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Be Led and Lead Others

I’m tired this morning. Really tired. My boys started a lawn mowing business, and they’re rookies at it. Seriously. They never mowed lawns prior to their business being started. And yet they now have two clients. One is me. I gave them a section of the lawn to practice on (the rest is mine…it’s my me time), but the man who mows our church gave them a portion of the church to mow. These kids, who have never mowed, have a mower that has one setting, and are mowing thick, spongey grass. So, the two times they’ve mowed, I’ve acted as a demonstrator, a coach, and a dad cheering from the side lines. The boys’ second time mowing the church was yesterday. It needed to get done before the rains came, and so they came to the church right after their 4-H meeting, got their new mower and weed eater (which they bought), and we got to work.

 

As I was thinking of this idea of my kids working, and my role in it, it reminded me of how Jesus trained his own disciples. Just as I was a demonstrator, a coach, and then a sideline parent, so Jesus taught His disciples. Jesus said, “follow me,” and they watched Him work. Then they did the work with Him, under His tutelage, and then He sent them out and rejoiced when they returned with news of their exploits. In light of my own recent experience, this got me thinking: whether being married, or parenting, or being a student at a school, or a teacher, worker, or whatever else God may send us to, we’re in the process of being and making disciples. We’re following or leading someone in to something. Since this is so, what ought we to be led into? What ought we to lead others in to? Be a disciple, but be one of Christ. Make disciples, but make them for Christ. By the Spirit and His word, be led and lead others into Christ.

 

Acts 8:26-40

 

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

 

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter

and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so he opens not his mouth.

In his humiliation justice was denied him.

Who can describe his generation?

For his life is taken away from the earth.”

 

And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

 

2 Timothy 2

 

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

 

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:

 

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

If we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us;

if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

 

for he cannot deny himself.

 

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

 

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

 

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.




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