The Character of a leader: Consistency and Faithfulness

God gave Joseph a promise of leadership, and for 12 years he suffered rejection, enslavement, imprisonment, false accusation and betrayal. Yet his consistency and faithfulness with God’s favor on his life caused him to rise from every setback until God could entrust him with the leadership and preservation of millions.

Learn as Danelle Esterhuizen shares how to grow in consistency and faithfulness as a leader (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHZBAdNV2UQ).

Scripture

Genesis 39:1-12 [After Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh]

3  His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. 4  So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had…

Genesis 39:20-23 [Joseph in prison]

20  And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21  But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22  And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23  The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Genesis 41:39-41 [Joseph appointed Prime Minister of Egypt]

39  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40  You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt… 44  I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Observations and reflection questions

For greater context read Joseph’s story in Genesis 37-42.  The three Texts quoted above span about 12 years of Joseph’s life.

  1. Consider the consistency of Joseph’s character in three very different settings, each with similar results. To what does the Scripture attribute Joseph’s leadership success in each of these settings?
    • In Potiphar’s house
    • In Prison
    • In Pharaoh’s household [use your knowledge of the greater history here…]
    • What does this teach you about consistency and faithfulness in the character of a leader?
  2. Consider the background of suffering: how did Joseph…
    • …end up in Potiphar’s house?
    • …end up in Prison?
    • …remain so long in Prison before appearing before Pharaoh?
    • What does this teach you about faithfulness in the character of a leader, especially regarding unfair and unpleasant times?
  3. Consider the special mention of God’s activity in the life of Joseph in each of these texts: what was God doing in and through Joseph’s life…
    • …while enslaved in Potiphar’s house?
    • …while unfairly imprisoned?
    • …while governing Egypt?
    • What does this suggest about God’s plan and purpose with Joseph’s life in and through these 12 years?

Personal reflection and Application questions

In two dreams God revealed Joseph’s future leadership; he told his family was sold into slavery by his brothers. For 12 years thereafter Joseph suffered slavery and imprisonment, false accusation and betrayal. However, Joseph’s consistency and faithfulness made him reign in every situation, and paved the way for his ultimate life purpose.  He was faithful over little, and God appointed him over much. (cf Matthew 25:23)

  1. Joseph was a slave and prisoner; he had no control over his career or destiny.
  • How consistent and faithful have you been with the responsibilities given to you?
  1. Joseph was a man of integrity; in spite of the abuse and betrayal of his brothers, Potiphar’s wife and Pharaoh’s cup bearer, he remained consistent and faithful with what was entrusted to him.
  • How have you been treated unfairly in spite of integrity and faithfulness you have shown?
  • How consistent and faithful have you been in spite of unfair treatment?
  • Joseph cleared his heart from bitterness towards his brothers and the rest (see Gen 45:5ff); whom should you still forgive for their abuse and unfair treatment of you?
  1. God is looking for consistence and faithful where you are now – in preparation for your promotion and his greater entrustment. Of what is the Spirit convicting you with regards to consistency and faithfulness? Pray about it and share that with a prayer friend.

Prayer

Thank God for your growth in faithfulness and constancy, ask him for grace to grow in greater consistency and faithfulness so you may serve and represent him better.

Motivational Gifts 2 – the perceiver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the perceiver (also called “prophet”).

Scripture

Luke 3:1-20

1  …the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3  And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

4  As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6  and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

7  He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  10  And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”  11  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

12  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  13  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”

14  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15  As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16  John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18  So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.

19  But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20  added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of John the Baptist to better understand the motivational gifts of the perceiver / prophet. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) each person is born with which drives his/her actions.

  1. Perceiver / prophetically motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the personality and ministry of John the Baptist?  Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
    1. Honesty and truth is central to their life.
    2. They have a strong sense of justice and have a strong sense of conviction.
    3. They are driven by obedience, and seek to move others towards it.
    4. They crave sincerity and despise hypocrisy – they want to see change in others.
    5. Their life radiates moral excellence and goodness, and inspire that in others.
    6. They are generally confident people who speak up for the truth even if it hurts.
  2. Where did John the Baptist spend most of his time? What does that suggest of the relationships of the perceiver motivated person?
  3. Considering the imprisonment and later execution of John the Baptist (Luke 9:7-9), what honorable characteristic do we see in perceiver motivated people? [hint: why was he locked up and later killed?]

Reflections:

  1. Looking at John the Baptist as an example of a perceiver / prophetically gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of when confronting people? [hint: how can they be easily misunderstood in terms of their behavior?]
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider perceiver motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong perceiver / prophet motivated person? Considering the life example of John the Baptist:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. What must you cherish with all your heart and guard with all your strength? [hint: if you betray this you betray yourself and your witness falls apart]
    4. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that you may grow in a love for the truth, a sensitivity to His Spirit, for confidence and humility to speak the truth in love, and lastly for grace to walk in integrity all your days.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly perceiver / prophet motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – be specific about what they have challenged you with and how that helped you walk in righteousness and the fear of God.
    2. Thank God for them and their influence for the good in your life. Pray that God will bless with a greater love for the truth, sensitivity to His Spirit, greater boldness and humility to speak the truth in love, and that they may live true to their God-given conscience.