I have reverted back to the three o clock hour and writing what is on my heart. So Good Morning to you. I see a nap in my future today.
I have been observing and thinking about the role of so many in the church. Especially women in the church. There is a difference between judgement and discernment and there are many times I have to ask God to keep my attitude in check on these two. Judgement is ugly and is a sin . When our grace increases our judgment decreases. Discernment is a powerful gift from God. So my question is , How many of us really long to have the heart of a servant? How many of us are fine with NOT being in the spot light and NOT getting recognized for the work we have done for the kingdom and not getting any credit for what we have done whatsoever?
To be a true leader we are called to have the heart of a servant. I think sometimes we over complicate things. What is a servant? Merriam Webster says, ” it is one that serves others <a public servant>; especially : one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer.”
What is servant leadership? In the Gospel of Mark, scripture tells us that,“whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be servant of all.” The Bible tells us that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
It is not something that comes naturally in any of us to want to be last. Let’s be honest, who likes to be the last in line at the grocery store when everyone ahead of you has their cart filled with groceries that could feed an army. Who liked to be picked last when we were little kids at recess when they were dividing up teams? I know the Lord is still working on me when it comes to going to Walmart. Especially when there are tons of people waiting in line and there are three , YES only three cashiers open with five or more people in each line. Patience is a a virtue.
I love this quote. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch
A good leader must know how to be a humble servant. At the front, a leader cannot keep watch over his followers. At the back a leader can guide, teach, and protect. Doesn’t a shepherd guide his flock from the back?
How many of us are truly wanting to grow others in the kingdom of God? Do we really? Or, do we want to grow our reputation or our agenda? Living a Christ filled life is making a difference by becoming Christ like which means that we have to die to ourself DAILY ~ Every day, truly putting on the clothes of servanthood and walking it out, Less of me and more of you God.
We have all heard it said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. What I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.”
Each one of us are called to be difference makers. We are called to ” STAND OUT” and not “FIT IN”. IT only takes one godly man or woman to make a dramatic difference, even in the deepest darkest of circumstances.
Our Redeemer tells us that, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world-like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:13 NLT)
Have you ever felt like I am not in a position to make a difference? I need to move up the ladder to have any influence.? Do you really? If we really believe that God is Sovereign over all things in our life than we must believe that we have been put right where we are by the Lord to be an influence and in a godly way to move people in the right direction. Our God can do a lot with a little. We should influence each individual person in our lives right where He has planted us for this season. The cashier, the server when we are eating out, the clerk at the cleaners , right where we are planted.
If you have grown up in church you are probably familiar with the name of D. L. Moody, one of the great evangelist of his time. Who does not know the name of Billy Graham? But, my real question is have you ever heard of the names of Edward Kimball or Henrietta Mears?
Edward Kimball was the difference maker that allowed us to know the name of D. L. Moody. Mr. Kimball was a shoe salesman. He worked at a shoe store in Chicago, Illinois and felt led by the Lord to share the gospel with a young Dwight. Dwight Moody responded to the message that was shared with him and gave his heart to Jesus Christ. He ultimately became a DIFFERENCE MAKER in a huge way and went on to be the greatest evangelist of his generation. It was because of Edward Kimball’s faithfulness to share the gospel that the Lord reached D. L. Moody, who in turn reached millions.
Have you ever heard of Henrietta Mears? In the late twenties, she was called to teach a Sunday school class at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, California. Under her guidance, the class grew from 400 to 4,000. She was faithful where she was planted and in time went on to found Gospel Light Publishing and Forest Home Christian Conference Center in Southern California. Of the people she influenced, 400 went into full-time Christian service. Among them there was Billy Graham.
The servanthood of one can be powerful. It is not usually the ones on the stage that make the most dramatic changes in our lives. It is the ones that most of us have never heard of. It is the little faithful Sunday School teachers that taught us Bible scriptures to memorize. It is the Coach that believed in us and poured into us when no one else did. For me , it is My precious Grandparent’s who taught me that the only way to true contentment is for Jesus to be the center of our lives.
With the passing of my Grandmother recently, I continue to think back on the legacy they left being in their pastoral ministry of 55 years. My Grandmother’s life here on earth may have just ended on September 3, 2014 but her legacy continues long after. She was the quiet prayer warrior that made a difference. The faithful servant in all that she did. You would never leave without hearing her blessings and how much she loved you. What a difference maker she was. What a difference she made in my life but seldom did she ever take the platform for all to see.
Our lives can make a difference. In Ezekiel 22:30 God says, “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one” (NLT).
God is looking for that one who can make his or her mark. He is searching for all the millions that say they know him.
We may be the only Christian whom some people will ever know. The fact is that God can do a lot with a little and it is usually in the day to day events. The check out lines when you share about life and the Lord. It is visiting people when they are sick and down that make the biggest differences and it can turn the tide in their lives.
Think about the little boy whose lunch fed the masses. Just ask that boy what the difference one can make. He was willing to share his lunch one day and saw Jesus feed 5,000 people, PLUS women and children, with his little “happy meal” and think about it, we NEVER even knew his first name. Most of us would have at least wanted our name in the paper and how we gave up our lunch to feed others. At least an honorable mention right?
God is just looking for one someone like you, someone like me. Will you be that one person? Will you be ok being this someone even if you never get the credit, the power or the position that you think you want?
Most all would love to be a Billy Graham or D. L. Moody. Maybe you will be. But most of us will not be. Are you willing to at least be an Edward Kimball or a Henrietta Mears?
How many of us are willing to do what we can, where we are planted, with the influence that God has given us to share the love and grace of God? Never underestimate the power of one. One spark can start a tremendous forest fire. I think of the childhood song that I learned in Sunday School by a difference maker in my life.
It only takes a spark to get a fire going.
And soon all those around, can warm up in glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love,
Once you’ve experienced it, you spread His love to everyone;
You want to pass it on.
May each one of us , Pass our love for Christ on. Whether we will be the next Joyce Meyer or D.L. Moody or Billy Graham only God knows, but we can be the very best we can be with the gifts that we have been given. Most of the time I find, we will make the most difference for him by being behind the scenes and not looking for any credit for us. We will be elevated in the eyes of our Father when we are looking to give him all the praise and glory . It is all that really matters. Pass it on ~