How do you rate your ability to communicate with others? Is communication a priority for you? Can you inspire and motivate people? Do you express your vision in such a way that your people are able to understand, internalize, and implement it? When you talk to people one-on-one, are you able to connect with them? How about with groups? If you know in your heart that your vision is great, yet people still do not buy into it, your problem may be an inability to communicate effectively. During the coming week, pay attention to your focus when you communicate.
Communication is not just what you say. It’s also how you say it. Contrary to what some educators teach, the key to effective communication is simplicity. Forget about impressing people with big words or complex sentences. If you want to connect with people, keep it simple. People will not follow you if they don’t know what you want or where you are going.
Here’s a story about a junior executive gives a blueprint for effective communication. The young man was invited to speak to a large group for the first time, so he approached his mentor for advice about giving a good speech. The older man said, “Write an exciting opening that will grab everybody in your audience. Then you write a dramatic summary and closing that will make the people want to act. Then put them as close together as possible.”
As leaders we must be able to communicate our vision before we get people to buy into it…
Courage deals with principle, not perception. If you don’t have the ability to see when to stand up and the conviction to do it, you’ll never be an effective leader. Do you stand for right even in the midst of personal loose? Great men and leaders do… Think about it!
Mathew 19:16-22, “16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to have stuff, the whole “Keeping up the Jones” has never been more real than today. Although it would be more realistic to call it
“Keeping up with the Kardashian’s”
We see that money and objects as rewards for doing well in life. You can find yourself getting lost in the idea that being successful means that you have expensive things, things that you place more value on than you do God. Jesus said, “”Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). So, just because you have an expensive home and with 1000 sheet tread count does not mean that you have made it… We are called to be like Christ and that is the only thing that will fill that void in our lives that we are trying to fill with useless goods (that will be out of date next week). Now I do not believe we are called to live in poverty (unless God tells you that directly) but I believe it is a matter of your heart. The rich young rules had a heart issue that Jesus was trying to help him with. Jesus did not tell everyone to sell all their stuff and follow Him but He did say you will have to sacrifice… “If anyone desires to follow me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
To many think that money will raise them high on the pyramid of life…
Many people are constantly seeking success, wealth, possessions, or perfection. Sometimes people assume that if they could achieve one of these then the others will follow. Desiring to be better, have better, or do better can drive many to extremes in their life. One day, while traveling along the coast of Judea, Jesus was approached by a young man seeking to know how eternal life could be achieved. The Lord spoke to him about how he should follow the commandments of God. The young man quickly replied, “I have done all this from my youth up!” Sensing the young man was looking for more, Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should go and sell all his possessions, giving the proceeds to the poor, and then return to follow him. We all know how this story ends! Having achievements in life can be wonderful and fulfilling. But they do not perfect us and can many times create difficulty in our life. Allowing achievement to overshadow our relationships with our family and the Lord can become very costly. Perfection is found in the Lord, and success is found in balancing our desire for achievement with those things in life that are more important, such as our family. How do you find this balance in your life? Is there a time or season when achievement may be more important in an effort to provide more for your family?
By: Paul Grywalski
Feeling destroyed from all my mistakes,
Feeling like life has no room for me,
Falling deeper into a trench I’ve dug,
Feeling lost, broken, and worthless,
I fall to my knees crawling to your feet,
I look up to your face tears flooding my eyes,
All my hope is diminished and my will to continue, gone,
I beg you to forgive me,
I beg you to restore me,
I beg you to fulfill me,
You lift me up high above the mountain that I’ve been tumbling down,
You wrap me in your warm embrace,
Drying my tears with the sun you created,
Washing away all my doubt and fear,
Flooding me with confidence,
Whispering “you are my son”,
“You are forgiven and I will never abandon you”,
Even though I don’t feel worthy of your love,
You show me the truth,
“My love for you is endless and unrelenting”,
My Lord, does not forsake me,
He will never forsake you either,
Faith and love is all you need,
I have lived in darkness,
I have lived in fear and depression,
I have done things that he hates and that have condemned me in the eyes of man,
God has still loved me,
He has never left me even when I ran far from him,
You can never run to far,
All that is required is to turn your head,
He is always right behind you,
You say you don’t know love,
You say you don’t know your father,
You say you don’t know happiness,
You say you don’t know your worth,
No matter what you fear, need, or want,
God is all of those,
He will wash all of your sin away like a mighty flood,
He has done it before, he will do it again,
Truth is, he does it daily in all of us,
Every day after this one is a gift,
We need to recognize it for what it is,
We need to be thankful for all he does,
Unfortunately we aren’t,
He will not leave us though,
He is always here and very evident in our lives,
I pray for all of you, whether you know him or not,
He will redeem you, he will forgive you,
He is the one true father,
He made the ultimate sacrifice for us,
We could all be so fortunate to appreciate that more,
In the name of his son I pray that you will all recognize this,
Thank you Lord for the life you have created for me,
“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:1-3).
I find my strength in only one thing… I find strength and happiness in knowing that no matter what happens the Lord has my best interest at heart. Even though I think I may know what I want God really knows what is best for me. I make plans which I believe we are called to do but I believe that God gives me the right answer, which means I must be willing to change my expectations for God’s. That is true strength. People always think they know what is right for them so in their own eyes they are right and pure but the Holy Spirit inside of us tells us our motives. If I never lose sight of God then know matter what I believe I truly will succeed. It is easy to become prideful in our lives because we think that we can or did “it” on our own. This is dangerous though because,
Not physical death because one out of one people will die… but spiritual death. We must as believers know that we may do big things in life but our character has to match our calling of God because if it does not we will reach our calling and our character will not be strong enough to hold us there. We need to know that it was because of God that we are able to have a calling in life. It was not you and you alone… that’s why they say the pride comes before the fall.
When we hear the word perseverance we think of strength and power. But where does that strength come from? Do we find it in our own self-will? Or do we discover this strength to persevere in the depths of our faith? Proverbs chapter 16 has abundant advice for us on how to persevere in life. We can be enticed to fall into traps throughout life that can weigh us down, and many of these snares are found in the form of worldly behavior. The world tells us to stand in the face of adversity and laugh! The Word of God shows us to kneel in the face of adversity and pray.
Worldliness thrives on self-will and promotes defiance as the answer to all of life’s problems. This type of pride and rebelliousness can set one up for the eventual fall. Proverbs 16:25 informs us that there is a way that seems right to man, but that way leads to destruction. As we prepare our hearts to follow the ways of the Lord by accepting his guidance and counsel, we will find the strength to persevere in all areas of our life. Perseverance does not come from a hard exterior but rather from a soft heart that will receive the instruction of the Lord.
Philippians 4:6-7, “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We are called to have a mind like Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16, “… But we have the mind of Christ.” Imagine the experiences that Jesus had to go through in life being mocked and spit on and having people make fun of Him as He hung on a cross and died for them. Bringing someone in to your inner circle only to have them betray you, while the whole time knowing that they were going to do it. “Don’t worry about ANYTHING; instead pray about everything. Tell God your needs, and thank him for all he has done” (Phil. 4:6). This is just what Christ did, throughout the Gospels it tells us that Jesus retreated and prayed for hours at a time even up to the point that He was betrayed. So if we are to have the mind of Christ and scripture says that we do we need to take this to heart. There is nothing in life that is too BIG for God. Life will try to get in the way of your relationship with God if you let it but if you let God take over your life nothing will be to HUGE for you to overcome.
It has been said that what we experience in life is not as determinate upon our future as how we handle those experiences. Our attitude toward faith, family, work, and education has a huge impact upon our life. As Christians, we are encouraged to approach all facets of our life with the mind of Christ. With this Christ-like worldview, we are able to react to experiences in our life in ways that will build us up rather than tear us down.
Philippians chapter four has incredible advice for us concerning attitude. Our busy lives can create a great deal of stress and anxiety. Pursuing an education in addition to all the other daily activities we are involved with is no less stressful.
However, within the Scripture we read that the peace of God, which passes all understanding, can be found. How? It is acquired through an attitude of prayer that is presented to God upon a foundation of thanksgiving. The Scripture goes on to teach us that it is this peace which will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Your busy schedule will create frantic days at times. But through an attitude of prayer, you will be able to approach these experiences with the mind of Christ. As your Christ-like attitude steers the course of your life, you will find that attitude does indeed determine your altitude in all facets of life. With this mindset the words of Philippians 4:13 come to life within our hearts and we can truly say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“Hulk Smash!” The Incredible Hulk may smash but John Wycliffe broke down the walls of the Bible for everyone to see what God really wants in our lives…
John Wycliffe was a man who believed that everyone should be able to read the Word of God. We take for granted today that we can open up a Bible or more likely a Bible App like You Version and read the Bible whenever we feel like it. This was not always the case however, 150 years before the reformation this man John Wycliffe believed that everyone should be able to go to God themselves without a priest. During this time period no one besides the priest had Bibles and it was also written in a language that was not common for people to read. Bibles were very expensive for people to buy and believe it or not they were sometimes chained to the pulpit so no one could take them. That sounds strange I know because at my church they encourage you to take a Bible if you do not own one. His power over the 14th century was that of a conscience captured by the Word of God. Unlike his peers, he denied that men must go through a priest to get to God. Before the time of Jesus we had high priests who would go before God and speak for the people to Him (God) but after Jesus came the story changes you see…
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
We no longer need a high priest like the Pope because we have a Great High Priest in Jesus who gives us access to the throne room of God. It says it right there in verse 16… “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…”
Like I said above Wycliffe also believed that everyone should be able to read God’s Holy Word themselves. After all scripture says that…
“16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for correcting, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
So if God’s Word is useful for teaching, correcting and training we must first be able to learn from it and not just what the priest wants to teach you. You need to know God’s Word. This however was nearly impossible when you cannot read the language the Bible is written in or could not have a Bible yourself. So Wycliffe a man of industry and academic ability, admired by friend and foe alike who also worked at Oxford and was acknowledge by them to be their leading theologian decided to translate the Bible into English. With the help of Oxford friends, Wycliffe translated the Bible, all 750,000 words, from Latin into English—an immense undertaking. His revolutionary conviction that the average Englishman should be able to read the Bible in the common language threatened the power of the English state-church. It meant that the Bible, rather than the counsel of a state-controlled priest, would mediate Christ to the believer’s conscience. Therefore, his translation threatened the glue that held medieval civilization together, the church’s power to bind men’s consciences. He was consider a heretic, but before he could be arrested, tried, and burnt at the stake, he died of a stroke while saying Mass in 1384.
So before you think to yourself oh great I am supposed to read the Bible everyday?! Remember that one man’s struggle and conviction from God made it possible for you to be able to read it.
All things are possible through God and just think you could do something greater than you could think or imagine for God’s glory all because you were able to grow closer through His living Word!