Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 12, 2016
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Everyone is a leader. You may not lead a company, a classroom, a boardroom, or a sports team, but you are a leader. Maybe you are a mom who leads her children, or you are a leader for the guy who sits next to you in the office just because you he looks up to you. Perhaps you lead a little league team. Everyone is a leader somehow, sometime.
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes when we start wearing the “leader” label, we also start wearing the “perfection” label. We believe that we must have it all together and be strong, because that’s what leaders are, right? We wrongly believe we always have to be postured, perfect, and never struggle. Anyone who has tried to bear this weight can testify to how heavy it is. But there is good news! God provides grace for all who lead—for all who look to Jesus.
Jesus led his disciples in many ways. In Luke 19:28, he led the disciples by walking in front of them. In John 13:3-5, He led them by demonstrating servant leadership when he washed their feet. And in Matthew 4:19 He led them by inviting them to follow Him. But most importantly, while He was leading his disciples, he was pressing into His Father out of need. When He needed to be strengthened, He spent time alone in prayer (Luke 5:16), when He grieved over Lazarus’ death He wept, He called out to God for help (John 11:1-44) even on the cross, and cried out to His Father in His greatest time of need.
“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?’ (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Matthew 27:46).
The perfect Christ wrestled and struggled with temptations and trials like we all do (Hebrews 4:15). So where do we get this crazy idea that godly, competent Christians, and Christian leaders shouldn’t have needs? Where do we get the idea that they are never really desperate, that they are always in control and composed, and that if they truly belong to Christ they always have a hallelujah on their lips?
We didn’t learn it from Moses, who led a stubborn nation, and cried out to God saying, “What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me?” (Exodus 17:4). We did not learn it from Paul, who was weak because of a thorn in the flesh, and asked God three times to remove it (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). When we expect ourselves or other Christian leaders to be perfect, we appeal to the flesh and a standard no one can live up to (Romans 3:10). But the great news is that God provides grace for us to serve Him in the places where He has called us. While we are leading, He invites us to lean into Him out of desperation and need so we can be the leaders He has called us to be. His grace will sustain you to do the job He has called you to. Aren’t you glad you can take off your label of perfection and put on your label of grace?
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
PrayerOh, Lord! What a tremendous burden you lift from me when I lean on you. Thank you that you enable me to be all I need to be as a leader. I praise you for your grace. Help me to always press into you as I lead. Amen.
ApplicationThank the Lord for enabling you to lead as you lean into Him.
Related ReadingJohn 13:12-17; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 24:50;
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