WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 22, 2021
TOPIC: KINGDOM LEADERSHIP: SERVE WILLINGLY, NOT BECAUSE OF MONEY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Shepherd God’s flock, for whom you are responsible. Watch over them because you want to, not because you are forced. That is how God wants it. Do it because you are happy to serve, not because you want money” (1 Peter 5:2 New Century Version).
1 Timothy 3:11 says that if a man desires the position of a bishop, overseer, or elder, he desires “a good work.” Obviously, it is not only this leadership position that is “a good work.”. Every position of leadership in the house of God is “a good work.”.
Some people desire leadership positions in the Kingdom of God or the church, but the desire is not for noble or right reasons. If those who desire the offices for selfish reasons achieve their desire, they will definitely abuse their offices. Their goals will be different from God’s goals; their pursuits will be contrary to His.
The Bible talks a lot about leadership in the Kingdom of God or the house of God and every prospective leader must search his heart and be sure that he is not driven by selfish desires on a mission of vanity.
Jesus said anyone who wants to be the first must take the last place and be the servant of everyone else. (Mark 9:35). He said a similar thing in Mark 10:43b-45: “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (New Living Translation).
What Jesus was simply doing was teaching His disciples servant-leadership. He demanded this from them as their leadership style. He exemplified this to them by His life. On one occasion, He showed He demonstrated this by washing the feet of His disciples (John 13:3-17).
He said in verses 13-15, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (New King James Version).
What is your motive for or motivation in leadership? Is it service or money-making? Is it service or egotism? Is God using you or you’re using Him? Are you serving or you’re being served? Jesus said He didn’t come to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Do you serve willingly or grudgingly? Are you serving happily or because of money? Do you always expect to be paid for your service in the Kingdom of God? Is it money that is the first determinant in the discharge of your kingdom service even when you are scripturally expected to be paid?
Peter, an elder, told fellow elders in 1 Peter 5:2, “Shepherd God’s flock, for whom you are responsible. Watch over them because you want to, not because you are forced. That is how God wants it. Do it because you are happy to serve, not because you want money” (New Century Version).
Continuing in verse 3, Peter also advised the elders to avoid being lords over those entrusted to them, but to be examples to the flock. In verse 4, he stated the reward for selfless service by shepherds who do the work according to God’s expectation. When the Chief Shepherd appears, they will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Examine yourself! Are you serving in your leadership position selflessly or for money? When you see a crowd before you, do you always think of souls to be saved or money to be raised? The crown of glory that does not fade away is not for hirelings or mercantile ministers. In John 21, Jesus told Peter to feed His lambs (verse 15), tend His sheep (verse 16), and feed His sheep (verse 17). Is that what you do as a shepherd or you are like the wicked, selfish shepherds of Israel who starved the sheep, abandoned them, and only fed themselves?
The prophet Ezekiel said, “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘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? 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” (Ezekiel 34:1-6 New King James Version). These were irresponsible leaders.
God said in verse 10 that He was against these shepherds and would require His flock at their hand, He would cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall no more feed themselves because He would deliver His flock from their mouths, that they might no longer be food for them. Be a responsible minister of God.
Paul told the Ephesian elders at Miletus, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood’” (Acts 20:28 New King James Version). Are you a caring shepherd or a ravenous wolf? (Verse 29).
Don’t let your motivation for Kingdom service be money. Even where you are legitimately entitled to a salary, allowance, or honorarium, don’t let this be your motivation. Don’t become a hireling. Don’t be greedy for money (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).
As you serve the Lord, beware of the love of money which is “a root of all kinds of evil.” It has caused some to stray from the faith. Some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit 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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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, help me to serve You willingly and not because of money. I shall not be a hireling but a true servant of God. Holy Spirit, protect me from the love of money. I receive the blessing of God that makes one rich without adding sorrow to it in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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