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Leadership Worthy of History

In our day and age, the concept of leadership has suffered due to negative characteristics of poor ethics and compromising integrity.

The negative exposure of global scandals evidently affects various arenas of moral, economic and spiritual components of life. Unfortunately, the evidence of such things indicates our environment is saturated with haughty, greedy and selfish leadership. A graduate from MIT, Professor Dr. Leonard Sayles, categorized leadership in the 90’s and the millennium indicated overly arrogant and greedy characteristics. Our microwave generation, the “I must have things now generation” is falling into the box of failing to adhere to proper elements of effective leadership can bring about dire consequences. The need in our generation signifies that we desperately need moreleaders who walk in the fear of the Lord.

God knows very well the methods of success and will always put you through a process before He promotes you, so your reign won’t be a temporary one as He cares about your character before your glory. He desires for your footprints to leave a legacy for generations to come.

The Bible is full of models and prototypes of great leaders. Such biblical examples show God can and will use each phase of your life to train you in the right season. He will bring out the best fragrance of leadership to appeal to others to draw them to Christ.

Let us analyze the training and character of a great leader who made history: The great Queen Esther – an orphan girl whom God appointed and processed to become the leader who would preserve her nation from ultimate genocide. Esther came to the palace, not to be served, but to give her life for her people. In order to reach the throne, something perhaps she had never imagined in her life, she had to go through a process in order to prepare for what was to come.

Becoming queen did not happen overnight for Esther. There was much education and mentoring from her cousin and the eunuch. Esther had to have an obedient attitude and a desire to learn because the stature she would acquire as queen would require a firm will, mettle, stamina and above all humility. Prior to becoming queen, Esther had to go through the bedroom, the best place in the harem. She first had to be alone to meet with God. Before coming to notoriety, she had to go through anonymity. History tells us during this period of darkness in her room, her body had to be bathed in oil of myrrh for a period of six months. Why was myrrh chosen? We know about the aromatic smell of myrrh and how it was one of the elements given to baby Jesus as a gift at birth. Myrrh is a bitter tasting resin that contains many healing properties and is used as an antibiotic to heal wounds.

Perhaps Esther had wounds that needed to be treated; possibly her identity needed true healing. It was a bitter but necessary process, but it could have affected her leadership negatively had this process not been completed. This stage enabled much maturity and character. She was also bathed in myrrh in order to be preserved in the moment when her spirit was being submissive and her will subdued to becoming a queen.

Finally, the story concludes when Esther was sent to search for the king, to live in the palace. She won the confidence of the king and learned how to manage her resources well. Esther became a heroine for her people as she helped them escape ultimate annihilation. Esther was truly a leader who made history.

Run After Your Dream

Life will always present challenges which may seem insurmountable.

If you can see where you are going (vision), no matter the adversity you may face, your faith will bring about your success. The ability to change your world is as great as the strength you have to do it, although others may not understand the timing of your blessing. Even if others do not see it at the time that you do, do not let your dream go, ; just run.
 
The Bible records the story of a young man who served the King and went with the soldiers’ chief into battle. There, in the middle of the fight, the son of King David was killed and he finds himself with the responsibility of reporting to the King what had happened.

“ Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the King that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies. You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the King’s son is dead.” 2 Samuel 18:19-20 (NIV)

The enemies of your dreams may be the same that this young man faced, upon determining his mission. Let us review and analyze a bit that which caused this young man to reach his goal.

The first thing we see in him is his serious and steadfast commitment with his duty as a faithful soldier and loyal servant to the king. Your commitment and faithfulness to your calling, your business, your family, your future, your ministry, and your dreams must be firm and decisive, no matter what happens or what gets in your way. Your loyalty to God must be above any call that the world can make through a job offer, the advice of a friend, peer pressure, money, fame or any offer that goes against your love for God.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23(NIV) Your commitment must also be with yourself; to not give up or let anyone influence on what you have determined to go after, what has been given to you and is yours. Your commitment must always be to focus and run with your dream so that you may possess that which belongs to you, and fulfill your mission.

“Then Joab said to a Cushite, ‘Go, tell the King what you have seen.’ The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off. Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite. But Joab replied, ‘My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.’” 2 Samuel 18:21-22

The second thing that stands about this young man’s attitude is that he is not intimidated when another takes his position or is doing the same. He said, “I will run and I’ll make it,” he did not get angry nor frightened at the thought that another might usurp his place. You must assume an attitude of confidence and trust in yourself, knowing that no one else can do the job that suits you because you possess what is necessary to get the job done. You cannot expect others to believe in you if you do not believe in yourself. Your courage and your commitment in knowing who you are, and having self confidence will give you the edge against your opponent. You must always show that you are the best qualified person to obtain the best results.

You should learn from this young man, although his boss does not believe that he is the right person to take the news to the King, and in turn assigns to another for the mission, he does not let go of the vision or surrender because another was ahead, but says, “I’ll get there first, I’ll run.” Declare for your life today, “I’ll get there first; I’ll run after my dreams.”

Believing that you are the person assigned to the task leads to excellence and that will cause you to distinguish yourself above others. He knew he had a mission to do and did not give up due to the slightest obstacle or impediment, but strove to be number one in the race.

The story continues, “Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, ‘Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.’ But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.’” 2 Samuel 18:22-23 (NIV) They tried to discourage the faithful soldier by saying, “Do not go because you will not get a reward for that.” However, the soldier has the right attitude, acknowledges that it is his duty to get to the King. You have to know that whenever God gives you a word, Satan will give an opposing word.

If Ahimaaz heeded the words of Joab he would not have been first. There will always be voices that try to weaken your faith for what you have believed, so that you may not achieve your goals. Your biggest enemy is the person who feeds your doubts. If you allow yourself to be caught by critics or the negative words you hear around you,  you will never get to break the finish line tape that says “Winner.” There will always be people who try to persuade you to give up your dream, but remember, your greatest friend is the one who breathes life upon your faith. Do not let the words of anyone cancel the dream that God has for you.

The Pastor of one of the most thriving and growing churches in Latin America, Cash Luna, says, “God will pour out blessings as radical as the people are.” Where He finds defined people, there He defines his will, because he knows he can count on them at all times.

Today I invite you to run. Run for your dream, for your home, for your vision, for what belongs to you. No discouragement can stop you, negative words cannot make you fall behind, and there is no person to fill you with fear. Believe in the power of God which has called you on this day to run. Remember the power of your vision is God. Do not give up! God is on your side, the enemy wanted to discourage you, but you have the victory, run.

Stages of Marriage

We all have expectations in life, for our career, family, finances, children, and even in our marriages; that all will be well and successful. An expectation is an attitude of hope.

Once we decided to get married, it came with high hopes that we had joined our life with the right person forever. This wonderful union of holy matrimony is designed for two individuals to share their hopes and dreams as well their fears and failures. But because these individuals have only known individuality, they each take their first steps within the new confinements of marriage with different perspectives and approaches in mind. After all, their individual training included different sources of influence and experiences. This, many times, causes confusion, disagreements and in some cases even divorce.

According to experts, success in your marriage depends greatly on the sources of influence in your life and that of your partner. In addition, feelings of inferiority, and a lack of healthy interpersonal relationships often manifest as a result of a person who lacked affection from their parents, friends and/or their formative circle during their childhood. For this reason, it is important to analyze the expectations that you and your partner have in advance.

According to the approach and vision you have of marriage, so will be the success and result of your relationship. When expectations do not match, problems and arguments arise and false expectations can bring marital crises. Therefore, you should learn to know the expectations of your partner, as intimately as you know your own.

Author Gary Chapman, states in his book: The 5 Love Languages: “To be effective communicators of love we must be willing to learn the most important love language of our spouse.” Dr. Chapman understands that just as there are different languages, people also speak different love languages. “Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese and Spanish. No matter how they strive to express love in Spanish, if your spouse only understands Chinese, they will never understand how to love one another. ”

Therefore friends, you need to see and understand marital language the correct way. In Christ we have the hope of a successful marriage and a united family. This occurs when you take the time and special care to communicate to your partner the right language he/she can interpret or expect to hear from you.

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says man can desire, have, dream and walk under the principles of faith, hope and love, but the greatest of all and everlasting of all things is love. Learn to live out this passage the following way:

1. Seek to know and understand that unmistakable language of love, that forgives everything, endures all things, believes all things, always seeking, always hopes. Do not wait until you are lacking it in order to begin speaking it, take that quality time and express it.

2. Give that loving touch that expresses purity, understanding, compassion, support and solidarity even when you haven’t been asked for it. Let your partner know that you are there, whether silently or actively, even when your partner wasn’t expecting your visit or touch. These surprises and improvised touches always renew and rejuvenate the soul’s feelings.

3. Forgive ignorance, forgetfulness, differences and frustrations throughout your journey of love so that you may be able to reach safe harbor. Storms always attack but with a watchful and correct handling of “forgiveness” you can move into another direction.

4. Forget selfishness forever, believing that you are the protagonist of this love story. When you chose your partner, you decided that that person would be the protagonist and you would be the counterpart. Everything will be about your partner’s satisfaction. You can write your love story in a unique and masterful way; you can decide the ending to your story.

I conclude by telling you what someone once said, “Love is a decision and any partner can start the process today.” I pray that your relationship is long lasting, enjoyable and full of immeasurable success. May the Almighty God guide you, direct you, and give you the wisdom needed so you may continue being victorious where others said you would fail. Amen.

The Art of Forgiving

The message of the cross was clear and obvious, a love without reservation for you and me; a love with no other motivation but to equip us without reservation. In order for this love to be magnified in such magnitude and be transmitted from generation to generation it had to vividly express itself through FORGIVENESS.

[pullquote1 align=”left” variation=”red”]Forgiveness does not come from the outside but comes from within, your inner being; it is the Holy Spirit who operates in you to correct and teach you. [/pullquote1]He will teach you the very truth that Jesus modeled while on Earth, going all the way to the cross so that he may express, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

Let us analyze Jesus’ character; although he was human, he was able to manifest the grace of forgiveness. 1 Peter 2:21-23 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (NIV)

* Jesus was compassionate of the offender:
Compassion: Means forcing oneself to the see aggressor as a person, trying to understand what drove them to cause harm. This does not mean that we can feel superior or with the right to judge and find fault, because we would then fall into a vicious cycle. The more you understand the aggressor the easier it will be to forgive.

* Manifested a Humble Spirit:
Humility: It is necessary to remove the pride that acts as a barrier before giving forgiveness. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8 (NIV) Forgiveness is not to say that the offender was right but to say that God is just and will do what is right. “… When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)

* He Surrendered the Offense to His Heavenly Father:
Surrender: When you surrender your inner pain to God; you are surrendering anything you have in your heart against your aggressor.  “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)

Jesus forgave them, looking beyond their heinous crime to see the ignorance of mindless fear and blind hatred, that drove them to act in a certain way. Jesus looked at the true condition of his enemies and felt compassion for the men that were mere slaves of Rome. We must imitate Jesus; he gave up his right to take revenge and trusted His Father as to what would happen, ” Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:46 (NIV)

This act of love and forgiveness was so great it divided the history of humanity into “before Christ” and “after Christ.” Likewise, the day in which you accepted Him as your only and exclusive savior, the history of your life also instantaneously changed into a “before” and an “after” that great forgiveness was granted to you. According to how you received, give so that your sins are forgiven. Say this simple prayer with me:

Father in Jesus’ name, your son, I pray in accordance with your word in Matthew 16:12-13, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (NIV)

Before Adversity; Guaranteed Success

I once read a letter from a friend that said, “Today I felt that everything fell apart in my life and that God forgot about me, I do not like these feelings. Lord, forgive me for feeling that way and I want you to know that I love you. Do not let go because all my faith is in you, because you’re the only one I can trust.”

At some point in life, we have all been on the edge of despair while facing adversity. There are times that, as children of God we feel as if everything is falling apart. However, everything has its time and season, Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (NIV) Your trial has an end and cannot be eternal; everything that happens to you has a time line and cannot extend past the mandate of God. Take up strength, motivation, and courage to face those dark days ahead, always thinking that there is an end and it cannot continue beyond what God allows.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

I invite you to analyze, with me, some of the experiences men of God faced; they faced great adversity but did not faint, and did not judge themselves, but they knew the God whom  they served.

Job fell during a time of despair, in which he began to fight with God, and at times condemning himself by thinking that what happened was a result of his sin, a judgmental or insensitive God. He finally understood that he was in the hands of an all powerful God, who created everything that exists and who with one breath can create and destroy everything. He was able to see that it was not a product of his sin or his humanity, but it was product of a time of trying and processes which were going to promote him to a greater glory. The Bible says: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

John 9:1-3 registers the story of a blind man who was taken to Jesus; Jesus was asked who had sinned, the man or his parents. I think they wanted to determine what had caused such physical condition. Sometimes the enemy makes us think that difficult situations are the consequences of sin, spiritual stagnation, or a punishment from God. For this reason, we think that God is not with us, we grow far from him, and thus we fall into anxiety which may take us to depression, fear, panic attacks, etc. Due to fear, we believe that God’s anointing is not resting over the situation or control of our life, and so we lose hope, faith in ourselves, and in God as our father, lover, forgiver, and the restorer and all things.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV.)

It is possible that when complications arrive, while running towards your goal, you may feel like giving up and avoiding the voice of God when it tells you not to faint. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NVI) Persevere, “perseverance” includes the ability in learning how to try again, and remaining firm in the direction that will take you to the fulfillment of your goals.

For this reason, it is of great importance that you remain focus on Him who called you, because He is faithful. Everyday declare what the word of God says, “The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

Your Thorn

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan,to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12: 7-10, NIV)

There are little things that make us frustrated, fearful, anxious, and things that make us feel inferior. There are physical or personal characteristics that you do not like about yourself. We all have negative attributes we do not like, which often leads us to hide from our inner circles, our family, and even ourselves. Many times we feel that everyone sees these negative attributes that only you and I see and know.

Those small details can be a few extra pounds, your hair or skin color, an aspect of your personality; such as shyness, the force with which you project yourself, your tone of voice, or that shrill laughter you cannot control. Perhaps these aspects are only seen by your immediate family, your parents, or social circle; even still, there are a few things you would like to change about yourself and your environment. We all struggle with complexes. Sometimes, God uses our struggles and complexes to get our attention so that he can then work in these areas until that day in which we are comforted with our true nature.

The story of the Apostle Paul relays that he had a discomfort, a torment in his life that would not leave him alone. This shows us that even great men of God that are recorded in the Bible had struggles and fights from which they wanted to be freed from. Further analysis of the story shows us an important aspect which teaches us a great lesson. God did not remove the discomfort, nor change the bothersome situation but, taught him how to properly see past what for him was an ugly or difficult weakness.

God wants to tell you the same thing, do not focus on those ugly or weak areas in our lives that we cannot change. Focus on the beauty that you produce or your ability to produce beyond your limitations. Accept your limitations and get together with people who are successful in those areas. I have good news; your weakness is the best thing that God can use to express his greatest glory through you. That limitation, which the Apostle Paul called a stinger, is what God needs in his hands for the manifestation of your miracle. Do not become frustrated or paralyzed; rather focus on the goals and objectives you want to achieve.

Focusing on the negative was first done by you, accepted in your mind, and projected in attitudes or lack of action, before being noticed by others. Focus on what you have instead of on what you do not have and maximize what you do have so that it may become your focal point. In the end they will notice what you project and not what is concealed. They did not see you before you discovered yourself, or know you before God, for the Bible says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV). The definitions of beauty can vary from one individual to another. Declare this in your life every day, “I know that for myself, I am the most beautiful person in the world, I am indifferent to the eyes of others.”

Assume the attitude of the psalmist David being fully convinced that God created him and he was wonderful. Therefore, the most important thing in your life is that God already knew you and was the architect who designed you. Heaven loved you, accepted you, and applauded you on the day you were born. Go ahead and succeed! You are your best cheerleader; nobody else will do it for you. If that obstacle or defect is not an obstacle for you, it does not matter if others think contrary to you; it will never be an obstacle for you. You will conquer all fears or inferior complexes.

Finally, when you feel insecure, or unable to achieve something, God says: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9, NIV)

Today I invite you to declare what the Bible says: “Let the weak say I am strong” (Joel 3:10, NIV). Your limitation in God is your glory in Him. Your limitation is the power of God in you.

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