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Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul, devotionals to help you in your busy life, written by NEWIM board members and staff. 

Filtering by Tag: God's glory

A Good Ending

Kim Johnson

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
                                                                                       —2 Kings 2:9 (NIV)

Of all the prophets there was never one more prolific than Elijah. He had raised the dead, spoken fire down from heaven and revealed a devastating drought coming from God. Many in that time probably thought there would never be another man of God like him, but we know that wasn’t the case. Moses was a strong leader who was replaced by Joshua. David was a man after God’s own heart yet Solomon completed the job his father was prevented from doing. Time after time we see God replacing a mighty leader with a successor who was doubly gifted. It was His will and His plan that was important, not necessarily the person in charge of it. Those leaders were not irreplaceable. God has limitless options at his fingertips to accomplish His plan and He will achieve His purpose.

One of the biggest pitfalls of being a leader is to believe we are indispensable in our role. The trap is set when we begin to do all the work ourselves, even if it is out of necessity. When this continually happens, pride can creep in and create the misconception that no one else can do the job as well. By hanging on too long we risk missing the privilege of partnering with God in planning our replacement. It is not a matter of if, but when God determines it is time to bring another leader on board. By failing to recognize the need for a succession plan, we become the problem rather than the solution. Ultimately it is His ministry that suffers.

The measure of a successful spiritual leader is not always the length of their service. No matter how long we lead, the serving is significant because it is for His glory not ours. Following God’s leading includes being prepared, even when that means it is time to pass the torch. He is trustworthy in everything, including His timing. The best thing we can do in our ministry is set ourselves up—for a good ending.

“Outstanding leaders pass the torch with fire blazing. Mediocre leaders pass a dimly lit torch. Poor leaders drop the torch making it difficult if not impossible to pick up again.”

                                                       —Reed Markham

How Do I Look?

Kim Johnson

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they
may see you good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

                                                                        Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Everyone knows the fairy tale of the pretty princess with the evil step-mother who stood before her magic looking glass every day. She asked the same question over and over again wanting the same answer every time. Her desire was that her reflection be the best.

As leaders, we want the same thing but for a different reason. Because we are not just leaders but believers too, the way we live, relate to others and lead is a direct reflection on Christ whose name we carry. This fact is very real to us in our ministry, but what about the other areas of our lives? What do others see as we drive down the street? When we are standing in a long check-out line, how is our reflection then? Does our image mirror God’s character to our neighbors?

Our reflection is extremely important in the way we live our lives. If we are unforgiving, we could be discouraging someone from seeking forgiveness from our Father. We could show such disrespect in our worship that those around us could lose their respect for Him as well. Even the way we handle the position of leadership could negatively impact another’s attitude toward the authority of God. Are we greedy for the limelight? Do we micro-manage our volunteers? Do we want the last say just because we want the power? 

God’s Word indicates that glorifying our Father is essential and we can’t leave it to chance. Our nature is constantly impacted by the broken world in which we live. We need to diligently stand before the mirror of the Holy Spirit and ask daily, “How do I look?” This allows Him to examine our motives and reveal any inconsistency in our lives. The reality is our light is always shining. It is our responsibility to make sure it does not scald and injure, but is sincere and inviting in reflecting the glory of the Lord we serve.

 “...ask yourself, “Who’s getting the glory in this ministry?” You see, if we do ministry
OUR way, it won’t be for His glory, because our ways are not His ways.”

                                                                                                     Charles Swindoll

 

The Significance of Success (4/4/2015)

Kim Johnson

People love the spectacular. Tourists flock to the natural wonders in the United States: the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Yellowstone, to name a few. The world holds an overabundance of equally incredible places, man-made as well as natural, that attract thousands of tourists wanting an in-person glimpse of these phenomenal marvels. We humans create other wonders such as daredevil shows and extreme sports, watched by thousands. We love to be amazed.

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