Turn-Around Tuesday – Responding to God’s Warnings!

Date October 2, 2018

For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:17-18, 22, ESV)

 

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. Sometimes we just can’t change people. It breaks our heart, but it’s reality. And when people ignore what is so plainly explained, all we can do is protect ourselves and weep for them.

Recently I watched a security video of a woman who was so intently into her cell phone that she ignored the drowning of one of her children in the pool right beside her. While her other little toddler was trying to get his mom’s attention, she dismissed him without looking up. By the time she paid attention, we saw the lifeless body of her child in her arms, a victim of her inattention to the warnings given to her by her other child.

In order to turn our troubles around, in order to avoid the dangers of life all around us, we have to pay attention to the warnings God sends us. They exist all over the place, from the stop sign at the end of the street to the Bible we own on our shelf. Our inattention to the signs and cautions of life can result in our destruction and perhaps even our death.

Listening to God’s strategic warnings, placed within the pages of His Word and given to us through our pastor, mentor, discipler, or friend, can avert catastrophe and bring life-giving change. But how do we sense when God is speaking to us?

If we know Jesus as Savior and Lord, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God to guide, explain, and lead us into life abundant. Those quiet nudges prompt us to remember something we had forgotten or remove our peace about a certain action or decision. Often these movements of the Spirit of God are accompanied by a Biblical example or verse we are familiar worth. However, God works in you, paying attention to the warning is His love at work. Act on His kindness!

 

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 – Dealing With Your Disobedience!

Date October 1, 2018

And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”” (Genesis 3:17–19, CSB)

 

Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’. All too often we choose to disobey rather than obey. Granted, Adam’s motive might have been something right out of our recent culture’s mantra: “A happy wife leads to a happy life.” But, as God demonstrates, that motto doesn’t apply to overriding what He has commanded.

Husbands are the spiritual heads of their homes, the ones who are supposed to “give their lives” for their wives (Ephesians 5). When a man chooses to follow the plan of God, God blesses the home of God. He is to follow Jesus Christ, just as Jesus follows the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3). When the man follows his King, Jesus, he is able to bring abundant and bountiful blessings to his wife and family.

Magnificent marriage happens when you, the husband, keep your focus and the focus of your family on the commands, directives, ordinances, statutes, and examples God has uttered through the pages of His holy Word.

And when we fail at that, when we choose to listen to anyone– including our wives – over the expressed and declared directive of God, we must brace for the impact those consequences will have not only upon us, but on the wife we want a happy life with.

Adam is our quintessential example here. He chose to listen to his wife over God and he paid a heavy price for it … and we still do today as a result. Generations are often blessed or scarred by the choices we make each and every day. To obey brings God’s blessing. To disobey brings God’s curse.

Whatever your situation today, choose to do the right thing. Choose God’s way. Bless your wife. Create a happy 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. He welcomes your comments below.

Faith Filled Friday – Choosing to Act When God Does Not!

Date September 28, 2018

And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.” (Genesis 16:2–3, ESV)

And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. In shades of the Garden of Eden, we see again that faith falters when it chooses to do that which God has not blessed.

God had promised to give Abraham a son (Genesis 15:4). A decade had passed and no child had arrived. Frustration often weakens faith. When God doesn’t act, we often seek to make things happen for Him, forgetting that God can do in a moment what we cannot do in a lifetime. God delays because He has a purpose.

We often forget that our ways are not God’s ways and our plans are not God’s plans. Such was the case when Abraham and Sarah talked about the lack of fulfillment of God’s promised son. In the shadows of the campfire each night they must have wondered what else they could do? They were getting older … Abraham was 85 after all. And Sarah was 75. How much longer would having a son even be possible?

Perhaps God meant for them to think in alternative ways, with more creative solutions. The people around them used surrogates for childbearing. Why not them? And, once the idea was fully thought out, the only question left was for Sarah to choose her surrogate.

Doubt often sounds right. Rationalizing a solution though is still telling ourselves rational lies. God was still on the Throne. He hadn’t lost one ounce of strength, power, ability or desire to fulfill His promise to Abraham. He still hasn’t!

Are you at a crossroads? Are you waiting – impatiently – for God to fulfill what He has promised? Be assured He hasn’t faltered. And He doesn’t need your help. When the time is right – that’s the crux of our problem, isn’t it? God’s timing is often not ours! When the time is right, all the forces of Heaven will be marshaled for God’s fulfillment of His promise to us. Until then, trust Him and wait. It’s less painful!

 

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 – God Is Listening!

Date September 27, 2018

 

And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.” (Luke 1:11–13, NASB95)

 

Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard. Is God listening? Can’t He hear? When will He answer? If you have ever had a real earnest request for God, you have found out one of the important rules of asking … God works on His own schedule and not on ours.

Zach had been praying for a son. He’d gotten old praying for a son. His wife, Liz, had aged waiting for God to give them that son. They prayed, they’d been faithful to God, they’d waited for God … they were still waiting for God as we read this portion of the Bible.

And then, on the exciting day when Zach is chosen to enter the Temple and burn incense in God’s presence – a high honor indeed – God breaks in with an announcement. As we are learning, God often interrupts the daily flow of those who are serving Him faithfully to share something extraordinary with them.

This was no exception. God wanted Zach to know that his prayers had been heard! God had sent this angel to tell him that he would have a son. God even had a name for the baby – John – even though there was no one in Zach’s family with that name! But who’s going to argue? Zach and Liz were going to have a baby in their old age! What a joy! What a gift! What an honor from God! Their prayers had been answered. All their trust had come to fruition!

Let me ask you a simple question: What are you pouring your heart out for that God hasn’t answered yet? Has it been months? Years? Decades? Are you getting older and it seems God isn’t listening? Disciples remain faithful. They trust God. They know that He’s on a schedule, that whatever He does is right, even when it’s not on our timetable.

Right now would be a good time to stop and thank God that He is listening and that, in His time, He will answer your prayers!

 

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  – Enjoying An Impossible Mindset!

Date September 26, 2018

 

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.”” (Luke 1:34–37, HCSB)

 

For nothing will be impossible with God. God can do things we can’t even begin to imagine! And that is probably one of our greatest problems in life. We simply do not believe, “God is able.” But, to be sure, He has declared it to be so:

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—” (Ephesians 3:20, HCSB)

Enjoying an impossible mindset is what the life of faith for the willing worker of Jesus is all about. Servant leadership is means working for the King of kings and Lord of lords, the One who alone can speak worlds and galaxies into existence.

Such a reality fortifies us to believe the impossible and work in advance of it’s arrival. While others may call us crazy – think of the ridicule Noah went through before the door of the ark was shut and the rain began to fall – God calls us faithful when we trust Him for things that are exceedingly beyond anything we could ask, think or accomplish. That’s why we make no small plans as God’s servants!

Notice the supernatural powers that worked to produce the virgin birth of Jesus … “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” When God wants to accomplish something, nothing stands in His way. He has forces at His disposal we can only wonder at when they are on display. He always has a way, especially when there seems to be no way.

Today, as you serve God in what may seem to be an obscure place, remember, He is able. He is willing. And, when the time is right, He will act. What’s exhilarating is the fact that, He will act through those who have been willing to work for Him outside the public eye!

 

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 – 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.

 


* 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