Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2009 Natl Leadership Forum - FREE Webcast - Sept. 10-11

Register today and don’t miss this FREE webcast, featuring Christian servant leaders. Pre-register at or go to the link at

Lead Like Jesus would like to offer you an opportunity that we believe could have a tremendous impact on you, your church, organization and business.  September 10-11, Southeastern University, located in Lakeland, Florida, will be broadcasting its 2009 National Leadership Forum as an online webcast with all of the guest speakers from the 2009 Forum, including: Jack Welch, Dave Ramsey, TD Jakes, Patrick Lencioni, Megyn Kelly, Bill George, Bill Hybels, Henry Cloud, and many others.  Ken Blanchard, co-founder of Lead Like Jesus, is serving as the moderator of this special two-day webcast and I believe that the messages and material available through this webcast will be important for your life.  Click here to see a short preview of this incredible conference.

  Lead Like Jesus and Southeastern University are strategic alliances in spreading the Lead Like Jesus message.  Southeastern University is "dedicated to the proposition that servant leaders are world changers."  SEU is putting feet to this vision by integrating the Lead Like Jesus curriculum as part of the core requirements for all incoming freshmen beginning with Fall 2009 and also as a Masters level course.  It is this vision that has led to this webcast presentation of the 2009 Forum.  Southeastern University is making this servant leadership conference available at no cost to business leaders, non-profit organizations, and others who were unable to attend the 2009 Forum in person - perhaps due to the economic challenges that so many have faced this past year. 

  This is a one-time webcast event that will only be available on September 10-11, so it's important that you take advantage of this offer right away.  Although there is no cost to take part in this two-day event, participants must register by going to Once you have registered, additional details will be sent to you.  You may also find a link to Southeastern University by visiting  We hope you'll take advantage of this outstanding webcast event.   May God bless you as you continue to lead like Jesus!



The Lead Like Jesus Team

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Getting Your Goat or Going Goat-less?

Reflections on Matthew 25:31-46

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ words in this passage? Not your response or reasoned thinking about what He says, but your initial reaction. Do His words at any level make you uncomfortable? And if so, what is it that makes you uncomfortable? I ask only because this passage can rattle people at different levels.

Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable because Jesus speaks about His return with certainty, as a fact, not a theory to be debated.

Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable because Jesus speaks of a judgment for all people.

Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable because you don’t know if you’d end up tagged as a sheep or a goat.

Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable because Jesus says this judgment is based on visible evidence that your beliefs change the way you see the world and how you treat others.

Perhaps you find yourself trying to catalog your good deeds.

Or perhaps you find yourself identifying with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, or the imprisoned.

In this passage, Jesus calls His hearers back to the essence of true religion, just as He did when He said that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:34-40).

It seems that love for God inexorably leads to love for others (1 John 4:7-12, 20-21), a love that is demonstrated in action (1 John 3:16-18), a love that has compassion as a defining characteristic.

Compassion: deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.

"compassion." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Fourth Edition
. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 14 May. 2009.

God is by nature compassionate. When God told Moses His name, He identified Himself as

"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God…Exodus 34:6

God’s compassionate nature was evident in Genesis 3 when He came looking for the couple who were now lost in sin, with the intent to rescue and restore them. This pattern continues throughout the Old Testament, revealing God’s compassion for men, women, and children. Over and over, His concern and love for the people He created turns into action on their behalf.

God’s compassion comes to fullest expression in the life of Jesus…

Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
—Philippians 2:6-8

In 1 Corinthians 12, we discover that we as believers are now the physical representation of Christ in the world. Just as Jesus revealed God’s compassion in His life, God desires that, through our lives, we will reflect His compassion to a hurting world.

Who do you know who is…

In need of food or water, or a place to live?

In need of spiritual strength, hope or encouragement?

Lonely or alone?

In need of clothes?

Sick or suffering?

In prison or caught in a prison of their own making?

In need of someone to care?

In need of someone to believe in them until they can believe in themselves?

In need of a new start?

God’s plan from the beginning was that His people would become a blessing to others (Genesis 12:1-3).

What does God want you to do to help and bless others with the material and spiritual resources He has given you?

Paul echoes this same thought in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.

Many people struggle to believe that God cares for them due to the ever-present nature of their personal suffering. Those who escape the destructive cycle of their lives often speak of a friend who believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves, of a friend who pointed them to God’s presence and compassion, of friends who cared enough to come alongside them in their need and care for them.

What hope and help do you have to offer others? What experience of His compassion and comfort can you offer to others who are hurting or in trouble?

As we are being transformed into the image of Christ, Bible study and prayer are not the end goal. Those, along with other spiritual habits, are means of shaping us in God’s image, of creating in us a compassionate heart that sees the world as God sees it and transforms us into people who see the needs of others around us, people who are moved to reach out to others and meet their needs in the name of Christ.

What is revealed about your heart by your reaction to seeing people in need?

What is God doing to carve out space for compassion for others in your heart?

Who do you know right now who needs God to meet their needs?

What do they know of God’s compassion because of your response to their situation?

What is God calling you to do to meet the needs of others?

To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Working with Oils

Based on Matthew 25:1-13

Oil in Scripture is often used to represent the Holy Spirit. Oil in biblical times, much like today, was an important component to life. Used in cooking and in providing light, oil was a precious commodity then, as it is now.

Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is essential to the spiritual life. In Genesis 1:2, He is present at creation, hovering close, at work to bring life and shape to the earth

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

God’s Spirit empowered Israel’s leaderselders, judges, priests, prophets, and kingsto rule lead well, and gifted ordinary people to serve the Lord (see Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17 and 27:18, Judges 3:10, 1 Samuel 10:10 and 16:13, etc.) Even Pharaoh recognized the Spirit of God at work in Joseph (Genesis 41:38). God’s Spirit spoke through the prophets, testifying to God’s work and of one who would come in the power of the Spirit (Isaiah 42:1, Matthew 12:18).

Turning to the New Testament, the first mention of the Holy Spirit is found in Matthew 1:18

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Unlike Genesis, where God is creating a new earth, this time the Spirit is at work creating the very life of God in Mary’s body.

His next appearance is in Matthew 3:15 at Jesus’ baptism, identifying Jesus publicly as the Son of God

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. (See also John 1:33.)

Just as the Spirit of God was active in Jesus’ life, Scripture tells us that the Spirit is active in our lives, calling us, creating new life in Christ, teaching and guiding us along the way

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.—John 3:5

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you foreverthe Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.—John 14:16,17

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.—John 14:26

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me….John 15:26

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.Acts 1:8

Warning: Scripture also cautions that it is possible to limit the Spirit’s work in our lives and to grieve Him through our choices (1 Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 4:30).

Just like you check the amount and condition of oil in your car, maybe it’s a good idea to check the condition of your relationship with the Spirit.

Has the life-giving oil of the Spirit of God been poured into your life?

Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit…. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.—1 Corinthians 12:3, 13

Is the Spirit seen in the ways you now live your life for the benefit of others?

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.—1 Corinthians 12:7

Is your mind now set on what God desires? Are you led by Him? Does your life give evidence of Spirit-controlled attitudes and actions?

Read the following verses on or in your Bible to see what a life characterized by the Spirit looks like

·         Romans 8:5, 6

·         Romans 8:16

·         Romans 14:17

·         1 Corinthians 2:4, 13

·         2 Corinthians 3:17

·         Ephesians 4:3

·         Ephesians 6:18

·         Galatians 5:22,23

Are these familiar passages to you?

How frequently are these qualities evident in your life? What would your friends and family say?

What about your life recently has revealed the presence of the Spirit?

What can you do if you find that the oil is running low in your life and it needs replenished? How do you make sure that you aren’t guilty of the same misguided thinking of the Galatian believers that Paul wrote to, saying

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?—Galatians 3:3

First, understand that the spiritual life takes focus on living in step with the Spirit of God

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature… Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.—Galatians 5:16, 25

…the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.—Galatians 6:8

Then ask yourself a few questions

What are you doing to build up the life of God in your life? What spiritual habits are you practicing to keep your focus on nurturing and fanning into flame the life of the Spirit?

What role does Scripture reading, study, meditation and memorization play in transforming your life?

What is your prayer life like?

With whom are you developing an honest and intimate spiritual relationship that encourages one another to grow in faith?

How are you living life to benefit others?

Now respond to what God is saying to you about these things. What is the Spirit leading you to do to re-engage? What do you need to do to allow Him to replenish your supply of oil?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…Ephesians 3:16

To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm discovering anew the power of God's truth to reshape my perspective on life.

Memorizing Scripture is one of those spiritual disciplines that I had allowed to lapse in my life. Earlier this year, the Spirit used a friend and a Lead Like Jesus Leadership Encounter to nudge me to re-engage with scripture memorization and meditation.

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.—1 Samuel 12:24

1 Samuel 12:24 is the first verse I began to memorize. Samuel’s words to the people of Israel have a way of cutting through the clutter in my heart and mind. They remind me of what’s truly important in life and call me to remember how God has transformed my life since we began journeying together.

Next on my list was Romans 12:2—Do not conform any longer 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.

Familiar words, yet the power is not in their familiarity; rather, the power flows through the practice of focusing on God’s truth so that it reframes my perspective on the world around me. As I memorize the words of Scripture, God’s wisdom increasingly becomes the filter and grid through which I process the events and emotions of my life.

Third was Colossians 3:23,24—Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Again, familiar words, but do they find their way into my everyday life? I was reminded this week that these words apply to all of life as I examined my attitude about missing previously planned activities in order to carry for my “cranky because she wasn’t feeling well” three year old granddaughter.

Next (and last for now) was Luke 4:42—At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them.

What a reminder to make time with the Lord a priority in my life! If Jesus needed to purposely seek one-on-one time with His Father in order to resist being pulled every which way by people around Him, certainly I need time alone with God, too!

I’m working on others, I even have an application on my iTouch that feeds me new verses to memorize. For now, these verses keep me focused on the basics: Loving God, letting Him transform me; loving others, and nurturing my relationship with God, no matter what else I do!

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

God-Given Guts!

Based on 1 Samuel 14

What gets your adrenaline flowing? What gets your heart pumping? What causes you to decide it’s time to get moving, time to take a stand? What crystallizes your thoughts and desires into action?

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan decides that he’s done waiting around for the battle to come to him. He decides the time is right to take things into his own hands and make his move.

Read through 1 Samuel 14 in your Bible or at To get a better feel for the situation Jonathan finds himself in, start in chapter 13.

What causes you to decide it’s time to take a stand?

What does your answer reveal about your priorities? Who you know God to be? Your relationship with Him? His gifting and call on your life?

I especially like verse 6

"Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”

The Message puts it this way

"Come on now, let's go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe God will work for us. There's no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when he sets his mind to it.”

“Perhaps.” “Maybe.”

Jonathan doesn’t wait until he’s assured that he’ll be successful in his daring attempt. For him, the opportunity stirs him to action, his faith is revealed in the doing.

Plucky. Courageous. Bold. Daring. Like current day fictional heroes Indiana Jones or James Bond, or Ben Gates in National Treasure. Jonathan sees a challenge and doesn’t just say “why”; he says “why not do something about this?” He figures that if God has put a challenge in front of him, it’s because God wants him to do something.

The choice to sit and wait while the tension and dread mount or stepping out in faith to see how God will act, become crystal clear, and he knows it’s time to act.

What challenge has God put in front of you?

What do you think He wants you to do about it?

What’s stopping you?

Jonathan’s armor bearer goes with him. Jonathan is one of those guys that are always found with someone else beside them. Either he’s standing alongside his dad, the king, with his armor bearer, or his friend David. He is wise enough to develop relationships with someone who has his back, not just figuratively speaking, but someone who has a vital role to play in accomplishing the mission.

"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."verse 7

It reminds me of Jesus sending His disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7 and 10:1). Jesus surrounded Himself with close friends, developed deep and abiding relationships with them, and sent them out together to serve others in His name.

Jonathan had done the same with his armor-bearer. Jonathan trusts the armor bearer completely, and the armor bearer trusts Jonathan completely. He is willing to risk what looks like certain death on the basis of his confidence in Jonathan’s leadership and God-confidence,

Who has your back?

Who are you willing to put yourself on the line to support?

Then come the words that confirm Jonathan’s courage found its source in trusting the Lord, not his own abilities

Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands."verses 8-10

Jonathan’s thinking is reminiscent of David’s response when facing Goliath’s taunt in 1 Samuel 17

As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it….David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”… David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”verses 23, 26, 32

What in your life reveals God-given guts?

What signs do you look for to know that God is calling you forward in spite of what the situation looks like from a human perspective?

What are you willing to risk to make a difference for God?

Throughout Scripture, we are called to take courage, to be strong and courageous.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.—2 Timothy 1:7

God-given guts, courage, were the hallmark of early followers of Jesus

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.—Acts 4:13

Courage flows from knowing how big God is and who Jesus is. Jonathan’s faith in God produced courage to advance against an overwhelming enemy. As Jonathan stepped out in faith, God demonstrated His power through him.

What about you?

To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Based on 2 Kings 7

It’s interesting to me how God frames some of His most amazing work in desperation. It’s like the darkness of life’s circumstances become the setting that allow His work to be showcased. That’s the way it is throughout the Scriptures, and poignantly so in this story.

Read it in your Bible or at (Check out 2 Kings 6:24-33 to get the background.)

Samaria, the capital of the renegade tribes of Israel, is besieged by an enemy; the people are dying from starvation, to the extent that a woman agrees to kill and eat her own child in order to live for one more day; the king has given up hope and instead of calling out to God, is looking for someone to blame, and God’s representative Elisha is the perfect target.

Desperation rules the day.

As desperate as it is within the city, where the city walls built to protect them have become the bars on their prison cell, outside the walls is a community of contagious people who aren’t even afforded the protection of living within the city walls. Excluded and cast off by the people in their community, they are open to attack by any and every enemy.

They have no control over the disease that has come upon them, no control over being rejected by others, and have accepted the reality that they are unfit for human contact, unwelcome, and unprotected from the enemy that surrounds them.

They are trapped, with no place to go.

What “un-[fill_in_the_blank]“ word describes your life?

What circumstances in your life have you feeling trapped?

But God is on the move.

Their point of desperation becomes God’s opportunity to showcase His activity.

What’s interesting when you stop and think about it is that these lepers don’t demonstrate much faith, as we tend to think of it. There is no record of them calling out to God, believing that He will intervene, counting on His character or His promises. They actually think that perhaps their enemies will be merciful to them.

Funny, isn’t it, how we long for God’s mercy and look for it in other places, while we are quick to accuse Him of not being merciful? But that’s for another time…back to the lepers.

Their actions are a simple act of survival, born out of the desperate nature of their circumstances. It’s a “something is better than nothing” attitude, an “anything is better than this” decision that prompts them to move.

What they don’t know in the moment is what the outcome will be. And so, their act of desperation becomes an act of faith. They choose to move, without visible evidence that God is anywhere in the picture.

What desperate circumstances have you feeling like your back is up against the wall?

What seems like the only way forward?

Do you dare to believe that God is somewhere in the mix, that He is the one moving, drawing you forward even if you can’t see Him past the enemy that blocks your view?

What they discover is that God is in the mix.

Their desperate circumstances, the very things that brought them to the point of deciding that now is the time to do something, is their doorway into discovering God’s power and provision, for them and for others.

Because God was on the move.

He used a sense of desperation to move the lepers forward. He used desperation, a fear of imminent danger and impending doom, to cause the enemy army to scatter.

The enemy uses desperation as a strategy to trap you, to immobilize you. God uses desperation as a tool to move you into the future He is creating.

What if God wants to use your feelings of desperation to get your attention, to open your eyes to see the situation in front of you from His perspective?

What if God wants to use your feelings of desperation to bring you to the end of yourself so that you’re ready to move beyond hopelessness into a place where you can discover His plan?

What if desperation is really the doorway to the future that God has planned?

An interesting thread in this story is the words of the prophet Elisha. As God’s representative, he dares to say out loud—and to the person in charge—that even in these desperate circumstances, God is at work.

His words frame the story:

Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says:…—v. 1

…as the LORD had said…And that is exactly what happened…—v. 16, 20

What words of hope and confidence is the Lord giving you in the midst of desperate circumstances?

Who needs to hear them?

Are you looking for God in the midst of the desperate situation that surrounds you?

Jesus said—

"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."—John 5:17. God is on the move.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."—John 16:33. There is hope for us when things are desperate.

Jesus’ words to Paul when he despaired, were—

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”—2 Corinthians 12:9. Jesus chooses to use desperate people who turn to Him in their weakness, and depend on His grace to keep moving forward. Look how he used Paul!


To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit

Can I Be Held Responsible for My Irresponsibility?

Based on Nehemiah 1-2

As you read through the beginning of Nehemiah’s story (check the Table of Contents in your Bible or go to
to find it), you find a man who holds a responsible, trusted position, serving the king.

Kings and queens today often hold symbolic, ceremonial positions and responsibilities. Kings in Nehemiah’s day held absolute control over their people and were often served by slaves from the nations they had conquered. This was Nehemiah’s case.

Nehemiah was a Jewish man serving in the court of a foreign nation that had taken God’s people captive. When God moved in the heart of Cyrus (see 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 and Ezra 1:1-10) to allow the Jews to return to their homeland after their captivity, Nehemiah was one of the Jews who remained in captivity. Yet, when Nehemiah hears about the state of Jerusalem and its people, his heart is overwhelmed with the news of their need.

Nehemiah begins to pray and look for opportunities to become part of the solution for his brothers and sisters in need. He takes his personal concern and grief to the Lord, humbly seeking God’s intervention.

Although he has no pertinent skill or expertise to offer, Nehemiah makes himself available to God, willing to be used however God sees fit. While he waits for God to make the next step clear, Nehemiah devotes himself to prayer and to serving the master who has the authority to release him or keep him serving in his current position.

Where is God calling you to make yourself available to respond to the needs of others?

Throughout the Bible, we see stories of men and women remaining faithful in their current life circumstances, seeking God in those circumstances, and being willing and ready to respond when God calls.

We also read stories of people who used their current circumstances as excuses to avoid God’s call.

Which group do you fit into?


1. answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management (often fol. by to or for): He is responsible to the president for his decisions.

2. involving accountability or responsibility: a responsible position

3. chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually fol. by for): Termites were responsible for the damage.

4. having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action: The defendant is not responsible for his actions.

"responsible." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 14 Feb. 2009.>.

Scripture is clear that both men and women were created to respond to God’s call and response + able for God’s world. The fact that God gave us this responsibility means that we are accountable to God for how we use our response + ability to respond to the needs around us.

How does this definition of responsibility as “response + ability” change your perspective on what it means to live responsibly?

Are you pursuing God’s direction in living response + ably?

Redeeming Response + Ability

Sin has twisted our understanding of responsibility.

We may refuse to accept responsibility for our lives, and play the victim.

We may twist our understanding of responsibility and try to control things we were never meant to control, like God or other people.

We may run from responsibility, shoving it off toward others and burdening them with false responsibility and guilt.

We may hand over our responsibility to others, choosing to blame them for our inability to live the lives God calls us to live.

We may consciously or unconsciously take on more responsibilities than God asks us to take on, over-scheduling our lives, making us ineffective, and keeping us from being response + able to God’s voice when He speaks.

Which of these distorted concepts of responsibility tempts you or describes you?

Response + Able to God

God, as the one to whom we are first and ultimately response + able, has the right to determine the area and extent of our response + ability. When we pursue God and respond to our circumstances by depending on Him, our responses reveal His life-giving power.

For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord… For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written:
" 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.' "

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.—Romans 14:7-12

What do you need to give up in order to live response + ably from God’s perspective?

Ultimately, in the midst of the people and needs that call for our attention, God is the one who deserves first attention, sets our priorities, and gets the final word. Are you asking Him to show you where He wants you live response + ably?

This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”Isaiah 48:17

For whom and for what has God already given you response + ability? Nehemiah continued to be response + able where he was until God’s power and timing opened the door for him to do more. Centuries later, Paul’s words echo Nehemiah’s mindset and role model for us

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.—Colossians 3:15-17, 23, 24

What longing to make a difference is God placing in your heart as you pursue Him?

What obstacles are you trusting God to overcome so that you can live your life response + ably?

To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit