Families with young children click on this link for your devotional:
Families/Individuals with no young children, please follow this devotional by Theo Cox:
5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” [a]
This scripture reminds me of this guy that lives in my neighborhood that we call the cat guy. Anytime you drive by his house it is like playing a game to spot how many cats you can find. On average you can spot at least seven cats around his house. They are on the porch, in the grass, on a tree stump, or you name it. Every now and then I will see the guy outside walking around his yard with cats in a single file line following him. Not once does he have to turn around and tell them to get back in line so they can eat. The cats run around the neighborhood all day, but they always come back and get in line for food.
At some point we all take the role of the elders and we also take the roles of the flock. God has called us to minister to his people and help lead them to the cross. Even when we don’t feel like we are leaders, we lead people every day by our actions. I remember when I was in the 8th grade and I was sitting on the bus going home from school. A friend and I was sitting at the back of the bus talking, when a sixth-grade girl told me that her and her friends looked up to me. She said they like how friendly I am to everyone and glad to have me as a role model. This was something that blew my mind because before that day I never really talked to this person a day in my life, and now they were saying that I was their role model. I wasn’t the star basketball player, I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, and I was simply a floater within the school. But even then, people followed me. Many of the times I found myself in a leadership position, it wasn’t because I was seeking control, but it was due to people trusting in me. It was also because I was willing to follow. Verse 3 says to lead by example, not be lording over people. When we strive to be Christlike, we are leading by example because if we try to force people to follow over time they will rebel.
They say that many of times when people turn a hobby into a career, they can sometimes no longer want to do it because now they must. God gave us free will so we can come to him willingly, not by force. I read this book “Servant Leadership” and it talks about the importance to serve your people. This means that we must humble ourselves and sometime become part of the flock to follow someone else. I am sorry to break it to some people, but all our accomplishments are because of God and other people. Yes, we may have worked hard to get to a certain point, but without people mentoring us or giving us a chance, we would have nothing. “How can you say this Theo?” “I worked hard to get where I am and the only person, I have to thank is God and myself.” Well you gave you that job to earn money for education or to provide for your family. Who took your invention, your idea, or your work and made it a success? God puts people in our lives to lift us up and we should be humble towards others and accept that we can’t do everything on our own. Seek and listen to those with experience because we can learn from them. Don’t be pompous when people criticize us but listen to the value that is within the knowledge. Whether we are the elder or the flock, we are not to be too proud to follow. Remember that wisdom and knowledge can come from anybody, regardless of the age. Guide the youth of tomorrow and follow when needed.
Are there people you should be following, but have been too proud to do so?
Are you leading by power or by example?
Optional Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOnBO-ZJjSg
Father, thank You for these instructions to church enders, to feed the flock of
God with sound, biblical doctrine, and to take responsibility for the nurturing
and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Help each one of us to
grow in grace and in a knowledge of You, and may all Your children live humbly,
and walk circumspectly, before You, throughout our Christian life. Thank You
Father... and that You are no respecter of persons and are ready to use any one
of us, who is willing to be used and looking to Jesus, as the
Author and Finisher of our faith - even me. Give me opportunities to shepherd
and nurture those that are weaker in the faith than I and excite in me a desire
to learn from elders and officials in the church, who are fulfilling their
God-given role, within the body of Christ. Give me a spirit of humility and
grace to finish the race that is set before me - and may all I do be done to
Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.