December 18, 2014

Follow Jesus First

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 18, 2014

When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Matthew 8:18-19

Good leaders are first good followers. Do you follow the orders of Jesus? When He asks you to do the uncomfortable, do you move out of your comfort zone with confidence? Compelling Christian leadership has focused “followship” on their Master, the Lord Jesus. Where is He asking you to go that requires sacrifice and unconditional commitment? His orders do not always make sense, but they are totally trustworthy and helpful.

When He directs you to leave the noise of the crowds for the quietness of a few, do not delay. If you are obsessed by activity, you can easily lose your edge on energy and faith. When all my oomph is consumed by serving every request and answering every call, I have no time or concentration to hear from Christ. What is He saying? This is the most important inquiry I can make. What is Jesus telling me to do? So, when I listen, I learn.

You may be in the middle of a monster season of success, so make sure your achievements do not muffle the Lord’s message. It’s when we are fast and furious that our faith becomes perfunctory and predictable. Leadership requires time alone to retool and recalibrate our character. People follow when they know you’ve been with Jesus.

The most difficult part may be the transition from doing less, to listening and thinking more. If you, as the leader, are not planning ahead, who is? Who has the best interests of the enterprise in mind? Who is defending the mission and vision of the organization, so there is not a drift into competing strategies? Follow Jesus first; then He frees you to see.

Where is the Lord leading you to go? Will you lag behind with excellent excuses, or will you make haste and move forward by faith? Go with God and He will direct you through the storms of change. He may seem silent at times, but remember, He led you to this place, and where He leads, He provides. Follow Jesus first, then go wherever He goes. You will lose people in the process, but you will gain better people for His next phase.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

Prayer: Where is Jesus leading me to go? Am I willing to let go and trust Him with what’s next?

Related Readings: Numbers 32:11; Isaiah 8:10-12; 1 Corinthians 1:11-13; Revelation 14:4

Post/Tweet this today: Good leaders are good followers. They follow Jesus first. #wisdomhunters

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  1. Jo Johnson says:

    My bible study group loves your teaching. We purchased your book, Two Minutes with Jesus and love the way you’re showing every day practical living. Thanks so much. Jo Johnson

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Jo,
    Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. Please know I have sent them on to Boyd and I just know he will be blessed by them. We are thankful that your bible study group is enjoying “Two Minutes with Jesus”. Don’t you love it when “two or more are gathered” and soak up His Word and rejoice in His Plan? There is something so wonderful about sharing His Presence in community!
    Thank you again, for sharing. If you get a chance, throughout the study, let us know how it is going. We would love to hear about it.
    In the meantime, we will be praying that your hearts are open to what the Lord is saying to each of you through this study. I am excited to hear back from you.
    Praising the Author of all of our stories,
    “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

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