Leaders must grow in the skill of asking the heart questions

Good leaders lead from deep conviction and lead people into deep conviction by asking questions that reveal the condition of the heart rather than knowledge in the mind.


Luke 10:25-36

25  And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26  He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28  And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29  But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30  Jesus replied, [by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan, the asked]… 36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Observations and reflection questions

  1. What was the motive of this lawyer (i.e. master in Jewish Law) in asking Jesus this question? And in which? (verse 25)
  2. Jesus answered the lawyer’s question with two questions. (verse 26)
  • Why would Jesus do this? And what did he accomplish by doing this?
  • What was his intent with the first question?
  • What was his intent with the second question?
  1. Explain in your own words why the lawyer asked the second question. (verse 29)
  2. After telling the parable Jesus asked a question. (verse 36)
  • Why did he ask that question?
  • What did he accomplish by asking that question?

Personal reflection and Application questions

Jesus was skilled in the rabbinic method of teaching, making use of illustrations, comparisons, parables and questions. His questions always cut to the heart of the matter, so that even the most learned people were prompted to introspection rather than intellectual debates.

  1. Reflect on your opportunities of teaching and facilitating. Are you more prone to giving facts or more prone to asking questions?
  2. Compare typical (monologue) teaching verses the use of questioning. What are the benefits of each?
  3. How would you ask questions that would invite introspective answer (heart response) rather than give factual answer (head response)? Give a few examples.


Thank God for the examples recorded in Scripture, and pray that he would teach you to live from the heart (conviction), and speak to the heart (conviction) by asking deep and direct questions in love.  Pray for the gift of discernment of motives.

Leaders need to lead from conviction

Godly leaders live and minister from conviction, keeping the passion for lost people in mind.

In this short inspirational session André Kruger shows why leaders must grow in the evangelistic anointing. Todays’ devotional study is inspired by a devotional reading in his book Increasing Heaven’s Flow (Day 31 Deep Conviction, p75). For more on his teachings and book go to www.heavensflow.org


1 Thessalonians 1:4-5

4  For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5  because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  6  And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7  so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

Observation and personal reflection Questions

  1. Why could Paul and his company be convinced be convinced that the “God… has chosen” the Thessalonian believers? (verse 4)
  2. From this text, what do you learn about…
  3. …how God viewed the Thessalonians? (verse 4)
  4. …the preaching of Paul and his company? (verse 5)
  5. …the response to Paul’s preaching? (verse 6-7)
  6. Test yourself in the light of this Scripture. How have you grown in the…
  7. …confidence and freedom to preach the gospel? What inhibits you?
  8. …the demonstration of the power of the gospel in preaching? What prevents you?
  9. …sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the sharing of the gospel? What obstructs you?
  10. …personal conviction in the sharing of the gospel? What causes doubt?


Paul’s whole life and powerful ministry flowed from a deep, shameless conviction about the life-giving gospel of the risen Christ.  Truly, he believed all men were dead in their sin apart from Christ, and preached that this Gospel of Jesus Christ was the power of God unto salvation; there was no other name by which man could be saved.  Paul’s existence was justified by this conviction.

  1. Look yourself in the mirror (or look a good Christian friend in the eyes) and answer these questions:
  2. What do you believe about hell? Why do you believe that?
  3. What do you believe about eternal life? Why do you believe that?
  4. What do you believe are the eternal consequences of your neighbors and colleagues who do not trust in Christ only for their salvation? Why do you believe that?


Pray that you may increase in the realities of eternal life and eternal punishment, as well as your personal conviction of Christ’s complete and sure gift of salvation with freedom and demonstration of power in the Holy Spirit.

Leadership requires a leader

The world is always looking for methods. God is always looking for a person.

As you prepare for todays devotional, this short video will help sketch a wider contemporary context to bring the truth of the Biblical example a bit closer to home (https://youtu.be/RybILYQ7DUo).


1 Timothy 4:12-16

12  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.  14  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.  15  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.  16  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Observation and reflection questions

Context: Paul left young Timothy to oversee a large church in Ephesus.  Apparently he felt out of depth and intimidated by his youth and his big task.  In this section Paul again instructs Timothy how to reaffirm his leadership over this big church.

  1. Read through the text again and phrase-by-phrase suggest synonyms for the character qualities that Paul exhorts Timothy to develop. In other words find one word that describes a person who does these things.
    1. “let no one despise you” (v12a)
    2. “example in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity” (v12b)
    3. “until I come devote yourself to…” (v13)
    4. “Do not neglect the gift you have…” (v14)
    5. “practice these things” (v15)
    6. “keep a close watch on yourself and the teaching” (v16)
    7. “persist in this” (v16)
  2. Paul calls Timothy to be an example to the church in Ephesus (v12). What do you understand with his instructions
    1. “be an example in speech”
    2. “be an example in conduct”
    3. “be an example in love”
    4. “be an example in faith”
    5. “be an example in purity”
  3. Notice how Paul’s instruction to Timothy starts with conviction in his heart, then his personal devotional life, then his public example, and then his leadership responsibility and influence. What does this suggest about the way to developing a godly character?

Personal relfection and application

Young Timothy was intimidated to lead such a big church in Ephesus, but Paul did not suggest methods to handle this big congregation. Rather, he challenged him to find confidence from conviction, to be an example in godliness, and remain faithful in devotion and duty.  Paul’s answer to unsure leadership was character growth – after all, Timothy’s conduct is what will be emulated.

  1. How would you describe your character in 5 words? (Think of how people close to you would describe you.)
  2. When you consider your public reputation vs your true character – in which areas are there discrepancies? What aspects of your character will cause shame if being exposed publically? Write down one or two aspects.
    1. Talk to a mature Christian friend about these discrepancies; confess it all to him/her and pray together about your character.
  3. Look at Paul’s instruction to the young leader Timothy. How have you grown and how could you still grow in:
    1. Confidence through conviction.
    2. Example in godliness (“in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity”)
    3. Devotion, faithfulness and persistence.


Pray about your example as a leader – your real character.   Thank God for the growth that you have enjoyed until now, and pray that God will help you grow Christlikeness.



Repentance 2 – Coming Clean

The aim of this devotional bible study is to reflect on the importance and need for conviction and the confession of sin.


Psalms 51:1-19

A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had sinned sexually with Bathsheba and orchestrated the death of her husband Uriah.

1  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  2  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

3  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  4  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9  Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

15  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18  Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19  then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. Read this Psalm of David’s penitence (confession of sin) again, summarizing what he prays in your own words in these sections:
    1. V1-2
    2. V3-6
    3. V7-14
    4. V15-19
  2. Describe David’s emotional state in writing this Psalm. (v3-6)
  3. What does David want from God?
  4. Who was involved in this sin of David? (see the heading of the Psalm before verse 1).
    1. But against whom does David say he sinned? (v4) Why does he write that?
  5. David starts two sentence with “BEHOLD”
    1. He writes “BEHOLD, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (v5) What does he mean to say?
    2. He writes “BEHOLD, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” (v6) What does he mean to say?
    3. With these two lines next to each other and starting both with “BEHOLD”, what do you read from it?
  6. Personal reflection and Prayer

David was moved with the conviction of his personal sin after the prophet Nathan (relaying God’s message) revealed his secret sin. He suffered from guilt and sorrow of heart when he wrote this.

  1. David ran to God and confessed his sin openly, knowing he would find mercy. Do you have that conviction, that God is merciful?
  2. Can you identify with David’s feeling of a weight of sin – either some “transgression” (v3) or a more general “inborn sin” (v5)? Pray your own words to God in the way David did, knowing you will find God “and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15). (look at your summery in Observation 1 above).