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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 73 – The Command to Lead Others

Intimidating.
Exciting.
Overwhelming.
Scary.

These are some words I’ve recently heard describing discipleship.

The bottom line is this: if you are a Christ follower who has been given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and are therefore a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) then you are commanded to lead others and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 2, plus a bunch more).

When you look at yourself and your abilities, knowledge and inadequacies, this can definitely look intimidating, impossible even.

It would be easy to say you weren’t qualified to “disciple” someone else, and shake off the responsibility to someone in the local church who has more knowledge, who has walked with God a little longer or who “loves people better” than you.

The thing is, that’s not the Gospel.

The Gospel says our abilities are completely inadequate. Our goodness is like filthy rags before the holy Lord and can never be enough to merit His favor or salvation but that it was a beautiful, free, unexpected and undeserved gift.

The Gospel says we were once dead in our trespasses and sins and God made us alive by His life-giving power.

The Gospel says all we have to offer God is what He has already given us.

And that’s all He wants. 

He doesn’t want our innovation.
Our cleverness.
Our “impressive” qualities.

He wants our hearts.
Our trust.
Our obedience.

Heart Pricks and Leading Others

What God has been pricking my heart with in the last week or so, is the question of how I’m leading the people in my life.

What does my “leadership” look like? 

We know the story in John 4 of the Samaritan woman at the well who encounters this strange man, Jesus, who told her “all I ever did.” But my heart prick came in verses 28-30 and 39.

“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to Him. 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”

 She led people to Christ and many believed in Him because of her testimony.

Can that be said of me? 

The last couple of heart pricks I’ll leave you with come from the book Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell and several other worship leaders around the United States.

I cannot recommend this book enough.

It’s specifically targeted to worship leaders and pastors (of which I am neither), but it is beneficial for every member of the local church. Read it. You’ll be convicted, challenged and so very encouraged by the deep gospel-centered truths found within it’s pages.

Quotes from Doxology and Theology

(the following quotes, again, are specifically talking to worship leaders, but I’m applying them to the girls and women I disciple. Apply it to your situation as well and see what God will do.)

Michael Bleeker:

“It’s time for us to feel the weight of our calling and with humility and passion lead those who God puts in front of us each week.

Are you leading from a posture of humility? Are you marked by someone who has been transformed by the gospel? Are you leading from a place of believing in the sufficiency of Scripture? The Word of God is inerrant, infallible, and certain. It is the sole authority on all matters of faith and life and practice.”

Stephen Miller:

So many of us spend our time in the darkness, snacking on prideful thoughts or self-glory, thinking that such things are merely trifles, all the while acquiring such a taste for the counterfeit that we cannot remember the real thing.

For many worship leaders, that means becoming consumed with building a bigger fan-base and better platform. More fans, more friends, more followers, more flattery—the secret thoughts of our hearts fuel our obsession with our own name.

We lead people to ourselves rather than Jesus, and then wonder why power has left the pulpit and why the deep theological treasures of some of the old hymns have degenerated into songs that exalt us above the glory of our Creator.

Worship leaders are always in danger of falling into the pharisaical trap of honoring God with our lips, but keeping our hearts far from Him.

Our mandate is to actually love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength—not to simply make people think we do.”

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