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We never grow closer to God when we just live life.  It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness. 

Your level of preparation determines your level of outpouring.  It’s not someone elses responsibility to take care of what’s inside of you.

Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame the gift that was inside him. (2 Timothy 1:6)

“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher

As leaders we need to have a strong, consistent inflow to balance our outflow.  As leaders were are giving out all the time.  Energy, time, emotions.  In order to GROW as a leader we need to stretch our capacity and ability to lead. 

Growth comes from learning new skills and knowledge through reading or listening to podcasts etc.   Leaders are readers.  Leaders are constantly learning.

But most importantly as Christians growth comes from spending time with God and in His Word.   The Word of God will change you from the inside out, it will guide you, give you wisdom, strengthen you, encourage you, challenge you.  The Word of God will fill your tank so that you can then pour out in a sustainable way.

Jesus said “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

 

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

 

“Spiritual change requires discipline. I can remember as a college student sitting for hours on end in tiny, windowless practice rooms, playing the same piece of music again and again. I knew that I never would reach my goal–to make beautiful music–without that rigorous discipline. Discipline for the purpose of godliness is not the same as self-effort. Rather, it means consciously cooperating with the Holy Spirit–yielding to Him so that He can conform us to the image of Christ. The problem is, we want the outcome without the process. We want victory without the warfare. Praying and hoping for spiritual change is futile if we sit glued to a television set or neglect the means that God has provided for our growth in grace. Bible study, meditation, worship, prayer, fasting, accountability and obedience are disciplines that produce a harvest of righteousness in our lives” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss).

TIP 1. START A BIBLE PLAN

Plans are a simple way to read the Bible every day, just a little at a time. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, direction, or a fresh perspective, YOUVERSION has plans that meet you where you are.  If you’ve never done a regular Bible reading time then start small. You’re more likely to complete a shorter plan than a long one, especially when you’re just beginning. Then, as soon as you finish the Plan you’re on, find your next one and tap start.

Here are some great suggestions:

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/897-30-days-of-heartwork

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1025-it-starts-with-me

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1686-upside-down-kingdom-living

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/926-awaken

 

TIP 2.  SET A TIME

Make a regular scheduled time with God to read the Bible and have some prayer and worship and stick to it.  This could be morning, lunch time, after school or evening.  It takes 21 days to make a habit so get used to the rhythm of spending time with God.  Find what works for you.

 

TIP 3.  FIND YOUR FLOW

What works for you?  Worship then reading?  Having a list of things to pray for?  Devotions or just The Bible?  Journaling?  Talking with a friend?   Find a way to make it work and make it fun.

 

TIP 4.  SOAP

What is S.O.A.P.?

S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word.

How does it work?

It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the Bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.

 

S – SELECTING WHAT TO READ

O – OBSERVING WHAT WE ARE READING

A – APPLYING WHAT WE HAVE READ

P – PRAYING THROUGH THE IMPLICATIONS

 

Selecting the Scripture

Underline or write out in your journal what jumps out to you.

Observation

What did you observe about the Scripture that struck you? This can be one sentence or a whole book.

Application

How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today?  What needs to change?

Prayer

Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.

 

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,  and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,  humility, kindness, , empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

“Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

 

PODCAST SUGGESTIONS

 

Jesus Culture Leadership Podcast

Jesus Culture Sacramento Church

Your Move with Andy Stanley

Brian Houston Leadership Podcast

Bethel Church Sermon of the Week

Elevation Church (Steven Furtick)

Coffee with Chris (Christine Caine)

The River Christian Church

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