08/04/13 Follow the Leader!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Don’t Be Confused Series: wk. 3

Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (NKJV)

7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” 1 Peter 5:1-3 (NLT)

Intro: Simon says: Touch your toes, okay touch your nose. Simon didn’t say touch your nose, you’re out. God says lead by following the precepts of the Word of God, if you follow the ways of the world your out. Of course there is one big difference here; this isn’t a game, being a Godly leader is serious. This series I have been sharing from the Book of Thessalonians has revolved around the removal of confusion in the life and walk of the mature Christian. There will be no confusion when you follow God. My prayer for Ocean View Baptist Church is that the leadership will follow God.

This is the third week in our series of messages on “Don’t be confused” First week the message was about the elements of a complete testimony, last week it was having boldness in God. God doesn’t want the church nor the believer to be confused about how to live the Christian life or to worry about the things to come in the near future. This week will focus on following and being obedient to the leadership of God.

Application: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.”

If you follow God’s leadership you will care:

1. A Godly Leader Cares: vs. 7-8

"But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us."

If there’s one ingredient that is essential to the success of a church, it’s leadership. A good definition of leadership is inspiring influence. Those who are most successful in leading others are those who are able to light a spark that prompts others toward cooperation, hard work, and personal sacrifice. Though there may be one definition of leadership, we should never assume there is only one style of leadership. Some leaders are hard-charging, with a strong charisma who move people by an outward influence. Others lead in a quiet fashion, never raising their voices. Both styles can be effective and inspiring. There are effective leaders with all kinds of temperaments. But there is one key ingredient that they cannot be absent of: they must have the ability to get along with people. No other factor makes as great a difference as this one. A leader must care!

“And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” 1 Peter 5:1-3 (NLT)

Lead by your own good example, that says it all! A good leader is to lead by example. When you say “do as I say” your saying – I do it for the glory of God follow me! We must develop a deep, abiding inner security. This will keep us from focusing our attention on pleasing people rather than God. “Just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children” a good leader cares. What qualities about a mother are fitting for a godly leader?

If you can’t get along with people there is a problem. Love the sinner not the sin, show that you care, that is what a good leader does, and that’s how you follow the leader.

If you follow God’s leadership you will demonstrate:

2. A Godly Leader Demonstrates: Vs. 9-10

“For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe.”

Part of demonstrating as a leader is being transparent and authentic. Can you really afford to be so arrogant that you might say: “What you see is what you get?” The mature leader who is truly following the leadership of God will continue to strive toward perfection never assuming they have arrived. What is the difference in the ears of the listener when someone shares just the Gospel; and when someone shares the Gospel and their life? When you demonstrate the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life others will see that you are authentic.

“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9

If you are following God’s leadership it is easy to demonstrate this leadership because it is all written out for you in His manual! Every leader has the blood of the world upon their hands and will be held accountable for getting the message out to them—the message that they can be saved from death and receive eternal life. What do you demonstrate: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

If you follow God’s leadership you will do your best:

3. A Godly Leader Duplicates: Vs. 11-12 “As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

The leader is a producer, a teacher and a motivator, one day you will look back at what you produced and because of your worthy walk and how you followed God, what you end up creating is another follower of God! “Well done my good and faithful servant!” Paul reminds us: “as a father does his own children.” It is not for self-gain, you lead because you love God and by His example you duplicate that!

Encourage like a father, direct, guide, and teach. Give comfort when it is due. Console, support, sustain, hold up, lift up and relieve and ease pain. Warn when needed, witness and protect and love them. The sole purpose of this is to lead others to a walk worthy of the Lord, follow this and I believe there is a promise that follows - the wonderful privilege of living forever in His kingdom and glory. Therefore, we must walk worthy of that promise. We must live excellent lives - walk day by day just as we should walk - honoring and building up the name of God. “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Colossians 2:6

Conclusion: Follow the Leader

We must make a deliberate step of faith in God. You don’t stumble into a wholehearted commitment to God; you must willfully decide that you will give Christ the position that He deserves in your life...#1 over all things and all people.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Care, Demonstrate & Duplicate! Follow the Leader – He so loved the world that He gave His only son and whosoever believes in Him lives forever. That’s worth following.


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