OPEN HEAVENS Devotional – Monday May 9th 2016
TOPIC: JESUS FOLLOWER?
Memorize: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1stCorinthians 11:1
Read: Philippians 3:17-21,
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Bible in one year: 2nd Kings 6:24-8:24, Proverbs 21:30-22:12
A brief look at many contemporary Christian leadership books seem to be confusing the followers of Jesus with a perceived strategy to shape future leaders of the church, as though Church leaders are in a special category. It should be noted that all followers of Jesus are called to a life of discipleship.
It is not exactly correct to interpret the relationship of Jesus with His disciples as an effort to develop a leadership training school for the future movement. The Bible is very clear on the fact that the focus of Jesus was first of all, the renewal of Israel, the establishment of the kingdom of God, and the transformation of lives through healing, deliverance, miracles, signs, and wonders, witnessed by the people. It is obvious that the function of the disciples within the Gospel narratives is not their exemplary leadership, but their role as models who braved the struggles that all followers of Jesus are destined to face. The disciples humanity, world view, character, and lifestyle, were openly displayed as an example for future disciples to follow. Jesus in Mark 8:34-35 says:
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
In one of Jesus’ popular sayings, he said to His disciples, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). This verse addresses issues of power, authority, and human dignity. Though all these are central to any discussion of leadership but the power of the text is in how it undermines notions of greatness and how a leader must use power on behalf of all members of the community. The modern teachings on Christian leadership have been redefined to mean that the servant and followers (present day Christians) have become greater than their masters and leaders (Jesus Christ). In response to this, Matthew 10:24 says:
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.”
All Christians must realize that a disciple cannot be above his master as a servant cannot be above his Lord. To be a Christian is to imbibe the discipline and humility of a servant. In addition to this important prerequisite for discipleship we might add the attributes of humility, gentleness, justice, and love. These were the contents for the discipleship training that Jesus gave to His disciples. Subsequently, deacons, elders, overseer/bishops, and believers are all expected to live out in very tangible ways, the lifestyle that honours God and is exemplary for the people of God. Followers of Jesus are to adopt this attitude toward life in general. The lifestyle of a Christian should be clearly different and morally superior to that of the world. The concept of Jesus on Christian leadership is firmly built on follower-ship, service, humility, obedience, and loyalty. If you want to follow Jesus acceptably, you must align your views on leadership to incorporate the ideals of Jesus Christ.
Father, please help me to pay the price of leadership. Help me to imbibe the ideals of Master Jesus.