Follow the Leader

follow-the-leader1

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Observations:

Paul informs the church at Corinth to follow his example. (1a)

Paul informs the church at Corinth that he follows an example. (1b)

Paul informs the church at Corinth that he follows the example of Christ. (1c)

 Commentary:

The qualities of Jesus Christ which set an example for believers is as follows:

Self-denial Php 2:4-5, Mt 10:38; Mt 16:24 pp Mk 8:34 ppLk 9:23; Lk 14:27; Heb 12:2

Endurance of suffering 1Pe 2:21-23Mt 10:24-25; Jn 15:20; 1Th 2:14-15; Heb 12:3

Service Mt 20:25-28 pp Mk 10:42-45; Jn 13:13-17

Faithfulness Heb 3:1-2

Love Eph 5:1-2,25; 1Jn 3:16

Patience 1Ti 1:16

Forgiveness of others Eph 4:32; Col 3:13

Gentleness and humility Mt 11:29

Purity 1Jn 3:3

Prayer Lk 11:1

Paul set an example in the way in which he pastorally led the church, but only did so because of the perfect example shown before him through the life and practice of Jesus Christ.

Living Word Op(portunity):

  1. Who are you following?
  2. Do you believe that in order to lead you must first follow?  Why or why not?
  3. Who are you leading, and where are you taking them with your example?
  4. What do your choices have to say about your leader?
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God’s Economy

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASB)

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

Observations:

Paul informs the church in Corinth that all things are lawful. (12a)

Paul informs the church in Corinth that all things are not profitable. (12b)

Paul informs the church in Corinth again that all things are lawful. (12c)

Paul informs the church in Corinth of a conjunction contrast of but. (12d)

Paul informs the church in Corinth that he will not be mastered. (12e)

Paul informs the church in Corinth that he will not be mastered by anything. (12f)

 

Commentary:

There are a number of things that are technically legal in our society, but it doesn’t mean that my freedom of will to choose is spiritually appropriate and helpful to me or other’s well-being.  We must be careful to avoid becoming a slave to a lack of spiritual discipline.  A lack of spiritual discernment results in our choices controlling us, and being susceptible to any form of practice or doctrine.

 

Living Word OP(portunity):

  1. What are the areas in your life where you’ve made earthly instead spiritual investments?
  2. In God’s economy have you been making deposits or withdrawals?  What spiritual patterns are necessary to get out of the red?
  3. How does your life represent a difference from the world? (a but ideology)
  4. What do you have to gain by sacrificing your own desires for God’s will?
  5. What patterns are bankrupting our witness and souls?

A Word with You: Is the devil comfortable or confronted around you?

Luke 4:8 (NASB)

Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

word of God

Observations:

Luke informs the reader that Jesus is talking to the Devil. (8a)

Luke informs the reader that Jesus is quoting what is written from the Torah. (8b)

Luke informs the reader that Jesus quotes that one shall worship the Lord. (8c)

Luke informs the reader that Jesus calls the Lord your God. (8d)

Luke informs the reader that Jesus quotes that God is to be served. (8e)

Luke informs the reader that Jesus quotes that God is to be served only. (8f)

Commentary:  Luke reveals to us that Jesus did not entertain the Devil with His own thoughts, but used the written words of the Bible to combat the attacks, schemes, and false promises of the enemy.  The Devil will attack us in our weakest of moments as he tried with Jesus after he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  When we are confronted with temptation, we can draw strength from the Word of God and use it against our adversary.  We cannot eliminate temptation, but we certainly have a weapon against it.

Living Word OP(portunity):

  1. When you face evil, is evil comfortable or confronted?
  2. Is your worship coming from what you witness or what is written?
  3. How might the memorization of scripture be helpful in any situation?
  4. How often do you share personal episodes of your life with God?  If infrequent, why?
  5. What has come up that you believe may be taking away from your quality time with God?

The Right Motives

motivation

Proverbs 21:1-3 (NASB)

1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.  2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,But the Lord weighs the hearts.  3 To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.

Observations:

Solomon informs the reader that the Lord controls the king’s heart. (1a)

Solomon informs the reader that the king’s heart is like channels of water. (1b)

Solomon informs the reader that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. (1c)

Solomon informs the reader that the Lord turns the king’s heart wherever he wishes. (1d)

Solomon informs the reader that every man’s way is right in his own eyes. (2a)

Solomon informs the reader that the Lord weighs the hearts of every man. (2b)

Solomon informs the reader that righteousness is desired of every man. (3a)

Solomon informs the reader that justice is desired of every man. (3b)

Solomon informs the reader that sacrifice is also of importance but lesser than righteousness and justice. (3c)

Commentary:  Solomon reveals to us that good leadership is a channel of water that is controlled by God.  He directs it wherever He chooses.  Leadership that has the right motive is under the control and in the hand of God.  We often try to prove something is right by appearances, even if what we demonstrate is not our true intent.  God knows what we truly value.  We judge much by what we see, but God judges what we cannot see.  Living right before God and treating our fellow man in the same way, mean far more to God than religious performance.

 Living Word OP(portunity):

  1. Determine if your worship is a reflection of your witness.  If not, what needs to change?
  2. Pray to God that your praise and worship of Him is solely for Him.
  3. Ask God for what He desires of you in the worship setting.
  4. Examine your motives of worship.  Am I doing this out of routine or because of His righteousness?

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ): What Do I Have to Offer?

John 6:3-13  3 Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” 6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. 7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred [b]denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people [c]sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men [d]sat down, in number about five thousand.11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. 12 When they were filled, He *said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

 For an answer key to the following questions, click the following linkWhat I Have to Offer – Key

  1. Is _____________ welcomed in your groups? (vs. 3)
  1. We are often led to believe that what we have is ____________________. (vs. 7)
  1. There are two types of people those who are __________ or  ____________. (vs. 7-9)
  1. Do the ______________ you can. (vs. 9)

         “My job is to do the best I can. The rest is in God’s hands.” -Martin Luther Jr

  1. Share what you have with a Godly _______________. (vs. 8-9)
  1. What you have been given is useful to the _________________. (vs. 11)
  1. _____________ what you have to God. (vs. 11)

     The Mathematics of Relationship:   I’m = me    Possible = Jesus

       ______  + ________ = NOTHING IS    IM+POSSIBLE

       ______  –  ________ =  IMPOSSIBLE NEVER REACHED

     iMPACT Challenge (i CHALLENGE):

  1. Define what are your talents or things that you do well?
  2. How are you currently using your gifts and talents?
  3. A) school?   B) church?          C) social media?    D) home?
  4. Do a friend inventory check.  Who is critical and who is creative?
  5. What do you consider impossible for you to achieve?  Have you placed it in God’s hands?  

Presence and Not Presents

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ):  Is the Christmas Holiday stressful or sacrificial for you?

Romans 8:32-33“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

I noticed a coworker who looked very distressed today and asked her what was wrong.  She said that she was stressed out because she’s having the family over for the holidays, wrapping gifts, and the only gift that her son had asked for was out of stock and that she was afraid that her son wouldn’t get what he wanted.  I realized that for those that I have spoken with, the Holidays happen to be one of the most stressful times of the year.  People run around frantically trying to find items that will soon be in the back of others closets, stored in attics, or in garages.  We can learn from God that our giving should be sacrificial and not stressful.  God has already given all that is needed for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  Yet we are running towards stress when we search for temporary earthly pleasures.  There is nothing wrong with gifts, until the gifts start controlling the giver.  Our presence is one of the greatest gifts that we can give others.  Our Father gave Jesus so that we can have eternal life and also sent the Holy Spirit.  He wanted to give us the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit being with us always.  Our Father knows how to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11).  Yet our Father’s greatest gift is His Son and Holy Spirit which is Himself.  Give gifts that will be remembered and cannot be thrown away.  

iMPACT FULFILLED (iF):

1. Resist the urge to shop for others contentment.

2. Recognize that people will remember a moment with you rather than a something made from you.

3. Rest from the obligation of trying to please people.

iMPACT QUOTE (i QUOTE): written by Rev. Eric Levels

Your presence is more important than your presents.

Your time is the most valuable thing you can give, but it’s also priceless to others.

iMPACT CHALLENGE (i CHALLENGE): Reduce the amount of physical gifts given and purchased, and spend more time with the ones you love.