Pastor Greg starts a new series this week called “Servant Leadership.” So, in this first message he lays out the first three of the core leadership principles he will be teaching throughout the month, with the primary principle being “All Leadership Is Stewardship.”
LEADERSHIP IS STEWARDSHIP MESSAGE NOTES
“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” ~ Mark 9:35
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. ~ Daniel 4:4-5
The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.
~ Daniel 4:13-17
“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the
Most High has issued against my lord the king:” ~ Daniel 4:24
Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” ~ Daniel 4:29-30
“This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.” – Daniel 4:31
THREE LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES
1) ALL LEADERSHIP is STEWARDSHIP!
2) ALL LEADERSHIP is TEMPORARY!
3) ALL LEADERSHIP is ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD!
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: “What have you done?” – Daniel 4:34-35
Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. ~ Daniel 5:18-19
But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes. But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. ~ Daniel 5:20-22
Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. ~ Daniel 5:23-24
This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin. Here is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.- Daniel 5:25-26
That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius
the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two. ~ Daniel 5:30-31
… And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel … ~ Excerpt from Benjamin Franklin’s speech on June 28, 1787 Given during the Constitutional Convention
A powerful reminder that ALL LEADERSHIP IS STEWARDSHIP!
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
ON LEADERSHIP IS STEWARDSHIP
READ: Daniel 4:1-18
1) Have you ever had a dream or a nightmare that disturbed you?
2) Did you ever have a dream that felt like a warning or a message from God?
3) Why would God choose to communicate in this way some times but not always?
READ: Daniel 4:19-28
1) Does Daniel’s interpretation make sense?
2) What lessons or principles can we glean from Daniel’s interpretation to help us interpret our own dreams or other types of subtle messages from God?
3) Is there any danger in assuming every dream is a message from God and making sweeping life changes based on our interpretations?
4) What are some ways we can be more confident that the dream we had is a message from God and not just the result of some “bad sushi?”
READ: Daniel 4:29-33
1) Pastor Greg mentioned that it is significance that Nebuchadnezzar tells this story “on himself.” In other words, it doesn’t paint him in a very flattering light. How is that different from the way most leaders, kings, politicians tend to paint themselves, their character and their accomplishments? Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar is different in this way?
2) Why was Daniel willing to share such an unflattering view with the king? Do you think he was hesitant or frightened? Why or why not?
3) What would have happened if Daniel had kept his mouth shut or had just spoken in positive terms to the king, telling him what he wanted to hear?