Good morning and welcome to “Moments of Truth” a weekly broadcast brought to you by the brethren of the Pekin church of Christ located at the corner of First Street and Karnes Court in Pekin, Indiana.
Each week, we endeavor to present a portion of God’s Word to help you to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). We also cordially invite you to come and study God’s Word with us. We have Bible Classes for all ages at 9:45. We also continue our regular worship times of 10:30 AM and 5 PM on Sunday’s. All are invited to come and worship with us. We will continue to practice social distancing and use of Personal Protective Equipment and single serve communion emblems with our collection tray accessible for giving. We will also continue to utilize our Facebook “Live-Stream” capability for all our services. Don’t forget about our daily “Bible Point to Ponder” which is also “Live Streaming” on our Facebook Page. We hope you will be able to take advantage of all these opportunities to study more of God’s Word as we continue to go through these trying times. We would also like to ask that you do all you can to remain righteous before God so that your prayers will be heard and answered. James tells us in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
And when you pray we ask that you remember to pray for all men as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
If you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or 812-896-6613. You can also contact us through our web site at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. We’d also like to offer you a Home Bible study at your convenience as well as a free Bible correspondence course. Our desire is to help you with your walk with God.
We are utilizing the New King James version of the Bible.
This is our 20th lesson in our series entitled “21 Qualities for Christians in the Bible.” We must remember our goal is to aid in our growth as Christians and help to develop servant leadership traits inspired by men and women of Scripture. The apostle Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:18, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter also tells us to “add” to our faith in 2 Peter 1:5-11, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.” These are just a few of the Scriptures that teach Christians to grow and mature as Children of God. These things aren’t done to make the Christian better “than” those around them but better “for” those around them. As Christians are to be as Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
You see, the Bible is not only the greatest book ever written, it is the greatest leadership book ever written. Everything we could ever want to learn about leadership – vision, purpose, thinking strategy, communication, attitude, encouragement, mentoring, follow-through – it’s all there. We must be open to what God wants to teach us. We learn from the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:11 concerning God, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Three things we must recognize in this text, (1) God’s Word always fulfills His purpose. (2) His Word does not return to Him void; (3) It accomplishes what He pleases and prospers in what He sent it for.
So, for Our lesson today we examine: Teachability: To Keep Leading, Keep Learning.
Whatever made it possible for you to become a leader will qualify you to continue leading. Leaders who are comfortable with the status quo will lose influence and effectiveness over time. There, to keep leading, we must keep learning.
Think about it this way: Your growth determines who you are; Who you are determines who you attract; Who you attract determines the success of your organization.
Leaders who want their organization to thrive have to remain teachable. How? By refusing to give in to destination disease. Many people assume that their goals are finish lines. But the reality is that we never arrive at a finish line in life. There is always more of the journey beyond each goal. To keep themselves and thier followers moving forward, leaders must continually grow. To grow, they must learn. To learn, they must remain teachable.
Good leaders understand that past success is no predictor of future success. Every team starts over at the beginning of the season – even after winning the championship. And good leaders know the skills that got them there won’t necessarily keep them there. Learning is essential if you want to keep winning.
To be teachable, leaders must not only accept the discomfort of the learning process, they must seek it. Learning anything “from scratch” can be intimidating and hard on a person’s pride. But it’s impossible to grow without feeling foolish and making mistakes.
So, ask yourself when the last time you tried something for the first time? Your answer will tell you a lot about yourself – and the potential of your future.
Today we are going to learn Teachability from King Nebuchadnezzar, Naaman, and Jesus. Each of these Scriptural examples have been preserved to aid us in our efforts to teach us teachability. We gain hope from examples like these. Quite simply because these examples teach us to trust in God, in Whom True Hope exists!
In Daniel 4:4-37 we get to see teachability for King Nebuchadnezzar who learns the hard way, “Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. 8 But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: 9 "Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. 10 "These were the visions of my head while on my bed: "I was looking, and behold, A tree in the midst of the earth, And its height was great. 11 The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. 12 Its leaves were lovely, Its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, And all flesh was fed from it. 13 "I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, And the birds from its branches. 15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, Bound with a band of iron and bronze, In the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, And let him graze with the beasts On the grass of the earth. 16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man, Let him be given the heart of a beast, And let seven times pass over him. 17 'This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.' 18 "This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you." 19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies! 20 The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home- 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. 26 And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity." 28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" 31 While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. 34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" 36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a vision sent from God concerning his life as King. The vision even troubled Belteshazzar (Daniel) because he knew the vision referred to the King and not the king’s enemies. The vision became reality for the King Until he “learned” Who was sovereign over all kingdoms! From verse 36 we see that Nebuchadnezzar’s “reason” returned to him. Isn’t it sad that it took the dream to become a reality before Nebuchadnezzar learned to repent? It took God to humble the King’s Pride in order for him to “learn” what he needed to do. Had he only been teachable when Daniel shared with him the interpretation of the dream! The thing about this story is so much like each of us. Our pride gets in the way and we fail to remain “teachable.” We often times make our lives more difficult than they need to be if only we will remain teachable as we go through life!
Now let us turn over to 2 Kings 5:1-15 where we get to learn teachability from Naaman who chose wisely, “Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman's wife. 3 Then she said to her mistress, "If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy." 4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, "Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel." 5 Then the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy. 7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me." 8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." 9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' 12 "Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, "Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant."”
Naaman was given a very simple task to be cured of his leprosy. Sadly, he was angered because he wanted something more or something “bigger” to cure him. More often than not, this is what the world wants as well. Everyone wants something “supernatural” to happen to them in order to obey the Gospel of Christ. But it is fascinating that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:21, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” For the well-educated something so simple is a stumbling block to them. Thankfully for Naaman, ultimately, he listened to his servants, recognize his foolishness and did as was instructed! It was quite simple, obey God’s instructions and be cleansed or disobey and perish!
From King Nebuchadnezzar and his learning the hard way, to Naaman who finally chose wisely we turn to our Lord and Master Himself, who teaches about teachability, the Next Lesson in Mark 10:17-27, “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'" 20 And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
The man was seeking something different than what he learned from Jesus to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him something relatively simple, but for man it is very difficult to understand, “take up the cross and follow me.” Again, like Naaman, this man was seeking something “special” at least to him. He seemed to want his great wealth to be a part of his salvation. However, Jesus told him otherwise. And finally who told him “nothing is impossible with God”! God has chosen His method for salvation. We have no right to change it! We must remain teachable, listen, and learn to obey His instructions!
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride kept him from learning Who truly ruled over all Nation’s and a hard lesson was necessary to get his attention! Naaman struggled to understand the simplicity of what Elisha instructed him to do in order to be healed of his leprosy. He learned from his servants that he was being foolish! Like Naaman this rich man had great wealth and struggled to see the treasures of heaven are far greater and again taking up the cross was far too simple. The Lord knows we can’t handle complicated. Salvation has to be simple. And the process only is simple. The life that comes with it, well, it comes with challenges! We simply need to remain teachable as we go through this life, so we may mature and grow as our Lord wants us to!
So, with these examples of teachability and so many others, let us examine our hearts and see if we “measure up” to the level of teachability truly desired in us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The level of teachability He Himself had when He was willing to go to the cross on our behalf. His teachability aided Him in going through all that He did on our behalf. All Christians need to practice teachability in their walk! Our world around us struggles so, because too many true Christians do not practice teachability in their walk with God! Let us recognize Whom we serve! The One who cannot lie, would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. The One who sent His Son on our behalf. Let’s be sure to practice teachability with our faith! Our brethren, family and friends, communities, country and world are dependent upon us in our efforts to truly practice the teachability the Lord desires in each of us as we serve the True and Living God!
So, for this series of lessons we have studied: Character and we learned from David, Daniel, and Harrod; Charisma and we learned from Josiah, Peter, and Barnabas; Commitment and we learned from Ruth, Caleb, Joshua, and Stephen; Communication and we learned from Darius, Jesus, and Paul; Competence and we learned from Abraham, Hezekiah and the qualifications of elders and deacons; Courage and we learned from Joshua, Elijah, and Esther; Discernment and we learned from Joseph, Hiram, and Solomon; Focus and we learned from Nehemiah, Jesus and Paul; Generosity and we learned from Boaz, The heart of giving and Paul; Initiative which we learned from Noah, Isaiah, and James; Listening which we learned from Eli, Samuel, and Jesus; Passion which we learned from John the Baptist, Paul and our Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrews 11; Positive Attitude which we learned from the ten spies, Isaiah, and Jesus; Problem Solving which we learned from The Shunamite woman and Elisha, Esther and Mordecai and Jesus; Relationships which we learned from Jacob and Isaac, the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, and the Apostle Paul; Responsibility which we learned from David, Jonah and Pilate; Security which we learned from Moses and his siblings, Saul and David, and Nathan; Self-discipline which we learned from the Psalmist, Jesus and Paul. We have learned Servanthood from David, The Good Samaritan and Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now We’ve Learned Teachability from King Nebuchadnezzar, Naaman, and Jesus. We have learned 20 different qualities for Christians to work on from over 60 examples from Scripture! The Lord has provided for us time and time again these qualities modeled in the Bible for our growth for His Will to be done! It is vital that we take heed and diligently work on our growth! Just as we learn from the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 5:1-11, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Please be honest with yourself as you work on all these qualities. Avoid arrogance and pride. Remain humble as our Lord was. Remember, Jesus says in Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Well, we come to another end of “Moments of Truth” and we want to thank you for listening and studying God’s Word with us today. We hope that you have been encouraged and will continue your studies of the Word of God. We want to encourage you to listen to “Moments of Truth” again next week, where we will study Vision: You Can Seize Only What You Can See
Remember also, if you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or visit our website at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. Please visit us on Facebook as well! Remember, we are providing our worship services “live streaming” on our Facebook page. The thing is, Scripture teaches in Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…” Please recognize the importance of being with your brethren in worship. We all need to remember Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” So, let’s continue to utilize the habits we developed during the pandemic and make calls, send cards and do all we can for our brethren, our friends and neighbors and our communities. Please continue to abide by the instructions given to combat the corona virus! And please, please, please, pray! Finally, we ask that you please remember, we want to help you with your walk with God.