Summary: Leadership, example, disciple making
FOLLOW THE LEADER
1 Thess. 1:1-10 (p 835) Oct. 7, 2012
If you didn’t know this…I want to inform you that there is a Presidential election taking place next month on the 13th….WHAT!!!
You mean you already knew?!!!!
And yes I believe it’s important …yes I will vote and rejoice in the hard won privilege I have to do so…
The reason I believe it is so important is that leaders always determine the direction a people will go…whether those people are citizens under their authority, or employees under their oversight or a congregation following their shepherd’s.
And if I am a follower of Christ…I cannot put on or take off that mantle when viewing worldly politics.
Who am I going to vote for? Well…I’m going to vote for the individual that I best believe can oversee and lead our country through a Biblical world view…As the Holy spirit give me discernment, and I know there are individuals who adamantly believe that this person will do just that…and there are individuals that believe that the other person will accomplish just that…boot firm believers in what they believe.
The only time Jesus got somewhat political ….and this at a time when Herod sat on the throne (Herod wasn’t a nice man) was when he said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s to God what is God’s…what was going on? Well it was a trap…Listen…
Matt 22: 15- 22 (p 699)
Why didn’t Jesus deal with the fact Caesar claimed to be God…butchered people in war…allowed “female babies to be left out for destruction and morally slept with whoever he wanted…? Why?
Because he’s afraid? I don’t think so…that’s how they tried to trap him “We know you teach the truth no matter who is confronted with it.”
And Jesus certainly isn’t teaching the separation of church and state as many expound.
I’m not Jesus so I can’t answer all those questions…but what Jesus does do is lead…and if you think Jesus was afraid of people in power…read Matt 23 every part of its in red except the intro which says, This Jesus said to the crowds and His disciples…your leaders…the Pharisees who oversee the law of Moses are… non-caring , publicly hounds, who lie for their own gain, they present a smiling well dressed exterior, but they are rotten and dead on the inside…their descendants are murderers..they’re snakes…they’ll have trouble escaping Hell…and because of them all the righteous blood that’s been shed on earth will come upon this generation…
Jesus had tons more to say about spiritual leaders than Caesar and Herod.
That really scares me…because I am one…not only am I accountable for my life, but by accepting that responsibility and calling, I’m accountable for my teaching and preaching in regards to you…and those under my care. I think that’s exactly what James mean when he says, “Not many of you should presume to be teacher’s my brothers because you know WE (James put himself in this category who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)
Jesus told his followers….”Follow Me”,
So it’s natural for Paul, Silas, and Timothy to say to the Thessalonians…Follow us as we follow Jesus…Imitate us but how scary is that? It’s why not many should presume to be teachers, because unless you’re willing to live your life among those you teach…there’s no power…Listen…
TRUE LEADERSHIP ISN’T ABOUT WHO MAKES THE BEST SPEECHES
1 Thess. 1:1-6 (p835)
The words “we” “us” and “our” are used 8 times in verses 2-6…8 times in the opening sentences of Paul’s letter he says…we’re connected….we’re together in this journey…”You know how we lived among you for your sake”
I love how we’re given insight into one scripture by another…it’s hard to get a genuine picture of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians without Acts chapter 17….It’s after Barnabas & Paul split over John Mark…you remember the sharp disagreement between the two because Barnabas wanted to give John Mark a 2nd chance after he deserted them on an earlier trip…Paul wanted nothing to do with him…So Barnabas went with John Mark and Paul went with Silas, and Timothy. It’s on this 2nd missionary journey that Paul and Silas come to Thessalonians…There’s a Jewish Synagogue there…and for 3 weeks Paul reasons with the people from scripture (what scripture? The Old Testament…the Septuagint. He used the Old Testament to explain and prove that Jesus is Christ…Listen
Acts 17: 2-4 (p 785)
Some Jews were persuaded, a lot more God fearing gentiles, and a bunch of prominent women…
The door to the Kingdom is wide open…
By Paul’s own admission he’s not the greatest orator…He’s not the greatest orator…He’s a smart and spirit filled apologist of the gospel…especially the resurrection….”Christ had to suffer and arise from the dead.”
But he’s only in the synagogue making these speeches for 3 weeks. Before the Jews in town get jealous and force Silas and he to flee in the middle of the night..