Friday, January 2, 2015

Spiritual Leadership – Part 1

 Here is another enlightening article by brother Michael. He writes: God has blessed us exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 3:20).  By his grace and mercy, He has given us spiritual gifts including the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Along with these gifts, He has also entrusted us with material blessings.  He has empowered us as stewards over these blessings so that we can appropriate them for his honor and glory.

In Isaiah 9, the Word of God implies that unto us a leader has been given... for the government shall be upon his shoulders.  Understanding the meaning of "leadership" is to understand God's calling of His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  A disciple is a “disciplined follower” of his Lord.  A disciple follows his Lord, his leader... he is disciplined to follow in his master's footsteps. When God placed Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden, he only gave them one rule: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat.  For on the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die – Genesis 2:17. The devil tempts man at his weakest point. He studies and understands the carnal nature of men and women whom God has called. He appeals to the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes. He distracts men and women of God to focus on the things of the world and not on things above. The devil starts with questioning the Word of God: "Did God really say...?" To counteract the devil's distractions, men and women of God must turn their eyes upon Jesus and concentrate on following in the footsteps of the Lord... for he maketh my feet like hinds feet and setteth me upon my high places – Psalm 18:33.

Jesus Christ's brand of leadership was diametrically opposed to the world's concept of leadership. No leader except Jesus had taught his followers to love their enemies, to bless them that persecute and despitefully use them... to recompense to no man evil for evil. Jesus said to do these things... for your reward is not of this world, but great is your reward in heaven. Isaiah 42:1 talks about a leader in a fallen world: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Fairness and justice are found only in Jesus Christ.  The scales of God's Justice cannot be balanced in a fallen world. As Daniel proclaimed to King Belshazzar, "thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting." Jesus taught His disciples to never expect justice in this world.  Although God's justice is not of this world, by His power in us, we should never fail to offer God's justice through Jesus Christ. The essence of leadership is not to seek to receive, but rather to seek to give God's justice, grace, and mercy, through Jesus Christ from a heart of love. As we give it away, God will continue to fill us. Oswald Sanders wrote "Spiritual Leadership". One of the themes of spiritual leadership is found in Jeremiah 45:5, “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me...
Because there is one Lord, do not seek great things for thyself.  This is the opposite of the world's motivation for leadership.  It's not about me, it's about Him.  It's not about the praise of man and worldly accolades.  It's not about who we are, rather it's about whose we are. You belong to whom you serve.

In Mark 10, James and John were the first of the twelve to arrive in Jesus' presence. Before the others arrived, their request was to sit in honored positions on the right and left hand of Jesus. The other apostles also argued among themselves, each one claiming that he was the greatest of the twelve. Jesus reproved them all when he said, "whosoever shall be chiefest among you shall be servant of all." Therefore, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ, who took upon himself the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We'll conclude brother Michael's godly message tomorrow.
In Christ, Brian

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