biblical leadership: owning stuff

Category : God, Jeremiah, living a life of faith, taking action

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“Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar?” (Jeremiah 22:15)

Most of us don’t want cedar.  What would we do with it anyway?  I’m not even sure you can sell it on Amazon.  But during the time of Jeremiah, cedar was hugely important.  It was the sign of wealth, power, and affluence.  It was the Rolls Royce of building materials.

And God is calling out Shallum son of Josiah.

Shallum wanted to prove his “greatness” by building a palace to himself filled with cedar.  It would be like you or I building a house out of marble.  Sure it’s nice, but does it really matter?  That’s the question God is asking.  You see, God doesn’t measure greatness by how nice your house is, or what kind of car you drive.  God measures greatness by different standards.  He measures your greatness by your heart and by your actions.

In short, it’s who you are that matters, not what you have.

It is all too easy to confuse the trappings of office with true leadership.  We think that just because someone has a corner office, a big desk, and an impressive title that they are a leader.  But that’s not how God measures leadership.  Biblical leadership isn’t defined by how much stuff you have.  It’s defined by your heart.  It’s defined by who you are and what you do.

In short, it's who you are that matters, not what you have.

Biblical leadership is about self-sacrifice.  It’s about doing something with what you have.  It has nothing to do with looking like a leader.

The next time you are tempted to buy something because it makes you look important, remember that biblical leadership isn’t about nice stuff, it’s about the core of who you are.  You don’t want to find yourself in the same position as Shallum son of Josiah.

This is part of an ongoing series on Biblical Leadership.

biblical leadership: that you my king should die for me

Category : Jesus, bible, choice, faith, living a life of faith, revolutionary, taking action

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Leadership.  Each of us has an opinion about what makes a leader.  Some people will argue that leadership is all about your genetics – it’s what you’re born with.  Others will argue that leadership is something you can learn.  Or maybe that it’s about the situation you are in.  While we can’t always articulate what leadership really is, we tend to give the old cliche “I know it when I see it.”

But what does the Bible have to say about leadership?  Is there such a thing as Biblical leadership?  The short answer is “yes.”  The Bible makes a strong case for what leadership should look like.  And it looks a lot like sacrifice.

Does that surprise you?

It should.

Because it goes against almost everything we’re told about leadership today.  Most leaders have people who are willing to die for them.  That’s the whole idea behind the Secret Service or a body guard.  The idea is that the leader is so important that he (or she) can not die.  Therefore someone else must be willing to sacrifice their own life to protect the leader.  In other words we die for the King.

In the Bible, however, leadership looks a whole lot like the King dying for us.

The Newsboys capture this in the song You Are My King.  The song says, “Amazing love how can it be?  That you, my King, should die for me

The world tells us that we need to lay down our lives for our King.  That our lives are less important than the King’s.  Yet the Bible is the reverse.  The King should lay down his life for us, the servants.  Jesus had everything he needed.  He didn’t need to die for us.  He chose to die for us.  The one person who should not have to suffer chose to suffer.  To save people who don’t want to be saved.  That, my friends, really is Amazing Love.  That is revolution.

Don’t be fooled though.  Biblical leadership isn’t something reserved for an “elite few.”  It’s supposed to be lived out by everyone who has a relationship with Jesus.  It happens when you live out a life of faith.  When you chose to sacrifice to protect someone weaker than yourself.  When you chose to give something up so that someone else can have something more.  When you lay your own life down, and pick up the cross that God hands you.  That’s living out a life of faith.  That’s Biblical leadership.

That’s a revolution.

Where are you supposed to take leadership in your life?  Who are you to lay your life down for?  Who are you to sacrifice for?  Your wife?  Your boyfriend?  Your kids?  A stranger?

Where will you display Biblical leadership?