Let’s play, “Follow the Leader!”
God has given me a heart for people. People are my vision! I personally love being able to help others come to know Jesus Christ, and continue to grow in their personal relationship with Him. Opening their eyes to see themselves as God sees them, and helping them to become everything that God made them to be.
In hopes that one day, they will say to others along their way; “Hey you, as I follow Jesus…you follow me!”
(Pick 2 Volunteers)
“I need two volunteers that would be willing to help me for a brief demonstration?”
“One of you will represent Jesus. The other person will represent our circumstances.”
“I’m going to ask the volunteers in just a second to stand up, and begin to walk across the room in opposite directions.”
“I want you to keep your eyes focused on both of them while they walk across the room."
(Have the volunteers stand up and go)
(Have the volunteers sit down)
“What did you observe?”
“It was impossible to keep looking at each of them at the same time wasn’t it?”
“Did you choose just one you would focus on?”
The lesson is clear. We cannot keep our eyes on Jesus and our circumstances at the same time!
I believe the defining crossroad in our lives – is when we must choose; to stay in our society world, or respond to the call of Jesus? It is a personal moment, between just you and the Savior. When He calls; “Come by my side and Follow me!”
(NIV Bible, Matt. 19:21).
Now…What do you say…Let’s play, “Follow the Leader!”
Recently, I did a study on each of the apostle’s lives of Jesus Christ, and noticed simililarities. From the apostle’s very first encounter with Jesus, as well as when He specifically told them what He wanted them to do, and how they were to serve.
The apostle’s, were first called by Jesus Christ to Himself. After the apostles willingly came to Jesus, He issued the same command, “Come, Follow Me”
(NIV Bible John 1:43). That is how the apostles became Jesus disciples, because they decided…to follow!
The meaning of the word disciple, according to the NIV Bible notes means: “a student” (qtd). Jesus over and over again made it clear, that to truly be His disciples means to obey His teachings.
Jesus became the apostle’s model, training and teaching them. They were able to witness Jesus daily life and ministry, actually seeing Jesus ‘doing’ His Father’s will.
Towards the end of Jesus ministry on earth, right before He was to be crucified and He commissioned the apostles, sending them out into the world to carry out His ministry found in Matthew 28: 18-20:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Jesus is the model and vision for every Christian today. We are also His students (disciples), and His laborers (servants). Yet above all, a Christian Leader…is first and foremost His servant!
Just as Jesus was sent … into the world on a mission by His Father. All Christians today are sent … into the world on a mission by Jesus. We should view ourselves as a missionary.
Our task is to communicate God’s truth and God’s love to others!
Because just imagine, “what if we are the only Bible someone will ever read?”
When we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. We surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. We must become available and vulnerable.
True Christian service…is sacrifice, and is never on our terms but His! We get to share in Christ’s sufferings, but the place of honor is only determined by God!
According to the author J. Osward Sanders, states: “This part of the cost must be paid daily. A cross stands in the path of spiritual leadership, and the leader must take it up. No cross, no leadership” (116).
From the words of Jesus Himself; “Can you drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (NIV Bible, Mark 10:38).
God has always had a genuine concern about the sheep of His pasture. God’s people are the sheep of His pasture! The very essence of every local church function should be the purpose of caring for the Lord’s sheep, before all other church activities. Caring for the Lord’s sheep is the chief duty of all believers!
The way we treat others, reveals how we feel about God. If we love Him, we will want to love others! The truth is; “Those around us will never care what we know, until they know that we truly care” (Unknown). Because love is something that we are to give away!
Pastor Gregg Matte, stated: “People are either one of three things to us: Scenery, machinery, or ministry” (Pastor Greg Matte).
Jesus continually commanded all of His believers to walk in love, which includes the unlovely as well.
I will be the first to admit, that all too often it is not an easy thing to do. Loving the unlovely is completely opposite to the way our world today works!
Yet, aren’t we all unlovely at times? Aren’t we all failures? Even despite ourselves, God loves us anyway!
F.B. Meyer said:
“Whatever of outward service or obedience we render to God or man, if love is withheld, the law is not fulfilled”
We only have one shot at this thing called life. Why not make it the best life ever!
Because, I have come to realize that is so easy to get caught up in all of our daily obligations, our To-do lists, our work, our activities, and not to mention our acts of service.
Yet, sooner or later we can easily become caught up with all of our ‘Doing,’ we forget to ask ourselves; “‘Why’ are we doing the things we are doing?” “What are our motives behind them?”
All of our greatest deeds and service to others don’t matter, if we didn’t have love!
In the end, I believe it is how well we loved others that really counts!
The apostle Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3:
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing”
(AMS Bible, 1 Cor. 13:1-3).
I stand in front of you all today and ask you;
“Will you…DARE to LOVE? (D)oing (A)cts (R)eflecting (E)xcellent LOVE!
Because, “God is Love.” (1 John 4:7).
It is my prayer, that from this day on, we will choose to live our lives with no regrets, writing off our past as history.
I ask you Father to help each and every one of us here today to be, all that you made us to be. Above all Father, may we be able to say that just for today…Let it begin with me!
I wish to bring my speech to an end with a final thought. With a quote from the author Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are in adequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually who are we not to be? We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, while unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” ( Marianne Williamson. qtd.).
So then, “What do you say?”
“Will You Play…Follow The Leader?”
American Standard Version. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.
Blackaby, Henry Blackaby and Richard. CALLED to be GOD'S LEADER - LESSONS
from the LIFE of JOSHUA. Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson, 2004. Print.
Goldman, Jonathon L. Collegiate - Webster's Dictionary. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley
Publishing, Inc., 2000. Print.
Johnston, Jon. Christian Excellence - Alternative To Success Second Edition. Franklin,
TN: JKO Publishing, Inc,1996. Print.
Sanders, J., Oswald. SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP - PRINCIPLES of EXCELLENCE for
EVERY BELIEVER. Chicago, IL.: Moody, 2007. Print.
Stanley, Charles F. The Charles F. Stanley - Life Principles Bible. New King James
Version. Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005. Print.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. Print.