Friday, February 22, 2013

Motivation for Leadership

Leadership photo from
February 22, 2013

"For they loved praise from men more than praise from God." -John 12:43

In our culture celebrity and fame are highly esteemed. With social media, blogging, webcams, self-publishing, YouTube, smartphones, and the like, everyone can be a star. Fifteen minutes of fame has turned into camping out on life’s stage.

William Shakespeare would be proud of what we have become. It has validated what he asserted long ago, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages” (Brainy Quote).

When it comes to our positions in leadership and our motivations for leading, we should not be overly concerned with the praises of people. Caring too much about what other people think can hinder our mission and keep us from doing what is necessary. Worst of all, our concern to please others and do the popular thing can hinder the Gospel. We should concern ourselves with pleasing and serving God and others. Our job as Christian leaders is to make God famous, not ourselves.

Jesus addressed this in John 12:43 when He talked about how the religious leaders were thinking more about what other people thought about them, rather than thinking about pleasing God. Their motivation for leadership was wrong. The religious leaders were more concerned for receiving the praises of people and not about bringing praises and worship to God. When we seek to serve God and others, He is pleased with our leadership and He gets the glory and the spotlight.

Prayer: God help us to lead well, not as the religious leaders of Jesus' day "For they loved praise from men more than praise from God" (John 12:43). Help us to serve you in humility. Help us to not pursue the empty praises of people, which can inflate our egos, distort our motivations, and hinder our effectiveness. Would we seek you, your glory and your praises in our leadership. Help us to be motivated by your great love in service to you. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Arts and Christianity

Art, photo of upside-down church art installation, from Flickr, by benkay  

This article is adapted from “Theology and Art” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

As Christians, we should study and participate in the arts. Tim Keller stated, "The Church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world. The simple fact is that the imagination 'gets you,' even when your reason is completely against the idea of God." According to Keller, art has an evangelistic purpose and value. We can come to know God through creativity and imagination. While we may agree with this statement, there is more to the importance of art than just evangelism.

We must not neglect the beauty that God has created or the truth that we ourselves were created in the Creator's own image. We also have been given the mandate to cultivate and to care for God's creation as stewards, and this cultivation includes the arts. There is something particularly creative, even artistic, in the very nature of who we are as image bearers. We have been tasked with a creative vocation as Christians in our call to this stewardship (See Gen. 1—3).

GeneVeith captured the Christian's role in the arts well when he said, "That the arts are corrupt does not mean that Christians can abandon them. On the contrary, the corruption of the arts means Christians dare not abandon them any longer." As Christians, we cannot abandon what the enemy has corrupted in the fall. We must reclaim the arts. God has gifted us with the arts and they are His. The arts are a tool for us to participate with God in His great artwork of restoration and re-creation. We must reclaim the arts for God's kingdom purposes and for His glory.

This article is adapted from “Theology and Art” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


“In the end, only kindness matters,” 
photo from Flickr by SweetOnVeg

This article is adapted from “Kindness: A Fruit of the Spirit” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." –Titus 3:4-5

In our relationships with God we have been shown the ultimate kindness through the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus Christ. Because of this great kindness, we should also show kindness to others.

When we experience the kindness and love of Jesus, rivers of kindness should flow from us. Understanding the kindness of God motivates us to show kindness to others.

Paul writes about this in Ephesians 4:32, when he says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This compassion and forgiveness flows naturally when we are showing kindness to one another. We have been shown this kindness, so we should also show others kindness.

According to Paul in Galatians 5:22-23, kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. He says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The way we can show kindness to people is to have the Spirit of kindness transform us into the kind people God wants us to be.

May we understand the amazing kindness and compassion that we have received from Jesus in the forgiveness of our sins and may we show others God’s kindness at home, at school, at work and in every area of our lives by the fruit of His Spirit in us.

This article is adapted from “Kindness: A Fruit of the Spirit” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Redesigning How We Work

“Work is not the opposite of play!” 
Photo from Flickr by opensourceway

This article is adapted from “Changing the Way We Live and Work” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

When we come to know Jesus, our relationship with Him should change the way we live and work.

Some believe the follower of Christ should remove him or herself from the ordinary or worldly things in an effort to be holy or set apart rather than setting apart the ordinary for the glory of God. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:31, clearly supports this idea of doing everything to God's glory when he says, "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

The reality is, our lives and work matter to God. Coming into a relationship with Christ may not mean we change what we do. However, coming to know Christ does change how we do what we do. Following Jesus changes how we live and work.

May we allow the presence and salvation of Jesus Christ in our lives change the way we live and work. If we have lived wrongly, would we "Bear fruits in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8). If we have cheated anybody out of anything, would we "pay back four times the amount" (Luke 19:6-8). May the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ change the way we live and work!

Prayer: Almighty God our heavenly Father, You declare your glory 
and show forth Your handiwork in the heavens and in the
 earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service
 of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in
 truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of
 Him who came among us as One who serves, your Son Jesus
 Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
 Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, P. 261)

This article is adapted from “Changing the Way We Live and Work” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.