Leading Well Throughout 2017

I wonder where we need to lead better in 2017. If you’re like me and can be honest enough too, then there’s probably a decent list. 

Let me suggest 3 areas to start. In fact these are not mine really, I’ve stolen them from Jesus. 

Jesus talked about the greatest commandments being as follows…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [Matthew 27:37-39 ESV]

So a good place to start when it comes to leading well in life throughout 2017, in whatever sphere of life could be in these 3 areas which will help fulfill these commands…

Leading myself well – keeping a healthy soul

Leading others well – watching how I think and speak about others

Leading with God – keeping a strong walk with God

Do you agree? Where would you say you need to lead well in 2017?

Power and Authority

power-001-001When it comes to leading well in life we must use our power and authority in the best and most appropriate ways. It is wrong to think that to be a leader is to be someone who can yield power and authority however we want.

Being a leader is more than being in charge. It is knowing when to do and say the right thing at the right time.

The right use of power and authority can change our world and the world of those around us.

The story of the Centurion in Luke 7 demonstrates this…

The Centurion never actually met Jesus. People loved him so much they spoke to Jesus on his behalf. He didn’t ask them to so why do this for him? Possibly because he treated them well as friends, he led himself and others in the right way. He had a powerful position but he did not use this to his advantage.

This was a more about who he was rather than what he was.

He understood authority and power and how when people with both use them well then those things you desire to be done, will be done.

This recognition of how power and authority work were a enough for him. Just say the word. It was a sign of great faith. He never sees Jesus. He just knows that Jesus has power and authority which used in the right way is enough to bring the change that he desires.

My prayer is that I would have the same faith-filled confidence in Jesus. To know without doubt that all it takes is a power-filled word from Jesus to change my world and to know this same power and authority is now in me, enabling me to bring change to others on Jesus’ behalf.

How do you feel about that?

Remember, God Knows You

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You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, but by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing to something [Psalm 139:15 Message]

3 days in to 2017, no mishaps yet. But I’m sure there will be one or two at some stage.

At those moments I have to remind myself that I am not measured by my levels of perfection or the attainment of a certain performance.

At those moments I have to remind myself that my worth and value are measured differently, not by what I am but whose I am.

At those moments I have to remind myself that I am Gods, how He loves me, how He knows me and that He is the one who desired for me to exist.

When I know whose I am and where I have come from, I am better placed to journey through anything that may come my way.

One Way to Step Into Your Calling

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Too often we make life about ourselves. How can I make MY year the best year for ME?

If you’ve read any of my posts then you’ll notice I am an advocate for goal setting, having a plan, aiming for something.

But more than these, I am a greater advocate for the presence of God, getting Gods view and lead on life’s big decisions. A good, strong walk with God can help us overcome more obstacles than the best laid plans.

How we approach the days ahead is more than snap decisions or how detailed the plan may be. That’s why yesterday I encouraged us all to prophesy over and into the future. To speak the right things. We should add to this Gods call for us, His heart to become our heart.

I read these verses this morning and was nudged by the Holy Spirit – why not make this your 2017 focus, your calling to step in to for the next 12 months and beyond…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. [‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:18-19‬ ‭ESV]

Prophesy over your future. Then be about the same things Jesus was about. That can’t be wrong and we surely make a difference in the process too.

What Would You Do in 2017?

Yesterday I asked a question about thankfulness. Having an attitude of gratitude is really important.  Recognising our blessings helps us to notice the good things going on around us and in us.

I was blessed in 2016 to visit Bangalore and spend time with Immy who leads our Xcel location there.

I was blessed to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked.

I was blessed with healing, financial miracles and breakthrough moments too in situations.

I was also blessed to know that wherever I was, whatever I was doing, God was always with me. My awareness of this grew. It’s so easy to just get on with things and not remember this fundamental truth.

Don’t forget to share your thankfulness stories.

Today’s question gets us looking ahead to 2017. What would you do with your life in 2017 if you knew it was impossible to fail at what you attempted?

Again I’d love for you to share your answers. 

How Would You Review 2016?

Between Christmas and New Year ~ isn’t this just the weirdest time of year? Christmas Day has come and gone. Now, it can seem like all we are doing is simply waiting for the New Year especially if you are not at work. 

It can test my patience by not really being focused on anything. I am naturally a doer and don’t do ‘nothing’ very well. 

To counter this I thought over the next few days I would post some blogs to help me help you. To ask some questions to cause us all to reflect, be thankful, but also to look ahead with purpose and challenge too. 

Question 1: Looking back on 2016 ~ what 3 things are you most thankful for? Maybe reflect and use this time to give God some thanks for the things He has done in your life during the last 12 months. 

I look forward to reading your comments and your stories.

Jesus Was the Bigger Person

grow-bigger-001-001To be salt and light is to be like Jesus. Look at his dealings with people and you will see what I mean. Jesus was always the bigger person.

In Luke 19 Jesus is passing through Jericho. Crowds come to see him. So much so that every vantage point needed to be taken. For a small guy like Zacchaeus this meant to catch a glimpse of this great teacher, climbing a tree would be the order of the day. Now climbing a tree can be a tough enough job at the best of times but wearing a tunic, surely this just complicates things.

In position and watching Jesus interact with the crowd, the last thing Zacchaeus expects is for Jesus to notice him, speak to him and most definitely not to invite himself round to his house.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector, the despised and rejected of the day. He would be known for taking what was due for the Romans and always a portion for himself. He lived well, but probably had few or no friends.

What a day then when the Rabbi invites himself to visit. Most people wouldn’t have even given him the time of day. Some would just want to punch or spit on him. But not Jesus.

Imagine the situation in John 8 when a woman is thrown in front of Jesus having been caught in the act of adultery. ‘She is guilty’ is the cry from her accusers. Watch Jesus. He is slow to comment, maybe collecting his thoughts before he speaks. He doesn’t condemn, he doesn’t judge, instead he his compassionate, insightful, full of grace and truth.

Being salt and light offered both recipients turn-around moments. Sin is acknowledged and then covered with grace. A new life opportunity with one instruction encouraging them to ‘make things right’ and ‘sin no more’. Salt & light.

To forgive when others would condemn takes a bigger person.

To include when others would exclude takes a bigger person.

To notice when others don’t takes a bigger person.

To be inconvenienced when others prefer ease and comfort, takes a bigger person.

This is a challenge. In a world where we are taught to be concerned about ourselves, to look out for ‘number one’ anything like these things mentioned above can only come from being the bigger person. And a lot of that bigness can only truly come when we invite Jesus in, to make our lives bigger and big enough to act in such a different way.

Let’s take time this Christmas and be ready and willing to grow and become the bigger person Jesus needs us to be.

7 Kingdom Thoughts

Been reflecting today on all we’ve been talking about in respect of the Kingdom of God, what it is but more importantly, how it should impact our lives. 

1. Living like a Kingdom person isn’t easy. 

2. Just because I’m a Kingdom person doesn’t mean I’m perfect. But I’m on that journey like all of us. Some stuff takes time. Israel came out of Egypt in a day but it took a generation to get Egypt out of Israel. 

3. If I’m letting people know that I am a Christian, and therefore by decision, a Kingdom person, I better do my best at not making a hash of it. 

4. Kingdom people wear the badge of grace with honour understanding that without the grace of God we are nothing. We are careful not to wear the badge of lifestyle, pity, bad behaviour, self-righteousness or anything else with the same kind of honour we should be giving to God. 

5. We are now writing our Kingdom story, one which is being added to all the Kingdom stories written by individuals before us, including Jesus. 

6. To be a Kingdom citizen is to make Jesus is King of my life, which means that I no longer am. 

7. Wondering what is stopping me from actually living like the Kingdom of God stuff is true, real and works? What if I lived like God is good, wants the best for me and is most definitely on my side?

Just my thoughts and I am certainly challenged by all that we are teaching and speaking about at the moment. One simple thing I have learned is this: the first and most important walk with God I need to give my attention to is my walk with God.

If you are part of Xcel Church, what have you been learning from this Kingdom series?