“Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, in the province of Judea, at the time when King Herod reigned. Not long after Jesus was born, magi, wise men or seers from the East, made their way from the East to Jerusalem. These wise men made inquiries. Where is this newborn, who is the King of the Jews? When we were far away in the East we saw His star, and we have followed its glisten and gleam all this way to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1-2, VOICE).
Articles | December 2016
How is God at work in your life? Where do you want Him to be at work in you? The more important question is, where does He want to be at work within you? Perhaps there are matters of your heart that need attention. Are fear or pride subtly creeping in to your leadership motivation? Consider your head, hands, and habits. How does your leadership perspective align with God? How diligently are you pursuing God’s purposes through your life and career? What might He have to say to you about how you are relating to others, and to Him? Open yourself to the Spirit. Ask Him to search your heart.
Fear can keep us from starting the journey of leading like Jesus, while pride can keep us from acknowledging that we need to change. After all, what we’ve done so far has gotten us this far. But at what cost? Do we carry regrets, memories of things we would like to have done differently? Past failure can discourage us and keep us from moving forward. It isn’t too late to change. Jesus offers restoration and a way forward. Forgiveness and grace abound for the humble. Start where you are, and trust Jesus as you move ahead.
Tell me if these lyrics ring a bell:
Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
Emmanuel shall come to thee oh Israel
Good Christian men rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say
Jesus Christ is born today!
There was only one Jesus, one uniquely begotten Son of God. We cannot be Him. Neither can we follow Him as our leader without being changed. He said it simply to His first disciples, just as He says it to us today, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:20). Just as He called Peter, Andrew, James, and John, He invites us to follow Him and be changed, transformed. Through Him we become children of God. Indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we become His hands and feet. He shapes us in His image, and sends us into the world as His representatives.
What is the “not yet” in your life? Where are you hoping, waiting, praying, longing for your dream to become reality? All of us carry dreams and hopes that are currently beyond our reach. In the waiting, God calls us to trust Him to bring to pass what is best. As we wait, God calls us, like Paul, to deepen our trust and dependence on Him, so that our dreams and perspective increasingly reflect His.
Leaders take the initiative to make situations better, to increase levels of trust, communication, collaboration, and accomplishment. It doesn’t matter if we are in the stated position of “leader.” It is more about our willingness to steward our God-given resources, relationships, and spheres of influence. What have you received from God—creativity, strength, wisdom, energy? Use it to influence the world around you. Lead up: encourage and bless your leaders. Lead down: care well for the people and responsibilities you have been given.
William Carey, Rev. Billy Graham, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. John Vernon Mc Gee, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, are several of the most influential Christian leaders of all time. Then there’s no question the most admired, respected, honored and remembered Christian leader through the ages was our Lord Jesus Christ. We should make it a practice to study His leadership style. Matthew 20:28 says, “… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He came to teach, lead and train. How did He do this? He served.
When I was a little girl, my mother had me read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell one summer. The story covers the family life of the O’Hara family and their friends and other relationships before, during and following the American Civil War in the 1800’s. It was quite a journey but I became so entranced with the story that I re-read it 4-5 times through my teenage years. The story became an epic film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.