The story found in 1 Kings 22 is a classic example of a leader who places people around him to tell him what he wants to hear, rather than what he needs to hear.
King Ahab was determined to force his plan at any cost, and it ended up costing him everything. Instead of listening to the wisdom of the prophet God placed in his life, he followed the advice of 400 other prophets, none of which had any intentions of disagreeing with him.
As leaders, we need to surround ourselves with people who will tell us what they really think, not just what we want to hear. I’m not referring to people who are disrespectful, or those who challenge our authority. I’m talking about people who have our best interest, and the best interest of our organizations in mind.
You may not always agree with them, or follow their advice, but at least you know you have honest people on your side.
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. — John 8:36
A relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the only way to experience freedom from sin and spiritual death.
To be free is not to live however, and do whatever we want. True freedom comes from a lifestyle that lines up with the commands and principles found in Scripture. Obedience to God releases us from the bondage of sin and frees us from guilt and regret.
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I recently talked with someone who is struggling with an issue that is clearly defined in Scripture. It’s obvious what should be done from God’s perspective, but for some reason this person is finding it hard to follow through.
When I think about the situation, I’m reminded of what the Bible says in James 4:17 –
“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”
When God says to do something, and we don’t do it, no matter what our reasoning, it is sin. I find this truth to be extremely convicting. It’s time to re-evaluate some things in light of James 4:17.
There are a couple of verses in Proverbs 30, related to personal finances, that really challenge me. Verses 8 and 9 say,
“…give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”
Just enough, huh? Interesting that Agur (author of the proverb) would ask for “just enough.” The tendency is to want more than enough. The tendency is to desire a sense of security—false as it may be—and to have something to fall back on, just in case.
It’s definitely a good idea to plan ahead, to save money, and to spend it wisely. But what if we had Agur’s mindset? What if we asked for “just enough?”
Imagine how that would impact the way we rely on God to meet our needs?
In 1 Kings 10, Scripture tells us the Queen of Sheba was so impressed by King Solomon’s fame that she made a special trip to see him, in order to experience his extreme wisdom and wealth first hand.
If you read too quickly though, you might skip over a phrase found in the middle of verse one that clues us in to the purpose behind Solomon’s fame. What God did through Solomon had nothing to do with making Solomon famous and had everything to do with making God famous.
The Queen of Sheba confirmed this later in verse nine when she said, “Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel…” Even this outsider understood the reason for Solomon’s fame—to bring praise to God.
You see, it’s not about us. It never has been. Any amount of recognition we receive for our talents and abilities was intended to bring glory to our Creator.
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