Leadership is important. Why? As John C. Maxwell well puts it, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.” I agree. As a leader myself, I am beginning to realize that the success (or failure) of an organization or ministry falls on its leadership.
Leaders are important not because of the positions they hold, or the talent they have, but because of the impact, whether positive or negative, they will have on their followers and the organizations and ministries they represent and work for.
Leaders are called to serve others and not their own personal, selfish agenda. Leaders are called to…well lead, and leading will require great responsibility and effort and, at times, great sacrifice. A leader must be willing to pay the price in order to be effective in whatever he or she does.
Leaders are called to a higher standard of living for they will give an account to God for what they do (or don’t do). It is vital for a leader to live a life of integrity, service, honesty and humility.
The stakes are high and many are watching. People are counting on leaders to display a life worth imitating and following. The responsibility could not be bigger but the potential for long-lasting impact and positive change is endless.
Leaders: pray and strive to serve God and others with a humble and sincere heart.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have witness God at work—touching hearts, doing great things in the lives of others, and answering prayers—all to accomplish His will in the local church. The most amazing, and shocking thing in the world is that God uses ordinary people like you and me to carry out His purposes. What an expression of His grace!
Now let me tell you about something that I will have the undeserved privilege to be part of. Soon, I will begin a new journey in my life—entrance into youth ministry. But before I go on to describe how I feel about it (hint: excited), let me briefly share how all of this came about.
I am currently attending Eternity Bible College. This school does a very good job in making sure students get involved in the local church. One of the ways the school encourages ministry involvement is by giving its students monthly updates on current openings, positions and opportunities available in our area.
This is how I first heard that there was a need for a Middle School Coordinator at The Bridge. At first, the thought of working with middle school students was intriguing and appealing; but as time passed, I sort of pushed this opportunity to the side and left it unattended. In the next couple of months, God began to work in a remarkable way in my life—giving me a fresh, new passion and desire to disciple the next generation of students.
As a result, God put on my heart to start a small, discipleship-group for high school students. We have only met for about a month now, and I have seen God do amazing things in their lives.
I love sharing God’s Word with young students. My passion is to make a positive impact in their spiritual growth and formation. And so far, I cannot complain—God has been good!
Now back to this new journey in my life—entrance into middle school ministry. After a couple months had passed since I first heard of the opportunity, I became once again interested; so I began to pray and seek the Lord’s will on it.
I remember a night I was working at my current job (Radio Nueva Vida). During one of the Bible programs, I took a brief moment to pray that God may open the door to get involved at The Bridge. I am already serving at Nueva Vida (the Spanish ministry), but something I strongly desired was to be part of The Bridge.
A couple of days later, I received a call from Rob (the current youth pastor) asking me if I wanted to teach on Sunday, July 1st to the middle school students. I remember saying, “Wow, Lord, that sure was quick! Is this the answer to my prayer?” Little did I know that I was being examined on that Sunday as a potential candidate for the job (or at least that’s what I think).
So after various conversations, meetings, and God’s conviction pressed upon my heart, it became clear that the Lord was leading me to be involved in this area of ministry. I thought, “Wow, I don’t deserve this. I am not fit for the job. What if I fail and mess up?” But then, I was reminded of an amazing truth—that all over the Bible, we see how God used ordinary folks to do extraordinary things for the glory of His name (i.e., Moses, Ruth, the twelve disciples, and many others).
If someone were to ask me, “What would be the most exciting thing about working in middle school ministry?” For me, the most exciting thing would be having the opportunity to invest, disciple, and play an active role in making a long-lasting impact in the lives of the students. Of course this will not be an easy task at all, but that will not stop me to dream big and expect great things.
I am praying that God may be glorified in all things—in my teaching, in my relationships with the students, staff, Rob and others, in leadership, and in all other activities and events—may Jesus be the center, foundation, and the one receiving all honor, praise and adoration!
I think the most challenging part for me will be connecting with the students (since I have very little experience with youth) and keeping an eternity-focused youth ministry; in other words, I want to do youth ministry in light of eternity. I want to be intentional and make the best of every opportunity to make a long-lasting impact instead of just focusing on the now (which many have the tendency to do).
All in all, I am very excited to begin this new chapter in my life. My desire is to see a new generation of students that are committed, devoted and passionate for Jesus. Because if it wasn’t for Him, I wouldn’t have the opportunity in the first place; so everything is and always will be all about Jesus!
Any advice, insight, encouragement, and most importantly—prayer (and lots of it), will be more than welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!
The drama of Scripture is initiated and unveiled by displaying God as the Creator of the heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1). As Creator, God holds complete authorship, authority, and rule over all creation. The creation account is unpacked in detail in the first two chapters of Genesis. Out of all creation, Adam and Eve were made in a distinct and unique way—according to God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6). They were designed and fashioned to reflect His character, attributes, and dominion over all the earth.
In the second chapter of Genesis, we read of a tragic event—the fall of mankind. This happened due to man’s disobedience and rebellion. The following chapters unfold three major events that display man’s failure and sinful nature—the fall, the flood, and the Tower of Babel. These major events occured as a result of man’s sin and its curse that was brought upon humanity and the earth as a whole. But there’s great news, the story does not end there. God, by His infinite mercy, would bring an anecdote to sin and provide a remedy for His people.
Primeval History (Genesis 1-11) demonstrated that man’s intentions were (and still are) evil and wicked (Gen. 6:5; 8:21). The only hope for humanity was for God to do something—to intervene and rescue them. The Creator of the universe is by nature, a savior and a redeemer. Once again He would show His infinite and unconditional love by bringing a solution to the problem—salvation for the people. We get a glimpse of the ‘gospel’ or good news in Genesis 3:15, where God promises redemption through Eve’s seed.
The next key character that would play an important role in the redemptive plan of God is a man called Abram (Gen. 11:27). God displays His grace by selecting Abram—a Babylonian gentile from an idolatrous family (Josh. 24:2). Abram was not a godly person at all, for he was born and raised in a polytheistic culture and society.
Out of all the people God could have chosen, Abram was the last person fit for the job, but God chose him to be an instrument of His purpose and plan. God’s missionary plan of salvation would involve establishing a covenant, or a binding agreement with Abram, whose name changed later to Abraham for specific and obvious reasons. Abraham would be an important contributor to God’s missionary plan.
The Abrahamic covenant is in fact one of the most important themes in Scripture. God’s plan of salvation has its roots and beginnings in this covenant. It’s no mere coincidence that Abraham gets a greater portion in Genesis. Abraham is the main character and patriarch in the spotlight of chapters 12-24. The Abrahamic covenant is the seed which gives birth to the central message and story of the nation of Israel. The foundational truth of the Pentateuch is developed and orchestrated through the lenses of the Abrahamic covenant. Its message and significance is carried throughout the Old and New Testaments.
The Abrahamic covenant is referred to, pointed back to, often quoted, mentioned, and reflected upon, in many places and by various authors in the biblical narrative. It’s essential, for our understanding of the Abrahamic covenant, to develop a biblical theology of it in order to grasp its magnitude, weight, and immense value in the whole canon of Scripture.
The choosing and electing of any individual throughout Scripture, was not due to his or her good looks or good deeds; they were chosen by the grace of God to be world changers in their time and culture. Abraham did not deserve to be saved and used by God, and yet again, neither do you and I.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
Let’s live each day in light of God’s inexplicable grace. Let’s remember who we once were, what we used be enslaved to, and where God saved us from. May we be conduits and instruments in the hands of God to carry on this legacy of grace to the ends of the world.
El siguiente tema que quiero compartir es crucial. Debería ser entendido y analizado por cada creyente en Cristo. Espero que sea de edificación para tu vida. Mi deseo y oración es que Dios, a través del Espíritu Santo, nos iluminé, guíe, y nos de el poder para triunfar en nuestra vida espiritual.
En la vida solamente hay dos personajes que podemos servir—dos seres mayores—Dios o Satanás. Solo podemos servir a uno, no a los dos. Hemos sido creados con la capacidad y habilidad para servir y adorar a uno no a dos señores.
En nuestro corazón solo hay espacio para uno de ellos. ¿Quien toma residencia en tu corazón? ¿A quien sirve usted?
Antes de contestar la pregunta anterior quiero que examines tu vida. ¿Cual es tu testimonio, tu manera de hablar, tu comportamiento, tu caminar? ¿Que refleja y transmite tu vida a los demás? En otras palabras, ¿cuales son sus frutos?
La palabra de Dios nos dice:
“Así que, por sus frutos los conoceréis” (Mateo 7:20).
Nuestra vida reflejara nuestro amo y Señor. Nuestros frutos solo demostraran a quien seguimos y servimos. Nuestros frutos reflejaran nuestro estado espiritual.
¿A quien sirve usted?
Permite aclararle algo, estos dos personajes no son iguales. Ellos no tienen el mismo poder. No son del mismo nivel. Dios es el Soberano Rey del universo. Es el Creador y Hacedor de maravillas. El siempre esta en control y autoridad. Dios es el Todo Poderoso que lleva acabo sus planes y propósitos para su gloria.
Tú solo eres Jehová; tú hiciste los cielos, y los cielos de los cielos, con todo su ejército, la tierra y todo lo que está en ella, los mares y todo lo que hay en ellos; y tú vivificas todas estas cosas, y los ejércitos de los cielos te adoran. (Nehemías 9:6)
Satanás vencido esta. La victoria ya fue ganada en la cruz por Jesús. El nunca perdió. Solo demostró su poder y victoria al conquistar el pecado y su esclavitud, el mundo, y Satanás.
“Mas gracias sean dadas a Dios, que nos da la victoria por medio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo” (1 Corintios 15:57).
Satanás no tiene esperanza. El no tiene escapatoria. El final de la batalla ya ha sido determinado por Dios—Jesús reinara con justicia, autoridad, y rectitud. El pueblo escogido será victorioso. La iglesia del Señor será restaurada y limpiada de pecado y pasara el resto de la eternidad con su Rey.
Ahora mientras eso suceda, hay un desafío que enfrentar. La vida no es fácil. Vamos a enfrentar pruebas, tiempos difíciles, y tentaciones. Hay también una batalla constante entre Dios y el diablo sobre tu vida. ¿Quien será tu Señor? ¿Quien ganara tu tiempo y energía? ¿Quien ganara tu devoción y adoración? ¿Más importante, quien ganara tu alma?
La realidad es: hay una guerra espiritual. Aunque no la vemos es real y peligrosa. El apóstol Pablo nos dice: “Porque no tenemos lucha contra sangre y carne, sino contra principados, contra potestades, contra los gobernadores de las tinieblas de este siglo, contra huestes espirituales de maldad en las regiones celestes” (Efesios 6:12).
Jesús es la suprema demostración del amor perfecto y divino. Satanás es la suprema demostración del mal. ¿A quien sirve usted? ¿Su vida demuestra amor y servicio sacrificial o demuestra egoísmo, maldad, egocentrismo y odio?
El que practica el pecado es del diablo, porque el diablo ha pecado desde el principio. El Hijo de Dios se manifestó con este propósito: para destruir las obras del diablo. Ninguno que es nacido de Dios practica el pecado, porque la simiente de Dios permanece en él; y no puede pecar, porque es nacido de Dios. (1 Juan 3:8-9 LBLA)
El pueblo Dios esta siendo engañado por el enemigo sin darse cuenta. Desafortunadamente, hay muchos en la iglesia que piensan que ser cristiano es simplemente leer la Biblia, diezmar, escuchar mensajes, ser miembro de una iglesia, etc.
Estas cosas son muy buenas. Pero en si mismas no definen que alguien sea un seguidor de Cristo, mucho menos sea cristiano o salvo. Sabemos que no estamos haciendo obras para ser salvos porque no podemos ganar la salvación. Las buenas obras y hechos no nos compran ni obtienen la salvación.
No podemos ganarla por nuestro propio mérito sino es regalo de Dios—la recibimos por fe en Cristo (Efesios 2:8-9). La diferencia es: aquel que es salvo lo demostrara a través de sus frutos. Sus frutos será la evidencia de su salvación
Por otro lado tenemos aquellas personas que son como la palabra los describe: oidores no hacedores.”Pero sed hacedores de la palabra, y no tan solamente oidores, engañándoos a vosotros mismos” (Santiago 1:22).
No es suficiente escuchar la Palabra de Dios. Cualquiera puede hacer eso. El verdadero desafío es ser sabio y poner en practica lo que escuchamos —principalmente la Palabra de Dios (Mateo 7:24-27).
Estas personas son aquellas que pasan su tiempo haciendo absolutamente nada. No procuran de alcanzar algo para el Señor. Solo están en la iglesia para recibir y consumir—no para servir. Tienen una mentalidad y actitud individualista.
Están en la iglesia y viven vidas pasivas. Creo que hay varias de estas personas que van a ser salvas pero lamentablemente no harán nada para Dios.
Usare la siguiente ilustración como ejemplo:
En un equipo de fútbol hay once jugadores que juegan en el campo a la vez. También hay otros jugadores que forman parte del equipo que están en la banca. Los que forman parte de la banca son parte del equipo pero no están contribuyendo para que el equipo obtenga la victoria. Entonces podemos decir que los que están en la banca están ayudando al equipo contrario para que no pierda.
Así son los cristianos pasivos en la iglesia. Forman parte de la familia de Dios pero no están contribuyendo—no están avanzando el evangelio de Dios y expandiendo su reino.
Esta es la mejor estrategia del enemigo. El impide que los cristianos alcancen su propósito, llamado, y misión—al mantener al cristiano tranquillo, cómodo, y pasivo. ¿Esta usted en el campo o en la banca? ¿A quien sirve usted?
“Porque el que se cree ser algo, no siendo nada, a sí mismo se engaña. No os engañéis; Dios no puede ser burlado: pues todo lo que el hombre sembrare, eso también segará” (Gálatas 6:3,7).
Dios no puede ser burlado o engañado. Mi meta al escribir esto es para que nos hagamos un auto-examen y buscar a Dios sinceramente.
Necesitamos arrepentirnos de nuestros pecados y seguir a Jesús como Señor y Rey. Hoy es el día de vivir para el Dador de la vida con una entrega total.
Escojamos hoy la voluntad de Dios para nuestras vidas—el camino de justicia y amor hacia la eternidad.
“En el camino de la justicia está la vida; Y en sus caminos no hay muerte” (Proverbios 12:28).
If you are a parent, you will most likely be imitated. Not by your friends, not by your teammates, or your co-workers, but by your number one fans—your children.
Children are very unique in that they are very good imitators. To imitate means to follow, resemble, reflect, or copy someone or something. Children are great receptors and reflectors of information.
Parents are seen as role models and leaders for children. At times it seems that acting is a given talent in children for they impersonate their parents’ style, speech, and behavior well.
So whether or not parents like it, they will be imitated—for positive or negative. Children will reflect the characteristics and attributes of their parents.
Now we who have put our faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior have a new identity—we are children of the Living God.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13 ESV).
Again the apostle John reminds us of our new identity:
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).
We are no longer aliens and strangers—we are part of the household and family of the Creator. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). We are His children not by our works, good deeds, or by our own merit but by faith.
So now that we have been transformed by His power and obtained an undeserved standing of honor—children of God—let’s strive to imitate our heavenly Father. Imitating Him will require of us, His children, to live for His glory by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul states it this way: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). To imitate God, first we must know what He is like—His nature, character, personality, etc.
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 118:1).
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly”
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him” (Nahum 1:7).
The Bible portrays God as all-sovereign, all-powerful, and all-knowing. The Bible also shows us that God is good, faithful, kind, compassionate, merciful, loving. So how do we imitate such God?
There are countless ways we can imitate our heavenly Father, here are a few examples:
Love your enemies
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45)
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).
When we step out of our comfort zone and move into action, in this case loving our enemies, we will be the difference makers in our world. Loving those whom we love or love us back is easy. Loving those whom we don’t naturally love or love us in return is hard. If and when we love our enemies, we will show others that we are different, unique, and most importantly children of God by imitating His unconditional love.
“Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7).
“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1 John 2:29).
“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10).
Be Driven by Mercy, Compassion, and Service
“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
In the kingdom of God greatness is displayed by humility, self-sacrifice, service, unselfishness, and unconditional love. We must take up our cross, deny ourselves, and live to please him. What does your life reflect?
Who do you imitate?
When others see our lives, what do they see? Does our walk, speech, conduct, and way of living reflect God and His love? Is our life characterized by godly motives and desires? Do we point others to Jesus? Or is it the complete opposite?
When others see our lives, are they furthered away from the truth? Unfortunately, the latter is most common lifestyle in the church of Christ today. For some reason people like to imitate celebrities, actors, athletes and other famous stars. These people may have money, power, and fame but they don’t have the true source of life—Jesus Christ.
Their lives are characterized by sin, pride, selfishness, and individualism. Lets not be deceived. The Bible says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
The fact of the matter is that following and imitating such people is a waste of our time, money, and energy. Imitating people rather than God is not going to help us grow and mature spiritually.
We have changed God for mere creatures, resulting in idolatry. This will ultimately prevent us to fulfill our calling and purpose in the overall mission of God.
Lets start today to imitate God, our heavenly Father, and live for His glory. Jesus Christ is our one and only true leader and role model worthy to be reflected, resembled, obeyed, and followed.
We are His children, its time to change our lifestyle and be instruments in His hands to carry out His message of peace, hope, and love. May we be imitators of God.
La vida del cristiano es un maratón no una carrera de corta distancia. Este maratón abarca toda nuestra vida terrenal.
Desde el momento de nuestra salvación, la voluntad de Dios para nuestras vidas es nuestra santificación. La santificación es el proceso de crecimiento y madurez espiritual.
El fin, la meta, o el propósito de la santificación es alcanzar la perfección; ser conformados a la semejanza de Cristo Jesús nuestro Salvador.
No que lo haya alcanzado ya, ni que ya sea perfecto; sino que prosigo, por ver si logro asir aquello para lo cual fui también asido por Cristo Jesús. Hermanos, yo mismo no pretendo haberlo ya alcanzado; pero una cosa hago: olvidando ciertamente lo que queda atrás, y extendiéndome a lo que está delante, prosigo a la meta, al premio del supremo llamamiento de Dios en Cristo Jesús. (Filipenses 3:12-14).
En este texto bíblico el apóstol Pablo usa la ilustración de un atleta para describir nuestro caminar cristiano. El atleta procura con esfuerzo, dedicación, y disciplina para obtener el premio.
De la misma manera el creyente debe tener una entrega total y seguir adelante hacia su meta suprema en Cristo a través del Espíritu Santo.
Al terminar cada día, y examinamos lo que hacemos, ¿estamos satisfechos con los resultados?
Empecemos hoy a correr el maratón y avanzar hacia la meta.
Nuestra meta es terminar y ser fiel.
Si Cristo viene hoy, ¿estaremos contentos y alegres porque hemos corrido el maratón con diligencia y hemos peleo la buena batalla de la fe?
Avanzar hacia la meta de la perfección es nuestro deber y llamado en Cristo. La venida del Señor se aproxima, por eso necesitamos cambiar nuestro estilo de vida y enfocarnos en lo que vale la pena—lo eterno y lo celestial.
Con la ayuda sobrenatural del Espíritu Santo, procuremos de alcanzar la meta y el premio—la corona de justicia.
¿Cómo esta su vida espiritual? ¿Esta usted avanzando hacia la meta?
Lets face reality—life is full of challenges, struggles, hardships, and tough decision-making moments. How can we know we are doing the right thing, following the right path, or making the best decision? Let me be honest—it is not easy. But take heart. If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus, you have a manual for daily living—the Word of God.
What’s in the Bible? God’s self-revelation to mankind. Best of all, through the Bible we come to know God and His will for our lives. We don’t have to live life unsure of where to go, what to do, or even what to expect. Christians are not exempt from trials—they come and go. Therefore every decision we make is important. We reap what we sow, whether positive or negative.
Let me assured you, if we choose to follow God’s way, we will know our purpose and we will experience His abundant blessings.
A compass is use to determine the best possible route with the end goal of reaching one’s destination. Mariners have to use the compass to succeed in their mission. Likewise, the Bible is our God-given compass to guide us in the right direction with the end goal of reaching our destination—heaven.
It is not enough to read the Bible. One has to put to practice what he or she has learned. In Matthew 7:24-27, we read a parable of two men who heard the words of Jesus. Both men heard, but only one is commanded for what he did. The key is obedience.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (v.24-25 ESV).
So if we want to conquer our trials, we must be wise and build our lives on the solid and immoveable rock—Jesus Christ. This will only be possible, when we put the Bible as the norm, center, and top priority of our lives.
Everything that pertains to life and godliness has been given to us through our knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3). It is through His Word where we find such knowledge, wisdom, and insight to live for God and His glory.
My desire is for everyone to know the Creator of the universe—the One who is capable of changing and transforming lives.
Take the time today to pray, read, and meditate on His Word—God’s compass for daily living.
Don’t judge a book by its a title. I Kissed Dating Goodbye is not just about dating but a book that challenges and exhorts us to live a life pleasing to God.
Sam Torode states, “To my surprise I discovered I Kissed Dating Goodbye isn’t really about dating at all. Instead, it’s a book about following Christ and what that means for all our relationships—whether romantic or not.” Relationships should be Christ-centered— driven by self-sacrificing love. This is in fact a message that is very unpopular in today’s culture. Our society is driven by greed and selfishness.
Loving others is what God wants and commands us to do. Joshua Harris states, “Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person as God has loves us.”
Joshua Harris is not afraid to speak uncompromising truth. He speaks his heart out with sincerity, boldness, and love. “The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.” This is the result when one entrusts his love life to God.
I recommend this book for everyone who wants to gain a new perspective on dating and relationships in light of God’s Word.
I received this book for free from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.