Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jesus, A bruised reed, he will not break

א  הֵן עַבְדִּי אֶתְמָךְ-בּוֹ, בְּחִירִי רָצְתָה נַפְשִׁי; נָתַתִּי רוּחִי עָלָיו, מִשְׁפָּט לַגּוֹיִם יוֹצִיא.
ב  לֹא יִצְעַק, וְלֹא יִשָּׂא; וְלֹא-יַשְׁמִיעַ בַּחוּץ, קוֹלוֹ.
ג  קָנֶה רָצוּץ לֹא יִשְׁבּוֹר, וּפִשְׁתָּה כֵהָה לֹא יְכַבֶּנָּה; לֶאֱמֶת, יוֹצִיא מִשְׁפָּט.

He didn't shout or raise his voice in public.  He did not crush a bruised reed nor put out a smoldering wick.  -Isaiah 42:2-3

Jesus is tender, gentle, compassionate.  I was gripped by this passage lately and have a few words of encouragement.

1. A bruised reed- I think fragile here.  A bruised reed, with the lightest tug, can break and be ruined.  Jesus treated other with gentleness and care.  He didn't come on the scene harsh & destructive, though he could have.  He deals with wounded people gently.

2. A smoldering wick- it is out but still capable, still heated.  Some people are burnt out in their faith, possibly due to the harshness of others.  There is a lady we know in Bremen who, for whatever reason, has been hurt by the judging of others.  She has heat, potential, but the flame has been extinguished.  Jesus was not a snuffer of wicks.  He was one who encouraged others and freed others to live for God.  He was patient with those who needed time to develop in their faith (Peter & the 11, you and me).

3. He didn't shout- He could have come as a violent revolutionary, like the zealots.  But he came gently, like a sheep to the slaughter.  His kingdom is growing, at an astounding rate today.  Like a tidal wave building in the see...but not through force or violence.  But make no mistake, it is growing.

To summarize, we are frail.  Jesus knows how to handle frail, broken people like us. People who have been hurt.  Do you trust Him? 
Also, may we treat people with the same care as he treats others.  May we not become harsh and critical snuffers.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Upside Down Leadership

Here is a copy of the lesson I will be teaching at United (Trinity's YM) this Wedensday night. This is a great radical teaching of Jesus on leadership.  And like usual, Jesus' wisdom really floors me and is so refreshing.  I love learning from Jesus. May this teaching be a blessing to you too.

Leadership 101: Upside Down Leadership
Luke 22:20-27

“…but among you it will be different.” –Jesus

1. What does a boss do?
2. What does a leader do?

Cultural Teachings on what a leader is…
Ex…me at Optical Conference last week
1. “A leader tells others what to do.”
2. [Hunger Games] Survival of the Fittest (in work world it looks like…)
3. [Dog eat Dog]
4. [fingers on money] Self-Glory, climb the ladder of respect
5. [Triangle] Dominate, take charge, rule…who serves the leader?

The Disciples Argue
Luke 22:20-24, the disciples understood this concept very well.
Jesus is passionately talking about how he will die soon, and they start arguing over who is second in command.

Jesus’ Radical Teaching
Jesus interrupts their argument to teach them God’s wisdom.
Vs. 25- how the world sees leadership-dominance.  –can I get an amen?!
Vs. 26  [inverted triangle]  “But among you it will be different.”
“The GREATEST is to take the lowest rank.  The LEADER should be like a servant.

How did Jesus demonstrate this?
1. Washed their feet (at times people DID serve him, but he didn’t lord his great position over people)
2. Died for them

So what? 
Are you a leader? How about on your school team?  Then serve.
Are you a top student? Help others succeed.
Do you have authority at work? Help others do well.
Are you the older sibling? Build UP your brothers & sisters.
Do you want to be a leader in Christ’s kingdom? Then serve others
Help others succeed in life & faith.
                                                                                                …Just like Jesus.

Small Group Discussion
-Have you ever had a group project in school, where teammembers were unhelpful?  How did that make you feel?
-Have you ever experience the fury of a power hungry leader?  How did you feel? Share a story.

1. Brainstorm (everyone share): What are some synonyms of what it means to serve?
2. What is the goal of serving others (see Hebrews 10:24 for help)?
3. What is success in life?
4. What are 3 ways you can serve people in your circles of influence?
5. How is Jesus’ paradigm of leadership better than the world’s leadership paradigm?
6. Read Philippians 2:1-11.  What practical ways can this passage be applied?

Close in prayer

Outline for the sermon I am preaching at Calvary, and hopefully other places too.

Sermon Title: Upside Down Leadership
Scripture: Luke 22:20-27

Outline for bulletin:
1. Leadership in our culture- "I'm the ________________." (vs. 20-24)
A. What is a leader?
B. As observed in the disciples

2. Jesus' counter-cultural teaching on Leadership (vs. 25-27)
A. What does a great leader do? _____________
B. How did Jesus demonstrate this?

3. What does that look like today?
A. Philippians 2:1-11 A great leader ________________.  How can you grow in this area?

B. Hebrews 10:24 A great leader ______________ how to help others succeed.
C. Do you want to be great in God's kingdom?  Then ___________.  
D. How would doing this, help you be more successful in the work world, among your family & friends?