Summary: Have you heard that saying, " there’s gold in them there pews." Well, every potential leader in your church needs these words of warning.
A Check Up from the Heart Up! Text: Matthew 15: 1-3, 8-14
1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 8 ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Introduction: There are plenty of good leaders around, so don’t be afraid to follow them, but what about these “blind guides” who lead people into a ditch? Some of these guides (leaders, teachers, shepherds or pastors) lead by manipulation, condemnation, and even fear. Some have even learned the art of making themselves seem mysterious through their approach to the stage or pulpit. They make themselves seem larger than life.
I. The Pharisees were all about appearances and outward works, but Jesus said don’t be alarmed by them “because every plant that isn’t of the Father will be uprooted!” “The blind leading the blind will fall into the ditch!”
A. You might say to me, “well pastor I think most preachers and people in ministry have the right motives, so how can I apply this to me?” How does this apply to you? “How many of you in here want to go farther with God; you have asks God to use you; maybe you even feel a call on your life.”
B. So today I would want to make you aware of some pitfalls for anyone with a desire to be a leader! These scribes and Pharisees were: #1.Inflexible, meaning, they weren’t teachable, nor did they have a servant’s heart.( Be aware of a know it all!)
C. Phil. 2:5-9 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
D. The question might be ask, “Do you want glory now, or His glory later?”
E. #2. Elitism, look out for the “we alone are right club.” Look out for those who can’t fellowship with the members of God’s larger family! (Some think they can only associate with their kind.) Remember, Jesus wasn’t that way!
F. #3. Money-grabbing! I Peter 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; Paul says in I Timothy 5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
G. #4. Accountability! Beware not to become untouchable, “I’m God’s anointed” types! No matter how gifted someone is we all have blind spots, and we need accountability and counsel!(Having an accountabilty partner is wise!)
H. Ecc. 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I. #5. A Bad Spirit! Coming in (Church) with a frown on your face! Someone who dreads or leads with an attitude scares me! At anytime they look like they could bite your head off, or they look like they have been eating sour lemons!
J. Remember, Jesus wasn’t that way on the cross, but He had every reason to be!( He was still breathing forgivness toward humanity! I Peter 5:5-6 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
K. Three words to the wise: 1. Submit yourself to those who are wise. 2. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. 3. Throw yourself on the mercy and care of God.