Leading Like A Shepherd

And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them (Psalm 78:72). 

The most powerful king Israel ever had is applauded for leading his people with integrity and skill like a shepherd. Not as a warlord, not as a kingdom builder, not as a musician and songwriter; but a lowly, unassuming shepherd. 

A mark of a godly leader is one who leads like a shepherd.

A shepherd is known for these qualities—

—shepherds don’s see their sheep as a mass, but know each and every individual by name. 

—shepherds lead their flock by walking in the middle of the group so that they can be as close to as many sheep as possible. 

—shepherds are attentive to the particular needs of the young, the sick, and the elderly.

—shepherds lay down in the dirt to protect any places vulnerable to a predator’s attack. 

—shepherds find the best food and water possible for their sheep. 

—shepherds search for any sheep who have strayed away. 

—David shepherded the people Israel just as he himself had been shepherded by God.

This is an invaluable lesson every leader should learn! 

This is part 30 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

Saturday In The Proverbs—Nourishing (Proverbs 13)

[Each chapter in the Book of Proverbs contains thoughts that fit into a theme; they are not just random thoughts gathered together. In this “Saturday In The Proverbs” series, I will share a theme that I see in each chapter. But the cool thing about God’s Word is that you may see an entirely different theme. That’s great! If you do, I would love for you to share it in the comments below.]

A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth … The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul… (Proverbs 13:2, 25).

God’s wisdom never leaves us flat. Never leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth. Never leaves us unsatisfied. Never leaves us without all that we need. 

God’s wisdom…

  • instructs (v. 1) 
  • satisfies the soul (vv. 2, 12, 25)
  • preserves life (vv. 3, 14)
  • brings real riches (vv. 4, 7, 11)
  • promotes (v. 5) 
  • guards (vv. 6, 8)
  • leaves a legacy (vv. 9, 22, 24)
  • increases peace (v. 10)
  • rewards (v. 13) 
  • brings favor (vv. 15, 18)
  • grows knowledge (v. 16)
  • preserves health (v. 17) 
  • gets things down (v. 19) 
  • gains even more wisdom (v. 20) 
  • repays good (v. 21)
  • wastes nothing (v. 23) 

Wow! How nourishing God’s Wisdom is! 

Godly Leaders Raise Up Godly Leaders

“…as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me…I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me” (Ezra 7:28).

A mark of a godly leader is one who raises up other godly leaders. He doesn’t want to walk alone; he doesn’t want to keep God’s blessings to himself. He knows that there can never be too many God-fearing leaders.

How did Ezra raise up more godly leaders?

  1. Ezra made sure his team had everyone it needed to be successful. When he discovered his team had no Levites to oversee functions in the temple, he made an appeal for a Levite to join his team. “Then, by the good hand of our God upon us” God sent Ezra nearly 250 Levites (Ezra 8:18-20)!
  2. Ezra made sure his team would be adequately cared for. He prayed and fasted as he asked for God’s direction and protection for his team (vv. 21-23).
  3. Ezra trusted his teammates. He entrusted them with precious, irreplaceable treasures (vv. 24-34).

What Ezra did became contagious. The leading men that came to follow Ezra all brought other potential leaders with them as well.

Godly leaders are never content arriving at their destination alone—they want as many other godly leaders alongside them as possible.

My prayer—God, place Your good hand on me to empower me to raise up godly leaders.

This is the first part of my series on godly leadership. To check out all of the posts, please click here.

Poetry Saturday—Beloved

Charles WesleyNot from his head was woman took,
As made her husband to o’erlook;
Not from his feet, as one designed
The footstool of the stronger kind;
But fashioned for himself a bride;
An equal, taken from his side.

Her place intended to maintain,
The mate and glory of the man;
To rest, as still beneath his arm
Protected by her lord from harm—
And never from his heart removed,
As only less than God beloved. ―Charles Wesley

Prayers Of Thomas Aquinas

thomas aquinasI just finished reading a book of prayers compiled from the work of Thomas Aquinas. Here are a few that caught my attention—

Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see; 

Yet Thee confess my Lord and God to be: 

Make me believe Thee ever more and more; 

In Thee my hope, in Thee my love to store.

Sion, lift thy voice and sing: 

Praise thy Savior and thy King; 

Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true: 

Dare thy most to praise Him well; 

For He doth all praise excel; 

None can ever reach His due.

Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the Physician of life, as one unclean to the Fountain of mercy, as one blind to the Light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness.

Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion.

You Are Protected

Finger Of God“I drive out demons by the finger of God.” —Jesus

The finger of God is more powerful than the full armies of satan!

If God’s finger is that powerful, consider this…

You are held in God’s hands.

You are covered by His wings.

You are immersed in His Spirit.

You are hidden in Christ.

Greater is He who surrounds you and lives in You than anything that comes against you!

We Were Robbed!

Yesterday morning I walked into the church and noticed the office door was open. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “I thought I closed that door before I left yesterday.”

Then I walked around the corner and noticed my office door standing open. “I know I closed that door.” The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I could feel all my muscles starting to tense. I walked into my office and saw the mess. I looked more closely at my office door and saw it had been jimmied open. So too had the office door.

Someone broke into the church. We had been robbed!

I made an inventory through the church, called the sheriff, and called our Board members. What else was there to do? I returned to my office, sat down in my chair, and looked around my office. Two thoughts overwhelmed me:

1.  All of the things that were taken were replaceable. I am grateful that the things that have sentimental value to me were left untouched.

2.  The words from Matthew Henry’s journal on the day he was robbed immediately came to mind:

“Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I that robbed.”

So sitting in my office waiting for the sheriff deputy to arrive I prayed. I thanked God for His protection, and I prayed for the desperate individual who broke in. Clearly this is someone who is at their wit’s end. Our thief is someone who needs my prayers, not my scorn.

I still feel violated. I still had a sick feeling in my stomach all day (and even now as I recall the events of yesterday). But I also remain grateful to God for His protection, and I’m continuing to pray for our thief that in His desperation He will meet this same loving God.

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