We have had a wonderful start to the new year. God has blessed us each Sunday with someone choosing to become a part of the church family. I hope and pray that you will embrace them, love them, and encourage them. As sure as God, the saints and the angels in Heaven were rejoicing, Satan and the demons in Hell were plotting on how they can snatch those who have come away from us.
To hold on to those who God sends and to inspire others to come requires leadership. As I have tried to draw a distinction between leadership and headship, leadership shows people the way and helps them to go the way recognizing that every individual makes their own decision. Headship implies others will do what you say just because you say to do it.
Christ is the head of the church; but, Christ uses men and women to lead others in and to the church. We should follow our leaders to come under the headship of Christ who will tell us what to do...and we should do it.
But, before we come under the headship of Christ, we do follow our leaders by our own free will.
My hope and prayer is that Zion Memorial will have leaders who lead in such a way that others will follow them as they go and lead others to Christ.
John the Baptist, the cousin and forerunner of Christ, was such a leader. He knew that those who followed him were only doing so until the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus came. When John knew that Jesus had come, he led his followers to Christ, to Jesus where they had to make their own free will decisions.
John 1:35-37 reveals, "The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, 'Look, here is the Lamb of God!' The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus."
Beloved, is it not that simple? If we know Jesus and we know that other people are searching, and so many people are searching, we should lead them to Jesus.
The strength of your testimony, your very own life story of how you have changed since Jesus came into your heart, is all that you need to give others the chance to make a similar decision. God will fill in the rest.
And, do understand, each individual has to make their own decision. John's disciples could have heard what John said and decided not to follow Jesus. That is what some people do.
But, we are not some people. We need to be like John and in our own way, exclaim, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!"
Beloved, you cannot tell what you do not know. John could say what he said because he knew Jesus. He was bold and he was confident. That boldness and confidence could only come because he knew what he knew to be true.
Do you have that boldness and confidence about you? Do you want it? Do you need it?
To get it, we must continue to equip ourselves by making ourselves more knowledgeable about God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and the only way to do that is to spend some time in the word of God where we can learn all about what God says about God. The word of God will help you to make much better sense of your life experiences that should ultimately point you back to God.
As you live your life, know that people are watching you. Formally or informally, you are leading them.
Always be alert regarding who you are leading and where they are going.
Tonight, we will begin 2020 HOPE Wednesday with a broad study of the Wisdom literature of the Bible, the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. I am hopeful and prayerful that God is going to bless us mightily with new insights to guide us in our daily lives.
As I have said, we are all leaders in Zion Memorial, whether you have a title or not. As leaders in the church family, as Christ led by example, we also lead by example and not in word only. Your presence or lack thereof shows those who are following you your level of commitment to your ministry/auxiliary, your church, and your God. Come and be with us tonight. Be the leader who God has called you to be and is creating you to be. Someone is following you.
So, come and bring someone with you, perhaps one who you know is following you.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!