Instructions For Leadership
Elders are to preach God's word and they are to be an example in what they say or don't say. Be an example by the way you live out your life. We can only show God's love to others by spending time in God's presence.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Youdoin’ all right? Remember, if you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” And He will. He hasn’t brought you this far to drop you know. So you trust Him as you go on through the moments and the hours of the day. Or, for those of you who are listening late at night, just turn out the whole pocketful of the days’ memories, and turn them over to your Lord. Let Him handle things for you.
Small thought here: Don’t go to bed worrying or angry. Don’t go to bed worrying or angry. Because if you do, your unconscious mind – the computer portion of your brain will be working on that all night long, and you’ll wake up still worried, and still angry, and worse. So, turn things over to your blessed Lord as you end the day. Pray when you begin the day so that you’ll be programmed properly for the day. God knows what’s going to happen, you don’t. Pray when you begin the day. And then turn out the whole pocketful of the days’ memories, and turn them over to your Lord; let Him handle them so that your heart and mind is at peace. Well, I threw that in free. Just a little side thought that might help somebody.
You and I are looking at the fifth chapter of 1 Peter. And Peter is saying a word to folk who are in leadership. He said, “Feed the flock, don’t fleece them, or force them, or fuss with them. But feed them.” (Laughs) That’s expository preaching and teaching. Hope from the Word of God to people – that’s how you feed on the Word. Not just talking about it, but opening it up and telling people what it says.
And then oversight, take the oversight; not by constraint, not because, “Well I got to do this…”, but willingly. And not just because you’re going to get paid – not for filthy lucre, not just ‘cause you’re going to get paid, but of a ready mind. Can’t wait to get at it – you’re eager for the work. And then he says, “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” Examples to the flock. You feed the flock, you take the oversight, and you’re the example.
That’s where we were the last time we got together. And for a commentary on it I had referred us momentarily to 1 Timothy 4:12, where Paul says, “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” You remember that passage? And we had just gotten into the idea of what you say and how you live – your lifestyle. Examples to the flock. Does it shake you up at all to realize that your example begins with what you say every day to people? It’s a fact.
“By men’s words they shall be justified, and by their words they shall be condemned,” said the Lord Jesus. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man,” said Paul to the people at Colossae. “Let your ‘yea’ be ‘yea’ and your ‘nay’, ‘nay’,” our Lord said at another occasion, to His disciples. Solomon said, “How forcible are right words.” And the psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer.”
Words. Your example begins with what you say. Because, “Out of the abundance of the heart,” our Savior said, “the mouth speaketh.” What you say is a direct reflection of what you are. Little frightening isn’t it? Because sometimes we’re careless and thoughtless about what we say; especially when we’re with, with good friends, or when we’re at home, we think to ourselves, “Well, it does not matter now. I can fuss now, I can growl now, I can grumble now, I can complain now, or I can gossip now. It doesn’t matter!” Oh yes it does, my friend! Every time it matters what you say, because you’re an example.
You look back and think of the people whom you admire the most, and you’ll find that they were people who had a very wise and loving choice of words. Hilda Nilsen, my mother-in-love… Coreen’s mother, lived with us for 21 years until she slipped away into the glory just short of her 90th birthday. What an angel! What a sweet and wonderful person she was – and is! Because “God is the god not of the dead but of the living,” Jesus said. So she’s still alive, charming the angels yonder in the glory I’m sure.
But some times just, just out of mischief I guess, I would ask her an opinion concerning someone. And she would never say anything critical about people. If a direct question was asked so as almost to force her to give an opinion, she just wouldn’t say anything. Always kind, never critical or bitter. What an example she set for all the rest of us, and how blessed we were to have her as a treasure in our home for all those years!
I suppose every one of us has someone like that, to whom we look with admiration. And it turns out that such a someone began their shining example with what they said or didn’t say. Well, five minutes of talking about that, and it’s all review. But maybe we needed to be reminded of if – I know I do. I have to re-learn these lessons day after day. (Laughs) I don’t know about you, but that’s how Bob cook is.
And then he said, “Your example also depends upon the way you live.” Thoughtless, careless living – it’s an example. Or careful, thoughtful, loving, God-honoring lifestyle, is an example. He said, “You be an example of the believers.” Peter said, “You’re not the boss, but you are the example. People will imitate you.” Then he said, “You be an example…” And we’re back again now in 1 Timothy 4:12. “You be an example of the believers in…” and in the King James version it says, ‘charity’.
Now that word ‘charity’ actually means ‘Calvary love’. Those of you who study your Bibles, you know this already. Greek word agape – ‘Calvary love’. It’s the same word that’s used in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Love, Calvary love. “Be an example,” said he, “in Calvary love.” “The love of the brethren,” Paul says in another place. In Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.”
He tells the people in Corinth, in his second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, “The love of Christ constraineth us” – makes us do what we do. Love of God shed abroad in my heart, the love of Christ motivating me and directing my actions. Love is to be without hypocrisy. “Let love be without hypocrisy,” says he. Paul writes this to the folk in, in Rome, in the twelfth chapter I believe of his book, Romans. “Let love be without hypocrisy.” That word ‘hypocrisy’is a word that means ‘playacting’. Don’t put on a front, don’t put on an act.
Can you tell when somebody really likes you? Oh yes. Can you tell when somebody is just coping with you and putting up with you? Oh yes. He says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” Now, this quality of love is divinely given. It is not something you, you generate on your own. Some people admittedly have more outgoing and affectionate personalities than others. Some people are, are born almost with a glacial personality. It’s hard to get them to warm up to anything or anybody. And other people are more outgoing and affectionate, and almost to the point of being effusive. We are different. It’s probably a good thing. What if we were all alike? It’d be a boring world, wouldn’t it?
So, admitting for the moment that personalities do differ, this matter of divine love is not something that you can, you can train a person to have; nor indeed is it a matter of self-discipline or self-motivation. You can’t take a course, in other words, that will result in filling your heart with God’s love. This is something God does for you. Where do you get it? In His presence. “We all with open face, beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image,” Paul says in 2 Corinthians. “Whereas we’re changed into the same image…” Who’s image? His image.
God is love and, and so if that be so – and it is – then if we’re changed into His image as we wait before Him, then we shall be filled with His love. It’s that kind of logic that thrills your soul when you realize that the simple act of waiting before God in prayer and devotion will result in a change in your whole attitude lifestyle, and the set of your personality.
Am I talking to someone who has sort of given up on yourself? We do that, I know. You live a while and you find out that you’ve reached times when you’re just completely discouraged with yourself. And you think, “Oh, I give up!” Well now, instead of quitting on life, or people, or both, turn to your blessed Lord and talk things over with Him. The first thing that will happen of course is that He, you’ll experience His peace in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.
Paul says, “Let your requests be made known unto God, and as a result, the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” So, level with God about things – that’s the first thing to do. Then wait in His presence, wait onthe Lord. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart,” says the psalmist. You see, it takes time to open your heart. You don’t make a rose bloom all at once. I can recall as a child, pulling at a flower apart to make it open up. And I ruined it of course, and killed it.
You don’t open up to things in your own heart all at once. It takes time to cause the love of God to bloom and blossom in your heart and mine. Wait on the Lord, take time with Him. First of all, tell Him the truth about things. And second, wait in His presence, in worship, and grant Him the opportunity, your Creator… Give the Creator the opportunity of creating in you, what you need. Psalmist said, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God!” See, the things God does for your heart are sovereign acts of your Creator by His grace, through the Lord Jesus Christ.
How do you get this love that, that would make you an example? You get it by being in the presence of your blessed Lord, and by absorbing His word, and by giving God time. See, just a word of prayer as we say, is good. But a time of prayer is better. Spend time with your Lord today, and find for yourself that God fills your heart with His love.
Dear Father, we thank Thee for Jesus our Savior, that through Him we can experience Thy love. O may it be true of each of us today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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