“Therefore we are always confident (we do not lose heart)
and know that as long as we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord.
For we live by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:6-7

Here are a few excerpts from several devotions I've led my faculty through in the past.

The undeniable theme is that
(as Christians) we do not lose heart.

Yes, it is sometimes a difficult journey, but no matter how difficult... the journey is a gift to be enjoyed!

We DO not lose heart

"If your gift is serving, then serve.
If it is teaching, then teach.
Is it encouraging others? Then encourage them.
Is it giving to others? Then give freely.
Is it being a leader? Then work hard at it.
Is it showing mercy? Then do it cheerfully."
~ Romans 12:7-8

  • I. Signs of "Losing heart"

    • A. Lack of persistence in prayer (not so visible to others) There is peace in prayer.

    • B. Growing weary in doing good (visible to others) There is joy in doing good.

  • II. Reasons some "Lose heart"

    • A. One answer: tribulations!

    • B. Another reason: lawlessness!

  • III. Secrets to not "Losing heart"

    • A. Appreciate the glorious nature of our ministry...

    • B. Realize the power of Christ when we are weak...

    • C. Look at things not seen...

Spiritual Leadership

a book by J. Oswald Sanders

Leadership improvement Consists of 3 Steps

1. Recognize Weaknesses

2. Make Corrections

3. Cultivate Strengths

Reasons why leadership may be lacking

● Lacking clearly defined goals (that stretch, challenge and unify)

● Timid faith leading to hesitation

● Failure to show zeal… “Enthusiastic leaders generate enthusiastic followers”

● Reluctance to grasp and deal with difficult situations (hesitation)

● Sacrifice of depth for breadth

Exert Yourself

● Romans 12:1 “offer” is “finished & done” tense followed by 36 present tense verbs.
● “If called on to supply leadership, do it with zeal.”

● “Does your leadership show the intensity typical of Jesus?”

● “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 one translation states “kept at boiling point by the Holy Spirit.

The Art of Listening

● “To get to the root of problems, a leader must develop into a skillful listener.”

● “Genuine listening seeks to understand another without prejudgment.”

● “Listen often and long and talk short and seldom.”

● “To be able to listen to others in a sympathetic and understanding manner is perhaps the most effective mechanism in the worked for getting along with people and tying up their friendship for good.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

● Be a sympathetic listener.

Improving Leadership (Hudson Taylor Style):

1. Administration: improve the character of the work! Discover which departments are functioning below standards and remedy the defect.

2. Spiritual Tone: deepen the piety, devotion, and success of the worker. Water rises to the level of the source… And no higher, the spiritual health of the leadership group should be the primary concern.

3. Group Morale: remove stones of stumbling. When problems are neglected, morale drops and performance decreases. If a problem has a remedy, put it in place at once.

4. Personal Relationships: oil the wheels where they stick. “Some Workers prefer to administer, others want to love people. Only the latter are leaders.”

5. Problem Solving: amend what is defective. The leader must solve tough problems. “Creating problems is easy, solving them is difficult.”

6. Creative Planning: supplement what is lacking. “Criticizing plans is easier than creating them. True leadership is always out in front.”

The Art of Delegation

● “He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people… They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses. Exodus 18:25-26
● Leaders must recognize capabilities and limitations for others and “fit each on into the job where he or she will do best.”

● “To succeed in getting things done through ores is the highest type of leadership.” Dwight L. Moody

● “In some cases, insisting on doing a job oneself is a result of simple conceit.”
● Once a leader delegates he must show the utmost confidence! He people he has entrusted. The failure of a person delegated is a failure of the leader… Not the subordinate, for he has selected them.

● When delegating have all expectations clearly written out so as to avoid any miscommunications.
● Delegation Must involve sharing both responsibility but also authority if it is to have the best possible impact. Sharing authority speeds up action.

● “God takes all responsibility for enabling His servants to do their work.”

● “There is no virtue in doing more than our fair share of the work.”

● “The sense of being watched destroys confidence.”

We Do Not Lose Heart

  • They were entrusted with the ministry.

    • 2 Cor 4:1 - Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

  • 2. They were being renewed with new strength every day

    • 2 Cor 4:16-18 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

  • They were endued with the spirit with a promise of more to follow.

    • 2 Cor 1:21-22 - Now it is God ​who makes both us and you stand firm (we do not lose heart.) in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

  • They were engrossed with the eternal. (they did not lose heart.)

The perfectly imperfect workshop

Look closely!, you can still see the glorious seam!

MY dad's Thoughts...

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Romans 12:2

God, My Dad, and Innovation.

Background: I grew up with a father who literally cut our garage in half and moved the front half forward 20 feet to build a bigger workshop. He did not see that as a crazy, insane or even unusual idea. He saw it as just being innovative!

God is the ultimate maker, creator, and innovator -

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15‭-‬17 NIV

God is resourceful (nothing is wasted) -

Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?”

Mark 12:10‭-‬11 NIV

God iterates -

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

God restores and redeems -

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17‭-‬19 NIV

God calls us to be innovative: Rom 12:2a

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2 NIV

When I was young, I spent time in the workshop we gained from my Dad’s great experiment. I worked with wood a lot and I would always strive to make things perfectly. When I would get frustrated with my work, my Dad had a saying, he would tell me “You need to look at that differently, the imperfections are part of what makes it beautiful” and so it is with God.

  • God is still making us.

  • God is resourceful in how He uses us.

  • God is improving us, and we are better versions of what we once were.

  • God repairs us when we're broken and then He restores us.

  • God calls us to think differently and encourages us to adapt and embrace change.

  • God is not bothered by our imperfections because...

  • God made us.

  • God sees us as part of His beautiful creation.

  • God loves us.

Verses About Strength

Bible Verses Showing Strength
Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Psalm 18:32-34 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Psalm 119:23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.

Examples of Showing Strength in the Bible

The following Bible verses on being strong show us biblical examples of strength and the faith it takes to trust in God so completely that He is your strength. Imagine how much faith it took for Abraham to be willing to sacrifice his long awaited son Isaac.

* David

1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

* Paul

2 Timothy 4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

* Peter

1 Peter 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

* Joshua

Joshua 1:9-11 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’”

* Abraham

Genesis 22:1-3 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

Bible Verses Showing Strength Comes From Faith Not From Fear

Are you struggling through a situation today and are grasping for answers? How should you respond? Respond with faith and not fear, knowing the promises of God and His mighty hand will hold you through any situation!

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Mark 10:52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.

Bible Scripture Quotes About Strength as Related to Courage

Jesus has truly overcome the world the day he gave His life for all on the cross. Take peace and be encouraged knowing it is Him who is mighty to save. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Because of the Hope and Love we have In Jesus Christ
Do not lose heart or become discouraged as we have the Hope of Jesus Christ and eternal life to carry us through. Stay in the Bible and pray continually seeking the face of God and He will be with you. I pray these Bible verses fill your heart with hope from the truth of God’s mighty word.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Job 13:15
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.

Romans 5:5
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Christian Quotes About Strength

“Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength which He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.”
– Charles Spurgeon

“If you partner with God, Make your plans big!” I encourage you today to make God your partner. Whatever your burden is that caused you to search for strength, give it up to him now. Do not let another minute go by without completely surrendering your burdens to Him. God wants to be your strength. Surrender to Him in your weakness and let Him show Himself strong. Remember if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!"
D.L. Moody