Leadership Lessons: Luke 5:1-11

“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:1-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/luk.5.1-11.nkjv

The Test Of Leadership

Jesus gives Peter a small test. Peter’s boat is one of two. Jesus asked for Peter’s boat. Is he open to being used?  Passing this small test opened up a greater dialogue for Peter and ultimately shaped the rest of his life.

The Trial Of Leadership

In every position of leadership there are going to be trials. The role of a trial is to render a judgment. In this case Peter was on trial. What would he do, trust his own judgment or trust Jesus? Jesus was putting Peter through some trials to see his responsiveness even though Peter had a long unsuccessful night. Trials produce stress to see how we will respond. Leaders endure the stress and trust that Jesus is bringing about a result we cannot even imagine.

The Triumph Of Leadership

In the end, Peter makes a remarkably honest declaration: depart from me because I am sinful! Leadership isn’t about being perfect but about being willing to step out and even fail. Peter failed often and yet the Lord kept His promise by making Peter a fisher of men. The triumph was not because Peter passed each test well but because he endured to the end. When we are given roles of leadership the Lord isn’t asking us to do anything but to be obedient to His commands and requests. Even though we are sinful people, Jesus still uses us in great ways to bring people into His kingdom. 

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5 things to start the new year

As school is getting back into the full swing, I wanted to share five things to help us all look at the school year afresh. Even though I have students in mind, these things can apply to anyone, anywhere.

1) Start with God. I know it seems like a given but there’s no doubt that as time, busyness and complacency set in, starting each day with God may become a challenge. It’s important to not only be disciplined in having time with God but also to be directed. What does that mean? It means having a plan. Decide when and what you are going to read and study. Make it part of your homework routine. Use the Youversion Bible app for reading plans and then use a journal to record your thoughts and prayers. You’ll be amazed at how different your days will be!

2) Start praying for your classmates and friends. Inevitably there are people in your classes and friends on your bus…people that you work with who need your prayers. You don’t have to blatantly ask for prayer requests…just listen for needs that you overhear and pray silently about what God wants you to do. He may want you to speak up to help meet the need or He may simply want you to seek Him in prayer over a period of time. Praying for the people around you is a great way to see and be part of what God is doing.

3) Start seeing yourself as an agent of change. Regardless of where you are or how much you like being there, God can and does want to use you to bring about godly and lasting change. He can use you to demonstrate His mercy, grace, kindness, and love if you are willing to be that vessel for Him to pour it through. God isn’t limited by our inabilities but our unavailability. Will you be available to Him to bring lasting and effective change?

4) Start looking for ways you can be involved. As a servant of Jesus, you have to take a position of service. In what way can you help another? How can you serve your school or job better? How about the community? How can you give back? One of the greatest ways God uses us is by being involved in acts of service to those around us. Look for a way to be involved today.

5) Start giving your best. No matter what, you can always give your best to the situation. Remember you are not responsible for what someone else does but you are responsible for you. You can always rise above the gossip, crude jokes, meaningless banter and give the best version of yourself to others and to the Lord. Don’t withhold the good that is in you for fear of standing out. Be all that you can and were created to be and that will bring God glory. Use your brain, your gifts, your talents and your time wisely and give all you have to achieve the greatest good you can. Don’t compare your best with someone else. You’re not in a competition. You only have to answer for you and you and God know what your best is. So start giving your best to everything you do and you will most certainly bring the change God desires and the glory God deserves.

Reflections On Matthew 27:62-63

62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Matthew 27:62-63

 

An Imposter?

It seems interesting that the Pharisees and Chief Priests would call Jesus a “deceiver” and “imposter”. Shouldn’t the ones who had the most education and training be able to know the Son of God?  Maybe it just goes to show that education nor religious training is sufficient to ensure we get all of life’s most important questions right?

A Quote?

The Pharisees and Chief Priests seem to recall what Jesus said He would do if He was killed…interestingly enough, Jesus’ own disciples did not seem to remember this. The people in this verse show that they were not quite sure that Jesus wouldn’t raise Himself, or that someone might play a trick and make it look like He rose from the dead. They were not going to take any chances.

If Jesus was who He said and the disciples really believed Him, shouldn’t they be the ones with confidence?

When the difficult times come, do you forget what Jesus said? What He did? Don’t let the words of Christ escape you. Since Jesus isn’t an imposter or deceiver, we can take every word He said and confidently walk into an unknown future.

The Path To Leading Well

Looking through the scriptures this morning, I noticed a few things about spiritual leaders that I think could be helpful on the path to leading well.

Read Matthew 27:41-43

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

The spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day did a few things that we can observe to help us not make similar mistakes as we lead others.

Mistake 1: Being like everyone else.

The passage starts off: “Likewise”…Isn’t it interesting that the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day were no different than all the rest of the people around? As a spiritual leader, we should be much different than all of the world around us. This is one of the reasons leadership can be so difficult.

As a spiritual leader, God has called each of us to a different way of living. We shouldn’t be chiming in and sounding like everyone else around us. It is a great opportunity for leaders to have a unique voice, a different tone and march to a different beat, when everyone else around us is looking to crucify someone.

Mistake 2: Denying God.

The spiritual leaders were only willing to believe in Jesus if Jesus did all the things they wanted Him to do. Jesus/God does not operate that way. As a spiritual leader it is important to not deny God the rights to do as He will at any time.

The leaders of Jesus time were throwing all kinds of conditions and stipulations on the people and on God. Are you doing that in any way? Are you limiting God or people? Are you demanding that they do something to prove who they are? Are you trying to prove something yourself?

These religious leaders wanted to prove to Jesus, their people and even to God that they had everything under control and within their power. They were completely wrong.

Mistake 3: Missing the big picture.

How often as a spiritual leader has this happened: looking at the circumstance instead of God? These leaders of Jesus’ day could not for the sake of their lives believe that God would send His son, much less have Him save the world like this…and yet God did.

There may be situations, circumstances, and issues that we face as leaders that simply don’t make sense to us. There may be a myriad of questions that go unresolved for months and maybe even years. As a spiritual leader, faith, hope, and trust are essential to endure to the end. Just because God didn’t intervene and save His son as the leaders thought would happen, didn’t mean God wasn’t pleased with Jesus and doing a much greater work than they could possibly imagine.

As you walk the path to leading well today, here are a couple things to take with you:

Be ok with being the leader and not being like everyone else. God has allowed you to lead for a reason. Set the tone, march to a different beat. Don’t cave into popular demand and certainly don’t mimic the rhetoric around you.

Be aware of how you are trying to manipulate others or God. Let God be God. You be a leader. Leaders don’t have to coerce people…they compel people because of how they live and how they love.

Be focused on the big picture. It’s not about us as leaders; it’s about God’s story and His plan. Don’t miss what God is doing around you because you feel it should be another way. Just be pleasing to God but remember that even that might get you crucified at times.

 

3 Thoughts From My Time With God

39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:39-40 NKJV

1) Don’t misunderstand what Jesus says. The people thought he was talking about the physical temple building but He was talking about Himself. Think about all the things that happen as a result of misunderstandings. Do your best to get all the right information. Ask questions. Seek for the Truth. Look for the spiritual things beyond the physical things. How have you misunderstood what God is doing lately? Is there something you need to get clarification about?

2) If Jesus would have saved Himself, He wouldn’t have saved us. We have to get away from selfishness. Jesus was the most selfless person ever. He wasn’t trying or focused on saving Himself. How has self-preservation been your focus? In what ways have you been selfish?

3) If you are…sounds much like the temptations from the Devil in Matthew 4. The people thought if He would just come down from the cross that would have proven He was all that He said. Jesus wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone. He had a mission and He accomplished it. Don’t get caught up in trying to be or do something to prove yourself. Do what God wants and created you to do. How have you been trying to prove your worth to God? Or others?