WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 04, 2023
TOPIC: DON’T BE A SELFISH LEADER
BY T. O. BANSO
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?’” (Ezekiel 34:2 New King James Version)
Ezekiel 34 is a chapter of the Bible many leaders won’t like to read because it is bad news for them! It is a chapter that deals with the sins of irresponsible political and religious leadership in Israel. The shepherds of Israel, in the chapter, refer to kings, magistrates, princes, priests, and prophets. But this passage is talking to political and spiritual leaders today.
Both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel had rebelled against the LORD and had gone into captivity. Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians while Judah was exiled by the Babylonians.
The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel asking him to prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, indicting them of grave sins, which amounted to selfish, self-serving, and ungodly leadership. “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?’” (Ezekiel 34:2 New King James Version)
The LORD continued, “You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them” (verses 3-6 New King James Version).
This was the height of irresponsibility in leadership. Leadership is not about self but about the people that God has put one over. But these leaders believed that the people existed for them to make their lives better instead of seeing leadership as a responsibility and a call to service. They abused their offices, starved the people, neglected them, and failed to look after their welfare.
Everyone in leadership today, especially Christian leaders and Christians in leadership outside the church, must avoid self-serving leadership. The leadership style that Jesus modeled and taught was servant leadership. He said if any man would be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all (Mark 9:35). In Mark 10:44, He said whosoever would be first among you, shall be the servant of all. Also, in John 13:14, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (New King James Version).
Don’t just love leadership positions; be ready to serve. Leadership is not for personal aggrandizement, which is one of the selfish reasons many seek leadership today. Leaders who are guilty of this don’t care for the people; they only care for themselves, immediate family members, and their cronies. It doesn’t bother them that the people they lead are suffering. They only pay lip service to their welfare. Such self-serving leaders could sometimes be ruthless. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2 New King James Version). God will not spare such leaders.
Ezekiel 34:10 says, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them” (New King James Version). God will judge selfish leaders. Don’t be one.
If you are a selfish leader, repent. Stop putting your personal concerns and interests before those of the people you’re leading. And if you are aspiring to leadership positions, don’t be selfish. “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds” (Proverbs 27:23 New Living Translation). Lead with the fear of God and serve the people you lead.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my selfish leadership style. I commit myself to serving the people and not to exploit them. I will serve people, knowing that I am serving the Lord. Father, from now, help me to be a servant-leader, not a selfish leader.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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