Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 156
Passage of the Day #1: Exodus 14: 31 [In the context of verses 29-31] [NLT] …
29 The people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry land, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30 This was how the LORD rescued Israel from the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites could see the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the LORD and put their faith in him and his servant Moses.
Contextual Study for today’s passage: Exodus, Chapter 14 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Matthew 5: 16 [Christian leaders shine the light of Christ for others to follow.] [NLT] …
14 You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. 15 Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Reference Passage #1: Acts 1: 8 [Christian leaders demonstrate the power of God in they way they witness for Christ in their lives.] [NLT] …
8 “… But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
My Journal for Today: If you were an Israelite and you had just traversed the Red Sea after Moses opened the waters with his shepherd’s staff, would you have a tendency to follow him after that episode if he wanted to lead you elsewhere? … DUH!!! … Of course, you would.
What do you think Peter’s response to Jesus’ leadership was after he had witnessed Jesus feed the thousands with a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread; … or after Jesus had asked him to step out of a boat in the midst of a storm; and Peter had walked on water?
Certainly it is true that some leaders can get people, even massive numbers, to follow their “leadership” by using fear tactics or deception. Hitler certainly was an example of that. But CHRISTIAN leaders don’t lead by using deception and strong-arm tactics, do they? So, why do you follow an EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN leader?
And Os Hillman, in his devotional today, points out that Godly (in our day, CHRISTIAN) leaders are effective, as was Moses in his day or Peter was after Pentecost, because those who follow them see the light of God (i.e., Christ) shining in the way they live and the way they lead.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke to the essence of Christ-like leadership when he spoke to His followers about Christians who choose to shine the His light into a darkened world (see Matt. 5: 16 copied above). And He further spoke [see Acts 1: 8 above], when He ascended into heaven, of how the light and power of Christ would be manifest in any believer who can/will openly witness their faith in Christ before others.
Is it not the case that we, disciples of Christ, are more likely to follow leaders in whom we see the power of Christ shining in what they say and do? Oh, yes, we can be fooled … by selfish “leaders” whom we’re conned into believing that they are following God’s ways. Remember (from Jeremiah 17: 9), our flesh is easily deceived. But when we truly see the love of God and the power of Christlikeness being manifest in a teacher, Pastor, or Christian leader, we followers of Christ will follow the light; and that one can become an effective light-bearer and leader for the Kingdom of God.
Whom are you following? Do the leaders you follow lead by shining the light of Christ; or are they using human deception or strong-arm tactics to lead? I will pray today that our leaders are leading by the witness of the power of Godliness and Christlikeness; and I pray that when we see such leadership, we will surrender and follow the leader.
My Prayer for Today … Lord, provide me with leaders who follow You! … Amen