Thursday, December 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS AND LEADERSHIP

Originally posted by Life Founder George Guzzardo.

 God Bless, Scott Johnson


On December 25th Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas remains one of the most controversial holidays in the 21st century.  Because of this, LIFE Leadership offers an AGO subscription that provides the highest quality continued education for those who choose to gain more clarity. The servant leadership model we use was born a little over 2000 years ago when Jesus came to earth.
What makes Jesus so different? Josh McDowell writes, “Why is it that you can talk about God and nobody gets upset, but as soon as you mention Jesus, people often want to stop the conversation? Why have men and women down through the ages been divided over the question, “Who is Jesus?” He says in his book ‘More than a Carpenter’ which sold over 10,000,000 that the reason Buddha, Mohammad and Confucius do not offend people is because they didn’t claim to be God. The name Jesus is derived from the Greek form of Jeshua meaning “Jehovah – Savior” or “the Lord Saves.” Today we watch the pride of man run rampant. It appears that man is violently opposed to needing help of any kind especially from the creator of our universe.
B.B. Warfield writes, “When a Christian says, God,” he means, and if he is to remain Christian he must mean, a supernatural God – a God who is not entangled in nature, is not only another name for nature in its coordinated activities, or for that mystery which lies beneath and throbs through the All; but who is above nature and beyond, who existed, the Living God, and so long as this universal frame endures exists above and outside of nature as its Lord, its Lawgiver, and Almighty King.”  The question “Who was Jesus Christ?” is handled in his exhaustive study ‘The Virgin Birth’ by J. Gresham Machen. The book of Genesis tells us that Jesus’ entrance into humanity was planned before the beginning of time. The Hebrew word for seed or one’s descendent is referred to in Genesis.
A multitude of Old Testament prophesies came true at the birth of Jesus. After the Jews were exiled into Babylon they continued to study the manuscripts. They were learned in astrology and predicted Jesus’ birth from a distance. It’s interesting that those who were actually in the area were not able to discern the times because they got caught up in politics. How many of us find today how easy it is to get caught up in the politics of our time and loose track of the deeper reasons we exist. How many of us have the time to actually study texts and learn from past history. This is similar to those who got caught up in the problems of their times. The Magi however studied scripture came from the east traveling thousands of miles to find Jesus. Matthew 2:1-2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” Matthew 2:5-6 “This is what the prophet has written: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be shepherd of my people.”  They would have known about Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.” The wise men who studied these ancient scriptures responded with joy, worship, and gifts. James Montgomery Boice writes, “The conception of Christ without benefit of a human father has always staggered the unbelieving mind, both within and outside of the church, and it has been denied, thereby reducing Jesus to the level of a mere man with certain not – too – well – defined spiritual sensibilities. But the incarnation is more than this. It is the invasion by the God of history through One who is uniquely both God and man. It is this character of the event which the doctrine of the virgin birth both defines and preserves.”
Matthew recalls Isaiah 7:14 in the New Testament. He goes on the say in Mt. 1:22, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah. 700 years before that day the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God with us.”
We can all learn from the servant leadership example of Jesus Christ by demonstrating:
  • Patience = Self control
  • Kindness = Display of courtesy.
  • Humility = Absence of pride and arrogance.
  • Respect = Treating people.
  • Honesty = Integrity
  • Communication = Emphatic listening and attention.
It’s an honor to be associated with leaders like Orrin Woodward who have the courage to add Faith in the 8 F’s categories of leadership training. I’m sure we would all agree that we could continue to grow our leadership in the area of Faith. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Had the doctrines of Jesus Christ been preached always as purely as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian.” Luke tells the story from a unique perspective of a Gentile physician. As a medical doctor Luke knew the importance of being thorough. He used his skills in observation and analysis to investigate the stories about Jesus. Joseph and Mary had gone to Bethlehem the town of David to register because Augustus Caesar had issued a decree that a census should be taken. Luke 2:6-7, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.” Luke 2:13-14, Suddenly a great company of the heavenly hosts appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and earth peace to men whom his favor rests.” 

God Bless, George Guzzardo