Tag: Paul

Think For A Moment

Solomon wrote, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Pro. 23:7). The way we think has the power to define us and our character.

A New Testament parallel comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.

Throughout the letter, Paul speaks of standing firm with one mind, being of the same mind, having the mind of Christ, and then he tells us to think on the right things.

And they are…true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, things of good repute, excellence, and anything worthy of praise.

Imagine the attraction to the outside world when the mental focus of Christians is on these areas.

A Winning Combination

Paul identifies the need for Christians to have the same mind that was in Christ (Phi. 2:5), but what is that mind?
Notice the phrases that characterize the mind Paul wants all Christians to possess.

1) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.
2) With humility regard others as more important than yourself.
3) Do not look out for your own interests.
4) Look out for the interest of others.

These four phrases are summed up in the life of Christ: a selfless humility that puts others above self.
Jesus and others is a winning combination for leadership.

Biblical Resolution…Part 2

Paul’s letter to Philemon regarding the runaway slave, Onesimus, is another great text on resolving conflict. Paul makes several appeals, and each hold significance.

First, he appeals to Philemon’s character, faith, love for the church, and dedication to the Lord.

Second, he appeals for the sake of his self-sacrificing love.

Third, he appeals to the value and worth of Onesimus, not as a slave, but a brother in Christ.

Fourth, he appeals to his own confidence in Philemon to go beyond what Paul asks.

Our conflict with others could be resolved more quickly if we spent a little time making an appeal based on these four areas.

Faith-Led Leaders

Paul references the faith, a standard of truth upon which someone believes and adheres to in life, (Galatians 1:23).

Hebrews 11:1 teaches us about a personal faith, such as one’s convictions.

Paul also writes, “We walk by faith, not by sight,” (2 Co. 5:7).

We might think we live our life on the basis of personal convictions, yet Paul’s expression involves a body or standard of truth, i.e. “we walk by the faith…”

As a result, life is directed by something objective, not subjective to our feelings.

From this perspective, faith changes the nature of how we live and lead others.

A New Mindset

Leading others in the cause of Christ requires us to consider the way Paul approached the church in Philippi. In order for the church to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), they need to follow the example of Christ. Notice what Paul identifies.

1) We need to put the gospel of our Lord above ourselves.
2) We need to put our brothers and sisters above ourselves.
3) We need to put Christ above ourselves.

How powerful would the influence of the church be today, if we all possessed this attitude and practiced this mindset with each other?

Focused on the Future

We all experience difficulties that create discouragement in life.

During these times, we need to remember that God has something better prepared for us.

Reflect on Paul’s reminder, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Co. 4:18).

Our God is great, worthy of our praise and trust.

“Let us press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

Best Day Ever

What is the “best day ever?”

From a spiritual leadership perspective, the idea has a whole new meaning. The best day ever occurred at the resurrection of Jesus.

Here is where Jesus defeated Satan. Here is where the fear of death was removed. Here is where hope of something better beyond this life was given.

Christianity is based on this fact! Without the resurrection, Paul describes the tragedy that exists in being a Christian (1 Co. 15:12-19).

The resurrection changes everything in how we lead others.

There is something worth living and dying for, something worth leading for…because He lives!

Think Big

Paul highlights God’s power to think in the realm beyond all we ask or think in his letter to the church at Ephesus.

Like most leaders, we tend to think too small. We can fabricate a number of reasons, but in the end, we place God in a box where we think He will not do something because we are convinced we can’t do it.

We need to stop limiting God and start thinking big, at least bigger than we have in the past.

What would we attempt to do if we knew we could not fail? Think about it.

A Lonely Place

Leadership can be lonely.

However, the truth about spiritual leadership is that no matter who walks away, God is always there. Paul reminds us that no one can bring a charge against God’s elect, no one can condemn or separate us from the love of Christ. We are not alone!

This truth makes it possible to lead with confidence, grow stronger in faith, overcome any obstacle, and instill hope.

When we understand we are not alone, perhaps we will learn how to meet the needs of others who need to know the same.

Flexible Leadership…

While several leadership qualities were demonstrated by Paul, one is key: flexibility (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Notice the driving force of Paul’s flexibility, “So that I might win…by all means save some.” Nothing took greater precedence in his life than leading others to Christ.

There was no compromise to the truth. The “anything goes” approach was unacceptable. At all times he was in submission to Jesus.

Notice the flexibility of personal choice: “I do all things for the sake of the gospel.”

If Christians could model this today, we could change the world.