The Words of your Mouth …

Tags

, , , , , , ,

What impact do you think the words you say have on the results of your business?

I suspect your first answer is that words have a dramatic impact on the results your business achieves.  You and your team are talking the majority of the day.  You talk to one another, to your customers, your vendors and your stake-holders.  And all of those conversations have some bearing on your business results.  The conversations within your team need to be clear and informative, giving them instruction and direction and uniting them with a common purpose.  The communication and words to customers and clients must be convincing and encouraging, providing them with confidence that you will provide the product or service that they desire from you.  And the conversations with vendors must be clear and precise as you set expectations on purchase orders for the products and services they provide to you.

But that is not the whole story … What I want you to consider are the words that you are speaking “over” your business.  What are the things that you are saying to yourself, to God and to those close to you about your business, your people, your customers, your vendors and your stake-holders?  Are those words positive and affirming or are they negative?  You may think that your private thoughts and conversations about the business and its people will not alter the results.  But the Word of God will lead you to a different conclusion.

There are a couple of factors that I want you to prayerfully consider;

  1. Who are you?  You might think that is an odd question in this conversation, but it is actually at the foundation of understanding the power of your words.  For the answer to this go to the beginning of the Book, in Genesis chapter one.  I want you to look at verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24 and 26; each verse starts with “And God said…” the heavens and the earth were created by the power of God speaking them into existence.  He made things that are seen from things that are not seen (see Hebrews 11:3).  Then in Genesis 1: 26 &27 you and I came into the picture.

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The point I want you to get in your heart is that God’s Words have the power to create the worlds from nothing AND you and I were created in HIS image “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”  That says to me that we ‘look’ like Him and we are ‘created’ like HIM, with power that we (myself included) don’t truly understand.  I am coming to believe that our words have creative power.

The second piece of who you are has to do with what happened to you when you became a believer in Jesus Christ.  The Word says that Jesus and His Spirit dwell in you.  The following list of scriptures from John confirms that Jesus and His Spirit are living in believers (John 14:15, 14:23, 14:26, 15:4 & 16:7).  I encourage you to search the Word for yourself to confirm this truth in your heart. 

So the conclusion that must be drawn is, YOU are a manifestation of the spoken Word of God endowed with power and authority to speak things into existence beyond what you currently understand.

2. Factor number two for your prayerful consideration … What does the Word of God say about the power of your tongue?  WOW!  More that I can record in this short article, my favorite is from Proverbs 18:

  20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs has much to say about the power of the tongue, look up the following references and soak on their meaning (Proverbs 18:7, 16:9, 18: 20-21, 10:11, 12:6, 12:14, 12:18, 13:3, 15:4, 15:2 and 16:23-24).  Also I would direct you to Mark 11:23, Isaiah 57:19, Job 22:28 and James 3:6.  And I encourage you to search out the scriptures on your own to discover what else God’s word has to say about the power of your tongue, specifically start in the four Gospels and see what Jesus had to say about saying and believing.

To me the evidence is overwhelming and compelling that the words you speak about your business and the people involved with it are powerful beyond human understanding.  But just because we don’t understand it doesn’t mean that the principle is not at work.  The principle is absolutely at work.  The Lord God Almighty says

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deut 30:19-20)

“Therefore choose life” with the words of your mouth.  Speak the His Word over your business and infuse it with life and health, blessings and prosperity.

Be blessed!

Steve

Armor of God

Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

There is something important that you must understand about this “struggle” that we are in against Satan.  And what you must understand is that Jesus has already defeated the devil at the Cross of Calvary.  Here is what the Word says about this subject;

Revelation 1:17-18 (NIV1984)

 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

How do you think He got the “keys” if He had not defeated the enemy?

In another passage the Word is also plain about Satan’s defeat;

Collosians 2:15 (MSG)

He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

I love the Message for this passage; Jesus obviously has complete victory over Satan and his forces as He “marched them naked through the streets.”

So what does all this Good News mean for you and me as Christians in the marketplace in light of the context of Ephesians 6: 10-18?  We have to know that Jesus’ victory is our victory!  There are several passages that give us that proof, my favorite is John 15 where Jesus teaches about the vine and the branches and the fact that we “abidein Him.  Also take a look at Ephesians 1:20 which says God “raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places.” And then in Eph 2:6, Paul goes on to say that “God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  So since you are seated with Christ and Satan is under Jesus feet, then Satan must also be under your feet.  Hallelujah!

So does all of this Good News negate what Paul is teaching us in Ephesians 6?  Absolutely NOT!  But in order to use the armor properly you must understand what it is being used for.  So let’s review:

  1. Jesus has already won the victory!
  2. You are in Christ and seated with Him.
  3. So Jesus’ victory is your victory over Satan.

So why do I need the armor? You might ask. You and I must have the armor because Satan, even though he is defeated is still trying to convince us that he has power and authority.  And until Jesus returns the devil has free run here on earth.  He also has 6000 years of experience in deceiving God’s chosen people, so he’s pretty good at it.

Paul is telling us that this is a battle of faith; this is a battle for control of your mind and will.  This is the only thing that Satan has the opportunity to control, our minds.  If he can control your mind he can control your actions and the way that you interact with other people.  Are you going to allow him to do that or are you going to “stand firm then” on the Word of God?  Isn’t it interesting that “to stand firm then” is a defensive posture for the army that has already won.  Paul didn’t tell us to attack so that we can storm the gates of hell.  He said “to stand.” 

In my experience I need the entire set of armor in order to “stand” and keep Satan in his place. In the heat of my fight of faith I must be truthful with all I meet about my current situation and what I’m going through.  I need to know that I am righteous in God’s eyes because He sees everything through the lens of Jesus Blood.  That righteousness gives me power and wisdom.  I need to be at peace with the peace of Jesus with those I meet and with myself. 

I love the shield of faith! I must pick it up every day, especially for the work that I do in the marketplace.  The shield of faith is to me the most important piece of defensive armor.  Because the faith that I have in the Word is the foundation of everything.  I must have faith in what the Word says that I am faith in what the Word says that I can do and faith in what the Word says that I will receive.  I must know in my knower that the promises of God are “Yes and Amen.” And they are meant for ME!

Next I put on the “helmet of salvation” what a cool piece of armor.  Not only am I secure in my salvation and my victory over the evil one but in the original language I’m told this helmet was a full-faced helmet.  So once I put it on the only thing that can be seen are my eyes.  So the devil doesn’t know who he is up against.  So when I “take up the Sword of the Spirit” and speak the Word of God to him he doesn’t know if it’s me or Jesus that he is up against.  And since the Word says that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow” the dirty dog Satan has to submit.

Isn’t it interesting that all of this preparation is for prayer?  Paul tells us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  That says that I’m supposed to pray about the big stuff and the little stuff.  Talk about dependence on God in prayer!  And that my friend is the connection of this passage to being a business owner.  Are you submitting yourself and your business to God in prayer every day?  Are you following the leading of the Holy Spirit gives you in prayer or are you too busy to take the time?  The Father is a lot smarter that all of us put together about business or anything else, so I suggest you cast your cares on Him and allow Him to guide you.  If you don’t …Satan will be happy to deceive you and lead you down the wrong path.

Stand firm then!!!

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!

Steve

Passion

Tags

, , , ,

Passion is one of the foundational requirements for inspirational leadership, and we know that the great leaders are inspirational.  Consider Jesus Christ, I can think of no one with greater passion than He.  And think about the other great Biblical leaders like Moses, Abraham, David, Paul and Peter; all of these men were passionate about the things God called them to do and therefore they became inspirational to those that followed.  For that matter they are still an inspiration to us today.

The same holds true for business leaders, the great ones are all passionate about their companies and the people they lead.  People like Ford, Rockefeller, Mary Kay, Steven Jobs, Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Ray Hilbert (Truth@Work) and the list could go on and on.  All of these leaders (famous or not) are over the top with passion for what they do.  That passion spills over into their words, actions, decisions and plans.  That passion flows out of who they are and why they exist.

Passion is not something that you can manufacture, you can’t fake it.  Either you have it or you don’t.  I do know that Father can instill passion in you at the right time and place.  Or maybe a better way to say it is that when you are at the center of Father’s will, then you will be passionate.  What I mean by being at the center of his will is that you are using the skills, talents and abilities that He has perfectly gifted you with to do the work that He has called you to do.  When you “know in your knower” that you are in that place … you will be passionate about what you are doing and the people that you are leading and the company or organization that you are growing.  Knowing that you have stepped into being the person that He created you to be and because of that, doing the work that He has called you to do is an exciting place to be.  That excitement will be uncontainable!  The enthusiasm and passion will flow out of you.

Let me share a story with you that will help illustrate how this manifests itself.  This is a story about my wife, Pam who is a Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay.  This morning she got a call from a former consultant in her unit that had moved out of the country several years ago.  Because of a number of personal things in her life she is not currently a consultant.  She called this morning to tell Pam that at some point in the future she wants to come back into Mary Kay and to say that when she does, she wants to be part of Pam’s unit again.  She went on to say that Pam is the most positive person that she has ever met and she wanted to make sure that she didn’t lose that relationship in her life.  Why do you suppose that this woman would call from thousands of miles away from a different country to tell Pam these things?  It has to do with being a positive influence in her life.  The reason that Pam is a positive influence is because she is passionate about what she does.  The reason she is passionate about what she does is because Father has perfectly gifted her for the work and called her to be a blessing to the women in her unit.  And when she does that PASSION for what she does is uncontainable.

So …. If your tank is a little low on passion right now invest time with Father and learn about your gifts and calling.  Then go do that!  I promise it will be better than you can ask or imagine.

 

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!

I am VALUABLE!

Tags

, , , , ,

I am VALUABLE

As I was praying and asking Father what I should write about this morning, He led my mind in a direction I did not expect when considering the subject of Biblical Leadership.  Since He is much wiser than I, the following is what He put on my heart.

This is my journey so the things that I write this morning I have experienced.   For reasons that we don’t need to go into here I have struggled with my value and self-worth.  And that is a difficult place for a leader to operate from.  I have come to the conclusion that to be an effective leader one must be secure in their view of themselves and the value that they bring to their teams.  So where does that value come from?

In my experience value has comes from past results or accomplishments, in other words the things that I have done.  Some of those have brought value to me and to others, and some have not.  I don’t know if you have this problem or not, but I have made the mistake of focusing more on the bad then the good.  Rather than learning from those mistakes, I beat myself up over them.  And in addition to beating myself up, I usually forgot all the good things that I accomplished and the people who I have had a positive impact on.

The lesson that I am learning, and I hope you can learn to, is well expressed in the Devotional Pam and I read this morning from Kenneth Copeland in “From Faith to Faith” (follow this link to read the 10/13 devotional http://www.kcm.org/index.php?p=daily_devotional ). 

For [God] hath made [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Born again believers, you and I, are the righteousness of God!  Copeland says it this way, “Jesus went to the Cross to give you what He already possessed. He rose again so you could be recreated in His image. You are the victory of Almighty God! You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. You are everything to the Father that Jesus is. John 17:23 actually says that God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.”

WOW! When you get this from your head to your heart, it will make all the difference in the world to your self-worth.  Understanding (I mean knowing it in your gut) that God loves you as much as he loves Jesus and that Jesus has sent His Spirit to live in you, will have a quantum impact on self-worth.  This revelation will change your life!

So what does all this have to do with Biblical Leadership?  Everything!  It makes sense to me that if God loves me as much as He loves Jesus, then I have a very high value to God.  Since I have a very high value to Him, His opinion should over-ride what I have been thinking about myself.  Why should I beat myself up over the things in my past when He doesn’t remember them because they are covered by Jesus blood?  So now I can lead from a position of confidence, a position of victory, a position of a conqueror, a position of security, because I understand how much He loves me.

Now that you know that you are valuable to the Father, you can walk confidently in the gift of leadership that He has given you.

What is Culture?

Tags

, , , ,

As you may remember in my last post we discussed the importance of vision and culture to a Biblical Leader and all leaders.  Although many leaders struggle with vision they understand what it is.  They may struggle with putting their dreams on paper and making them real to their team, but they know about vision.  I’m not sure that’s the case with culture and therefore I want to drill down deeper searching for clear revelation for us all.

So … what is culture?  Based on my recent studies (“Transformation of the Spiritual and Natural Mind” by Jim &Faith Chosa) and past experience, I believe there are four major elements to culture.  And they are:

  1. Human identity
  2. Values
  3. Beliefs
  4. Behavior

Hunan Identity: How does the culture in your company shape or influence the identity of your team members?  I believe that our identity is tied up in who we are and what we do.  As I discussed a couple of weeks ago (Who are you and Why are you here?), who you are is tied to your relationship with Christ.  However many people, believers and non-believers alike, default to what they do (consultant, plumber, lawyer, etc.) as a definition of who they are.  As a Christian business owner you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the definition your team members have of themselves.  How is that possible you rightly ask … When your culture includes values like transparency, self-improvement, and openness based on the Word of God your team will have the opportunity to become more confident, committed and conscientious.

Here’s how that works; when they have a great understanding of where the company is going and what you are accomplishing in the marketplace and they know how their contribution moves the team and the company towards that objective and they have access to tools for improving their performance , then the right people will respond.  Not only will they respond to the challenges put before them but they will gain positive experiences that improve their confidence, commitment and increase their self-esteem.  Are you getting his?  You do have an impact on their identity!

Values, Beliefs & Behavior: These three things are built upon the foundation of personal identity.  The dictionary says that value is “relative worth, merit or importance.”  Values are the things that we hold dear.  The concepts and people (like family) that are important to us.  Let me give you a simple example of how this operates in us; if you place a high value on serving other people, then you will probably believe that customer service is important in the work that you do.  If customer service is important to you as a consumer then in your job your behavior will demonstrate that belief in the way you serve people.  In your company your people’s values, drive their beliefs and their beliefs drive their behavior.   And you can have an impact on that behavior with the kind of culture that you create and the team members that you attract with the use of that culture in the hiring process.

What you need to understand about culture is that it should be a statement or a reflection of your values.  These are the values that you operate by whether you are at your business or not.  Get this part right in your business and you will have a great foundation upon which to build the rest of your organization.

What is Leadership?

Tags

, ,

The simple answer is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.” (Wikipedia)  If you are student of leadership you know that experts and “leaders” for centuries have presented the “traits” theory of leadership.  In short what the theory talks about is that all leaders have certain traits that result in them becoming leaders among their peers.  This theory would say that individuals with these traits would be leaders no matter what the situation.  This assumes that leaders are born and not made.  We could spend years digging into the origins of leadership and all the theories that surround the subject.  That’s not the purpose of this article.

You know a leader when you see one.  And whether or not leadership can be learned or one is born into it is not for me to say.  What I do know is that with God all things are possible, because nothing is impossible for HIM.  So if you are designed by your creator to be a leader or the Holy Spirit molds you into one at a time after your birth, I don’t care which it is.  What I do know is that those of us who are Christian and leaders in the marketplace need a model to follow to accomplish the tasks that the Father has purposed for us to do.  So if HE has purposed us to accomplish certain desires and dreams for the Kingdom, HE must know and will provide the way or the model for us to accomplish them.

God the Father, after all is the ultimate leader; HE is the KING of Kings, LORD of Lords, maker and creator of the universe and lover of your sole.  What can we learn by studying HIM, what will HE teach you as you develop a relationship with HIM?  This article is a short list of some of the things that HE wants to teach you.

Have a Vision …

Why do you think that God created?  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) WHY?  Do you think HE just might have had a plan?  I sure think so.  I don’t for a minute think that HE started “creating” without a perfect picture in HIS mind of what the end result would look like.  I think HE knew exactly what the sun, the moon, the earth, the seas, the mountains, the valleys, the birds, the animals, the ants and yes even you and me; He knew what it would all look like.  The Father had a VISION of what HIS creation would look like before HE ever started.

The same needs to be true for you and me as business owners and leaders in our companies.  We must have a vision of what the organization will be like, look like and feel like.  What will it accomplish?  What is its purpose for existence?  Why will our community and world be better off as a result of this organization?

This is one step that most small business owners leave out.  And it is one of the reasons that many small business don’t succeed.  They don’t have a plan to become great.  They don’t have a plan to have an impact on their world.  “My goal is to make money” I don’t know how many times I have heard that with the business owners I work with.  And God bless them many are in a spot where they have lost a job and they have to make money to support their families.  Now, don’t hear me say making money is not important, that is not true.  Cash is the life-blood of every business.  BUT the really successful enterprises have an overriding purpose and vision to what they do.  This vision is inspiring to the owners and to the employees.  It can be strong enough to make people want to work there.  Imagine that the employees in your company can’t wait to get to work every morning because they love what they do and they are excited about how they are making a contribution to your purpose and vision.  How much would that add to the bottom line?

Take the time, write your vision, and know the purpose that HE has put in your heart.  Psalm 20: 4 says, “May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  And verse 6 says, “Now this I know; The Lord gives victory to his anointed.  He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of HIS right hand.”  Now that’s the business I want lead!!!

Create your Culture

In the word searches that I have done I have not found the word “culture” in the NIV Bible.  In spite of that fact, I believe that much of the Bible is about culture, the culture that Father established.  Culture is very similar to values, it is the values that you hold dear and that are important to you.  These are the values that you live by whether you are at work or not.  And when you think about it, isn’t much of the Bible about the things that God holds dear and the values that HE treasures.  Consider the Ten Commandments.  These are the values of God put into “law” form.  The value of loving the Lord, the value of worship, the value of family, the value of honesty, the value of honoring your neighbor,  the value of love.  Jesus said the most important commandments were to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.”  In today’s business terms, this is most certainly culture.

So since God thinks “culture” is so important, what do you think?  I can tell you what I know and that’s that culture can be a driving force in a great businesses.  (For an example study Zappos.com.)  First of all let me let you in on a secret … your company has a culture whether you have established it or not.  Because if you don’t establish it, your employees and customers and vendors will establish it for you and then you have to live with what they create.  So doesn’t it make sense to take the bull by the horns and establish the culture you want in your company?  This is about the values that are important to you.  These values and the resultant culture are the foundation of great organizations.  (Consider the example of the Bible being the foundation for the Body of Christ.) 

Remember the definition of leadership we started with, “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.” Think about organizing your company around the powerful culture that you believe in and then finding others who hold the same values.  Then paint a picture of the amazing vision that you want to achieve with the help of your team.  Imagine how powerful and profitable your company will be when a team of like-minded folks are all working to achieve the same goals because they are excited about where they are headed with you.

So what values are important to you?  What are the truths that you hold dear?  Isn’t it time you write them down and build the foundation of your great company upon them?  Yes it IS that important.  Honor the values the Father has put in your heart and live by them in the marketplace.  He will honor your faithfulness.

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!

Steve

Aside

Who are YOU? & Why are YOU here?

Tags

, , , ,

Today I want to explain what I believe is a foundational issue for great leaders.  I want to put the spotlight right where I think it belongs and that’s on you and me.   Let me illustrate what I am taking about with a story.

This story is set someplace near Jerusalem, during the time of Roman rule.  It could have happened while Jesus walked the earth.  There was an old and very devout Jewish Rabbi who severed in the Synagogue.   One day the Rabbi was praying intensely and the Lord was present in his prayers speaking great words of Wisdom to him.  He had been praying most to the afternoon when finally he decided it was time to go home.  His house was about a mile from the Synagogue and walking was the only choice.  So off he went, still under the influence of the Lord from the powerful afternoon of prayer.  As he walked toward home he came to the fork in the road at which he always went to the left to go home.  He had never followed the road to the right except for this day.  For some reason the Lord lead him to the right that day and he obeyed.  As he was walking along praying he came upon a Roman garrison and on the wall of that garrison was a guard on patrol.  Upon seeing the Rabbi the guard immediately shouted, “Who are you? and Why are you here?”  This rude interruption to his prayer startled the old Rabbi and he seemed dumbfounded.  He looked around and realized that he was definitely in the wrong place.  The guard, growing impatient for an answer, shouted again, “Who are you? And Why are you here?”  The old Rabbi got this knowing look on his face that comes with revelation knowledge and asked the guard a question, “How much money do you make?”  The guard was surprised with this response and wasn’t quite sure he heard correctly and he asked “What did you say?”  The Rabbi repeated his simple question, “How much do you make?”  The guard answered “Two denarius per week.”  The old Rabbi smiled and said, “I will double your salary if you will come to my home and ask me those two questions every morning when I leave and every evening when I return.”  “Who are you?”  Why are you here?”

As I have studied, meditated and lived Biblical Leadership I have come to the conclusion that these two questions are foundational for all of us and especially for those who want to employ Biblical Leadership in the marketplace.  If we can’t answer these questions correctly we will be like the man who built his house on the sand (see the story of the wise & foolish builder – Matt 7:21-27).  But when we can answer these questions … OH, what a difference that will make in our lives and our leadership.

Most leaders I speak with will launch right into “who are you?” with definitive statements of their accomplishments at work, that they are a husband, a mother, a business owner, an executive..  Those things are great BUT those are things they have done, not who they are.  One of the lessons I learned in business coaching was about the distinction between who you are and what you do.  Your accomplishments (or doing) will always flow out of your being, WHO YOU ARE.  When it comes to the second question, most people I talk to have not figured that one out yet.  So let’s take a look …

Who are you?

With your permission I would like to kick at the walls of your box for a minute because I want to change your paradigm.  I want to change it by getting you to consider who you are in Christ and the Father.  Because in the end that is really all that matters.  When you become a Blood-bought believer of Jesus Christ that changes who you are?  How about meditating on this for a while; “I am the manifestation of the Spoken Word of God.”  “I am eternal!”   “I am the temple of the Holy Spirit.”  How powerful does that make you?  How humbled are you with that revelation?  For those of you who are born-again believer (and I’ve probably lost everyone else by now) these statements are true of YOU.  Whether you understand and accept them or not is another issue, they are true.

In addition to the three above here is more about who you ARE!

  • I am redeemed in Christ!
  • I am covered by His blood, making my sins invisible to the Father.
  • I am righteous in Christ.
  • I am an over comer.
  • I am seated at the right hand of Christ
  • I am a son of the Living God!
  • I am loved by God!
  • I am created in HIS image!
  • I am blessed!
  • I am fearless because my God is with me.
  • I am the seed of Abraham and an heir according to the promise.

This list, along with many other “I am” statements from the Scriptures is the things that we have in common as Blood-redeemed believers in Jesus.  How these facts are manifest in each of our lives is a very individual issue.  Remember He gave us “free-will.”  So the way I live this out will be different from how you do it.

The point is that as born-again believers in Jesus Christ we have a number of traits in common.  It is critical for you to embrace and embody these “I AM” statements.  Because out of them and as a result of them will come your words and actions as individuals and leaders.  When you do understand who you are in and because of Jesus you will be powerful and confident in all that you do.  Why?  Because you know who is behind and who is beside and who is in front of you.  If I do not live from this foundation, I may be a leader but not a Biblical one.  Until we (read that I) get it that I am created in HIS image, I am a son of the living God, I am loved and known by the creator of the universe, along with all the rest of our I AM statements you cannot live out HIS call on your life.  Did you catch that?  Only when you understand who you are in Christ, can you live out the call HE has put on you.

Why are you here?

Remember earlier I said that most people don’t have this question “figured out yet.”  That’s because they have not fully understood the first question.  (Are you getting this?)  Knowing who you are is the stepping stone to knowing why you are here.  Because in addition to the common answers given above the rest of our, “who are you?” answer is about the skills and abilities that the Father has gifted us with.  Those skills and abilities are your clue to why you are here.  The Word says that we are all part of the “body of Christ.”  (See 1 Corinthians 12: 1-31 for the details.)   I am convinced that each of us in the body has a specific mission that requires the gifts and talents we have been perfectly given.  We must use those skills and gifts for HIS glory, to accomplish HIS purposes.  Remember the parable of the talents; are you investing the talents you have been given for the greatest return for the Kingdom?  Or have you buried them somewhere deep within you?  I don’t recommend that choice.  Because I’m sure that you, like me, want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” and not the question …”Well?”

So … when you finally “Get it” in your gut about who you are in Christ and come to an understanding of the skills and talents He has given you, then you are ready to search out and step into your mission and come to understand why you are here.  It is my opinion that the best leaders are working at the intersection of “Who are you” and “Why are you here” and they know the answers very well.

God is so cool!  No one else could make two simple questions so profoundly important.

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises.

Steve

Character & Values

This post is written for Christian men and women who are in positions of leadership in the marketplace.  In my view this is a crucial position of influential that we as believers in Jesus Christ MUST take seriously.  This is the place where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak; this is the place where we must be faithful to what we know to be true and right.  This place of leadership has the power to influence either positively or negatively how those we are given responsibility for will view the gospel.  And that is an “eternal” responsibility we must embrace.

I have witnessed “Christian” leaders who have not taken this responsibility seriously.  Those men and women drove their employees away from the gospel.  They did not learn how to apply Biblical truths about leadership to their role in the marketplace.  Because you are reading this post, I will assume that you are actively searching for ways to live out your faith in the marketplace.  So … here is what I suggest, Ephesians 2: 19-20 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

In the marketplace, in your role as owner, executive, or manager you are directed to use Jesus as your cornerstone.  The function of the cornerstone in a building is of vital to the proper construction of that building.  The cornerstone is set straight and true and then all measurements for placement of the rest of the building components are measured from the point of the cornerstone.  If the cornerstone is not set correctly the entire building will be faulty.  The same is true for you and I, if we don’t set our cornerstone correctly for leadership our teams will not perform up to our expectations.  And for us the cornerstone for our leadership must be Jesus!

Character & Values …

So what does that mean for you in the day to day operations of business and team leadership?  There are a number of attributes that we can talk about but today I will limit my thoughts to Character & Values.  What are the character traits that Jesus lived that you and I need to emulate in leadership of our teams?  The first place that I would direct you to for meditation and study is the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5 & 6).  The characteristics that will jump out at you will include Godly attitudes (Matt 5:1-12), reconciliation (Matt 5:21-26), faithfulness (Matt 5: 27-32), integrity (Matt 5:33-37), forgiveness (Matt 5: 38-42), humility (Matt 6: 1-4), priorities (Matt 6:19-24)and love God & love others (Mat 5: 43-48).

Here’s an example of how one of these characteristics is applied in our business … Humility (Matt 6: 1-4)  The nature of my business is to be in the role of “expert” but I always remember and give credit to Jesus as the author and finisher of my faith and the work that I perform.  Although I we must take on authority to accomplish the tasks I am assigned by my clients, I am never proud or boastful.   

Guess what, that’s not the only list that you get to use to improve your character and values.  The New Testament is full of instructions for leaders.  Here’s another example from 2 Timothy 3:  “1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”  It is a given that Paul was talking about church leaders; that is certainly true but what happens when you start to think of your team as the flock that the Father has given you to shepherd.  In order to be a good witness to those you shepherd you must be above reproach, faithful, temperate and so on.  This passage absolutely applies to us as business leaders.

How you apply these values and characteristics to yourself and your business is a matter for discussion between you and Holy Spirit.  I can give you examples all day of how to apply these truths, but those would be my examples and not yours.  You have to own them!  You have to live them out!  What I can tell you is that this takes time and meditation for you to get these principles from your head to your heart.  Nor will the Devil will sit idly on the side-lines and watch you do it.  He is going to be on the attack once he sees you are serious about this work of applying Biblical truths to your marketplace.  He most certainly will cause you problems BUT “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.”  So every day you get up you put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18) and fight the good fight of faith.

Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!

Steve