Leadership Or Servanthood?

 

There are some “Leadership Conference” and the turnout is surprisingly high. The term “leadership” kind of titillates your ego, doesn’t it? Interesting, is it not, that Christ had little to say about leadership, but spoke profusely on servanthood. For example,

Whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:44b, 45) (John 12:26; 13:2-17)

Dr. R. Edmund understood the Biblical perspective on leadership and servanthood in stating that as Christian educators and disciplers “our job is to train servants. It is Gods responsibility to raise up leaders.

We often find the idea of “servanthood” similar to a chicken bone wedged in our throat because:

  • e don’t like to be treated like a servant. Yet, we like to be known as one: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” (1 Peter 2:18)
  • We don’t like to serve when the visible results are meager or nonexistent: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) (1 Thessalonians 3:5)
  • We don’t like to be taken for granted: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.‘” (Luke 17:10)
  • We don’t like to be maligned, misunderstood, or judged for our efforts: “As servants of God…: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger.” (2 Corinthians 6:4, 5) (1 Corinthians 4:13)
  • We don’t like what it costs us in terms of time, resources, comfort or safety: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtainsalvation… ” (2 Timothy 2:10a, c) (1 Corinthians 9:19-24; 2 Corinthians 6:4, 5; 11:23-29)

Christ’s true ungrudging toilers anticipate the day when He will utter to them,

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your masters happiness!‘” (Matthew 25:21b) (2 Corinthians 5:9)

How Lasting Are Your Investments?

 

I normally try to be original, to write my own blog, but honestly, I am so touched by the writing of John G Butler that it seems a good idea to let you benefit as well. Money is always a sensitive topic, we think we always need a bit more in case of bad days. And there is wisdom in that way of thinking; yet, we also have to look at life with an eternal view. Here is what Butler have to say about investment.

As an old man, Solomon agonized over the futility of his investments:

When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sunSo I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to meA chasing after the wind… ” (Ecclesiastes 2:11, 17)

Do your investments parallel Solomon’s? Or are you making the kind of investments that will outlive you, lasting for eternity? If you want:

A one year return on your investment, plant grain.

A ten year return on your investment, plant a tree.

An eternal return on your investment, plant people.

It is God’s intention to destroy everything physical, including your earthly investments:

The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass awayand the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Can we, therefore, grasp the fact that only God, His Word, and people are eternal?

God: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (2 Peter 3:8) (See Psalm 102:12; Ephesians 3:21)

His Word: “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89) (See Psalm 119:152, 160; Matthew 5:18; 24:34; 1 Peter 1:25)

People: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2) (See Matthew 25:46; Romans 2:7, 8; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9)

Consequently, the only investments that will withstand the coming holocaust will be those made in the lives of people. Thus, God regularly places individuals in our path with whom He desires our investment: The person at the club. That neighbor across the street. A business associate. A relative. Someone in distress.

QUESTIONS: As you encounter these people, are you blithely brushing past them to fulfill your agenda? Or are you viewing each one as a divine appointment? Are you responding to the prompting of the Spirit by graciously and determinedly investing in their lives for the purpose of bringing Christ to them? Or building Christ in them? Even when it means altering your predetermined schedule?

I suppose the answers to these questions are determined by whether we are living for the temporal, or investing in the eternal.

What happened to meeting with God?

Am I a religious person or am I seeking a relationship with God?

The author A.W. Tozer wrote, “From man’s standpoint the most tragic loss suffered in the Fall was the vacating of this inner sanctum (man’s spirit) by the Spirit of God.” When Adam and Eve disobey God in the Garden of Eden, something regrettable took place. Eloquently Tozer wrote, “At the far-in hidden center of man’s being is a bush fitted to be the dwelling place of the Triune God. There God planned to rest and glow with moral and spiritual privilege and must now dwell there alone. For so intimately private is the place that no creature can intrude; no one can enter but Christ, and He will enter only by the invitation of faith.”

The Good News is that it is still possible to restore our lost relationship with God. Jesus Himself said “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). When a person “open the door” to Christ, He is invited into someone inner sanctum, the far-in hidden center of man’s being; then a miracle takes place, it is called the <new birth>. How does the new birth take place? It is operative by the Holy Spirit; the “divine nature” enters the deep-in core of the believer’s heart and establishes residence there. The apostle Paul add, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” for “the Spirit itself witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:9, 16). Such a one is a true Christian, and only such.

What happened to meeting with God? Did you take the time this morning to meet with God? “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Breakfast will feed your body, but what about your far-in hidden center? Don’t be content by reading a little devotional, instead take time to meet with God!