Bible Study - Sermon / Random Thoughts / Scripture Devotion

Men of Faith – Taking the Lead

2012-08-03 09.33.35
Men of Faith Breakfast
Taking the Lead
Ephesians 4:31-32

I asked Troy what God was saying to him for today and if there was a theme or focal scripture for today. So, he wrote me back and pointed me to Ephesians 4:31-32
Ephesians 4:31–32 (NIV84)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
And then Troy said his reason is that if a man is head of the household, then he must Lead with Faith.

So you see there two lists: Don’ts and Dos … but Paul in these verses puts them in two categories “get rid of” and “be”.
The phrase “get rid of” means “to take away, to withdraw from the bank”. So we are saying here … Where will you spend or deposit your resources? Where will you deposit your wealth and what will you have when you come back for a withdrawal. So, bad accounts to deposit your wealth are in the first list
Get Rid of
– Bitterness – that is a frame of mind that is resentful, thinking we deserve better than we get
– Rage – is excessive anger that becomes a flashpoint
– Anger – not definitive anger, but distorted by uncontrolled passions
– Brawling – anger acting out physically
– Slander – it isn’t always lying but it is evil speaking about someone in order to hurt them or their reputation
– Malice – Wuerst says this is the root of the rest, a hateful feeling
Those are the bad accounts … where we deposit our resources, passions, actions

Be – ginomai – Become = Abandon one thought for another. Change Banks for your Deposit
– Kind – good, kind, easy
– Compassionate – displaying felt affection, tenderhearted
– Forgiving – this is not forgiving in the sense of bearing the sin in atonement but charizomai – comes from the same word charis … Grace. To do a favor … not deserved, but pleasant, benevolent …
So … simple list of dos and don’ts … we know what we are supposed to do …
But Troy said he was interested in these verses because WE are supposed to LEAD
So, what is this about taking the lead? What is Paul teaching us? We don’t learn it from just two verses. Hopefully today I’m going to make you think. Hopefully I’m going to make you go back and read the entire section.

What are we learning about leading our families?

1. Leading Comes From an Understanding of Position

4:1 says “As a prisoner of the Lord … live a life worthy of the calling … be humble, gentle, patient bearing with each other.”
Why? Because I am a Prisoner of God’s Grace
Every other instruction is based on this understanding.
Jesus is Sovereign Lord of All, Creator, Redeemer, the One who gave his life to purchase yours … if you have never surrendered to him, you will be a frustrated Leader at best or a cruel dictator at worst.
Our position is that we serve under authority. We can’t lead without understanding that
The worst leaders are those who want no accountability
The worst leaders are those who think they world revolves around, rises and falls with them.
Great leaders understand their position, those over them, those under their responsibility.
I have heard recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey saying “my job is not to create policy, but to recommend and implement the plan to carry out the policies and objectives we are given.”

So, I belong to Christ. I am under authority, so I cannot just do whatever I want.

So as we continue to Read this Chapter and Understand

2. Leaders Understand More is Caught Than Taught

Paul says that God has given us church leaders to help us become mature so we aren’t tossed about by the waves. You don’t get there alone. Submitting to and welcoming instruction and mentoring
Paul talks about Actions, Attitudes, and Accountability in this chapter. If our kids are rebellious, angry, selfish, … where did they get that?
I’m not saying we can’t lead unless we are perfect men, but we have to be transparent with our family. When we ignore the rules that we don’t think are important, our family is watching. If your kids obey YOU, but not your wife, maybe they are catching it from you. Do you follow? Do you speak respectfully? Do you process and control your anger or do you rage? They are watching. Do you always act like everyone owes you something? Actions, Attitudes and Accountability. I can’t just do what I want.
Ephesians 4:22–23 (NIV84)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

I must get rid of the one list and become the other because I am accountable to our God and Savior and because I am leading others. V30 says “do not grieve the Holy Spirit” … We are accountable to the Spirit who lives in us. What does that mean?
1 Thessalonians 5:19 calls it “putting out the Spirit’s Fire”. It hinders the fire of transformation in our lives as well as for those we lead, beginning with our family.
I won’t develop it, but if you want to Fan the Flame instead of quenching the Spirit … it is found there in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 … Read it later, but here are the cliff notes
• Rejoice Always
• Pray Always (without ceasing)
• Give Thanks Always (in everything)
• Test Everything
• Always abstain from every kind of evil

So … as we understand it is Caught more than Taught …

The Last thing on Taking the Lead then is

3. Leadership Has a Clear Vision

Be, Live, Say …

If you continue chapter 5:1 it says “Be Imitators of God as Dearly Loved Children”
– Be Imitators of God as dearly loved children
Lift your eyes. Lift your target. Your family is going to follow YOU first, so don’t compare yourself to someone else, aim higher, imitate God
How?
As Dearly Loved Children
Stop saying I will do this as soon as I’m good enough, mature enough, it fits your schedule or personality.
No, as Loved Children – don’t you love it when your children try and imitate you? How do children imitate? The word is to mimic.
Imitate God like Loved Children
• What God does, You just do it because you are imitating God
• You don’t care how it looks, you just do it, imitating God
• You don’t care if it fits or looks cool, just do what God does
• You don’t care if you are good at it, you just imitate God
Like a child loving Daddy, knowing Daddy loves them

Be … Live …

– Live a Life of Love
Live a LIFE … not occasionally, weekly, monthly the word peripateo means walk, behave, conduct, in a manner of living
Make your life … LOVE – agape … This is not sensual love that makes me feel. This is not conditional love that asks what have you done for me? This is DEVOTION. We do it because we choose TO. How do we live this manner of life love.
• As Christ loved you … don’t miss that what he has done for you is a past action, a present reality, and a future expectation. Love like Christ, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
• He gave himself up … It is not enough to bring your children here to be taught God’s Word. And Send them to school to learn, and to a coach to be trained … You give them YOURSELF … it is the best you will give them, particularly if you are seeking God
• As a sacrifice … God loves it because he loves you … do it as an act of worship

Be … Live … Say …
– Say … back to 4:29 … we have to watch what comes out … Only let out what is beneficial. Only allow what is:
• Helpful
• For Building Up
• According to their needs

Men your wives, your children, need to hear your voice. But is what they hear helpful (good, fair, generous) Helpful to building up? Is there a positive future for those words? Is there a useful structure? According to their Needs?
Understand me men. I’m not saying you have to go around saying sweet nothings …
Sometimes correction is needed
Sometimes discipline
Sometimes Grace or Mercy
Sometimes it is an Apology that is needed from US
But Always it is with Love and an Expressed Vision of the Desired Future
That is Taking the Lead
So
Ephesians 4:31–32 (NIV84)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

You know where do you get rid of it and where do you get what you need? His name is Jesus

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