to meet the task and mission of the organization. As such, it must change as resources and tasks ebb and flow. Find out more by turning to Deuteronomy 1:13-18.


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Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God

by Kenneth Boa
Buy the Handbook!
All the features of The Leadership Bible created by Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell, and Bill Perkins have been combined in this attractive and compact black leather volume. Handbook to Leadership has four parts: 52-Week Leadership Guide, Topical Leadership Guide, Leadership Character Studies, and Books of the Bible Leadership Guide.



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