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Leadership-Jeremiah 17 Style

August 22, 2008

My daily Bible reading the other day was Jeremiah 17. I have a particular fondness for Jeremiah in general since God revealed His mission for me ten years ago in my quiet time with him showing me Jeremiah 1:1-10. Now I say daily devotion and most probably think I follow a book, but I just don’t work that way. I truly enjoy just opening the Bible every morning and waiting to see what Christ has decided for me to read. It never fails, He’s always dead on target with what I need.

So yesterday morning, I went outside to sit on my porch with Bible in hand and the subject of Leadership on my mind. Lo and behold, I turn to Jeremiah 17. The following verses really struck me:

7[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?(A)

10I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

11Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch and sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches by unjust means and not by right. He will leave them, or they will leave him, in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.

As a leader, I know there have been more than a billion times I have sought to attain riches on my own accord, using my own methods. As I sit and look over the past few years, I can tell you, the riches of this earth definitely leave you with little or no warning. But wow, now that I have truly focused my leadership abilities on Christ, there are times I can relate to the “tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river.”

Have you ever known one of those leaders who just don’t waiver in the roughest of storms? They seem valiant in any situation, poised for victory, no matter what the crisis is? I think of several leaders I have worked for who earnestly sought God and knew Him in a personal manner, seeking Him daily in His word. One such leader is the CEO of Integrity Music (www.integritymusic.com). “Mike” was just one of us really, a humble yet brilliant man. He was always eager to share what Christ had shown him that morning, that week, or in his life. People flocked to him and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that like me, they would have followed Mike to the fire pit if he asked. That is leadership! However, looking back, it was Christ’s presence, manifested through Mike’s actions, that drew us. We felt better knowing Mike’s decisions were usually inspired by or approved by God. This left little room for challenge.

My challenge to myself and my challenge to you as a Christian leader is to always dig deep, get a firm rooting in the refreshing waters of Christ through His Word, or His music, or just your quiet time with him. If you do that, you will begin to see new, bright green branches sprout in your life. No matter the drought of the economy, or the storms of life, you will not be moved… as long as you are rooted in Christ. Be Blessed!

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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