Turn-Around Tuesday – Grieving God’s Heart!

Date September 25, 2018

 

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (Genesis 6:5–6, ESV)

 

The Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.I remember the first time these words sunk down into my soul. I couldn’t imagine God being so disappointed in me that He would be able to regret that He made me! As I read these words that was the first day I grasped the reality that God had emotions: And it grieved him to his heart.”

Can you imagine grieving God’s heart by your very lifestyle? Turning our troubles around has to start with the understanding that what we do affects how God feels. Once that truth makes it’s way deep into our DNA, we are ready to move into the reality that how God works with us is determined by how He feels about us.

Many want to make God some kind of emotionless being – a supercomputer, if you will, of doctrines. However, while God in many ways is incomprehensible, He lauds the person who “knows and understands” Him! (See Jeremiah 9.24.)

Any cursory read of the Old Testament will reveal that God moves in this life based, in part, on how He feels about our choices and decisions. He split Israel – into Northern and Southern tribes – and then He wiped the Northern Kingdom into oblivion and sent the Southern into captivity for 70 years because of the way they treated Him. A part of God’s being is His emotional makeup.

Dealing with a God who is emotional is a new concept for some. While He is guided and checked by His justice and His infinite mind, His will, and emotions also enter into how He treats us.

Today, step back for a moment and ponder your existence. To turn around our future we have to turn upward to God. Pleasing Him is central to enjoying an abundant life here on Earth. Consider your choices. Chew over the direction those choices are leading you. It’s not too late to turn something, or everything, over to God. He’s ready to help us whenever we choose to live for Him and with Him!

 

Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.

Magnificent Marriage Monday – Blaming is Lame!

Date September 24, 2018

 

Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”” (Genesis 3:11–12, CSB)

 

The woman you gave to be with me.Ugh! I don’t care how many times I reread this transcript I cringe in horror at Adam’s response. Wow, the first day of sin in the world and he has to go straight to blaming Eve for all the trouble. What a loser!

He’s supposed to be the leader of the couple. The gallant man who will stand in defense of her and die for her. Now, he simply throws her under the bus. As I shake my head in disgust and reflect on how cowardly Adam was, the Spirit of God begins to remind me of the many times I have – motivated by fear – thrown someone else under the bus, even blaming my wife for my irresponsibility.

And while that is painfully true, it in no way excuses the fact that when we blame another we are choosing a path of deception. As Zig Ziglar used to say, “To blame is to B – Lame.”

Blame always diminishes us. For the husband, it quickly reduces our godliness. After all, it was God who gave us this wonderful, intelligent, caring, compassionate woman to be with us! However, when we choose to let her take all the heat for something we could have talked through and avoided – a failure on our part to participate in the discussion and direction of our partnership – we reveal our less-than-adult side.

Blaming others is always a sign of immaturity. It shouts from the tops of the skyscrapers, “This person is a child! They need to grow up!” What could be worse than to see the disappointment in the eyes of the one whom we have pledged our life and love forever to?

If you’ve been blaming your wife – or your husband – for things, isn’t today a good day to stop, drop, and roll? Stop blaming. It only destroys the relationship. Drop to your knees in prayer. Ask God how you can help and not drive a deeper wedge between the two of you. And roll your pain off on Jesus. He died to forgive and to remove the hurt and pain by replacing it with His joy. Why not pray now?

 

Magnificent Marriage Mondays are helpful hints, clues, ideas, and solutions for the child of God who is looking for a spouse, in a relationship with someone, or are already married. Each post seeks to bring help, hope, and honesty to your life and make the rest of your life, the best of your life. They are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his 38 years, 5 months and 2 days experience with his wife, Melodee, who was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. He is currently seeking God’s will for his new life partner. He welcomes your comments below.

Train Them Thursday – Lifestyle Matters!

Date September 20, 2018

 

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.” (Luke 1:5–6, NASB95)

 

They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. It is amazing how many people today have a huge disconnect between actions and results. Whether it’s in their personal life, their financial life or their vocational life, many people simply can’t see the link between what they do and what they get.

For the disciple of Jesus, nothing could be farther from the truth. We understand the simple truth most children should be taught by the time they’re three: When you obey you will do well. When you disobey, it will not go well for you. This is one of the most basic principles of life and a child is fundamentally stunted from success and significance when they do not grasp and apply this simple law of life. Benefits and blessings flow from obedience.

God repeatedly tells us of this principle in His Word. Here, Jesus talks about being an “insider” to His friendship through one’s obedience: “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14, NASB95)

For Zach and Liz, loving God translated into living for God through their lifestyle. Being right in God’s sight is the signature of a true disciple. When we know His heart we love to live for the smile of God. And so, it’s not a burden to please Him because we love Him.

Like when a couple loves one another, we choose to figure out and do the little things that bring a smile to our mate’s face. This is true discipleship. God has left hundreds of clues and direct statements as to what pleases Him all over the pages of our Bibles. Finding them is as easy as opening the Word of God and listening to His voice.

Today, before you go further, pull out your Bible app. Scroll over to this section and just read the chapter. Listen as you hear what God did for Zach and Liz and think, “He could do things like that for me, too!”

 

Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.

 

 

Willing Worker Wednesday – Trusting For the Smile of God!

Date September 19, 2018

 

Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30, HCSB)

 

You have found favor with God. Perhaps you’ve noticed. Life is harder for some people than it is for others. While some people seem to glide through life others appear to hit every bump in the road. Why is that? The Bible calls it, “the favor of God,” literally it means the smile of God is upon them.

Remembering that Mary lived in an obscure village … ok, a notorious village, and she was born into humble means, God took note of her. Her character, her godliness, her purity, her intelligence, her spiritual acumen all combined to fulfill what God so longs to find in His children: Humble obedience and trust.

There, in that small hamlet at the end of the dusty road, Mary trusted God and accepted the life she had been given. Excited at the prospect of marriage to a skilled man in town, she had to have thanked God repeatedly that she was blessed by His providence. No doubt she cared for others and chose the life of service to them.

And then one day, while she was going about her daily duties, God broke in. And there, in that moment we learn so much about being a willing worker for God. So many want Him to bless them and then they will serve Him. So backwards. So powerless. So wrong.

God blesses His children after they obey. He favors them once they have trusted, once they have submitted, once they have risked all they have to accomplish all He desires.

And where do they get such direction? From His revealed, recorded, written words laid down on the pages of His Word, the Bible. For Mary, an ardent listener of the taught word of God, she knew the hope of Israel and she trusted God so much she awaited the new King of Israel to arrive at any moment.

Like Mary, you and I have a choice every day. Will we allow life to sweep us away or will we allow God’s revealed words to direct us into the service of His Kingdom and His right paths? If the latter marks our path, we can be sure He will slather our walk with His favor!

 

Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realties of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Turn-Around Tuesday – Don’t Despair!

Date September 18, 2018

 

Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.” (Genesis 4:13–15, ESV)

 

 “My punishment is greater than I can bear.”How many times have we failed to think through decisions made in the heat of our emotions, only to mourn all that we’ve now lost? “Hindsight is always 20/20,” my mother used to say. How true that is with the ruined lives we have to live because of our impetuousness.

Reality slapped Cain in the face. Perhaps he didn’t think about God’s reaction. Maybe he didn’t think God would react. Living in God’s goodness and kindness, despite the removal from the Garden of Eden, may have lulled him into a false sense of security.

Now, dealing with the naked truth of God’s justice Cain, like so many of us, has come to realize too late that one bad choice can scar the rest of our lives. Attempting to downplay or cover-up the results of bad judgment won’t erase them, as anyone who is older and wiser will tell you.

In the midst of Cain’s despair, God responded. In His response, we see God’s character of mercy: “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.

Not only was God watching Cain and promised vengeance upon anyone who attacked and killed him, God also was watching out for him. Placing a mark on Cain – we have no idea what that was, contrary to many fantasy theologies that exist today – people of His day knew that God was not only watching him, He was also God’s property.

Today, in the midst of your gloom, stop. Remember, no matter how bad it is, God is watching you and He is watching over you. Cry out to Jesus right now. Ask for His mercy. Ask Him to give you what you don’t deserve. He is filled with compassion and love. Do it now.

 

Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Magnificent Marriage Monday – Hiding From God!

Date September 17, 2018

 

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LordGod walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LordGod among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:7–8, CSB)

 

Then the man and wife heard the sound of the Lord God. How many times have we experienced this ourselves? We knew that what we were doing was in direct violation to God’s declared words as recorded in the pages of the Bible part we knew, but …

So, we jumped in. We did what we knew we shouldn’t. We chose to violate the trust God had given to us. We ate the fruit, so to speak. And, when that happened, we realized almost immediately how wrong it was. Our conscience ached. Our hearts were heavy. And it didn’t really matter that we did it together, because we both felt miserable.

And then God shows up! Why did He wait until afterwards? Why didn’t He come before we failed? He could of helped us do right! And the guilt grows, the pain flows, the fear … oh, the fear! What will He do to us?

We tried to make things right. Look, we put these leaves over our nakedness. But what we tried to fix, God saw for what it was: Just a cover-up. God knew all along they were naked. After all, He handcrafted them!

And now, here He comes! What will He say? What will He do to us? Oh … that fear … terror, really! We are guilty and we know the punishment will come. So, we hide from God. Close our Bibles. Stop attending worship. Disengage from our “Christian” friends.

You know the scenario. You know the cover-up. You know that it won’t work. So, today, while there is grace and mercy available, fall on your knees – together – and cry out to Jesus for forgiveness. Ask Him for mercy – ask Him not to give you what you deserve. Ask Him to welcome you back with open arms.

Tell Him your pain. Tell Him your heart. Trust Him with it. He made it. He loves you. He is waiting for you – both of you!

 

 

Magnificent Marriage Mondays are helpful hints, clues, ideas, and solutions for the child of God who is looking for a spouse, in a relationship with someone, or are already married. Each post seeks to bring help, hope, and honesty to your life and make the rest of your life, the best of your life. They are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his 38 years, 5 months and 2 days experience with his wife, Melodee, who was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. He is currently seeking God’s will for his new life partner. He welcomes your comments below.

Hope For Today – Great Faith in Our Great God Receives Great Victory!

Date September 16, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today to encourage you to increase your faith so you can increase God’s reward in your life!

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: EaglesInLeadership.org.

Just push the media button below to hear this encouraging message!

Faith Filled Friday – Allowing God to Guide Through Generosity!

Date September 14, 2018

And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.” (Genesis 13:10–13, ESV)

So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Selfishness is such an ugly thing. And never does it sting more than when we allow someone else to choose first. We see all the opportunities and possibilities, but because of our character of Christ-likeness, we allow the other person to pick first. And they do. They pick the best and leave us with the rest.

Time and again this has happened to me. I am, by choice, a nice guy. And I have lost count of the number of times being a nice guy has left me burned. Or so I thought at the beginning.

What’s intriguing about this account is the way it rings so true to real life … our daily grind. With the silver lining in Lot’s choice also came the gangrenous reality of his choice … Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.

What seems to be a great choice often comes with a hefty price tag. And that’s the lesson of faith God wants to burn into our being. Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it is good. Allowing others to choose first – leading with generosity – often shields us from the cancers of life.

One of the great lessons of faith is related to us in these words: “God has the means to give you much more than that.” (2 Chronicles 25:9, TLT) Whenever we feel that we have lost what cannot be recovered, that too much has been squandered, God wants us to understand that He is able to do “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20, ESV)

Today, trust God and lead with generosity. God has your back!

 

Faith Filled Fridays hope to boost your trust in God and accelerate your daring and courage in everyday life. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each encouragement out of a heart that has known both great joy and great loss – his wife of 38 years, 5 months and 2 days was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. Through every experience, God has proven Himself more than faithful and trustworthy. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Train Them Thursday – Clearing Up The Confusion!

Date September 13, 2018

 

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 1:18, NASB95)

 

He has explained Him. Confusion is never fun! You’re at one restaurant; your friends went to the other one with the same name. You wait wondering. They are still driving. You get frustrated, they are having a good time talking and driving. You call and they don’t get the problem. Then, they try to find you and go around in circles. Eventually, an hour later, lunch is ordered and everyone is starving. Confusion never yields the results we hoped for.

Have you ever asked people what God is like? Ask ten people and you will get at least ten different ideas. People seem to make God into their own image. They design God based on their desires, their hopes, and their thoughts. The trouble is, God isn’t like our thoughts or desires. God is like … well, Himself!

You know how it happens when two people like each other. They begin to fill in the blanks they don’t know with the hopes they have. The result is often hurt feelings and pain. It’s never a good policy to assume we know things we don’t know. Nowhere is this more deadly than when we pretend to know what God is like.

Disciples of Jesus use a different strategy … they choose to tell people what God says He is like. And they get their authoritative information from within the covers of their Bibles. What’s even more crucial is that they check it out before they share it.

Many of us use some Smartphone app to choose a place for that lunch that we hope our friends can find. We read the reviews and choose based on the comments. However, sometimes our likes and the likes of the people who wrote the reviews are different.

Having a personal, experiential, time-tested relationship with God through Jesus Christ is what being a disciple is all about. Not only can we quote a verse or two to explain God but we can also tell others how those thoughts came to reality in our own lives once we applied them to our difficulties. Nothing rings more true than someone who’s been there and done that. A disciple of Jesus has the experience of both.

 

Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.

 

 

Willing Worker Wednesday – Obscure But Not Out Of Sight!

Date September 12, 2018

 

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”

(Luke 1:26–28, HCSB)

 

Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with youIt doesn’t matter where we are, what we do, whom we were born to, what nationality we are, what gender we possess, or what age we are. God knows us. God watches us. God listens to us. God hears our thoughts. God knows our hearts. And, when God likes what He sees and hears, He acts in us, through us, for us, and to us to accomplish something greater.

In case you have missed it, God chooses those He wants to use in greater ways. He does it on the same principle as Major League Baseball does in the United States. He scouts us! God listens to the reports of our service, our attitude, our compassion, our passion for Him, and a dozen dozens of other things. Then, when the right mission comes along, He chooses to favor us – to smile upon us, literally – and place us into those greater things He has prepared for us.

Being a willing worker for the King of kings is an honor and a privilege, for sure. However, if we want to get to the nitty-gritty, serving God is all about our hearts. God favors those whom He is pleased with.

For Mary, in an obscure and notorious hamlet, being a young woman would mean few, if any influential person would ever know her. This pure, godly, alert, intelligent woman had caught the eye of Joseph. But there was Another’s eye she had caught. Someone more influential, Someone more powerful, Someone more captivating … for Mary’s life had drawn the attention of the Lord of Glory Himself!

Today, as you serve, choose to do it for the sheer joy of God. Make Him smile with your kindness to strangers. Choose to emulate his Son, who was known on Earth as, “the friend of sinners.” Step out into the mess of people’s lives and wash some feet. Clean up their messes.

Choose today to simply love your neighbor – literally and figuratively. Gain the smile of God. Remember, He’s watching!

 

Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realties of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.

 


* indicates required

Like what we do? Donate!

Listen to Pastor Matt's Sermons on the Transformed Podcast via iTunes for free!
Click here to Subscribe
(link opens iTunes, click on the "subscribe").
Click here to sign up for the blog via our RSS feed.
Click on picture of the book cover to purchase

Follow Pastor Matt by clicking the logos below: twitterlogo

friendfeed

facebook

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com