“Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel. And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants. And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.” (Joshua 24:31- 33)
Leaders who have experienced God’s saving work direct a people to obey God, for they have come to understand that obedience to God strengthens our relationship with Him.
Without such leadership, a people strays from God (Judges 2:10). Leaders help a people remember what God has done for His people and teach them how to respond obediently.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have taught up the importance of strong leaders, who have experience with You in their lives and also the ability to gather people together to worship You and learn obedience to Your commands at all times and not just some times. Our relationship with God begins and ends with His love for us, but it also gains strength when read and understand Your Word and learn obedience to You. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray in humble appreciation of all You do for us continually. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When we do the small things God has a way of making them BIG!”
“Now King David was told, ‘The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God. So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of he Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of he Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings he blessed the people in the name of he Lord Almighty.” (2nd Samuel 6:12-18)
The normal function of the Hebrew king was in the secular realm, but occasionally he was identified with priestly costumes and customs. The Book of Kings is full of accusations of prophets against rulers. The dominant accusation was that they kings were not faithful to God.
Prophets generally viewed the king as just another person subject to the moral law of God. Leaders of God’s people must be spiritual and must never set themselves above the critique of God’s Word.
“As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence, But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.’” (Acts 10:25-26)
Ministry should bring honor and reverence to God, not to human ministries. Peter, one of the apostles, was on a special mission for God when he entered Cornelius’ house. He evidently was surprised when Cornelius fell down in reverence before him. Peter wasted no time in letting him know that such an expression was not appropriate. He was just a man and was due no such reverence. He then went on with his ministry. Spiritual leaders who perform unusual ministries for Christ today need to make sure they are not honored in inappropriate ways. Spiritual leaders point others to God, not to themselves. Beloved, all disciples of Jesus Christ are responsible to God for all they do. Those who minister and teach the people are responsible in a special way for the spiritual welfare of all whom they serve, and are to become models to be imitated by those who follow their leadership. Like Peter, they are to guard against being idolized or put on pedestals, when in fact, they should be living a life of a humble servant of God.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.’” (Luke 22:25-26)
After the Last Supper, a dispute arose among the apostles over who was considered greatest. Jesus took the opportunity to teach them a new definition of leadership. Gentile political rulers, exercised authority over the other people and called themselves Benefactors, a title of honor supposedly bestowed for service tot he people. Not even the apostles of Jesus were to lord it over others to gain power, prestige, or wealth.
This is also true of pastors, ministers, priests, deacons, and all ordained orders. I would also include spiritual leaders of today in this list of servants. Care must be exercised not to confuse leadership with authority. Jesus defined leadership as becoming the least prestigious person and serving tables for the fellowship. Leadership supplies the needs of the community, not the needs of the leader’s ego. Beloved, leadership imitates the humility of Christ, not the pride of political rulers.