Lead By Example

When we lead we show and we demonstrate often without words – a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi says, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.”Today our topic is one that may cause you to think that leading by example means being perfect and no one is perfect this side of heaven – but, there is more to leading and we’ll explore this topic in this podcast!

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Sometimes our leader’s let us down and when we see this we lose heart and think this is it! The world is ending tomorrow… but Jesus said, Matthew 28:19-20

New International Version

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

He didn’t say go forth and be perfect as I am perfect! When we look at leadership we see that there is much that is expected and rightly so… but it also means that we must look at what we can do and not where others have fallen short. In college, many people thought I needed saving. I was a Catholic and in my mind a Christian. But, my Christian friends thought I had something lacking in my walk with the Lord. So, they asked me to pray a salvation prayer and join a Bible study. I read the salvation prayer and thought – sure, I already believe this and a Bible Study? Why not? But it was still you need to do this and that – and this is the way, the only way.

Good people who mean we’ll want to help others as the Lord has urged, to make disciples of all nations. If we sit together and chat I am sure that many of us come from different denominations and may say their church is the only way. But here is the thing, how are you leading and how are you giving others an example of the love of God in your heart?

When we lead we show and we demonstrate often without words – a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi says, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” There are those who say that Francis never said this and we may never know, but I’d like to believe that he did and I heard this taught by my own parents at an early age, St. Francis being one of our favorite Italian saints who denounced his worldly wealth and went on to preach the gospel all his life.

When we have God’s love in our hearts and we are in communion with him there is no need to use words, there is no need to tell people what to believe or do – there is only a need to show and we do this first and foremost with our own family and our friends. Why is it that we hurt the people we love the most? We hurt those who care for us and who are immediately there in case of need? Is it because we know they will understand? It is not the way we should be or live our lives.

I had a good friend in fact we co-authored some books together and she was a science genius, an amazing mom, and a cook. She was just good at whatever she did, and I would tease her often about her joy and her vocabulary. She talked about utensils (you mean forks and knives?) she talked about “play structures,” you mean a swing set? I would tell her I was her translator because she was on another level! She loved the Lord and before we began the writing projects we would launch into prayer, she’d grab my hands and begin praying and praising God, and yes from time to time I’d open one eye and see she was still going strong, so I’d close my eyes and focus on the words and the Spirit of God – she was an Evangelical Christian and we got along famously because of our mutual love to the Lord even if she was just a tiny bit more –okay allot more—vocal about her praising God. The reason I share this wonderful memory – because Jill went to be with the Lord right after Christmas in 2007, is that wherever we’d go people would stop her and say those golden words to any Christian who wants to share the gospel –
“What is different about you – or You are different, or “I want what you have.”  Jill lead people to the Lord at our printing company where we had our books printed, at the grocery store, and even at the gas station. In fact, she never even realized she did this until I pointed it out to her. She didn’t go around saying anything. Or wearing a huge cross or even a t-shirt that says, Got Jesus? She just smiled and was joyful to everyone she met.

So, we start by asking the Lord for that SPIRIT of Joy and we begin in our own homes and then we ask God to give us the gift of evangelism if that is our calling how DOES HE want us to share the gospel? Is it to learn all we can in the quiet of our home? Is it to reach out to someone at church, or in the grocery store? I look around me and people are afraid. It is a spirit of fear that holds people ransom and the evil one feeds on fear – if you are fearful there is no way you can be an example or lead… Pray this prayer –

1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear must do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Ask the Lord for an infilling of HIS love – and ask the Lord for a deeper relationship with him. We can lead only the Lord requests it.

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord I ask you for that spirit of Joy to overcome any negativity or fear in my life and in the NAME of Jesus I ask that you take away any fear, any anxiety, anything that is not of you and put it at the foot of the cross. Dear Lord I ask for you to fill me with the opposite the spirit of hope, of love, of peace and joy – and I ask for the following needs in my life…. And I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen!

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