WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 5, 2022
TOPIC: LEAD BY EXAMPLE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;” (1 Peter 5:2-3 New King James Version).
Leadership is a great responsibility and not everyone who desires or aspires to lead is ready for this enormous responsibility. Many are interested in the privileges of leadership but only a few are prepared for the duties.
If you want to be an effective leader, you must lead by example whether you’re leading from the front or behind. You must be an example of what you’re encouraging, instructing, or directing others to do. Take the lead in adopting the attitude or discipline you want them to adopt. Be an example of what you’re expecting from them. Don’t do the opposite of what you’re demanding from them. Hear what Paul said, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9 New King James Version). What type of example are you to people?
Show the people what you want them to do; exemplify it. Don’t say one thing and do another. We see a good example in the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 13, He washed the feet of His disciples and told them to do the same for one another. Washing the feet was an assignment for the lowliest of the servants in the Jewish homes but, in humility, Jesus the Son of God, the Creator did this for His creature.
After washing their feet, He told them, “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” (John 13:14-15 New King James Version).
Don’t be a leader whose actions are contrary to His words. Such a person is a hypocrite and he cannot be effective in leadership. The scribes and the Pharisees fell into this category. Jesus told the multitudes and His disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:2-4 New King James Version).
In this passage, Jesus indicted the Scribes and the Pharisees for not practising what they preached. They were unlike Jesus who practiced what He taught. The book of Acts opens with the statement, “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1 New King James Version).
Luke wrote the book of Acts of the Apostles and was referring to the book of Luke that he had previously authored and addressed to the same person, Theophilus. Jesus gave His followers an example to follow. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21 New King James Version). Whatever Jesus would not do, you shouldn’t do it.
Practise what you teach or preach. The apostle James warned, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1 New King James Version). Are you a doer of the word or just a teacher? Don’t just be a teacher or preacher; be also a doer. “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25 New King James Version).
In Galatians 6:13, Paul said of the Judaizers, “For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh” (New King James Version). This faction of Christians, demanding that the Gentile Christians should be circumcised, did not keep the law in full detail but wanted to bring the Gentles under it just to boast of them. Don’t demand from others what you cannot give. Show example. Go before your sheep. Show them the way and they will follow you.
Differentiating between a thief (a robber) and a shepherd, Jesus said the doorkeeper opened the door to the shepherd of the sheep and the sheep heard his voice; he called his sheep by name and leads them out. “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:4 New King James Version).
From this verse, we see that the shepherd took the lead while the sheep followed. He went before the sheep. If there was any danger ahead, the shepherd would face the danger first. This gave the sheep confidence. The sheep are helpless without the shepherd. They could be easily led astray without his guidance. Eventually, by dying on the cross, the Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep (John 10:11)
Lead by example. As an elder of the church, a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that will be revealed, the apostle Peter, writing to fellow elders, told them, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;” (1 Peter 5:2-3 New King James Version).
That was why Paul, with the help of the Holy Spirit, set standards for those who would lead the church. He wrote to Titus, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you — if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:5-9 New King James Version).
There are similar qualifications for bishops in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Verses 8-13 contain the qualifications for deacons, who are also part of the church leadership.
Whether in the church, at work, or at home, leaders should lead by example. They should be people whose lives could be imitated by those they lead. Paul told the Corinthians Christians to imitate him (1 Corinthians 4:16). Also in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he told them to imitate him, just as he also imitated Christ. Christ is our perfect example. We should imitate Him in leadership and in all we do.
Paul told Titus to be a good example to the church by speaking the things which were proper for sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). He was to, in all things, show himself to be a pattern or an example of good works and in doctrine show integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that could not be condemned so that an opponent might be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of him (verses 7-8).
Be a good example of a Christian in leadership and all you do. Be an example to the believers in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12b). Let even non-believers see your good works. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Lead by example – a good example – following the Word of God.
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 Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised 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 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: Holy Spirit, help me to be an effective leader. Help me to imitate Christ and lead by example. I shall be guided by the Word of God as I lead at home, at work, and in society. Holy Spirit, help our leaders to lead by example and those they lead to be good followers.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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