Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Glory of God’s Grace in Leadership

"Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood . . . And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:28, 32).

Excerpt from “The Glory of God in Scripture: Grace Revealed” – 2011-01-16
Before a pastor or an elder or husband or a father or leader or teacher of any kind can watch over someone else’s life - they must first “pay careful attention” to their own lives. For those of us who claim Jesus, that means our talk, walk and lives must line up with God’s Word.

We who are leaders in the church must live our lives for God before we can speak into the lives of others. It’s like the instructions we receive regarding how to use an oxygen mask on commercial airlines. Adults are told to place the oxygen mask on themselves first, and then to put a mask on any small child that might be with them. This is because the person who does not first put the mask on themselves, will not be able to help little children who cannot help themselves. In a same way pastors, elders, and leaders of God’s people must first tend to themselves by seeking to deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ – before they will be able to pastor, shepherd, lead the flock of God. . . .

The “word of his grace is able to build (us) up” because it begins with the raw materials of our sinful lives. “The word of his grace” builds new lives out of ruined lives, order out of confusion, security out of fear, strength out of weakness, stability out of uncertainty, beauty out of ugliness, love out of hate, peace out of war, life out of death. When we read, study, teach, meditate, hear, memorize and preach “the whole counsel of God” we receive the “inheritance” of “the word of his grace” - in order to live above and beyond our sinful nature, and above and beyond the forces of our sinful, fallen world.

The charge to "pay careful attention to yourselves” and read, study, teach, meditate, hear, memorize and preach “the whole counsel of God” is not just for pastors, elders, overseers and church leaders. If you are a father or mother or a supervisor or a business owner or a carpenter or a student or a fisherman or a salesmen or a handyman - or if you are retired or a husband or a wife or a son or a daughter - this charge is for you too. If you are a born-again follower of Jesus Christ – you should passionately and joyfully be living your life by “the whole counsel of God” by “the word of his grace.” Each one of us is called to be a leader; we should be leading others to Jesus by “the word of his grace.”