Summary: A great number of people called themselves Christians who want to be served than to serve. There are many who aspire in leadership but very few will aspire to servant-hood.
THE COMMITMENT OF A SERVANT-LEADER
(I preached this message during my employment at Philippine Missionary Institute)
S. I. McMillen, in his book "None of These Diseases," tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the blank application that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college:
"Congratulations, you are accepted in this seminary! There were about 1,452 new leaders enrolled in this seminary this Academic year and we decided to include at least 1 follower."
A great number of people called themselves Christians who want to be served than to serve. There are many who aspire in leadership but very few will aspire to servant-hood. So I believe all of you here are leaders or aspiring to become leaders and not followers.
Do you believe that a good leader is a good follower? So, today I will preach about becoming a good follower rather than a good leader so that when you become good followers of the Lord Jesus Christ then you will become good Christian leaders.
This morning my topic is about commitment, the foundation of becoming a good follower. Let’s talk about commitment in serving the Lord found in Luke 9:57-62 in our Scripture:
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no place to lay his head. And he said to another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said to him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
These three persons in the passage were perhaps just representations of the many Christians today. Many were attracted to follow Jesus because He had performed great miracles. Jesus enabled the blind to see, the lame to walk, and cast out demons. Many had seen how Christ multiplied 5 loaves and 2 fishes into enough food to feed 5000 people.
Many people who experienced these things may perhaps have thought, “If Jesus can do all these things then surely He can meet all of my needs. If I want to benefit and gain from this then I must follow Him. This is one great opportunity that I must not miss.”
And many, like these three persons in our passage would then come and express their desire to follow Jesus. But Jesus did not welcome them. In fact He turned away many who wanted to follow Him. Why?
Did He not desire to have more followers? No, He wanted something more important than that: He wanted commitment from those who would serve Him.
Today the Lord Jesus still requires that same kind of commitment from those who would serve Him. Let us look carefully at the 3 IMPORTANT POINTS IN COMMITTING OUR LIVES TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST.
I. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR JESUS (V.57)
According to v.57 the first man promised, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
This sounds very good. But what exactly did he mean by saying this? Perhaps he was thinking more about the glory of being a follower of Christ. He was thinking of how glorious it would be to be closely associated with such a great person.
Here was an exciting growing movement, a worthy cause. “I must join…I must join!” the man thought. And Jesus could see that.
So, in His reply, Jesus did not want the first man to think of the glory of being His follower. He wanted him to know that there is a price to pay.
And Jesus therefore said to him, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”
Jesus was saying that even the very poor creatures have a relatively comfortable life compared to His life. He was saying “If you really want to follow Me, you are willing to live/sacrifice the way I live.”
[The problem nowadays in the Philippines is that most Christians workers drop-out when they experience hardship in life. They want to assure of support before serving the Lord. They have no peace of mind in serving the Lord if they are not assured of financial support.]