Leadership Development (September 08, 2020)
GRACE, GOODNESS AND GUIDANCE FOR GODLY SERVANTS
The Lord is good to all. His lovingkindness is for everyone – sinners, saints and servants of God. His message in these Psalms is to make ministers stronger and more visionary in the work He has given them. Three things stand out very clearly from these psalms. One, grace – the gift of God; two, the goodness and the riches of His lovingkindness; and three, the guidance He grants us.
1. DIVINE GUIDANCE THROUGH THE WILDERNESS TO THE PROMISED LAND
Psalms 25:1,4,5,9,12,14; 26:1,11
This world is like a wilderness and believers are journeying to the Promised Land. The Lord has promised to be with and guide us in the way as He did for the children of Israel through the pillar of fire and cloud that went with them. “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way”. The Lord guides and leads us into the path of righteousness and His goodness. Those who go through life without knowing the mind, purpose, plan and decisions of God are blank, visionless and unfulfilled. But those who love the Lord and have reverential fear for Him will have “The secret of the LORD… and he will shew them his covenant”.
(i). Total Trust in God for His Perpetual Lovingkindness
Psalms 25:1,2,5,6; 26:3; 143:8; Proverbs 3:5-8
Ministers ought to have complete trust in God for His perpetual lovingkindness. We trust Him for salvation, holy and progressive life. We also trust Him for sustenance so as not to be ashamed before the devil and watching world. To accomplish everything God has given us to do in life and ministry, we must learn to trust Him for His lovingkindness, which He often communicates to us through the Scripture, personal quiet time and family devotion.
(ii). True Teaching and Guidance for a Profitable Life
Psalms 25:4,5,9,12,14; 86:11; John 16:13; Isaiah 48:17,18
The Lord gives His children sound doctrine so they would have a profitable life. Many schools of thought and groups of people in the world teach; but they teach errors that lead people into more problems. But the Lord’s teaching affects the soul, spirit and body such that the total man moves on to a profitable life. Our prayer, then, should be, “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths”. As God’s ministers, we must not live by or take decisions based on falsehood from the devil through society. For our lives to be profitable, we must meekly and humbly depend on God to “guide [us] in judgment (decision making)” and show us the way we ought to walk.
(iii). The Testimony of Godliness in a Polluted Land
Psalms 26:1-12; 101:3-8; 116:12-14; 71:17-19; Philippians 2:14-16
The psalmist testified of how the Lord taught, directed, controlled and guided him. He had nothing to hide. Therefore, he could confidently say, “Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart”. He was certain of his walk in the truth. He did not sit “with vain persons” and “evil doers” who talk, think and plan only about vanities. Also, he did not associate with people who did not have a positive, powerful and profitable destination. Ministers must avoid such people and be innocent of the sins and presumptions in the land.
2. DESIRED GOODNESS WHILE WAITING WITH A PRAYERFUL LOOK
Psalms 27:13,14; 123:1,2; 28:1,2
Looking up to the Lord is waiting on Him in prayer and sometimes in fasting. The psalmist prayerfully waited on the Lord as He desired His goodness. Because he believed to see “the goodness of the LORD (the purpose of his calling, power of consecration and all that He has promised) in the land of the living”, he was not faint-hearted despite the inconsistencies around him. He admonishes us today to “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen [our] heart”. As we wait upon the Lord, we will receive courage, purpose and power for living.
(i).The Courage of Faith in Steadfast Believers
Psalms 27:1-7; 56:3,4; Acts 18:9,10; 27:23-25; Hebrews 13:5,6
The courage to say, “I will not fear” is a personal decision steadfast believers make. The psalmist said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Many are not strong because they are not looking up to the Lord. Therefore, they lose their courage when a little problem arises. Once the heart shifts away from focusing on the Lord, fear sets in. But if we, like the psalmist, decide we “will not fear”, our Saviour, Helper, Redeemer, Supporter, Sustainer and Shepherd will surely preserve our lives.
(ii). The Confidence of Faith in Sanctified Believers
Psalms 27:8-14; 63:1,2; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Isaiah 40:28-31
Sanctified believers’ commitment and consecration should be to seek the Lord. When we seek Him with all our heart, He gives us an expected end. When earthly help fails, the Lord – our Saviour, Shepherd, Supplier and Sufficiency – aids us because we make Him our all in all. Whenever there is any challenge or problem, the Lord expects us to wait on Him. By so doing, He enables us so we would tell of His grace, goodness, and guidance, which we have received from Him. The psalmist admonishes us to “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart…” As we wait on Him, He will renew and increase our strength.
(iii). The Confession of Faith by Strengthened Believers
Psalms 28:6-9; 31:23,24; Ephesians 3:14-21; 2 Timothy 4:17,18
Strengthened believers make confession of faith. Whilst we wait upon the Lord, we should not mourn or regret; rather, we should focus on His promises, provisions, power and strength. Many people allow the worries of tomorrow to overwhelm and deny them of their testimonies. But to those who wait on the Lord, He is “their strength”. The confession of the strengthened minister should be, “the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work [past, present and future], and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”.
3. DEDICATED GIFTS FROM WORSHIPPERS TO THE PROVIDING LORD
Psalms 29:1,2; 30:11,12
As the Lord blesses and provides for our spiritual, personal, family and professional needs, we must also not fail to “Give unto [Him]” in return with joy. There are three things to note:
(i). Manifold Gifts for Believers from the Lord
Psalms 29:9-11; 84:7,11; Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:32
The Lord loved and gave us first. He is the great, eternal and benevolent Giver, who gives strength, peace and supplies all our needs. We must love and give to Him in return. Those who come to Him receive “grace and glory [for salvation, sanctification, service, endurance and sufficiency of His might and power]”. He freely gives us all that we need for life and ministry. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
(ii). Mandated Gifts from Believers for the Lord
Psalms 29:1,2; 96:8,9; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Romans 12:1,2; Hebrews 13:15,16
Believers are commanded to “Give unto the LORD”. This is a mandate we must joyfully obey. We must give our lives, strength, substance, tithes and offering to the Lord. The command to give to the Lord is specific and definite, and it is for every child of God, including pastors and ministers of the gospel. Despite the challenges of the moment occasioned by the pandemic, we should not be stingy with our resources; rather, we should give sacrificially and peculiarly by offering what is “acceptable to God”. We must also “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; [and] worship [Him] in the beauty of holiness”.
(iii). Multiplied Grace for Believers in the Lord
Psalms 30:1-7; 89:17-21,34; 102:13-22; Proverbs 3:1-10
The Lord shows believers favour and gives them grace. Though “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”. He has promised to give us the “glory of His strength…” As we fear the Lord and reverence Him, “So shalt [we] find favour [grace – saving, sanctifying, sustaining, sufficient, supernatural grace] and good understanding in the sight of God and man”. And as we acknowledge and honour Him with our substance, our “barns [will] be filled with plenty”.