Took some dear friends fishing yesterday. Got to watch this wonderful young man, Nathan Kenny, catch his first Bass.
This is New Hope Christian College. We can make a brighter day, just you and me! Please take a moment and listen to this. May God Bless each and every one of you on this Independence Day.
"There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We're all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me"
We can only change the world, by first starting with ourselves... let's be the change we want to see.
What are somethings we can do to make a difference in the world around us?
“Though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, yet for love’s sake, I rather appeal to you.” (Philemon 1:8-9)
Paul understood how to wield his authority when he needed to, but here in Philemon, the greater goal would be met only if he could lay it aside. Paul gives us a rich and valuable lesson on how to correctly use authority in order to accomplish Kingdom objectives. The key to great authority is knowing when to exert it, and when to limit it!
I play golf ... not well, mind you, but I enjoy it. At each tee, you usually take out your driver and hit that ball as far as your skill will allow you. However, there are holes with twists and turns that force you to manage the course rather than take authority over it! The fairway might take a sharp right turn 130 yards down, so regardless of whether or not you could drive it 250 yards, there will be times when you have to lay that ability (and craving) aside. It’s not easy! You see, if you tag it too far, you will be in the weeds or behind some trees. So, you lay aside your Big Stick and take out a measly 9 iron. You limit your gorilla nature and humbly hit it in the area where the fairway turns. (Oh, the pain of having to limit what you could do!) Nevertheless, in order to manage the course, you restrain yourself. Humility is a rare virtue, especially on the golf course!
Authority is not always utilized at its maximum velocity or swallowed best at maximum strength. Paul is a wise leader. He would later say to Philemon, who was the slave owner of Onesimus. , “…without your consent, I did not want to do anything — so that your goodness should not be, as it were, by compulsion, but rather of your own free will” (v. 14).
The lesson? I have noticed that in working with people, there are times that a leader must limit himself. Often, “acquiescent compliance” is not the goal. “Partnership” and “shared vision” is, and the only way to gain that is by limiting authority, not by exerting it. It is by laying aside your mantle, not by parading it. It comes in asking rather than dictating, requesting, and not commanding.
Teach me, O Father, to understand how to use authority correctly. The bottom line is not to compromise relationships for getting tasks done. It’s everyone buying in and doing what You’ve called us to do … as a team! There is yet so much to learn as I shepherd Your precious people. Please continue teaching me to lead like You lead. I am reminded that the greatest authority in the universe was wielded when You laid down Your rights in order to gain our hearts through redemption and salvation. How grateful I am for Your humility and grace.
As you move forward today, what will you choose to be an obstacle and what will you choose to be an opportunity? It's truly a great country when you get to make a choice each and every day. Many feel they have no choices. They are those who choose obstacle instead of opportunity.