Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Authenticity Over Flattery (1 Thessalonians 2:5, 10)

Have you ever complimented someone because you wanted something in return? That’s flattery, which is outside God’s design for a Christ-follower. Paul clearly expressed to the church in Thessalonica: “You know we never used flattery” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). Instead, he and his team led with authenticity: “You are our witnesses, and so is God, of […]

Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Generosity Over Greed (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Are you constantly searching for more? Maybe you are pursuing the next deal, a new truck, a bigger boat, a larger house, a better company, greater achievement, the best nonprofit ministry, or even more to merely survive. Paul cautioned against a self-centered mindset that always wants more. Fully surrendered leaders embrace generosity over greed. They […]

Gentleness Restores a Leader’s Relationships Three-Dimensionally (Matthew 5:5)

Harshness destroys relationships, but gentleness restores them. Jesus taught: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NASB). When leaders surrender to power under the Spirit’s control, they experience the blessings of God three-dimensionally. First, gentleness restores our relationship with God. Jesus said that His gentleness restores our souls (see Matthew […]

Gentleness Satisfies a Leader’s Desires (Matthew 5:5)

Do you have a reputation for being harsh? Something flawed inside each of us says that we can get what we want when we are harsh. Whether at the airlines counter or the fast food line, in the checkout aisle or the exit lane, on the basketball sidelines or the telephone line, we believe that […]

Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Gentleness Over Harshness (1 Thessalonians 2:7)

Great leaders are born out of suffering and opposition (see 1 Thessalonians 2:2). In our Western culture, we tend to think they come from affluence and support, but the Bible reveals a far different dynamic, one that teaches the strongest steel is made in the hottest fire. The Apostle Paul communicated four characteristics of a […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Can you think of a person who has encouraged you? Now think of someone who discouraged you. Here’s the big question. Which one most resembles you? In our final characteristic of CUTE GIRLS MADE, we see that God calls both males and females alike to be encouraging. The Apostle Paul instructed: “Therefore encourage one another […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Discerning (Proverbs 11:22)

A father shared with his young daughters: “Don’t ever be more beautiful on the outside than you are on the inside.” Our culture hammers females with the opposite message, carrying the false promise that makeup, tanning, a new hairstyle, designer clothing, jewelry, piercing, tattoos, Botox, or an augmentation will heal the ache inside your soul. […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5)

When we consider following God’s design for our lives, we want to know how close we can get to the line without getting into trouble. Yet, more often than we realize, we actually cross the line, and every time we pursue life apart from God, we die inside. This demise of our souls kills enthusiasm […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Modest (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Sex sells. Advertisements, social media architects, and Hollywood bombard their audiences with the message that a woman can gain the pursuit of any suitor if she reveals her body in a sensual manner. However, God created each female with a purpose to uniquely draw others, including her husband, to Christ (see 1 Peter 3:1-2). The […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Submissive (Ephesians 5:21-22)

Are you submissive to your mate? Something about the word submissive stirs up a negative connotation in our Western culture, where we are conditioned to gain the upper hand in any relationship. However, submission is actually a positive concept. God’s design for females can be communicated through the acrostic: CUTE GIRLS MADE. When we examine […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Loving (Ephesians 5:1-2)

How do you demonstrate love? Is it in a touch, a glance, a word or phrase, or even in a particular act? God designed for each of us to love in a way that draws others to Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way […]

The Day the Colors Came Alive (Ephesians 2:10)

The Artist imagined as He peered at the blank canvas He had stretched and prepared for His unparalleled work. He brought red, yellow, and blue, stirring them to create orange, purple, and green. As His finger spread the colors on His paint board to test their capabilities, red began to speak, “I think the entire […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Respectful (Ephesians 5:33)

How do your behavior and speech demonstrate respect for your husband or your future lifelong mate? In the thirteen traits of God’s design for a female, He calls each woman to be respectful. The Apostle Paul taught: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Investing (Proverbs 14:1)

Are you characterized and known by investing in or tearing down your family and friends? Before you offer the Sunday school answer and move on, consider these questions. When was the last time you wrote an encouraging note to your spouse, father, mother, sibling, co-worker, or teammate? When did you comfort one of them going […]

CUTE GIRLS MADE: Godly (Proverbs 31:30)

God’s design for females can be communicated through the acrostic: CUTE GIRLS MADE. He desires every woman to be confident, unique, a temple of the Holy Spirit, and the expression of God. When we examine the acronym, GIRLS, we see that our Creator desires these reflections of His heart in each woman He has fashioned. […]

Crave the Word, Not the World, Part 3 (1 Peter 2:1-3)

What are you seeking when you read the Bible? Knowledge? Wisdom? Comfort? Joy? Strength? If we are honest, we often pursue the Word of God as a tool to improve our circumstances while we remain in control of our own lives. Jesus’ disciple, Peter, communicated a very clear message for us to experience The Almighty’s […]

Crave the Word, Not the World, Part 2 (1 Peter 2:1-3)

When last did you spend an uninterrupted ten minutes with God reading the Bible? Left unchecked, our cravings for the achievements and pleasures of this world choke out our desire for the Word of God. Malice blinds us to healthy relationships. Deceit masquerades as political expediency. Hypocrisy rewrites our identity. Envy hardens our heart. Slander […]

Crave the Word, Not the World, Part 1 (1 Peter 2:1-3)

When most of our daily freedoms and routines are stripped away, our true inner cravings are exposed. Whether it’s Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, our favorite restaurant, our local workout facility, or our daily marketplace activities, we all want more of what gratifies us. Amidst the stressors, our spiritual cravings tend to go in one of two […]

Abel Faith, Part 3 (Hebrews 11:4)

Now more than ever it is crystal clear we live by faith or by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). If we trust in only what we see, we will make our choices out of fear, rather than trust in our Creator. Whereas, Adam and Eve’s son Abel lived by faith in offering his best and […]