4/25/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Becoming a Woman of Influence”

Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

John 14:7, “If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!" (NLT)

 

Devotion:

Have you ever watched children at play? Someone yells, “I’m the leader” and the rest of the children fall in line mimicking the actions of their guide. To kids, the one out front leading the way is the leader, but a Kingdom leader, who influences like Christ, is not the person out in front but the one willing to serve.

When we talk about being a woman of influence we are talking about leadership. What makes an effective Christian leader today? Is it charisma? Is it ability? Is it communication skills? God's view of an effective leader isn’t based on these qualities. They may be a part of an effective leader, but the core attribute of a Christian leader is her integrity with God, her obedience to follow Him, and her desire to serve others with a heart like His. When this happens, God manifests His power in and through that leader. When people see the Lord's power in your life, they will look at you and say, "This person has something I don't have that is worthy of more investigation."            

Becoming a woman of godly influence starts in the heart. We must emulate the heart of our Leader, Jesus, who emulated the heart of the Father. If you want others to see Jesus in you, then begin to love them with these four heart qualities of Christ:

 

  1. The first heart quality Jesus demonstrated was prayerfulness.

Christ stayed close to God. As women, we think that we need to do something, or fix it when a crisis arises, but our real work is prayer. Jesus understood this. Mark tells us Jesus would often go to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35). If Christ needed to pray, how much more do we? Through prayer we discover God’s will for our lives, our fears and anxieties are soothed away, and we are constantly being renewed, refreshed, and empowered so that we can face whatever comes our way. Like our Leader, are you living a life of prayer?

 

  1. The second heart quality Jesus demonstrated was compassion.

“When He saw the multitudes; He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Compassion is the ability to get beyond our own interest and respond to the needs of others. Christ saw our need for a Savior and was moved to give His life for you and me. Have you ever been grieved over someone else’s burden? I think that is a true sign of love and compassion for others. We demonstrate compassion when we care for the burdens of others as if they were our very own. Does your life exude the compassion of Christ?

3.    The third heart quality Jesus demonstrated was humility. 
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7). Humility is not putting yourself down, or saying you’re not worthy. Humility recognizes God for Who He is and gives Him the glory for all things and in all things. I think of Moses... while the people saw Moses calling down plagues and parting the Red Sea, Moses knew who was really at work and acknowledged that truth. If God can do extraordinary things through Moses, think of what He wants to do through your humble life.

 

  1. The fourth heart quality Jesus demonstrated was willingness.

And behold a leper came and worshiped Him saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put our His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am wiling; be cleansed.” (Matthew 8:1-3). I’m so glad Jesus is willing. I’m thankful He is willing to guide me as I raise my kids. I’m grateful He is willing to comfort my broken heart and strengthen my faith when it’s weak. I’m glad Jesus is willing to do whatever I can’t. I bet His willingness to touch that leper got the attention of many. We can say a lot, but what are we willing to do? I think God agrees that talk is cheap. If we want to influence others as Christ did, then being willing means getting dirty sometimes. It means doing the things no one else wants to do. Willingness means going the extra mile to help a neighbor, friend, or loved one whatever the cost. Jesus is willing, are you?

 

Our challenge is to seek the Lord with a whole heart, resulting in God's power being manifested in our daily activities as we serve others with a heart like His. When this happens, you have become a woman of influence and others will be drawn to “Who” they see in you.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord Jesus, help me to develop a heart like yours so that through it will flow the attributes of fellowship, compassion, humility, and willingness. Make me a woman of influence who displays your heart in my family, neighborhood and work place. I pray that others will see you in me in such a way that they will want to know you, too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Every learner needs a leader. Begin today asking God to give you a leader in your life that has the heart qualities of Christ so that you can learn how to be a godly influence as well. As you wait, read the gospels. There you will see Jesus’ heart in everyday life as He served.

 

Reflection Points:

What is the evidence that you have compassion, humility and willingness in your life?

 

Why do you think practicing fellowship with God through prayer is important?

 

What is the difference between being a secular leader and a godly leader?

 

What kind of influence are you?

 

Power Verses:

2 Peter 1:3-11, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self- control; and to self-control; perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

 

Additional Resources:

Leading Women to the Heart of God, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_leadingWomen.htm

 

Journey of a Woman’s Heart (4-tape set), by Renee Swope

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_journeyWoman.htm

 

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm