Tag: Jesus

Lead to Freedom…

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

Mandela spoke about the physical freedom from oppression and poverty, but consider a spiritual application.

Our freedom from the consequences of sin is not about casting off our own chains. We need to live in a way that demonstrates respect for others and assists them to enjoy the same level of freedom.

This is leadership.

The death of Jesus is foundational for our life and for all who come to Him. Let us lead others to the true freedom.

Role of the Shepherd…#8

The final statement is perhaps the most beautiful part of this prayer. Jesus says, “I have given them the glory that you gave me.” 

Ultimately, the role of the shepherd is to give sheep the glory God.

The glory Jesus received from the Father is of epic proportions. The reason he gave it was so that the apostles would be united, one as he was one with the Father.

Shepherds, it is the glory of God given to the sheep that provides a basis for unity, that we might all be one.

What a fitting way to conclude the role of the shepherd from Jesus’ prayer.

Role of the Shepherd…#7

The next thought expressed is one that aligns with the Great Commission. Jesus says, “I have sent them into the world.”

Although not of the world, they were in the world and had a task to complete. 

When “church” is confined to the building, shepherds stop short of understanding the significance of this role. When the sheep assemble together, it is time to encourage, strengthen, build up, and prepare them to be sent into the world.

Shepherds, always remember that the time spent with sheep to equip them to be sent into the world makes the difference in how the sheep survive and return from the battles ahead.

Role of the Shepherd…#6

The next statement in Jesus’ prayer is also a critical part of the role of the shepherd. He says, “I protected them and kept them safe.”

Shepherds are responsible for protecting and keeping the sheep safe. Paul identifies this in his letter to Titus. Shepherds are to protect and keep sheep safe from those who would lead them away from God. Perhaps this is why shepherds must be teachers.

What is beautiful is the fact Jesus says, “By that name you gave me.” The powerful name of Jesus carries protective authority. Shepherds must use every opportunity to protect and keep the sheep safe by the name of Jesus.

Role of the Shepherd…#5

One of the most significant statements relating to the role of the shepherd is the third. Jesus says, “I pray for them.”

While shepherds carry numerous responsibilities, this one is key. The value of shepherds who pray for their sheep by name cannot be overstated.

As I have met with numerous shepherds across the country, I am encouraged to learn about those who spend hours of time praying for the sheep. They mention them by name and make specific requests on their behalf.

Another common practice is a “Shepherd’s Prayer” after the lesson is presented. May more shepherds realize the essential nature of this role.

Role of the Shepherd…#4

The second statement closely follows yesterday’s thought. Jesus says, “I gave them the words you gave me.” He repeats the idea by saying, “I have given them your word.”

Shepherds are responsible for spiritually feeding the sheep and the spiritual food required for God’s sheep is His word.

In Psalm 23, David relates a similar thought, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Shepherds know where to lead sheep that they might eat what is best for them. 

Today, the idea rests upon providing the spiritual food that strengthens and sustains the sheep. Know the word of God and use its nutrition to help the sheep grow.

Role of the Shepherd…#3

The first statement Jesus makes is emphasized twice in John 17. He says, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.” Although slightly different, Jesus goes on to later say, “I have made you known to them.”

The thought expressed is significant. Shepherds are responsible for revealing or making God known to those who follow.

God has given a flock and He wants His shepherds to make Him known to the sheep. Jesus did this for the disciples, living how to do the same today. Read through the gospels and highlight His example.

Role of the Shepherd…#2

One of the “I am” statements in the Gospel of John provides a beautiful description of Jesus, “I am the good shepherd” (Jn. 10:11).

Naturally, we assume that as a shepherd His life and words would help us understand this role, or responsibility.

In His prayer (Jn. 17), six statements are made that suggest the role of the shepherd. We will list all six and then expound on each one beginning tomorrow.

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.”
“I gave them the words you gave me.”
“I pray for them.”
“I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.”
“I have sent them into the world.”
“I have given them the glory that you gave me.”

Bringing Happiness…

An old saying claims, “Everyone brings happiness, some when they come and some when they leave.” It would be great if leaders brought happiness when they arrived rather than when they left, but such is not always the case. 

At some point, we all leave and when that time comes we have to decide the level of integrity and Christlike character we will demonstrate. Consider the following.

Remember the greater good of followers.
Always accept responsibility for actions.
Be kind, never harsh or abrasive no matter how unfairly treated.
Consider Jesus.

We are leaders and how leave makes a difference.

A Leadership Prayer…

What would happen if we prayed “Lord, bring us all those that nobody else wants”? How would we respond if one by one those classified as “undesirable” came?

If we believe the gospel is for all, then are we working to see that all have opportunity to not only hear the gospel, but see that gospel in our actions?

The path is not an easy one to walk. However, leaders are not called to lead only those who are lovable, but the unlovable also.

Read through the gospels and notice who Jesus reached out to most. Who are they? Why did He reach out to them? What was the result? 

Are we listening?