Hope For Today – My Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Date November 18, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today as I share my recipe for having a happy thanksgiving day!

 

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 Receives Perks From God!

Date November 16, 2018

The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”” (Genesis 18:17–19, ESV)

Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do … for I have chosen him? Faith has some perks that doubters never experience. The greater the faith – remember faith is measured by our immediacy of obedience – the more the perks. For Abraham, who was an immediate obey-er of God, the perks were abundant. In fact, Abraham is often referred to as, “the father of faith.” (See Romans 4:16 as an example.)

So, after God had delivered the message of the coming of Isaac, the son of His promise, He chose to reveal His imminent plans of destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Destined to doom because of their sexual proclivities, God decided to share His plans since Lot, Abraham’s nephew would be an innocent casualty of this act.

If you read the verses posted above out loud and listen to them carefully, you will discover yourself hearing the voice of God, in a sense. Try the words a few different ways. By that, I mean, emphasize words or phrases differently each time you read them. Listen to how the intent and impact of those words affect your understanding.

Now, imagine Abraham hearing them. How did God deliver them? What was He trying to communicate to Abraham? Friendship? Admiration? Hope? While we will never know until we talk personally with Abraham, we do know this: God desires to tell His plans to some of His children, to those who please Him by faith.

Or, as the Bible says elsewhere, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)

Pleasing God. That’s the ticket to the abundant life. That was what opened the door to insider information for Abraham. That’s what provides God’s advanced notification to be released to us.

 

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 – Saved to Serve God!

Date November 15, 2018

To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” (Luke 1:74–75, NASB95)

 

That we … might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness. It seems that many today are confused about the end result of a life rescued by Jesus. If you flip through the Christian programs or attend various church worship messages or Bible studies, you could easily come to the conclusion that the purpose of salvation through Jesus Christ is so that God could serve us. That He could meet all our needs and focus on many of our greeds.

However, when we dig past the shallow interpretations of those who impose their selfish agendas upon the text of the Word of God, we come to a quick conclusion that the purpose of Jesus dying for our sin was so that we could serve God.

God’s awesome power through His incredible demonstrations shows us that, to the simplest of observations, we should fear Him. And, in many places in the Bible – both in the Old and New Testaments – the Bible is clear that we should. After all, even John, the disciple “whom Jesus loved,” fell on his face in fear when he came in contact with our risen and ascended Lord (See Revelation 1:17).

However, as Zechariah clearly points out here, we are able to serve God without fear. And that is because of whom we serve. We serve a God who makes us holy. He sets us apart as so special to Himself that we are honored by Him, adored by Him, and loved by Him.

And that purity with which He treats us with drives us to do what is right. We know that He has our best in mind and, as a result, we strive to obey His commands and instructions. By doing right we embrace His blessing, for we are blessed when we obey Him.

Today, as you step into a deeper walk with Jesus as His disciple, remember your purpose … it is to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness. God is trustworthy. He loves you. He has evidenced that over and over, starting with His Son, Jesus, on the cross.

He continues to love you every day. Today is a good day to serve Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!

 

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 – The Three Incredible Elements of Servant Leaders!

Date November 14, 2018

So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her.” (Matthew 1: 19–20, 24, HCSB)

 

When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her. When God changes our perspective, everything changes. Leaders understand this. They are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and they listen when God speaks. While many people may not comprehend the radical turns a leader may make, those of us who are in tune with our Headquarters in Heaven get it immediately.

You see, we don’t work for ourselves. We don’t follow our agenda. We don’t choose the direction of our lives. The One who alone knows the whole story directs all of these, and so much more. We simply trust Him because He knows where we’re going and He’s directing us each step of the way.

So, while Joseph was a righteous man – thus his desire to divorce because of what seemed to be immorality in Mary – and he was a compassionate man – he wanted to do it secretly so as not to cause her further embarrassment – he was also sensitive to God’s leading.

What an incredible mix of the components of a great servant leader! Doing what is right in God’s eyes is essential to having the moral compass needed when difficult decisions need to be made. Compassion is critical in reflecting the heart of God when tough calls have to be made and executed. And the leading of God is the absolute necessity to staying in step with the plan of God so as to accomplish both His will and His whim.

Joseph models for us all three key elements of what God desires in each one of us.  When mixed properly and followed wisely, every one of us will find ourselves able to navigate the twists and turns of life in the Spirit to the praise of God’s glory, as Joseph did.

 

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. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Turn-Around Tuesday – When God Reboots Our Lives!

Date November 13, 2018

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”” (Genesis 8:20–22, ESV)

 

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Grasping the enormity of God’s goodness is often difficult for us, to say the least. However, when God chooses to reboot our lives and allow us to re-enter into His gracious plan a second time – no matter what our personal situations have been – we have to stop and take into account what He is doing and how grateful we should be!

Noah chose the one position that always grabs God’s attention. He worshipped God with a sacrifice. When God releases us, the first and primary task of gratitude should be our generous and abundant thankfulness as expressed in something that is painful to give … hence, sacrifice.

Are you anticipating release from your confinement? Is God rescuing you? Has He already? Then the question on your heart should be simple: What will I give to God to show my true gratitude? And be careful. Some people, in the guise of being “spiritual”, are really just cheap!

What do I mean? I hear a lot of, “I will offer God my praise!”And what they mean is they will come to a service and sing songs and say, “Praise the Lord for His goodness!” And, that’s all well and good … but how does it bring about the pain of sacrifice? The animals Noah offered died. They were killed.

Plan now to show your gratitude, remembering Jesus’ words, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”” (Luke 7:47, ESV)

 

 

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 – Holding the Line Through Intimacy With God!

Date November 12, 2018

When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”” (Genesis 6:1–3, CSB)

 

My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Parenting is a difficult, arduous, continuous task that often receives little in the form of reward and praise and a lot of expressions of disappointment and disgust – usually behind the backs of those parents whose children are less than orderly in public.

As a result of the discouragements, over time, parents often relax their strictness, which can be healthy and positive. However, when it is the reaction to a manipulative, selfish, tantrum-throwing child, all sorts of character and interpersonal issues develop.

Bringing spiritual truth to bear on the lifestyle of our children is what parenting is really all about. Raising them in the conscious presence of a God who not only loves them and wants to interact with them all day long, but also holds them to a higher standard is the genius behind all the “rules and regulations” many failing parents misunderstand. God is able to do what we can only hope for.

When the generations after Adam and Eve relinquished more and more of their responsibilities in child rearing not only did their children suffer, but so too did their marriages. Screaming kids can kill any romantic feelings a couple has for one another. Exhaustion from battle after battle with a self-possessed child all day can fray one’s nerves and cause unions to be strained … or worse.

Decades later, generations no longer resemble the intimate love and care for one another and marriage becomes a formality to some and a novelty to others. All the while God’s heart breaks as He calls His people back, often while being repeatedly ignored.

Wouldn’t you rather reinstate an intimate relationship with God in your family that always produces changes in our behavior for the good? Marriages thrive in such an environment, as do families!

 

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 – Having a Thankful Heart!

Date November 11, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today to show you how to build a thankful heart all over again!

 

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 – Is Anything Too Hard For the Lord?

Date November 9, 2018

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”” (Genesis 18:13–14, ESV)

Is anything too hard for the Lord? Perhaps the hardest thing to get our heads and hearts around is the reality that God can do anything! He can defy the laws of … well, everything … to accomplish His will and His plans.

Sarah is one of the cases we can point to. One day, when Sarah was 88 years old and her husband, Abraham, was 98 years old, God happened along to declare the fulfillment of His announced plan. At least 14 years earlier He had come and told the then older couple (74 and 84) that God would give them a son.

Because of impatience and a lack of faith, they chose the nightmare disaster of surrogate parenting. Now, they were again being told they would have a son. Only there were a few huge biological issues to overcome. The Bible explains it this way, “[Abraham] did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.” (Romans 4:19, ESV)

So, Sarah was post-menopausal and Abraham was impotent. This created major issues when it came to the fulfillment of God’s promise. And, since God was clear that the child to come would be from this couple, Sarah thought the prediction was absurd. And like so many of us, her doubt bellowed forth in a laugh.

But faith believes God is able to change ALL circumstances, even biological ones. God can alter the dynamics of any part of the known and unknown universe at His whim. Nothing is too hard for God. The problem is this: We often doubt God is able because we often don’t grasp the enormity of what it means for Him to be God.

Perhaps today you would choose to put God back in His rightful position. Give Him the glory due His name. He is Almighty. He is able (See Ephesians 3:20) So the real question is this: What impossible do you need to trust God for? God can easily change your impossible to possible! Will you laugh at God or after God has done the impossible?

 

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 – Attitude’s Key to Discipleship!

Date November 8, 2018

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His slave girl; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.” (Luke 1:46–48, NASB95)

 

For He has had regard for the humble state of His slave girl. Attitude is really one of the biggest keys to discipleship, isn’t it? Have you ever just NOT wanted to do something, despite knowing it’s the right thing to do, no matter who is asking you? I know most all of us have. And that is where every true human being struggles with his or her walk with Jesus.

Notice Mary’s attitude about herself. She knows and is comfortable in her position before God. She calls herself, “His slave girl.” Many translations try to dull the punch here. In fact, in the NASB95, it uses the word “bondservant” instead of the original, which I have restored.

We don’t like being called a “slave” even if it is in reference to our relationship with God. Mary had no such qualms. And this is the core of her discipleship character. She didn’t fight with her self-importance. Her attitude kept her humble. And, because she was humble, God gave her grace upon grace, just as He will do for any and all of us with the same attitude (See James 4:6).

Humility understands the character of God and appreciates who God is and what He is like. He, Himself, declares His character to be: “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”” (Exodus 34:6–7, NASB95)

When we grasp the reality that this is the One whom we serve, we display in a thousand acts a day our heart of submission and peace. God is so powerful and so personal, so intense and so intimate. His involvement in our lives, His direction of our steps, provides the sure foundation for our faith, trust, and peace. It is in our intimacy and relationship that we find our platform for His honor and admiration.

 

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 – When God’s Ability and Spirit-Filling Meet!

Date November 7, 2018

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and provided redemption for His people.” (Luke 1:67–68, HCSB)

 

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. When God fills our hearts and mouths, its time to speak up! It had been nine long months of secluded silence for Zechariah. In that time he’d learned and he was ready.

We can be sure there were many long nights pouring over the scriptures he knew so well but had failed to incorporate into his soul completely. We can always tell when we struggle with doubt: Expectancy is missing.

Now, all of that had been washed away. Every shred of the impossible had been scrubbed from both Zech’s software and his hardware. He was holding his son! In his old age! Can you believe that? How many times had he wanted to tell his friends, “Did you see Elizabeth? She’s pregnant! God did that!” But, in his silence, he could only muse and moan.

Now, everything was different. All the hours of introspection and consideration, investigation and confession have paid off. His faith blazes with a light as bright as the sun and his mouth proclaims what has been shut up in his heart for far too long!

God is able and Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit! This unbeatable combination explodes into a cacophony of sound and emotion, hope and vision. There, in that moment of ceremony and celebration, Zechariah lets loose in what can only be described as a river of living water … speaking of the promises and looking at the advance man of the coming king.

This baby and this man teach us that leadership is all about the willingness to believe, to trust in the absurd because our God is able. And when we doubt, God will allow us time to review and recant, to return and repent. Then, and only then, does He give us a platform to speak and to proclaim the ability of the One we have come to realize “is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20, HCSB) Trust Him today by declaring His praises to all!

 

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. He welcomes your comments below.

 


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