Faith Filled Friday – Faith Watches God Act!

Date August 17, 2018

They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.” (Genesis 7:15–16, ESV)

 

And the Lord shut him in. Often we pray and pray and nothing happens. On our knees, we weep and cry out to God and … in the silence we discover … more silence. We complain to God and tell Him we believe, we trust, we are claiming Bible verses. We may even be making bold declarations, but still, nothing is happening.

Have you been there? Are you there? What is happening? The Bible tells us, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”(Matthew 21:22, ESV) So, why am I not receiving it?

Perhaps God is waiting for what we’ve left undone! Notice the cause and effect in the Biblical record. “And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16, ESV) First, they went in, “as God had commanded” Noah. Then, “the Lord shut him in.

Check your heart right now. If God has told you to do something and you really want God to act on your behalf, do the undone. Once that is done, God will do His part. God is never late. He’s never in a hurry. He’s always on time. However we, on the other hand, are often delaying the obedience column.

It is quite possible that right now, while you pray and plead God is saying to you, “Get up! Get that thing I asked you to do done. THEN, I will act on your behalf!”

For Noah and the family, their last obedience was a simple one. They were told to enter the ark. Perhaps today you are wondering what you are missing? Have you “entered the ark?” Have you chosen to make God your sole Rescuer. He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our failures. On the cross, Jesus was our substitute.

Maybe the thing that God is waiting for is your willingness to accept that Jesus paid for your failures, to accept His love and leadership over every area of your life. Then, He will rescue you!

 

Faith Filled Fridays hopes 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 – Look For Receptivity!

Date August 16, 2018

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:11–12, NASB95)

 

As many as received Him. I have a small granddaughter who’s favorite response is, “No!” Even to things we know she likes, she often throughout the day will get up a head of steam and cry out, “No!” Some people do not like to be led. It doesn’t matter how good the offer is or who makes it for that matter, they will almost always refuse it.

Jesus knew that when He came to Earth. He wasn’t overly bothered by the nay-sayers. He knew that they were abundant in ancient Israel, just as they are abundant in your world today. Many people walked away from Jesus as He taught in the worship houses or proclaimed the message of the Kingdom of God in the open air.

A careful read through The Gospels may surprise you. Not once can we find Jesus calling to those walking away, “Please, come back!”We don’t see Him changing His message or his methods. Jesus would often though turn to those remaining and call them to follow Him … along with His level of commitment from that day’s teaching or message.

Jesus wanted us to understand what He knows so well. Receptivity is THE issue of discipleship. One cannot move forward with Jesus until they have surrendered to His love and leadership. Life changes when we allow Jesus to drive our lives. Agendas, attitudes, friends, likes, and even passions change when the King of kings and Lord of lords takes over the guidance system of our lives.

Receptivity breeds so many benefits in life. For the follower of Jesus who chooses to walk the path of discipleship, life grows much more intimate with God. We take on the role of child, no longer the adult calling the shots in our lives. We surrender to the agenda of Jesus for the day, just as little children have virtually no control over where mommy and daddy take them.

Before you get up again, stop and ask yourself a few clarifying questions: “Am I receptive to Jesus? Am I willing to do whatever He asks of me? Am I childlike in my faith? Am I true disciple of Jesus?”

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 – Attitude Matters!

Date August 15, 2018

 

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, HCSB)

 

Full of grace and truth. What is more discouraging or distasteful than an angry, crabby, demeaning person? You may have had a boss like that, a parent, or been in a relationship with someone who’s like that. The bottom line in any such relationship is this: You can’t wait to get away from them! Toxic people are taboo in our lives.

The same is true in ministry. We cannot lift people into all the fullness God has for them if they do not want to be with us. Churches across the land are empty – not because of the Jesus they talk about but because of who those people are. Many of those people all too often simply fail to experience and express the grace and truth that Jesus fills His people with when they are in right relationship to God.

Grace gives people what they don’t deserve. We’ve talked about making a list of those you influence – your “Goers” list. Now, think through each person on your list slowly. Then, answer the question, “What can I give Joe that he doesn’t deserve?”Or, perhaps you might ask God, “If I were to give Carol what she doesn’t deserve, Lord, what would that be?” Make a note of His prompts to you and make it so this week. Then, repeat this with each person under your influence each week. You’ll be amazed at what God does with your ministry!

Truth can be harsh. Reality hurts sometimes. This is why grace is essential. When delivering truth, be sure you have the heart of the one you wish to influence in mind. How will they hear that you are about to say? Reception of the message is much about our delivery to them. Choosing our words carefully for maximum response is our responsibility. How we share truth that will determine if our leadership expands or shrinks in their lives. It will also determine the overall size of our future ministry.

Grace and truth are the dynamic duo of deeper effectiveness. We cannot move a person forward into all God has for them if they won’t accept His directions as the ultimate truth. Embracing those all-too-often cataclysmic changes requires we share great amounts of grace.

 

Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities 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.

 

Turn-Around Tuesday – Dealing With The Inevitable!

Date August 14, 2018

So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14–15, CSB)

Because you have done this! The horrible reality with life as a child of God is that God sends consequences for our disobedience. Remember, there was basically only one rule for Adam and Eve: “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”” (Genesis 2:17, CSB)

One. Can you count to one? I know Adam and Eve could! And there it is. It wouldn’t matter how many rules or commands there are (as the New Testament is filled with), we would still break one of them – even if it was one! And with each choice to step across the line of God’s wisdom and word, we incur the inevitable … His judgment.

While a lot of people no longer talk about God’s justice, it is as much a part of Him as His love. Just like we can’t separate the facets of our own personality and character just because we don’t like them – although we can ignore them to our own detriment – we cannot take God’s justice away from His nature either. When we ignore God’s justice, we will always incur a more painful life of consequences.

So, turning around our trials and troubles always begins with remembering God is just and has to enact consequences for our disobedience because He is good and loving and knows this is the pathway to learning, growth, and abundance. Just as parents don’t let their children run in the street because they love them and seek to protect them, so God invokes limits to guide us into life. Causing His children to obey, as a good parent will do, is what consequences – our justice – is all about.

Today, start turning your self-made problems around by embracing God’s justice. Accept His verdict if you are suffering right now. Plead for mercy – not receiving what you do deserve. Show your sorrow. Make changes in your current choices. God will respond!

 

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.

Magnificent Marriage Monday – Help Is Already Here!

Date August 13, 2018

 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”” (Genesis 2:18, CSB)

A helper corresponding to him. When God makes two people into one, He blesses that marriage as a unity of purpose and power. God knew that a man, alone, was a disaster waiting to happen. So, husband, He built a wife for you to compliment and strengthen, protect and provide what you need … much like God Himself.

Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, CSB) THAT is what God has done for every husband on the planet … He has created a mini-version of Himself for every man! Husband, God’s help is standing with you and that help is the woman God has given you!

Ladies, take a moment and ponder the implications of this truth. God made you to be like Him. When God helps us, He comes to our aid in our troubles! He assists us when we are beyond ourselves. He brings whatever we need to meet that need because He loves us.

When we are assailed, attacked, or assaulted (or insulted), God is our shield or protection. You, woman of God, are mighty! God chose to place you beside your husband to bring all the resources of Heaven to his aid whenever he is in need, whatever that need may be! Are you up to God’s challenge? Are you willing to fulfill God’s role for your life?

Magnificent marriage happens when we choose to follow God’s plan and design! Husband, are you willing to drop your pride and choose God’s amazing gift to you – His presence and power at your right hand in the form of your wife?

And, if you are looking, are you seeking a mate who understands this truth? No marriage will ever be magnificent if one or both of the partners fail to comprehend God’s incredible generosity in the form of the helper corresponding to him.”

Take a moment right now and pray for yourself. Ask God to humble you. Choose to accept your role, woman of God, and be your husband’s mighty warrior! Husband, accept God’s gift – your wife – your helper corresponding to” you. Let her fulfill God’s role for her life!

 

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.

Hope For Today – Taking Care of Your Support Group

Date August 12, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Todayto remind us that within our local church lies our greatest support group for life abundant!

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 – Faith Does All God Commands!

Date August 10, 2018

 

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him … And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22; 7:5, ESV)

 

Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. How many times have you been frustrated beyond measure because someone you asked to help you did a partial, incomplete job? Some people’s character shines with incompletion, inattention to detail, and downright insubordination.

Faith chooses to go the extra mile (Matthew 5:41). It does more than is required (Luke 17:10). Faith listens to God and seeks to do all that He has asked for, knowing that God never asks for anything from us that isn’t essential to His plans.

And God’s plans are global in nature, like the flood of Noah. Can you imagine building a boat when there was never so much as a rainstorm before? And what about building it so far from the sea? How ridiculous. How’s it going to get into the water? Oh, the questions that would have swirled in my head after hearing God make instructions for both the building and supplying of the ark.

To those without a close relationship with God, faith’s actions often harbor close to Crazyland. After all, how does one explain the actions of the supernatural to those who barely believe in the natural world? Yet, our God is transdimensional – He exists both inside and outside of our timeline.

Since He knows his plans and He knows the future, He calls His faithful to act in often-mysterious ways to accomplish His purposes. Noah discovered that once the boat was built – which took a hundred years – God enacted His plan and saved the faithful as well as the land and air creatures.

So, what bizarre instructions has God called you to that you have left undone? How has God made you incredulous as to His request? Is there something right now that you need to fulfill so that the rest of His plan can happen, not only in your life but in the lives of others?

Often we are the hindrance to the “next step” in God’s design because we think that this “idea” we have is too crazy to actually do.

 

 

Faith Filled Fridays hopes 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.

Train Them Thursday – Come As A Witness!

Date August 9, 2018

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.” (John 1:6–8, NASB95)

 

He came as a witness. Have you ever had to deal with people who want you to do something but they have never done it themselves? Maybe they encourage you to take a trip, but they’ve never gone there. Perhaps they want you to start a new exercise regimen, but they look like graduates of Couch Potato University … with a PhD, no less! Or maybe, just maybe, they ask you to try that new restaurant out. They’re all excited so you go, only to find out it’s awful! You ask them afterward, “I thought you loved it?” only to have them respond, “Oh, we’ve never gone. We wanted to see if you liked it!”Ugh!

If you are like me, before you expend time, money and energy, you like to see what others who have purchased that product or service or have gone to that restaurant or on that trip have to say about your purchase or plan. Those are the valuable people in my life, and in yours as well, I would assume.

That is exactly what discipleship is all about. We share what we have experienced. No one can be more persuasive, more confident, more authoritative than the person who has been there and done that. They have the joys or the scars to tell you about. Exclusive insights come from those who have walked the path we long to take.

All John knew he shared. He knew God, so he talked about God. He understood from infancy that the Son of God was coming, and that was what He taught. And when Jesus arrived in front of him, he simply pointed people to Jesus and encouraged them to follow Him.

Witnesses simply share what they know. God has called each one of us to disciple others, whether they are the same as us or they are of another ethnicity. Before we can do that, we have to have experience with God and with His Son Jesus.

Today, stop and ask yourself: “Do I know about Jesus or do I really know Jesus? Have I chosen to follow Him? Am I surrendered to His leadership? Have I been discipled? Who will I disciple?”

 

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 – Focus On Those Who Respond!

Date August 8, 2018

 

He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11–13, HCSB)

 

But to all who did receive Him. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get distracted by the negative? All the time I see the spot on my shirt and not the beauty of the garment. When one person makes a snide remark, I remember that instead of the dozens of compliments I have received at almost the same time. What a mess we are!

Being an effective and willing worker for the Lord Jesus turns that around and chooses to focus on those who respond. I am not the 4thperson of the Godhead, and neither are you. We can’t change anyone. In fact, we have a very hard time changing ourselves. Right?

So, when someone responds, that’s God’s indication that He is working in his or her heart. “Go with the goers,” the saying says. Take a few minutes right now and make a list of the people within your sphere of influence who listen to you  … those who respect us enough to listen to what we have to say and consider it. That’s our “Goers” list. We will want to pour your time and effort into those people.

So, what should we do with them? How do we work with them? What does God expect us to share with them? “He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Show them how to fully embrace and live out being God’s child. Being childlike is totally different that being adult-like or Bible school or seminary-like.

And be the living example of what it means to live by faith, to “believe in His name.”Notice that it isn’t about creeds and rules; it’s about relationship (being a child who has a loving father) and belief (knowing we are loved by our Daddy in Heaven. (When Jesus prayed He used the Aramaic form of Father, “Abba,” which is best translated, “Daddy.” That’s a great example for us, and a great place to start!

Show – don’t just tell – those you are working with what it means to be the small child with the powerful and loving daddy. The one who can be trusted and called on whenever there is a bully, a boo-boo, or a bad day. Our Father in Heaven loves his kids – that’s what we show.

 

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.

 

Turn-Around Tuesday – Blaming Others Won’t Help!

Date August 7, 2018

 

The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” So the LordGod asked the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”” (Genesis 3:12–13, CSB)

The woman you gave me to be with me! Blame is the clearest evidence we are human. Just listen to any toddler and you will know that, “I don’t know!” often does most of those messy things that happen in the house.

And, if you will notice, with perhaps some encouragement, Adam and Eve both chose to blame someone else! What is amazing is that we can be so shameless when we are blaming others. Did you notice Whom Adam chose to blame for his troubles? God! Yes, he called out Eve for the negative influence, that’s for sure. However, listen to Adam’s words which I am emphasizing here with capital letters … “The woman YOU gave to be with me.”

Audacity. That’s what we choose all too often instead of humility when we are in the midst of our problems. Now, granted, most of our problems are not 100% our fault. We are pushed, shoved, aggravated, or cajoled into a bad decision. But, make no mistake. The decision is ours and ours alone. We are responsible for that choice.

If we want to turn our problems around, we will have to choose to accept 100% ownership for our attitudes and actions. We did this; we thought that; we chose. That’s the attitude of a turn-around. Triumph begins with accepting our part in our problems.

And again, I want to say not all problems are of our making. My wife’s death wasn’t my fault – we’ll deal with that along the way. However, most of my problems have some element of personal responsibility in them.

Choosing to own my mistakes is the first step to turn-around. Confessing my wrong choices to God and asking for both His forgiveness and His mercy – not giving me what I do deserve – will begin to turn around even the consequences of our mistakes. Today, drop to your knees and know the God who loves you will listen, forgive, and work to bring turn-around to your life!

 

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.

 


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