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11/11/2021 03:00 - 12/11/2021 02:00

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” - I Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV). 

The Apostle Paul might not have gone to a School of Management but his relation with those around him shows one who had mastered leadership principles. Writing to the Romans he went at great length to enumerate all those whom he had served with, name by name, expressing gratefulness.

He mentioned “our sister Phoebe” (Romans 16:1) and called any to assist her as needed. Then he added “Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus” (vv 3). Paul went on, “Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia” (vv 5). He moves on to add, “Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you” (vv 6). Then there is “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me” (vv 7).

Almost the entire Chapter is about people. One great management theorist, Mary Parker Follet, described a manager as one “who gets work done through others.” The success of Paul’s ministry, can be linked to, among others, his knack at knowing and valuing people as we see here. He remembered those he had served with in great detail recognizing their role: “Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord” (vv 8), he adds. “Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test” (vv 9-10).

Who are the people around you and do you often pause to recognize them for their role in your work? No leader excels by themselves, but it is through the cooperative effort of people around him that he accomplishes results. Today, just like Paul, go back and remember those who have made things happen and possibly it is only you whom everybody recognized. A note, a text or even a call, wouldn’t do bad to motivate them more.

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for all the people around me and their contributions in my life and help me honor them, as is fitting, for the extension of your kingdom, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful”( 2 Timothy 4:7).

    Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors  ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.

    Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).

    Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).

    Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!

    Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!

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