Exceptional Leadership Practices

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Exceptional Leadership Practices

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Build it and they won't come: What if you spent decades building a boat that could hold lots of people (and animals), but no one would sign up for the cruise, even when you told them the deadly danger of not coming? That doesn't sound like very successful leadership!

But the biblical boat builder Noah actually set an example of obedience and good character that has been admired and followed by many since (Genesis 6:8-9, 22; Ezekiel 14:14; Hebrews 11:7). And by being willing to do what was right even when he had to go it alone, he was preparing for much greater service in God's future Kingdom.

Standing up in fiery trials: You've probably heard the story of Daniel's three friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego—and the fiery furnace. These Jewish captives were ordered to break God's law by bowing down before a gold idol or be thrown into the fire.

Imagine a sea of people prostrate on the ground, with three men sticking out like sore thumbs. With their faith in God, they mustered great courage and fearlessly faced the angry king of Babylon:

"Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image" (Daniel 3:17-18).

Their incredible faith and willingness to die (and God's miracle!) impressed the king. Read his praise for God and his promotion of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in Daniel 3:28-30.

Broken bottle heard around the world: Near the end of Jesus' life, one of His followers could sense the great turmoil and pressures He was facing. Mary wanted to do something to show her support and appreciation. She brought out a container of very expensive fragrant oil, broke off the top and anointed Him with the oil.

Though Jesus, the very Son of God who was about to give His life, appreciated her gesture, His friends thought she was wasteful and silly.

Was her extravagant act of love foolish, or was it a gift to be long remembered and a loving attitude to be imitated? Let Jesus answer:

"Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Mark 14:9).

Faithful over a few things: God's training program is much different from most leadership training programs today. He is looking for people of character, obedience, faith, courage and love to serve as leaders in His Kingdom. He's looking for people like Noah, Daniel's three friends, Mary and you!

God's program may not involve ruling cities or nations at this time, but He knows that the small and large sacrifices we make now prepare us for greater service later. If we can follow Him and buck the crowd today, we can be ready to serve the crowd in the future.

Then He will say: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25:21). VT