Christian

Serving in Leadership

The servant-leader… … begins with the natural feeling that one wants to… serve first.‘ (R. K. Greenleaf)

When the mother of Zebedee’s sons went to ask Jesus if He would let her sons sit either side of Him when He was in His Kingdom, Jesus said to her that it was not for Him to grant that request. All she wanted was for her sons to be at the top, seen as the ‘best of the best’. We all want the best for our children, but only God can give them that, He has a plan for all of our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). ‘Best of the best‘ is normally a phrase  used when people are talking about someone is at the ‘top of their game‘.

Jesus did not want to be thought of as ‘the best‘. He was not concerned about what people thought about Him, for Him, it was all about God; He knew who He was, He said ‘I am the bread of life‘ (John 6:35 & 48 NIV). Not only did He say that, later He used another phrase to inform the people around Him, how important He was to the world, ‘I am the light of the world‘ (John 8:12 & 9:5 NIV); yet following this, He was serving by washing the disciples feet (John 13). People do not necessarily need to shout-out about who they are and what they are doing. A famous servant-leader is quoted as saying ‘Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love‘ (Mother Teresa).

Do we do things for love, or for the adulation of others?

Jesus gave a famous command to every-one, and He said ‘A new command I give to you; Love one another‘ (John 13:34 NIV). Jesus was not only a servant-leader, but he came here to serve us in an amazing way, with love, He did something that He knew we could never do, ‘He came to pay a debt He did not owe; [for] I owed a debt I could not pay.’ (Ellis J Crum). Jesus served us the best way He could, ‘Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life‘ (John 15:13 NIV), and He loved to the utmost.

Are we servants / servant-leaders, do we serve in love, or for love of others?

 

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Leadership is a position that some people want and aspire to, but God knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), He knows everything about us, the Psalmist David knew this (Psalm 139), he also knew that God would guide us (Psalm 32:8 NIV).

Some people may not be pleased with God’s plan for them, Moses was one of these. Although he answered God when he was spoken to, but when told what to do, he said, ‘Who am I, that I should go‘ (Exodus 3:11 NIV). God tried to persuade Moses that with His help he could do it, but Moses continued to argue, God became angry, but in the end, God decided that Moses would lead, but Aaron would speak for Him, (Exodus 4:14).

 Jeremiah also was not happy about being called, he said that he was too young and did not know how to speak out, (Jeremiah 1:6).

Samuel however was ready to serve in any way necessary, for when God spoke to him, he replied, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening‘ (1 Samuel 3:10 NIV).

Are we ready to lead and / or serve?

 

From heav’n you came helpless babe, entered our world, your glory veiled; not to be served but to serve, and give your life that we might live.

This is our God, the Servant King, he calls us now to follow him, to bring our lives as a daily offering of worship to the Servant King

So let us learn how to serve, and in our lives enthrone him; each other’s needs to prefer, for it is Christ we’re serving.

From Heaven You Came (The Servant King)

Graham Kendrick

 

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Lord we thank you for showing us through your Son that leading and serving are both possible, and that they should be embraced to bring glory to your name. Hel us to be ready to serve those that others may not want to, help us to serve those that most need it, help us to discern your plan for our lives that we may show your love and your light everywhere we go.

Father we thank you for your great love for us, help us to show that love to others around us in our daily lives, help us to be beacons of your light to a dark and broken world; it is so important for us that we live our lives according to your will, but Lord we are human and frail, so we need your help constantly, be patient with us we pray.

Amen

 

 

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Christian

Only Love

in his love he will no longer rebuke you‘ (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)

Paloma Faith sang ‘Only love can hurt like this‘, but true love does not really hurt, true love give and gives and gives again. Jesus told us, ‘Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends‘ (John 15:13 NIV). Jesus did not just speak words, He put the words into action, because, ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us‘ (Romans 5:8 NIV).

Tracy Chapman sang that, ‘Words don’t come easily, Like I love you’. Jesus gave everyone, ‘A new command‘ (John 13:34 NIV), and the new command was to love, ‘Love each other. Just as I have loved you‘ (John 13:34 NLT). We already know that God love us, and love us so, so much. We can read about God’s love for us in John 3:16, and in many passages within the Bible. Jesus also said that if we love each other with a true selfless love, ‘As I have loved you‘ (v 34), if we love as commanded, we are displaying exactly the correct characteristics that are necessary for, ‘everyone to [will] know that you are my disciples‘ (John 13:35 NIV).

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, ‘Love will last forever‘ (1 Cor 13:8 NLT). He wrote, ‘Love is patient‘ (v 4),but are we always with the people we love? He wrote, ‘love is kind‘ (v 4), but are we to the people we love? He wrote, ‘it is not easily angered‘ (v 5) but do people make us angry and lead us from the presence of God?

God needs to be at the centre of everything.

He may not have been speaking about God, but Ed Sheeran wrote the words, ‘All that you are is all that I’ll ever need.

I hope we can all echo those words about our God;

Lord in all things, you are all I will ever need.

Love can build bridges, it can repair lives, it can point the way to our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

 

 

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Whitney Houston sang the words, ‘If tomorrow is judgment day, and I’m standing on the front line, and the Lord asks me what I did with my life, I will say I spent it with you’ (My Love Is Your Love); Leanne Rimes sang the words, ‘When it comes to loving you, You’re my only reason, You’re my only truth.’ (I Need You). Adele sang that she would, ‘Go to the ends of the Earth for you, to make you feel my love’ (Make You Feel My Love).

These are lovely sentiments about love, but do they really show love? Do they show the kind of love that we want or desperately need in our lives?

We need the kind of love that gives and gives, and gives again, unconditionally. And love like that, is pure love, and only comes from one place, it is God’s love. Bob Marley sang, ‘I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love‘ (Waiting in Vain). We do not have to wait in vain for love.

God loves, and He loves us! Always and unconditionally!

 

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Amazing grace, How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see, ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved, How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed, My chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, my Saviour has, ransomed me, And like a flood His mercy rains, Unending love, Amazing grace,

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

John Newton, John P. Ross, Edwin Othello Excell, Chris Tomlin, and Louie Giglio

 

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Lord we thank you for loving us unconditionally; right from the very beginning you loved us, you loved us before we loved you, and you still love us when we done something that hurts you. You are an amazing God, worthy of so much praise and honour, yet we keep on hurting you. Help us Lord, for without you we are nothing, without you we can do nothing. We need you in our lives, guiding us and showing us the way you want us to go, the path that you have got for each of our lives. Show us how to love like you, to love the people that hurt us, to love and love and love again. Lord we are yours and we want to be yours always, help us to trust you and follow you more closely in all that we do, that we                                           may one day be like you, truly loving.                                        Amen