Leadership

By me kings reign and rulers decree justice. Proverbs 8:15 AMP

God holds all men accountable for their choices and actions. Those in leadership are held to an even higher standard. We should expect our leaders to demonstrate the following characteristics, and if they don’t, we should hold them accountable.

Leaders should be trustworthy

Moreover, you shall choose able men from all the people — God-fearing men of truth who hate unjust gain — and place them over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, to be their rulers. Exodus 18:21 AMP

A leader should be trustworthy — honest, faithful, dependable and reliable. The people should be able to safely put their confidence in their leaders.

Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7 AMP

A leader should have a good reputation inside and outside the church. He should personally submit himself to God’s word in every area of his life. He should avoid the very appearance of evil.

Leaders look out for the people’s best interests

And Moses said to the Lord, 16 Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation 17 Who shall go out and come in before them, leading them out and bringing them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep which have no shepherd. Numbers 27:15-17 AMP

As I live, says the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd — neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My sheep. Ezekiel 34:8 AMP

A leader’s responsibility is to look out for the best interests of ALL the people. He should never think that the people are there merely to serve him and his interests, but he should give himself to serve the people and put their interests ahead of his own. Many leaders have become dictators out of selfish ambitions. A leader should not play favorites either. Some leaders take from some to give to others — this is not biblical and it is a system doomed to fail.

Leaders should represent God in their decisions

He appointed judges throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6 And said to the judges, Be careful what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord, and He is with you in the matter of judgment. 7 So now let the reverence and fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking of bribes. 2 Chronicles 19:5-7 AMP

Leaders should remember that they are accountable to God and they should govern humbly and in the fear of God, looking to Him and His word for wisdom and guidance.

Leaders should receive advice

Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 AMP

An arrogant leader is a bad leader. A good leader has wise counselors and is not too proud to admit that they don’t know everything or that they were wrong about anything. A good leader is willing to change to be better.

Leaders must serve others

And Jesus called them to Him and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men hold them in subjection [tyrannizing over them]. 26 Not so shall it be among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 And whoever desires to be first among you must be your slave — 28 Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free]. Matthew 20:25-28 AMP

A good leader serves the people and does what is good for them. A bad leader serves himself, by giving the people what they want, even if it’s not good for them. A dictator dominates the people and does only what is good for him.

Leaders should sacrifice for others

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. 13 Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them]. John 10:11-13 AMP

Leadership requires many sacrifices and you should not seek a leadership position unless you have counted the cost. A bad leader will sacrifice the people and their interests to further his own.

Leaders should be obeyed

Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. 2 Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them]. 3 For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation. 4 For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:1-4 AMP

God gives us leaders so that there can be order and peace in the nations. These leaders in turn must lead in a good and honorable way.

Leaders give an account to God for their actions

Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either]. Hebrews 13:17 AMP

A Clay Pot or a Golden Vessel

But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. 2 Timothy 2:19 AMP

The foundation that God has laid and upon which we build our life, is God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is true and unshakeable. Like any great monument, it bears an inscription, which reads, “The Lord knows those who are His!” Therefore everyone who claims to be His child and to belong to Him must give up ALL iniquity and distance himself, or herself, from it.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. 21 So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work. 22 Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22 AMP

We are all “vessels” – some are fine vessels of gold and silver – for noble uses; some are made of wood or clay – for menial use. Romans 9:21 asks the question, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” God is the one who has created each and every one of us. He has a great plan for each of our lives. HIS plan is for each of us to be a vessel of HONOR. When we submit to Him and His plan for us, we reach our highest potential. However, when we disobey Him and rebel against Him, we make ourselves a dishonorable vessel. Some people blame God for the fact that they are a clay pot – a dishonorable vessel – but that is their choice.

It is the person who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences and who cleanses himself from the ignoble and unclean, who will then be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, and fit and ready for any good work. We, ourselves, must choose to do what is right. We must both shun, and flee from, youthful lusts. We cannot make excuses for ourselves, because there are no excuses that are acceptable. We must aim at righteousness and pursue it. We must aim to do right to and be right; to conform to the will of God in thought, word and deed. We must AIM AT and PURSUE faith, love and peace and harmony with fellow believers. Also, it is beneficial for us to have fellowship with fellow Christians who have a pure heart toward God and who live what they say they believe.

Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city. 15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating). Revelation 22:14-15 AMP

2 Corinthians 7:1 AMP says, “Therefore, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.” Jesus washed us clean in his blood; He removed our dirty rags, washed us clean, and put a robe of righteousness upon each one of us. It is our responsibility now to keep those garments clean. We do this by staying away from the sins (in body and spirit) that defiled us before, and continuing to consecrate ourselves to God. Going back to your old sin is like going to roll in the mud in your clean clothes. Once you were dirty, now you are clean; why would you even want to go back and get dirty again?

Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is. 3 And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless). 4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect — being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). 1 John 3:2-4 AMP

Believers, we are all God’s children. When we see Him, we will be like Him – until then we are a work in progress – as we press in to Him, we are progressively becoming more and more like Him. Because we hope to see Him, and because we hope to be like Him, we purify ourselves just as He is pure. The definition of sin is to be lawless – breaking and violating God’s will by transgressing against His word and/or neglecting to obey it; being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will. There is no excuse for sin – we are each responsible for our own actions and we are held accountable for them.

You may start out as a little clay pot – you may look like one and feel like one – however, God has much greater plans for you. If you will just to submit to His will and to His word, and allow Him to purify you and do His work in you, you will grow into a vessel of honor, set-apart just for Him and perfectly suited for His highest purposes and plans.

Heavenly Bread

So the people, finding that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the lake, they said to Him, Rabbi! When did You come here? 26 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied. John 6:24-26 AMP

Jesus fed the multitude of people because He loved them and cared about them. When He left the place where they were, they came to look for Him, not because they had a spiritual hunger or because they wanted more of His ministry and His teaching, they just wanted the food! Jesus rebuked them for their carnal motivation. Many people follow Jesus just because of what they can get from Him – they use religion to gain money, positions, prestige, comfort, or even political votes, but those are totally self-centered motives. A true believer will follow Jesus simply because they know He is the Truth, the Way and the Life! Every one of us should do a regular heart-check. Are we following Jesus for what He can give us – or for what we can get out of it – or are we totally committed to Him; even if it costs us; even unto death? There is a price to pay to serve Him.

Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him. 28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?] 29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. John 6:27-29 AMP

Jesus told them to stop striving and working so hard for the things – and the food – that will perish and pass away. He told them to rather strive for and work for those things that last forever. Jesus – God’s Word – is the source of the food that lasts forever unto eternal life. Many sincere people seek to find a way to please God and to receive a reward for their works, but they don’t know to go about it. All the religions of the world are trying to find the answers. Jesus ’answer is simple: believe on the One whom God has sent. You must believe that Jesus is who He says that He is – that He is the Messiah – the Christ – the Son of the Living God. We must believe in what He said and what He did and who He is. That is the way to please God.

Therefore they said to Him, What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will You perform then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to show what You can do]? 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as the Scripture says, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 32 Jesus then said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven [what Moses gave you was not the Bread from heaven], but it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread.

33 For the Bread of God is He Who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. 34 Then they said to Him, Lord, give us this bread always (all the time)!

35 Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time). John 6:30-35 AMP

Some people are never satisfied with the signs God gives them. They always want yet another sign before they’ll believe, and the signs God gives are never good enough for them. They always have an excuse for their doubt and unbelief and disobedience. Jesus told us about a rich man that ended up in Hades. He begged Abraham to send the beggar Lazarus to warn his brothers not to come to this terrible place of torment, but Abraham said to him: “If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31 AMP) God wants us to trust in His Word, because it is His Word, not just because it’s what we wanted to hear. God is not in the business of entertaining us with magic tricks, but He will tell us and show us the truth. We must trust Him and obey Him in faith!

The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes was not enough for the unbelieving crowds, because, as they put it: “Even Moses fed us with Manna – bread from heaven! What can You do, Jesus, over and above that, to prove to us that we should believe and follow You?” Jesus replied that Moses didn’t give them true bread from heaven; he gave them supernatural bread that only fed their physical bodies, but not their spirits. Jesus said, “I am that Heavenly Bread; I am the Bread of Life!” Then the people said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always – all the time!” They were still focused on the bread they could put in their mouths and their stomachs.

Jesus’ answer to them was, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst anymore.” People eat natural bread to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain physical life. We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life only by having a right relationship with Jesus Christ. We can’t just stare at the heavenly bread, but we must actually eat it. We must receive God’s Word and allow Him into our heart and our daily life.