Bringing It Home

What is it going to take to convince us that the last will be first and the first will be last? For some it will take a lifetime, for others only a few semesters in seminary.

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Affirming Leaders

Good leaders are enthusiastically affirming. Again, Paul writes, “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers . . .”

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Affectionate Leaders

Good leaders have affection for people. Paul writes, “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God . . . ” (1 Thess. 2:8). Is that great, or what?

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Sensitive Leaders

Good leaders are sensitive to the needs of others. Paul compared his ministry to a mother who tenderly cares for the needs of her children. I love that word picture. I watched my wife nursing our children when they were tiny.

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His Only Priority

Paul’s style of leadership was neither aloof nor secretive. He lived among them. They knew his address. He talked to them. He didn’t preach a sermon and then conveniently slip out the back door during the benediction.

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Modeling Grace Through Disagreeable Times

Let me offer several comments that may help you handle future disagreeable times in a gracious manner. First, always leave room for an opposing viewpoint. If you don’t have room for an opposing viewpoint, you’re not going to do well when you get teenagers.

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Absolute Honesty

Let’s think about an essential mark of servanthood: integrity . . . or absolute honesty. Remember these words? “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart . . .”

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My Dad

I’ll never forget the night my dad died. He left like he had lived. Quietly. Graciously. With dignity. Without demands or harsh words or even a frown, he surrendered himself—a tired, frail, humble gentleman—into the waiting arms of his Savior. Death, selfish and cursed enemy of man, won another battle. As I stroked the hair from his forehead and kissed him goodbye, a hundred boyhood memories played around in my head.

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An ”Affair,” Part One

The sad fact is no longer surprising—infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow.

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