Thursday, January 31, 2013

1 Samuel 15,16 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 15

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel reminded Saul of his credentials. (v.1) God had anointed him to raise Saul up as king, so he needed Saul to respect his authority. People listen better when they recognize position and authority. They also listen better when they realize its effect in their lives. 2). Saul set an ambush on the city of Amalek. (v.5) They didn't know he was there. It was in a ravine, a low valley where the Amalekites wouldn't be able to escape. He had become a good leader and a skilled warrior as well. 3). Samuel corrected Saul. (v.14) Saul was very proud of his accomplishment, yet Samuel pointed out his disobedience by the sound of sheep in the distance. He wasn't afraid to confront Saul in his sinful state. 4). Samuel asked Saul why he heard sheep in the midst of the army. (v.14) Though he already knew the answer, he asked Saul to give him a chance to come clean. Before we accuse others, we should allow them to repent and do the right thing. 5). Saul blamed the soldiers for bringing supplies back. (v.15) He made it sound like he wasn't involved. He tried to shift the blame onto someone else. Good leaders accept responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences as well. 6). Saul admitted that he had been swayed into sin by the will of the people. (v.24) He was more concerned with pleasing people instead of pleasing God. As leaders, we must be careful to put God first and do His will regardless of the consequences. Ultimately, we work for Him, and nobody else.

1 Samuel 16

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel mourned for Saul, but obeyed God when He told him to move on. (v.1) As leaders, we have to obey God even when we feel like doing something else. We must keep ourselves prepared to do His will. Samuel filled his horn with oil, though he didn't know who it was for. We should always be ready for God to use us for His glory. 2). When Samuel arrived at the city of Bethlehem, the elders were concerned. (v.4) His last public appearance had included the punishment of Saul and the execution of King Agag. The people were beginning to realize the influence of this powerful leader. As leaders for God, His love and His wrath can both be seen in our lives. 3). When Samuel saw Eliab, he thought he would become king. (v.6) It is important for us to recognize that if Samuel was picking the next king, he would have chose Eliab. But he waited for God's desired one. As leaders, we must do what God says, even if our own intellect would lead us a different way. 4). After Samuel had seen all of Jesse's sons who were present, he sent for David. (v.11) It didn't seem that there was much chance God would select David. But Samuel still finished God's will for him entirely. He wouldn't leave until he'd checked all of the sons of Jesse, just as God had said. 5). David was a good looking, strong young man. (v.12) God doesn’t just pick the good on the inside and the poor on the outside. The outside is just not as important as we make it out to be. The outside should be a reflection of who we are on the inside, not the other way around.

VERSES 14-23
LEADERSHIP - 1). One servant suggested David as the harpist. (v.18) He described him as a brave man, a warrior, speaking well and good looking. All this in addition to his great harp playing skills. David's gift opened the door, and his good standing in other areas helped him secure a great opportunity to serve in the court of the King. Be the best person you can be, and God will open doors for you too. 2). David made a great impression on Saul. (v.21,22) Saul asked Jesse to keep David in his service as one of his armor bearers. David became a tremendous ally and support to the king. David showed great loyalty to his leader. When David was king, and demanded respect from his servants, he knew what it was he was asking for.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1 Samuel 13,14 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 13

LEADERSHIP - After Jonathan attacked the Philistines, Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land. (v.3,4) He wanted the people to come together, to be informed, to be motivated to victory. He had divided his troops to defend his land, but he needed to bring the people together to make it stronger.

VERSES 16-23
LEADERSHIP - 1). While Saul and Jonathan were with their men in Gibeah, the Philistines sent out warring parties to other areas. (v.16-18) The enemy attacked Israel in places where they were without leaders. We must spread our leadership over the entire ministry so that no area is left vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. 2). Saul and Jonathan went into battle with their army unprepared. (v.22) By consolidating their leadership in one area, the enemy came in and handicapped their abilities. We must keep our leadership spread out over our ministry so there is no room for the enemy to get a foothold.

1 Samuel 14

VERSES 15-23
LEADERSHIP - Saul got His army ready for battle. (v.16-19) His sentries saw that the Philistine  army was scared. He realized this his son and his armor bearer had been on the attack. He ordered the priest to move away. When he saw that the enemy was vulnerable, he got his troops ready. We've got to be ready to move in God's will when the time is right.

VERSES 24-48
LEADERSHIP - 1). Saul called a fast and the men were distressed. (v.24) They were hungry after the battle but they couldn't eat because of the fast. Saul made a decision that weakened his army when they should have felt strong. Fasting isn't bad, bad the timing wasn't right. The right decision is right at the right time. 2). Jonathan recognized his fathers' mistake. (v.29,30) The food put energy in his body, and the men needed that desperately. Jonathan would have allowed them to eat in celebration of the victory. Good leaders don't make the lives of their followers tougher for foolish reasons. 3). Saul had the men come to him and slaughter their bounty in front of him. (v.34) He wanted to make sure that they did not eat the meat with the blood in it so he personally oversaw the process. As leaders, we must be willing to step in when situations demand it. 4). Saul was ready to continue fighting but the priest said that they should inquire of the Lord. (v.36) His men approved, but the priest gave the good reply of seeking after God's will. Saul did ask the Lord, and was kept from making a poor decision. The priest was a good leader by directing others to God. 5). Saul pulled the leaders together to deal with the sin. (v.38) He brought the leadership in to confront the situation. Leaders must always be willing to deal with sin. They must lead the way in being holy and righteous before God. 6). Saul declared that his son Jonathan would die. (v.44) Though Jonathan had just spurred the army on to victory, Saul was going to kill him because of his foolish request that they not eat until the next day. Though Saul must have realized what a foolish order that had been, he was ready to stand by his word and destroy his son. Leaders must be people of their word, and therefore, must be careful with their words as well.

VERSES 49-52
LEADERSHIP - Saul built his army. (v.52) He rallied the troops together to fight in the wars with the Philistines. Everytime he saw a worthy man, he recruited him into the army. He was always on the lookout for more leaders, just as we should be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1 Samuel 11,12 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 11

LEADERSHIP - 1). The men of Jabesh Gilead asked for 7 days to look for help. (v.3) What a bold request, and how foolish of Nahash to agree to it. Rather than making a hasty decision, they decided to wait and see what could happen. Sometimes, the best decision for is to wait and be patient, allowing God to do things according to His timetable. 2). When the people saw Saul's committment, they followed as well. (v.7) They recognized Saul's sacrifice and wanted to follow a man of such passion. When we give up the things of our old life, people will want to follow our lead. 3). Saul attacked the Ammonites at night. (v.11) He came when they least expected it, so he could surprise them and gain the advantage. Saul was strategic and planned out, and it helped his side overcome. When we plan things out and make wise choices, the end result will always be better.

1 Samuel 12

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel listened to his people. (v.1) He told them that he had listened to everything they said. He didn't DO everything they wanted, but he listened to them at all times. As leaders, we must listen to everything our people say, but let God help us decide what we do. 2). Samuel was faithful to God in his position. (v.2) God had placed him in the tabernacle as a young boy, and he never deserted his post. There were probably many times that he wanted to quit, but he never gave up. Good leaders know how to press through struggles and trials to stay in the place where God called them. 3). Samuel mentions common sins of leaders. (v.3) He asked the people to testify if he had ever stolen, manipulated, oppressed, or showed favoritism. These are sins which he may have been tempted with, and which he had seen other leaders struggle with as well. We must make sure to guard our hearts against the lure of these sins. 4). Samuel reminded the people about their forefathers. (v.6,7) He wanted the people to see how God had been faithful. It's important to help our people remember what God has done for them so they can understand why God is worthy of their very best. 5). When the people cried out to God, He delivered them by sending leaders. (v.11) These people led the Israelites in victory against their enemies. God raised up valiant leaders to do His will. Leaders can be God's answers to prayers, and provide security for God's people. 6). Samuel prayed to the Lord for a storm, and God immediately sent one. (v.17,18) The people were amazed at the power of God and the leadership of Samuel. God will do things to set leaders apart in the eyes of people so they are respected and honored. God brings credibility to your ministry. 7). The people asked Samuel to pray for them after God had punished them. (v.19) They had ignored his concerns about their request for a king. Now, after seeing God answer His prayers, they turn to him for help. God will give credibility to His leaders, and prove their leadership by His power. 8). Samuel committed to pray for them and teach them the right way. (v.23) Praying and teaching go hand in hand. As leaders, every time we prepare to teach, we must also prepare in prayer as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1 Samuel 9,10 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 9

LEADERSHIP - 1). The servant realized that Samuel was nearby. (v.6) He suggested that they continue their search by approaching the man of God. He knew that the man of God could help them find their way. People need to realize that God places leaders in our lives to help us find our way. 2). The girls helped Saul and his servant. (v.12,13) They gave them all the details they needed to find Samuel. They helped them find their way. They were looking for Samuel to give them directions, and these girls gave them directions instead. Leadership is not just reserved for those in special positions, God will provide us with many opportunities to step up and be leaders for Him throughout our lives. 3). God brought Samuel to Saul, the next leader of Israel. (v.15,16) The up and coming leader had to find the current leader, and vice versa. They each had a part to play in the transition of leadership. When we move in and out of leadership, we must meet in the middle to make it a smooth transition. 4). Samuel saw Saul and God told him that this man was the one that would be King. (v.17) God confirmed to Samuel what he had seen with his own eyes. As leaders, seeing alone should not produce belief, we must allow God to speak to us to help us recognize truth in what we are seeing. 5). Samuel sent the servant ahead of them so he could give Saul a confidential message. (v.27) There are times when we must know when to speak in confidence and keep others from hearing what God wants us to say. This is not so God can be deceptive, but rather, so God can unveil His plan according to His timeline.

1 Samuel 10

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel kissed Saul. (v.1) This is not a part of the ceremony. Samuel was excited for what God would do, and kissed Saul as a sign of loyalty and affection. We must cherish the leaders God has given us, and encourage them often. 2). Saul was made King over God's inheritance. He was the chief steward of God's own possesssions. As leaders, we oversee the things which God has given us that belong to Him. 3). Saul met two men who informed him the donkeys had been found. (v.2) He originally began his journey in search of the donkeys. Before he became King, God helped him take care of important business first. There are things in our lives that must dealt with before we rise to positions of leadership. 4). God was taking Saul on a journey of leadership. (v.2-7) This path is reminiscent of the training we should endeavor upon before we become leaders. He first met two men, then three, and then an entire group. This symbolizes Saul's growth in leadership abilities as he continued down the path toward kingship. 5). After taking care of his family and worshipping God at Bethel, Saul went to Gibeah, a Phillistine outpost. (v.5) God finally took him to the front lines, where he would be ready to engage the enemy. We are ready for battle when we've spent time with God and our family. God will bring us to the place of battle when we are ready. 6). Saul began to prophecy when the Spirit of the Lord came on him. (v.6) God filled him with His Spirit and gave him spiritual gifts, preparing him for the leadership of the nation. God will give us spiritual gifts to equip us for the calling He's placed on us.

LEADERSHIP - 1). When Samuel left, God changed Saul's heart. (v.9) Times of transition are great chances for God to change us. The challenges faced during those times make us better people in the end. Don't fear change, embrace it. 2). Samuel brought the people together and organized them for the presentation of a King. (v.17,19) He continued to help the people of God even if he wasn't happy with the way things were going. He did his job with all of his heart for his God. 3). Samuel was very clear with the people about their ways. (v.18) He boldly stated that they were turning their back on God by asking for a king. Saul was afraid to tell his family about God's call on his life for fear of what they would think. Samuel didn't worry about what the people would think, he told them the truth. True leaders will declare the truth, and leave the results in God's hands. 4). Samuel laid out the policies and rules of having a king to the people before they went home. (v.25) It was important that they understood what to do before they left. Samuel communicated properly so the people could do the right things. Proper communication is the key to obedience and unity among people.

Monday, January 14, 2013

1 Samuel 7,8 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 7

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel encouraged the people to give up their foreign 'gods' to serve God only. (v.3,4) The people listened to His encouragements, and responded accordingly. God had raised Samuel up to lead the people, and the people followed their leader. 2). Samuel brought the people together to pray. (v.5) They had given up their foreign idols, so Samuel knew that it was time to make things right with the Lord. As leaders, we must lead people in praying, bringing them into direct encounters with God and His presence. 3). Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the Philistines were subdued. (v.13) God had set him up specifically to stand against the Philistines. God will raise up certain leaders with specific callings to fight for Him in certain ways.

1 Samuel 8

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel's sons weren't holy. (v.3) He tried to take care of his home, but they still went astray. God punished Eli because he failed to restrain his sons. Leaders will not always help 100% of their followers make the right decisions. Sometimes, we can do all the right things, and they still choose to disobey. God gave us all the choice to choose. 2). The people rejected God, not Samuel. (v.7) God stuck up for His leader. He knew that Samuel was only doing what He had told him to do. God made sure that Samuel realized what was really going on. As we serve the Lord, we are His representation in this world. We will receive things that are intended for Him. We must learn how to give it to God and not take it all for ourselves. 3). Samuel was instructed to listen to them and warn them. (v.9) Even though he knew they were wrong, he still let them speak their peace. But he made sure to warn them concerning the consequences of their actions. These are great steps we can take in our counseling sessions as well. 4). Israel's son's would be treated in different ways by a king. (v.12) Some would rule over many people, and others would work in lowly jobs. The king would separate people into different leadership categories and give them titles and demotions. Some would excel, but others would be diminished from what God intended. 5). Samuel took the people's request to God, even though he didn't agree. (v.21,22) He was unhappy with their actions, but he still took it to God. This shows his loyalty to his people, not as their king, but as a teammate. Sometimes, we'll be forced to do things we don't want to do, but as a leader, we must be faithful to what God has called us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1 Samuel 5,6 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 5

LEADERSHIP - Ashdod asked their leaders what they should do with the Ark. (v.8,9) The leaders sent the Ark to Gath, where God continued His punishing ways. The people of Ashdod had learned their lesson, but the leaders refused to comply. Sometimes, the leaders can be the ones who are must resistant to change and deal with bad attitudes.

1 Samuel 6

LEADERSHIP - 1). They Philistines sent 5 golden rats and tumors, according to the number of leaders they had. (v.4) The leaders and the people suffered equally. The number of gifts being equal to the number of leaders showed that each leader submitted to God. Each leader represented portions of the people, also submitted to God. Where the leader goes, so goes those following him/her. 2). The gifts the Philistines sent were in proportion to regions and cities. (v.17,18) The five gold tumors were for the 5 main regions affected by the Ark's presence. The numerous rats represented the numerous individual cities in those regions. Diving our mission field into regions and cities can be an affective way of reaching vast areas for Jesus. 3). The people of Beth Shemesh told the Isrealite leaders that the Ark was returned, so they could take it back to where it belonged. (v.21) They didn't just tried to hoard it all to themselves, but they shared it with their leaders. When God blesses us, it is wise to seek counsel from our leaders on how best to invest what God has given us.

Monday, January 7, 2013

1 Samuel 3,4 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 3

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel heard God's voice but didn't recognize it. (v.5,6) He instinctively ran to his leader, Eli for help. Though Eli wasn't the perfect leader, he had raised Samuel to respond the right way when he wasn't sure what to do. God puts leaders in our lives to help us in times of confusion and change. 2). Eli recognized that God was speaking to Samuel. (v.7-9) Samuel had never heard God's voice before. Eli had, and realized what was happening. He finally encouraged Samuel to respond to God accordingly. Again, God's puts leaders in our lives to lead us down paths they've traveled, to show us the way. 3). We are called at times to restrain. (v.13) Eli didn't restrain his sons in their sin. If we fail to restrain those following our lead, we will be punished. We must not be afraid to discipline others in our care. 4). God carried Samuel. (v.19-21) Every word he said was effective. Every person in Israel respected him. That is what God will do to His kind of leader, an obedient servant.

1 Samuel 4

VERSES 12-22
LEADERSHIP - 1). Eli was by the road thinking about the Ark. (v.13) He must have known that they shouldn't have taken the Ark into battle unless God said, but he didn't stop them and he felt guilty, worried, and ashamed. As a leader, we must stand up for what is right, even when everyone else will think we are wrong. 2). Eli heard the people crying out and asked what was happening. (v.14) He hadn't heard the news because he was sitting out by the road. He responded to the cries of his people. As leaders, we must listen to our people and respond when we recognize that they are in need. 3). Leaders are part of the glory of God. (v.21) The dying mom named her son Ichabod because God's glory had departed Israel. The passage went on to explain that the Ark had been captured and Israel's spiritual leaders were destroyed. As leaders, you are God's gifts to His people and exude His glory in all that you do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1 Samuel 1,2 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 1

LEADERSHIP - 1). Eli watched Hannah praying to God. (v.12) As her leader, he was observing how she was connecting with God. It's important for leaders to watch their followers and help them grow in their relationship with the Lord. 2). Eli agreed with Hannah in prayer. (v.17) After consulting with her, he prayed that God would grant her requests. Leaders need to talk with followers about their prayer lives, and pray together with them concerning the issues of their lives. 3). Eli helped Hannah in her prayer life. (v.17,18) He asked her some tough questions to get at the truth. He helped her finish up and send her on her way to eat and get prepared for the rest of her day. Though he initially misjudged her, he apparently desired the best for her and helped her achieve that as a good leader.

1 Samuel 2
LEADERSHIP - Samuel needed parental guidance. (v.11) Elkanah and Hannah went home, so Eli assumed the role of parent for Samuel. As a child in Christ, we shouldn't try to make it on our own; we need a spiritual parent to guide us and mentor us along the way.

VERSES 12-26
LEADERSHIP - 1). Eli raised sons who didn't honor God. (v.12) They didn't respect God's power. Eli may have led the people of Israel, but he failed with leading his own sons. We can't be successful in ministry at the expense of losing our most important ministry, our families. 2). Eli instituted certain rules to help people sacrifice their offerings to the Lord. (v.13,14) A portion belonged to the priest, so the priest would stick a fork into the kettle and pull out whatever he had selected. This kept it random and didn't corrupt the offering. He also allowed for a number of different containers to be used in the sacrifice; a kettle, cauldron, pot, or pan. As leaders we must help our people with the details as they worship in our churches. 3). God's leaders are His servants. (v.17) They do not own the ministry, God does. Only God can decide what happens with the ministry, and He allows us to carry out His wishes. 4). Eli told his sons to stop sinning. (v.23-25) He confronted them about the things people were saying. He wasn't afraid to possibly anger them by rebuking the sin in their lives. As leaders, we've got to expose the sin in our followers and help them destroy those things in their lives.

VERSES 27-36
LEADERSHIP - 1). God sent a man of God to Eli with bad news. (v.27) Eli was the priest of God, and should have been able to hear God on his own. But God had to send another man of God to help him out, and we don't eeen know his name. When we neglect our leadership duties, God will raise others up to replace us and complete the job. 2). God will remove Eli's family from the priesthood. (v.36) They used to be leaders, but now they will need to be led. They used to feed the people, but now they will beg for food. When we don't act like the leaders God's called us to be, He will remove us from leadership altogether.