Monday, September 28 2015
There have been well known leaders throughout history. Several books in the Bible are dedicated to great leaders such as Moses, Joshua and David. History reveals other great and famous leaders that have made a lasting impact on man. Men and women with the names like Washingon, Lincoln and Tubman. But there are many leaders that may never have books written about their exploits or only appear for a short time but make a lasting impression. James was such a leader.
The 15th Chapter of Acts reveals a time in the church when a decision had to be made. A false doctrine was beng introduced and the elders assembled to decide the validity of the teaching.
Acts 15:1-2 KJV
 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said , Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
It is in the meeting that the leadership of James is revealed. James was the leader of the church orgnization. He was tasked with leading such giants in the Gospel as Peter, Paul and John.
We can learn the following leadership lessons from James from this meeting:
Leaders must be listeners. It is detrimental for a leader to employ or appoint subordinates that are simply going to repeat the leaders ideas without giving their thoughts. "Yes men" are not in the best interest of a leader. James took the time to listen.
Acts 15:13 KJV
 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
2. James Trusted his People
Trust breeds loyalty. James trusted his people and what they told him. He did not discount the word of others and used their ideas to move the organization forward.
Acts 15:14 KJV
 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
3. James Understood the Word
A Christian leader cannot lead without having an understanding of the Bible. He used the Word in making his decision and did not base it soley on his knowledge or experiences.
Acts 15:15-18 KJV
 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
4. James was Decisive
A leader must often times make decisions quickly and stick to them. A leader that is indecisive or procrastinates frustrates their subordinates. This can cause a break down in trust and cause a fracture in the organization allowing others to potentially push the leader aside.
Acts 15:19 KJV
 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Leadership can be witnessed in a variety of places. James did not have the "name" that many of his subordinates had, but he had their respect. He was able to lead because he showed the attributes and willingness a leader.
Monday, September 21 2015
There has been much written and preached about why bad things happen to good people. The answer is simple...life! I am not speaking of life in a way that we assume that things just happen, but life on a battlefield and not a playground.
Jesus said that we must "endure" implying "perserverance" and Paul said that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities...". Life involves the supernatural and therefore must "survive" using the supernatural.
Galatians 5:16 KJV
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
When we are experiencing bad times, we need to use the power of the Word of God. We should study and pray the Bible. This will place the power of its Words into the atmosphere. It will increase faith and destroy the enemy.
Jeremiah 23:29 KJV
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord ; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
When we are experiencing bad times, we need to pray and fast. This removes us from the equation and places our problems at the feet of Jesus. Fasting heightens our spiritual sensitivity and break the chains of the enemy on our life.
Matthew 17:20-21 KJV
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
When we are experiencing bad times, we need to repent. Repentance is the beginning of personal revival. Nehemiah repented before building the walls of Jerusalem. Daniel repented in Daniel 9 and Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple that if the people repented that God would forgive. If we cannot remember the last time that we sinned, we should still humble ourselves before God and repent.
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 KJV
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
You will experience low times in your life. It is inevitable, but God has supplied the tools to deal with them in the supernatural. He will never leave or forsake us, but there is growth in the valley. We need to learn from our bad times and celebrate our victories while never leaving the arms of God. We can endure to the end using the power of the Word, prayer, fasting and placing ourselves on the altar of repentance.
Wednesday, September 09 2015
There has been much written and said recently on concerning Kim Davis. She is the clerk of the court that refuses to issue marriage certificates because with the stroke of a pen the Supreme Court required her to issue them to homosexual couples. Her argument is based upon her belief in the Bible and its superior standing in the lives of Christians.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Does the Bible matter to 21st Century society? That seems to be the elephant in the room. There have been attacks on the validity of the Bible in mainstream and social media (and some support). It has been misrepresented, misquoted and taken out of context by people with influence. It was refreshing to see Donald Trump called it his "favorite book", Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz go to Kentucky to support Kim Davis, but it seems (maybe I am sensitive) that the Bible has been viewed and spoke of negatively by the "squeaky wheels".
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Yes, the Bible matters in the 21st Century! If we as a society subscibed to the comandments of the Bible, we would have less social issues. We would not need abortion because the Bible says, "Flee fornication". Murder would be eliminted because, "Thou shalt not kill". Kindness and love would rule the day because we would "love thy neighbor as thyself". "Husband, love your wives as Christ loves the church" would make domestic violence a thing of the past.
Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Yes, the Bible stands in the way of those that want to do it their way. Yes, it speaks against sin, and commands it followers to live a holy life. A seperated life that is pleasing to God. That does not make any of us perfect or give us the ability to stand in condemnation of any other person, but it does instruct us how to make heaven. Jesus did not condemn a woman caught in the very act of a sexual sin. He told her that he would not condemn her, but that she should not sin again. Christianity is about grace.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The Bible instructs in salvation. It guides our daily lives through the wisdom of its words. Solomon wrote , "...there is no new thing under the sun". The ancient people dealt with lust, murder, violence, homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22), idolatry, addictions and any other sin imaginable, but God still called his people to be a holy because of the consequnce of sin.
Leviticus 18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.
The Bible matters because it speaks truth. It has never been proven wrong through archaeology or science. Its instructions guides our life and keeps us from social ills. It matters because it is the Word of God and lives are changed daily. It really doesn't matter what the talking heads of the media says, I know what God has done for me and millions of others.