Those that have participated in youth sports like baseball and football may be familiar with the mercy rule, where a game or contest is declared over if one team is ahead by a large margin in score or points. God intended the mercy rule to be in effect in our everyday lives as well. Being Christlike requires those with means to show mercy towards others that are in need or have suffered loss. The challenge often comes when we do not feel like being in a “winning” position to show sportsmanship, whether in our deeds or attitude. Why should I be merciful when others have not been merciful to me?
Some of you may be familiar with the reality TV show “Undercover Boss” where each episode features a top executive of a large company posing as a trainee or recruit to experience working at the ground level. The show usually concludes with the boss having a greater appreciation for the employees and the workers’ improved morale because of the validation. As a student of leadership styles and principles, I have always gleaned great lessons from the various stories to apply both personally, as well as within the ministry context of the church.
We learn from the OT that Israel experienced 120 years of unity before splitting into the Northern and Southern kingdom under the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. King Rehoboam had the opportunity to build and strengthen the community, but he chose to exert his power instead and this ‘family feud’ led to 430 years of ongoing conflict between the people of Israel.
When it comes to studying leadership from Biblical characters, Moses certainly stood out as one of the great leaders given his monumental task of leading a large group of Israelites out of Egypt. As incredible as his feat of escaping an army of Egyptian chariots was, what was even more overwhelming for Moses was the tedious task of managing a group of hungry and disgruntled people wandering in the desert wilderness.
At the end of the Day, the medals that we have hanging from our heavenly shelves will not be given according to our earthly wealth or our worldly achievements, instead we are rewarded by the influence and impact that we make in helping others know about Jesus and inspiring them to race for the eternal crowns that they too will have the opportunity to receive for generations to come.
It was well over a year ago (around March of 2020) when church leaders began to ponder the question, “What are we going to do if we can’t meet as a church on Sundays?” Fast forward to the late spring in 2021 as churches in our Province are allowed to resume in-person meetings, I want to share some of the lessons that church leaders, like myself and many other pastors, have gained to see the church not only survive the pandemic, but to THRIVE amid adversity.
Many cultures have the tradition of making birthday wishes before blowing out candles on the cake. It is also not unusual to find coins of every currency at the bottom of water fountains, thrown in with the hope of better fortune. From wishing wells to genies in a lamp, tales of worldly wishes coming to pass are all too common in children’s stories.