Turn-Around Tuesday – Depending On the Heart of God!

Date November 27, 2018

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”” (Genesis 9:16–17, ESV)

 

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant.Often, when God has been gracious and spared our lives, there is a lesson to learn and, or, a practice to begin. In the case of Noah and the flood, one of the lessons Noah was to learn was “tacked up” by God conveniently so that even God wouldn’t forget.

Isn’t it amazing that God uses “sticky notes” to remember things that are important! God’s sticky note here, of course, is the rainbow. It is a constant scientific reality that happens when light is refracted through water. In fact, we can produce the phenomenon all by ourselves with a water hose on a sunny day.

And whenever we do, the lesson God wants us to remember is this: This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”And what is that covenant between God and humanity?“The waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:15, ESV)

God’s lesson still remains. The rainbow signifies that even if the earth grows as corrupt as it did in Noah’s day, God won’t destroy it with a flood. He will restrain Himself, even when He may want to. Of course, God has those days from time to time, as the wilderness wanderings teach us. (Check out Exodus through Deuteronomy.)

Sin frustrates God. And, when His people persist in it, God has in the past removed them from this existence (See Numbers 14 as an example). But now, we can thank God that one of the tools in His toolbox remains “under lock and key” so to speak. “The waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:15, ESV)

Today is a good day to thank God for His mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9, ESV) Depend on the heart of God to remember His covenant!

 

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 – Favor Falls On the Obedient!

Date November 26, 2018

“Understand that I am bringing a flood—floodwaters on the earth to destroy every creature under heaven with the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.” (Genesis 6:17–18, CSB)

 

But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives. Favor falls on the obedient. Search the Bible from cover to cover and you will see this truth repeated time and again.

If our marriages are to be magnificent, they will have to be ordered by obedience to God’s will and whim as expressed in His words found in the Bible.

God shines on those who do His will. He assigns the obedient to special tasks in order to demonstrate His mercy and grace. For Noah and his wife, their leadership as a godly couple spread the favor of God all over their family. Not only did God notice Noah, God established a covenant with him, which brought life and a future of hope.

And therein lies the secret of magnificent marriage, doesn’t it? Men who choose to put God first, to obey even when the command is ridiculous, lead magnificent marriages. Imagine one hundred years of building a ship the likes of which no one had ever seen. Massive in scale, empty inside. The daily mocking and ostracism must have hurt deeply. Friends jeered him. Family questioned him. And still, Noah and his family built the boat, trusting in the God who spoke the ridiculous. That’s the leadership every magnificent marriage needs.

I am struck that, while their lives unfold on the pages of the Word of God, little is said of Noah’s wife. We don’t even know her name. Yet, we see that she was by his side, working in unity. How do we know this? The Bible doesn’t talk about her in a negative way. In case we have forgotten that bad wives get Bible ink, remember Job’s wife?

As we look inward, to our own homes and our own hearts, could we ask a couple of directive questions? First, husbands, are we leading based on the words of God? Do we listen to them? Do we alter our lifestyle to please God? Second, do we have such integrity in following our God that our wives choose to follow us? God’s favor is at stake!

 

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 – Jesus, the Hope of the World!

Date November 25, 2018

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today about the hope Jesus brings to us despite the tragedies of 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 – Negotiating With God!

Date November 23, 2018

Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.” (Genesis 18:32–33, ESV)

“Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”When you listen to some teachers of theology, they seem to betray the fact that they have never seriously read God’s Word. This passage destroys the myth that the events of the future are set in stone and can’t be altered … some sort of theological predeterminism based on God’s knowledge, or some such nonsense.

From this passage, we learn things can be changed. And, change happens when the person of faith has the attention of the God of the Universe – who is attracted by our faith. This corresponds to the truth in the New Testament concerning the healing of sick people through prayer. James tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (James 5:16–18, ESV)

So, at this moment your heart should be aflutter. You, as a person of faith, need to consider the perk of changing history. The greater the faith, the more impact one has on events and circumstances when they pray. Our faith is strengthened by quickly and repeatedly doing what is right in God’s eyes.

Abraham negotiated and succeeded. The only problem was that Lot hadn’t converted enough people to God’s way. In fact, he hadn’t brought anyone over to faith in God Almighty. And, when the angelic count of righteous people was tallied, there were simply not enough people to meet Abraham’s negotiated quota. The judgment of God fell.

However, don’t diminish the incredible impact the prayer of righteous men and woman can have on situations and circumstances, people and problems. How’s your faith? Growing? Immediately responsive? Repeatedly obedient? Then pray for true change!

 

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 – Choices Reveal Our Character!

Date November 22, 2018

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.” (Matthew 1:18–19, NASB95)

 

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Discipleship moves forward through our character. God uses people of character – He sees into our heart and soul and knows who will walk well with Him and obey Him when He asks.

And one of the easiest ways He does that is by looking at our interactions with those closest to us. As with Joseph, Mary’s untimely pregnancy was an opportunity for Joseph to reveal what was inside him, to demonstrate His soul publicly.

You see, our problems aren’t our problems. Our problems only reveal our problems. When difficulties and pressures seek to squeeze the life out of us, we can know that God has allowed them because He knows we will do well. In fact, in the letter of James, we discover that trials are actually God’s gymnasium. Each trial is a new exercise, a test of our strength if you will. God always knows that whatever He sends to us we are able to handle.

He even has a purpose for those troubles and tests. God sends them “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:3–4, NASB95)

For Joseph, in this trial of his life, his young bride was pregnant with someone else’s baby. What would he do? He did what was in his soul. He, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Our choices reveal our character. We do it in the little things when we choose not to take a pen that doesn’t belong to us. We do it in the big things when we refuse to disgrace someone, even if they are close to us and have broken our hearts.

Disciples of Jesus are men and woman of great character!

 

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 and Character!

Date November 21, 2018

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.” (Luke 2:1–5, HCSB)

 

And Joseph also went up … to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. Reread that statement. Ponder for a moment the implications of these words. In these words, we find key elements of the attitude and character necessary for a willing worker for Jesus.

Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which was a 90-mile walk! Now, on the surface, this seems like a no-brainer. Everyone had to go. And that is true. But, like so many other 21stCentury Bible interpretation errors, this one fails to take into account who Joseph was and what was swirling about at this time.

“Along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.” If you’ve ever traveled with a pregnant woman who is about ready to give birth, this whole story hinges on the bizarre and painful at the same time. Can you feel Mary’s pain? Riding a donkey? Are you kidding me? What a task just to get her up and down (don’t forget the small bladder at this point because of the baby Jesus squishing her entire insides). Apart from the frequent breaks, how does one ride a donkey when they are already that miserable?

Now, “Joseph also went up.” With Mary, with the donkey, with the care and compassion, with the ridicule – yes, small towns back then were filled with the same kind of small people we know today who love to wag their tongues and ridicule behind – and often in front of – those they think less of, especially a pre-wed, pregnant woman!

Consider the love of Joseph. Look into Mary’s eyes and see her determination. What grit these two are made of. Servant leaders do what must be done without complaint. They suck it up and get it done. This was God’s plan … this is God’s plan for your life. Shine!

 

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 – God Requires a Reckoning!

Date November 20, 2018

And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:5–6, ESV)

 

I will require a reckoning. Deep down inside we know this. The real question is, “Why doesn’t our knowledge prevent our negative actions?” I mean, seriously, God has placed the laws of the universe in such a way so that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Simple science teaches us eternal truths.

So, when I choose to do something, there will be a reaction. When I choose to do something to another person, I will receive the consequences of those actions. When my intentions and, then my actions, are dark, I can be sure that God will bring back upon me the justice due for my malevolence.

If you’ve ever watched a toddler, you understand this all too well. When they get quiet, we should get worried. They know that what they are in to is forbidden, that’s why they choose not to draw attention to themselves. However, good parents register the quiet and investigate the cause.

God investigates our lives … not as a policeman who desires to ticket us for our infractions but as a parent who desires to steer us away from the consequences of our less than benevolent actions.

But when we choose to do that which we know we shouldn’t, God will parent us well. He will bring the discipline we need to correct the error we have made (See Hebrews 12:7-11). There is always a reckoning for our actions … whether good or bad. This is why the Bible reminds us … “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7–8, ESV)

Today, we can choose our consequence. We can choose to walk away from the pain of discipline and into the pleasure of God’s rewards. Which will you choose? Life or death? Choose 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. He welcomes your comments below.

 

Magnificent Marriage Monday – When God Notices You!

Date November 19, 2018

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness. God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth. Then God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.” (Genesis 6:11-13, 18, CSB)

 

I have decided to put an end to every creature …But I will establish my covenant with you. When everything around you is crumbling, don’t ever forget that God is still watching and smiling at your magnificent marriage. He hears your prayers and rejoices in your commitment to Him. He watches as you share your food with the poor and speak life into the lost.

And while you are shining your light in the midst of a dark and darkening world, God is homing in on your hearts and celebrating your faith. Your heart grieves at the devolution of your community, as does God. And, despite all your efforts and all your prayers, the tide around you isn’t turning for the better.

In moments like these, God is pleased and poised to rescue you from the quagmire of chaos that surrounds you like sinking sand. Even though you see no way, God in His infinite supernatural character has already devised a way and planned out every detail of your path into the hope and help of His hand.

It is at the moment we least expect it that God steps in. His favor surrounds and scoops us up. There, in the midst of the darkness, God shines like a stadium light. With the brightness of His presence and the peace that passes all understanding, God will lead us into the future that is “above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20, CSB)

God’s Spirit will make a way. It’s already on the way. He’s already dreamed it up, ordered the resources, briefed the angelic team, set the deployment locations, and established the date for the whole operation. God will honor your stand as a couple at any moment!

 

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 – 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.

 


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