Christian Walk – Obedience

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from you father’s house, To the land which I will show you; Genesis 12:1

The Lord communicated with Abram. The Lord had a great plan for Abram and this was His way

of initiating that plan. Abram’s world was about to get turned upside down. Think about what God is telling you to do, are you being obedient? When God has a plan for us our world will be turned upside down. This is can be a great thing or a very devastating thing depending on how

you look at it. If you are willing to trust in God it can be a great thing. It is not always going to be easy but it will be worth it in the end.

The Lord gave Abram Christian Walk – Obedience a command. Abram’s journey started with a simple command. God told Abram to go forth. This was God’s way of telling Abram you must do something. God told

Abram what to do but it was up to him to start the process. When God is telling you to do something you have to be willing to take that first step.

The Lord tells Abram to leave his country. After God told Abram to go He tells Abram that he must leave his country. God did not just tell Abram to leave his community but leave his entire country. This was a hard thing. He was going to leave where he lived and travel to a place unknown. Imagine God relocating you to another country today. How would you react? Now

imagine how it would feel if you were to leave everything you knew.

The Lord tells Abram to leave everything he knows. Abram and Sarai were told to not only leave

their country but to leave everything they knew. They were told to leave their relatives. This would be hard for anyone to leave their family and the way of life as they know it. The crazy thing is that this was probably not the hardest part.

The Lord tells Abram to go to a land that He will show. Abram did not even know where they were going. Imagine just going on vacation and your wife asks where we are going. Your response is that we will just get in the car and let God show us the way. I can only imagine what

your wife would do. She would argue and then probably get out of the car and go back inside because she refuses to go because you do not know where you are going.

It takes faith to leave everything you have and travel to the unknown. Abram’s life was turned upside down in order to accomplish God’s purpose. God had a plan of creating a nation of His people. God had a grand and glorious plan. He did not need Abram to accomplish this plan, but He chose to use Abram. God has a plan for your life just like He has for mine. God does not need

us to accomplish that plan, but He chooses to use us and it is a privilege. When God tells you todo something it will take faith.

Faith leads to obedience. We cannot do what God tells us to do without faith. Look at the people God has used over the years that were obedient. Moses went to Egypt to free God’s people. Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. Jesus went to the cross and paid the price for our sins. Saul was converted to Paul and then was on fire for proclaiming the gospel. Mary was also

obedient when she found out that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah. When God is saying to do something that does not make sense in human terms we must have faith and then be obedient.

I started with a question, what is God telling you to do? Are you willing to step out on faith and be obedient to that calling? If He has told you to do something He has given you a command of go.

Take away:

1. Listen to what God is telling you.

2. It takes faith to listen to what God tells you.

3. Faith is what leads to obedience.

4. Take the first step today.

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MAGA

Remember that as Trump takes office it will not be him that makes America great. There are a few reasons for this. The first reason is that we are already a great county. We must not forget this. If we forget that we are already great we will loose this. 

Second we as citizens must work to keep our county great. We will more impact on our communities then Trump will. I keep hearing about what Trump will do for the innner cities. Well it will be up to the inner cities to change their communities. 

Communities are changed by the people that reside and work in the communities. They must be willing to bring change for the better. Nothing will change if the people of the community will not change. 

Last America will stay great if we continue to love each other. When we love each other we will support our brothers and sisters. This will help heal the divide in our country. 

America is the greatest country. Let’s work to keep it that way. It is not Trump’s responsibility, it the responsibility of every citizen. 

Work for the Lord.

This is a short devotion I did for a men’s group this week. Do everything for the Lord and do it with all your heart. 

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the
LORD his God. 21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:20-21
(NASB). 

When Hezekiah inherited the kingdom from his dad, Ahaz, the kingdom of Judah was in bad
shape. Ahaz had introduced Assyrian cult matter into the temple and worship of the inhabitants.
The people of Judah were discouraged by the political and religious scene that they now faced  because of king Ahaz. In order for the temple to be restored it was going to take a great deal of  work.  

In chapter 29 we see the start of the reformation that King Hezekiah was going to put into place
at the beginning of his reign. The bible tells us that he did what was right, just like David. The
first thing that Hezekiah did was open the doors to the house of the Lord. Worship in the temples
had been neglected and in some ways it had been abandoned. Hezekiah started encouraging the
Levites to do their duties. He was encouraging the Levites to do what is right and do it unto the
Lord.  

We see the priests then work hard at purifying the temple. They had to clean the dirt and
cobwebs that built up while the temple was closed. The problem is, this is stuff that should have
been done, but the priests had been neglecting this. They were not working for the Lord as they
should have been. Then they removed the altars that had been built to the idols.  

Since they had neglected their work for the Lord, they were now in a position in which they had
to work harder. When we neglect our duties we let things build up and have to work harder to try
to correct what we have neglected. We should never neglect what God is telling us to do.

As soon as the temple was ready Hezekiah went and his heart was set on the work that had to be
done. Burnt offerings and worship were being restored because of Hezekiah’s faithfulness to do
what is right for God. People were acknowledging their sins. Hezekiah also calls on them to
continue their work in the temple and not neglect the worship.  

In chapter 30 we see Hezekiah still working hard for the Lord. The people of Judah wanted to
observe Passover but they had missed the time allowed to celebrate it. However Hezekiah found
a provision in the Law of Moses that allowed anyone that was unclean in the first month the  ability to keep it on the 14th day of the second month. There as a lot of preparation in order for  this Passover to be successful. All of Judah and Israel were invited to the celebration. Hezekiah
was not doing this for his glory but He was doing it because it was right in the eyes of God.  

In chapter 31 we start to see the fruits of this hard work that had been occurring. After the
Passover all of Israel went out and broke the sacred pillars, wooden images, and altars that had been erected and were still standing. Then Hezekiah worked to restore the divisions of the priests
and the Levites. He worked to restore the tithes so that the priests could be paid for their duties.
He developed a system in order to keep the tithes safe until they could be paid to the priests.  

Through Hezekiah’s faithfulness and hard work we see faith restored in Israel and Judah. We see
idolatry removed from the temple worship. We see the priests and Levites back doing the work that they are ordained to do by God. When you neglect what you are supposed to do for God you
might be keeping someone else from receiving a blessing. The priests had neglected their duties
and people were no longer worshipping God until this reformation.  

Take away:

1. Do what is good, right, and true before the Lord.

Hezekiah did what was right. We all know what is right and true. We need to do our best
to follow God’s guidance and not our own. If we do what is right we cannot go wrong.  

2. Do everything unto God.

Do not do anything for your own good. Do not do things for your glory. When you do
something make sure that it is for God. If you are not doing what is good, true, and right  it will not be for God, it will be done for you. 

3. Do it with all your heart.

When you are doing something for God you must fully devote yourself to it. Imagine if
Hezekiah had halfhearted done this work as king? If he had not been focused on doing  the will of God, he could not have been used in such a mighty way. 

Unity in America 

There is no doubt we have division in America. We can see that very clearly with this nasty election cycle we just went through. It does not matter which candidate would have won we would have still had division. It is saddening to see so many people protesting and calling for Donald Trump to be impeached and he has not even taken office. 

As I have been watching social media posts about the protests I have seen some disheartening comments. People are saying they are mad because the protesters have to go and get a job. If you are saying these things stop. You do not know these people so you do not know if they have a job. You are just making generalizations. This does nothing to bring the two sides together. 

I have also seen name calling again this does nothing to bring unity. You are saying they are intolerant but you being intolerant of their constitutional right to protest. 

Now on the other side, the people protesting, ask yourself what you are accomplishing from these protests. Trump was elected through our election process. He is not going to be removed. I understand there are things you do not like about the new president. There are things I have not liked about all presidents. 

If you want your voice to be heard we have procedures in place for that. Call your congressman and set up a meeting with that person. Go in with a list of things that are important to you and why. Go in with facts and not just opinions. Your congressman represents you as the people of the district he or she represents. 

If you do not like the way things are going in your community then make change. We as communities have to come together and take care of the members of the community. We need to love our neighbors and look out for them. You do not make change through protest. You make change through love. You make change through coming together and talking about your differences. 

The president elect has a long road ahead of him bringing this divided country together but it will not be done if we do not do our part. President Obama is willing to work with Trump in order to have a peaceful transition. Are we as Americans willing to do the same? 

Election Day

Election Day is finally here. Odds are you are reading this Tuesday during the day probably before the polls close. At this point it’s anyone’s game. We do not know with certainty who will win. Depending on what time you reading we might have a good idea. If you are reading this in Wednesday hopefully we will know who the president elect is. 

We as Christians need to pray for whoever the new president is. Who ever is elected will be in place because of God. Paul tells us in Romans 13:1 that we are subject to authority because all authority is given by God. See we might not like who is in office but we must pray for that person. We should pray for guidance, wisdom, godly character, and that they seek God’s will as they carry out the duties of President. 

In Proverbs 21:1 we see that a kings heart is like a channel of water. God can turn it how He desires. God can do amazing things through the people that are in office. He might also allow things to happen that are not so good because of judgment against sinful attitudes of the nation. 

You might not like whoever is elected but instead of complaining spend time in prayer for that person. Spend time in prayer for the people that will be put in cabinet level positions. Pray that we as a nation will seek God’s guidance as we move forward. 

No matter what happens on Election Day God is still sovereign and in control. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is my savior and yours. Put your trust in Him. 

Immoral Acts of Politicians More Accepted

I came across the graph when I was reading another article. Here is the link to the original article. White Evangelicals Grow More Accepting

Look at the data from 2011. When you look at white evangelical and mainline Protestants you see that less then 40% believe a politician who behaves unethically in private can be ethical in public. Now in 2016 72% white evangelicals believe this to be true and 60% white mainline protestants believe this as well. The percentage of all Americans that believe this is 61%. 

I find this disturbing that so many evangelicals believe this. Being ethical deals with right and wrong behavior. Being ethical means you do what is right. Immoral means you do not conform to accepted standards of morality. How can one perform an immoral act in private and still be ethical in the public view? If you are behaving immorally you have been unethical. There is a big correlation between the two. 

Who you are in private is who you are. If you are willing to do something in private why would you not do it in public? Your morals are in you. If you believe something is okay, when it’s not acceptable by society, then you have become immoral. One simply does not have a public moral and a private moral system. 

If we as Americans want to see a morally acceptable government then we must demand that our elected officials behave morally in public as well as private. We need to stop electing officials that are trying to live a double life. 

I do believe though that if an elected official has committed an act that is immoral and has repented of that then we should be accepting of that. The elected official should show by their actions that they are truly sorry and not committing unethical behaviors. 

#Leadership – How do you lead? 

Read these verses and think about how you lead. Do you lead by adding more burdens to your people or do you lead by helping your people carry their burdens? 

“Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'” So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.””

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭10:1-14‬ ‭NASB‬‬

If you are kind to your people and treat them with respect you will have employees that will be loyal. People desire to be treated with respect and dignity. On the other hand if you rule with an iron fist you will get what you give. Your employees do not want a tyrant as a boss they want a leader. 

#leadership 

Here are a few leadership nuggets. I usually put these things on Twitter but thought I would compile a few in my blog. 

You will not get far by treating others badly. Do not harm others to boost your career goals. 

When you stop learning you stop growing so never stop learning. 

#Leadership involves admitting when you are wrong and apologizing for the wrong doing.

Become an expert in your field then share your knowledge with those that are willing to learn. 

Become an expert in your field then share your knowledge with those that are willing to listen and learn. 

Leaders bring needed change when others refuse. 

Leaders take control of a sinking ship and unite everyone to work together to save it. Are you keeping your ship from sinking?

Listening is a great leadership skill. Listen to your employees. Did you not hire them for their knowledge?

Constantly yelling at your subordinates is not leadership. Your employees are human. Treat them how you want to be treated. 

The question is not how many followers do you have. The real question is how many leaders have you helped to develop?   

Sometimes #leadership means saying no. Sometimes it means taking risks. Both choices require a sacrifice.

Presidential Election 

I had every intention of using this forum this morning to complain about what happened yesterday. I was going to show why I feel James Comey was not qualified to lead this investigation due to his previous employment. I chose not too. 

Instead I want to challenge every one. I want to challenge you to pray for our leaders in this country. This includes those that might be elected in November. 

Be honest with yourself did you pray for the FBI director as he was conducting this investigation. Did you pray for Hillary? I do not mean did you pray that she will go to jail. Did you pray that she would tell the truth? More importantly did you pray for God’s will to be done. 

There is a lot of griping on social media and that is understandable. This is probably the most craziest election in my lifetime. There is a lot of things happening that make it appear there is constant deception. 

Instead of griping let’s come together as Christians and start praying. We need to pray for God’s will to be done in November. Maybe Christian leaders need to pray about running for office. 

Mark Richt and leadership lessons 

I think there are many lessons on leadership that can be learned from this entire situation. You have to take a look at his career at UGA to get a better overview of the situation. 15 Years, 145-51, 14 bowl games, and 2 SEC championships. I would say that was impressive. 
1. Sometimes leadership change is needed to go farther.

There comes a time when a leader must change in order for the organization to advance. This is true in college football as well as a major corporation. If a leader has done all he can do then it is only fitting to have a new person leading. This benefits the company since they will get someone with new ideas and more energy. They also have something to prove. This change could also help the old leader. The old leader takes on a new role they are likely to have a renewed energy that will help them succeed in the new environment. 

2. Money talks. 

Just like any business money speaks volumes. I have heard rumors that donors were holding money back until Mark Richt was fired. I hope that’s not the case but I believe it could be true. If it is wealthy individuals get to call the shots. It is a shame that college is more about football and money than education. In an organization that is dominated by money decisions are going to be made that are not popular. 

3. When you are in the hot seat do not make crazy decisions.

I am not a coach so I might be off a little bit why would you put in someone besides your first string quarterback in a big rival game? I personally do not think it was a wise decision. I have heard the Florida game might have sealed Richt’s fate. When you are in the hot seat do not take unnecessary risks. Make everything you do count. Make sure you are making the best decisions possible. Weigh all of your options and count the cost. 

4. People get hurt during leadership changes. 

It is no secret that many people are hurting by this decision. Coach Richt was a role model to many people, unfortunately they are not going to have him around anymore . It is a sad reality that people will get hurt.  

5. Other changes might come. 

When decisions like this are made other changes are bound to happen. When you make these types of high profile decisions you have to be prepared for a firestorm. You need to have a public relations campaign in place. When your decision is not popular and you cannot defend it you might find yourself in the hot seat.