Sunday 19 January 2014
Speaker: Pastor Jooji Tor
Key Passage: Ruth 3: 1-6;
“Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?2 Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor;but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”
5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her.”
Key Passage: Daniel 1: 1-5;
“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, whohad ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.”
Martin Luther said ‘A gospel that does not deal with the issues of the day, is no gospel at all’.
Competence is the possession of a required skill of knowledge, skill, capacity and qualification. Capacity is the ability to receive or contain. To excel, you need differential competencies whether you are in business or employment.
Greatness can be acquired through competence and capacity building. We read about Ruth, a Moabite who married an Israelite. Calamity struck- her husband died, and she chose to follow her mother-in-law to Bethlehem. She worked in the farm of Boaz.
Naomi, her mother-in-law gave Ruth advice, which we business people should receive to achieve excellence and greatness.
How do you Achieve Differential Competencies?
1. You Scan the Environment. What do people need? Naomi gave advice to Ruth- therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor. You must seek to know what your environment wants/needs, and do it right. Ruth was a Moabite, and Naomi knew she could not approach Boaz appearing as such. You must keep your radar on to identify and adapt to changes. Do something extra, do more.
2. Develop Leadership Insight. Naomi knew exactly where Boaz would be in the evening. She knew the exact familial relationship between herself and Boaz. Ruth did not know. You should be able to overcome biases against you. Naomi knew how exactly to approach Boaz.
3. Innovation and Collaboration. Every one who wants promotion or advancement needs to innovate. You must adapt to changes. You must be able to solve a problem for your employer or the market. ‘Change is the law of life. Those who look only to the past or present, are certain to miss the future’ (John F Kennedy). Naomi was bitter, but she recognised that bitterness would not change her situation. She rightly recognised that Ruth would have to compete. Naomi told Ruth how to approach Boaz, and rightly anticipated his response. Naomi knew what Ruth wanted, and gave this to her. Know what you want, and go for it.
4. Willingness to take Risks. Ruth was willing to take risks. There are three categories of people;
- Avoiders: if you avoid every task or opportunity, you will not succeed
- Analysers: may not achieve their full potential. They are average performers.
- Adapters: these are great people. Risk takers will make mistakes, even after scanning the environment: “Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar.” (Don Bamford). Analysts will find a reason not to proceed.
What Steps should You take?
Ruth obeyed every instruction Naomi gave to her. We must do all that God asks us to do.
1. We should elevate our thinking. If your thoughts are negative and below bible standard, you may not achieve much. Elevate to God’s way of thinking, and build your capacity to receive from him. This is what faith is about-the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11: 1). If God says you are a blessing, then believe it. If you are blessed, you are empowered to prosper.
2. Diligence. You must make a steady effort to accomplish your goals. You never back off, quit or give up. Deuteronomy 28:1 says “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” Similarly, Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
3. Good Association. 1 Samuel 22: 2 says “And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.” But see 1 Chronicles 12 1-2: Now these were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still a fugitive from Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in the war, 2 armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows with the bow. They were of Benjamin, Saul’s brethren.” These men stayed with David and were transformed. This year, spend time with those who are succeeding.
Bad associates can destroy preferential competencies. 1 Kings 22: 32 says So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel!” Therefore they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out.” Jehoshaphat was attacked because he went to battle alongside Ahab. in 2 Kings 3, he went to battle with a son of Ahab. The family of Ahab was cursed by God. Cursed people are ’empowered to fail’.
4. Continuous Training. In Daniel 1: 4, we read that those selected for training were those who displayed abilities and potential. Read, study and acquire knowledge. Ensure you do not become obsolete. Identify your profession, and improve yourself within it. How much do you know? How quickly do you adapt change? You must position yourself to adapt to change, and improve upon your differential competencies. It is my prayer that we all identify and improve upon our preferential competencies. It is God desires that we become great : “I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12: 2)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth