Friday, October 15, 2010

Deadlines and Due Dates

God is All-Knowing

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
     Or if due to strength, eighty years,
     Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
     For soon it is gone and we fly away.
So teach us to number our days,
     That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.  Psalms 90:10, 12 (NASB)

From proposals and work presentations to helping our children with college applications, life is full of deadlines.  Some of us are planners while others procrastinate until the very end.  Whether we like it or not, time keeps ticking – it is something we can not control.  But, as much as we may dislike deadlines, they will motivate us to get things done.

The Bible tells us that God knows the exact number of our days.  This final deadline is something we really don't spend much time thinking about, but we all know we are not immortal.  So if deadlines serve to motivate us, what will this ultimate deadline cause you to want to accomplish today?  And more importantly, will you act now or will you wait until the very last moment? 

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.  Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.  Deuteronomy 5:32-33

Because God is all knowing, through Christ we can live our lives with purpose to the end.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What Makes Great Leaders Great?

God is Gracious

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest."  Luke 9:46-48

Many of us have a personal favorite when it comes to great leaders – maybe it is George Washington, Martin Luther King, or maybe Ronald Reagan.  If asked what makes them great, a likely response is that they had a grand vision and inspired others to support it. 

According to Webster, one definition of a leader is something that ranks first.  But we learn from Jesus, who modeled perfect leadership while he was on earth, that yes, Jesus was part of God’s grand plan and was surrounded by loyal and determined followers, but what sets Jesus apart from many of the world’s leaders is that he viewed himself as the “least of these”.  Despite his power and authority as “God made man”, he bowed down and became a servant, allowing himself to take the lowest place so all of the world could be rescued from sin and made heirs to the throne.  Isn’t it remarkable that the world defines a leader as someone who ranks first, but yet Jesus modeled just the opposite?  How will you choose to lead?

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.  John 13:14-16

Because God is gracious, with Christ we can find joy in being least when leading others.