20 Mar

Modern day merchants at sea

The marketplace is like a raging sea. It is there where modern day sea merchants make their living and risk it all.

Psalm 107 references what would for today be the leader in the marketplace.

The passage makes reference to a group of adventurous sea merchants who experience the power of the Lord firsthand.

For the casual reader of scripture, they are easily overlooked but in reality they represent one of the hidden gems of scripture.

There are many similarities between these wild-eyed sea merchants and the modern day leader who navigates the high seas of the marketplace.

Note that their ships were tossed to a fro.

They were often at their wits end.

They learned to cry out to God in their trouble.

He saved them time and again from their distress.

He whispered, He didn’t yell, He whispered and He brought calm. They heard His whisper because they were close to Him. There was no need to yell!

The sea merchants are like marketplace leaders today. They face many ups and downs that no man who is land locked will ever experience. They wade into deep waters. They risk it. They step out in faith knowing the Lord is at their side.

Through their challenges they experience the Lord in living color in ways few will ever know. They have learned to depend on the Lord for survival time and time again at sea in the marketplace!

They are warriors of the marketplace. Sent their to exalt Him publicly in order for all to see what God can do through a man sold out to Him.

The challenges that are overcome are trophies that bring glory to the Lord in recognition of what He, not man, but what the Lord will do through a man who sails with him at sea.

Read the story here:

Psalm 107:23-32 NLT

“Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the LORD’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.”

Now read a great companion passage at Psalm 118:5-9 NLT

“In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

17 Mar

Servant Leader’s Prayer

The Servant Leader’s Prayer

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

• SEARCH ME

• KNOW ME

• CORRECT ME

• LEAD ME

15 Feb

Meant for More

There are times in life when we sense change is in the air. Such was the case for Jacob as his story is told in Genesis 30 and 31. Jacob had worked 20 years for his father-in-law. He had been a loyal and hardworking member of Laban’s team. 

Jacob had done a great job making others successful. His passion for success gave him a burning desire to do his own thing. He felt certain the time had come for him to build equity into his own future. He had developed a sense of urgency to use the gifts and talents God had given him for the purpose in which they were ultimately intended. By seeking to change, he was taking charge of his destiny and fulfilling the calling God had placed on his life.

Jacob was moving from a season of preparedness to a season of achieving his purpose. Ironically, he was motivated by his desire to return to where he had come from. In some ways, it was as if he had been running from God’s calling on his life. He couldn’t shake it. He knew deep in his heart he was meant for more than life as a herdsman working for no inheritance with his in-laws. 

Jacob had a wakeup call in Bethel. The Lord made it clear that he was misguided. He was living beneath his potential. Bethel was literally a turning point in Jacob’s life. It was there that he took charge of his life and changed the direction he was heading. The pillow of stone was turned into a pillow of purpose. 

Jacob realized he was good at his job and was making life better for everyone but himself. He was a proven growth strategist. He knew how to succeed. He had built things for others. He had worked for wages. Now was the time to work for a better future. 

There are several principles we can take away from Jacob’s approach to starting a business of his own; Jacob’s start-up principles if you will.

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR BETHEL MOMENT. Jacob recognized his Bethel Moment. God got his attention and he took it seriously. Bethel was truly monumental in his life. It was a life changing moment, a reminder of who he was created to be. If not now, when? He seized the day and never looked back. 

2. WORK HARD BUT BE SMART. Jacob worked hard. He was a loyal apprentice. He wasn’t a slacker. He brought undeniable value to the team. He used the opportunity to learn all he could in hopes of someday fulfilling his own dream. He had worked hard, now was the time to be smart.

3. BUILD EQUITY INTO YOUR LIFE. He discovered a way to build equity and save for his future. Simply clocking in for an hourly wage would not sustain him. Nonetheless, he served wholeheartedly but with a plan in mind. He realized it was better to try and fail than to try nothing and succeed.

4. GROW INTO BUSINESS. Jacob understood it was better to grow into business rather than go into business. He could have made a knee-jerk decision and let his emotions drive his approach but he remained patient, waiting for the opportune time. Timing is everything in business.

5. MAKE SMOOTH TRANSITIONS. Making a smooth transition was the key to his success. He got his house in order. He gained input on his decisions and with confidence began moving toward his goal. His family advised him to do whatever God had told him to do. Don’t delay. Make the change. He had a backdrop of support that helped him make the transition with certainty.

6. TRANSFER SKILLS. Jacob transferred his God-given aptitudes and abilities to the calling God had placed on his life. What had worked for others would work for him as well. He put what he had learned into practice, his own practice!  

7. GO WITH GOD. When God said go, Jacob went. Jacob was found listening. He was in step with God.  He was in sync with God’s desires for his life. He didn’t miss the opportunity. There was no delay, he was on his way. 

8. LEAVE AND LIVE IN PEACE. Jacob didn’t burn any bridges. If he missed God’s best it was that he left in fear. Doing so put added stress on his relationships. However, in the end, the conflict and tensions were worked out. Jacob was able to leave and live in peace as the new venture was blessed and put into place. 

Jacob took charge of his circumstances in order to make necessary changes in his life. He could have continued where he was but deep inside he knew he was meant for more. It wasn’t easy. There was plenty of risk and uncertainty but empowered by God, and mobilized by faith, he moved beyond Bethel and stepped into his calling. Stepping out changed his life and history in the process

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13 Feb

Alone in the yoke?

Consider inviting the Lord into your challenges today and watch him go to work on your behalf and improve your effectiveness. 

Test him in this. The key is not doing more. The key is doing less by allowing the Lord to lighten the load.

He said His yoke is easy. When we feel overwhelmed and burdened it is likely a sign we are unequally yoked. We are baring to much of the load. He wants to help but we have to get out of the way! 

The Lord’s yoke is to be carried by two! All too often we find ourselves alone in the yoke. It is a choice we make not a demand that is made. We are designed to walk with Him in the rows He has called us to till.

Invite him in and work becomes worship.

Our platform becomes a place for Jesus to go to work!

“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.” Psalm 81:6 NLT