Mr. Medders offers a number of good recommendations.
Paul doesn’t pray that his readers might be active in preaching the gospel so that others will be converted. Nor does he pray that they’re active so that the gospel can go forth to the nations. He might well have done so, and no doubt he did on other occasions, but specifically here the apostle points us to a personal benefit that comes when we are active in speaking the words of the gospel to others. When we speak the gospel we have a more and more full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Timothy Paul Jones:
Open your Bible to the table of contents and take a look at the list of books in the New Testament. There, you’ll find the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John leading the list. But did this quartet of early Christians actually have any connection with the books that bear their names? Were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really the ones who wrote the Gospels? If so, how do we know?
Here is a typical scene the week after Christmas…
A leader gets some rest, feels rejuvenated, and the burden to lead the team better in the New Year starts to grow. The leader reads a book, favorites a dozen blogs, listens to some leadership training on a variety of topics, and is fired up for the first meeting with the team he/she leads. In the midst of the enthusiasm, here are 3 common mistakes leaders make as a new year begins.
Good thoughts from Matthew Hall:
If you’ve ever been responsible for choosing Bible study curriculum, you may have felt a bit like Indiana, standing in front of a book-covered table. It can feel daunting. What do you do? Do you close your eyes, choose randomly, and hope for the best? Do you have a lifeline you call and rely on for an answer? Do you choose the latest study on the market, assuming it must be good if everyone else likes it?
But the designation has also been used as a self-label by some seeking to justify their own excessive and compulsive drives. In the leader’s mind, the euphemism excuses their obsession with results and the tunnel-vision that accompanies their success. These leaders are often hard on staff, demanding of people, and are constantly charging a hill. When this occurs, the visionary leader creates vision-weary people. In extreme cases (and also in the name of vision), they may be authoritarian, autonomous and even downright mean.
Why would otherwise great leaders act in such destructive ways?
A favorite from the archives:
I never habitually bought tickets—I wasn’t a part of the company lottery ticket pool, or anything like that. But every once in a while, I’d grab one just to see if maybe it was “the one”: the one that would take care of all my money problems, and maybe let me do something nice for my mom, too. The only problem was I never won, ever. I realize this was God withholding something that would not have been good for me now. But then, I didn’t acknowledge God. I didn’t worship him. I worshipped getting rich.
If I had one god, it was money.