Misc. Leadership Principles – Part Four
[Before we begin, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to those who have stayed with me through this series on The Leadership Principles of Jesus Christ. I realize that there are numerous principles with which we need to renew our minds to, but try and remember that you should take it slow. I myself, have to remember the same thing. I am no different than you are and you are just as important to God as any other believer.]
We are going to take up right where we left off in Matthew Chapter six (6) in the very next verse. Jesus Christ is telling us to be cool and not to worry about ANYTHING. Let’s go to the Word and let the Word speak.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? – Matthew 6: 25 (Read verse 26 also)
Christ said not to worry about what you are going to eat or drink or about what you will wear. Don't worry about anything in your life. The birds worry about nothing and God feeds them. Aren't you more important to God?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? – Matthew 6: 27
By anxious thought, can you add to your height? Does worry or anxiety ever accomplish anything?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: -- Matthew 6: 28 (Read verse 29 also)
And why should you wonder or worry or have any anxiety about clothes? God arrays the lilies greater than Solomon was ever arrayed. God does this. God takes care of you. If God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and gone tomorrow, will he not clothe you, 0 ye of little faith? Don't ever wonder about what there is to drink or eat or what there is to wear. These things are what the heathens focus on - they are material things. God knows that you have need of all of these things. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6: 34
So don't worry about the future and don't think about tomorrow. Don't be anxious about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. There is enough evil in this present day for you to deal with.
Moving on to Matthew chapter seven (7), we come to a major leadership principle, which many of us find very difficult to apply. This reminds me of Corinthians, which tells us not to think evil. We are surrounded, in this world by evil, almost everywhere we look, and yet we are not to judge anybody. You see, judgment is meant for God. I admit, in this day and time, man does the judging, but we as believers are not to imitate man, but we are to be fashioned, in our renewed mind, according to what the Word says.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. – Matthew 7: 1
Also in Luke:
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: -- Luke 6: 37
In Matthew 7: 3, Jesus Christ is giving us some good advice in the form of reproof and correction. Please read the verse. Christ is saying: How can you help a brother who has a small spiritual fault when you have a larger one? First get your own life in order according to the Word of God, and then you can help others. You must be able to see clearly before you can help another to do the same. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The Word of God is the only truth in the world. It always makes sense.
Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. – Matthew 7: 5
A ‘beam’, in the New Testament, is a metaphor which indicates a great fault or vice. A ‘mote’ is any small dry particle such as a piece of wood or dust.
Jesus Christ always did the Father’s Will and obviously God has a great sense of humor. He’s saying “Hypocrite, you have a beam in your own eye, a GREAT FAULT, and here you are judging your brother who has a piece of dust in his eye – a very small fault! You’re trying to help him?! Get the beam out of your own eye first, and then you can see clearly to be able to help your brother.”
Now to move on to a principle that you better adhere to, because if you do not, you will find yourself in a deep spiritual trap. Once applied, you will easily see the benefits of this commandment of God and it will actually be easy to apply. I saw this trap being sprung on me as soon as I got into the Word of God in 1974. It was being arranged by someone who was, up to that point, my best friend. We were both witnessed to and invited to an area Branch meeting of Christians and my friend acted very interested, but when the believer who held forth God’s Word left, my friend said that he was not going to get involved. For the first time, I saw a counterfeit way about him and pride. It was the beginning of the end of our friendship. I went to the meeting and my life was never the same since. Let me explain after we review some applicable Scriptures pertaining to fellowship with darkness.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? -- II Corinthians 6: 14
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. -- Ephesians 5: 11
Darkness is referring to unbelievers. We are not to fellowship (hang around) with them. Why?
Be not deceived: evil communications [associations] corrupt good manners [morals]. -- I Corinthians 15: 33
You become like those you associate with and your good morals will eventually become corrupted. Be careful here – it will happen if you choose to fellowship with darkness. Now let’s see what Jesus Christ has to say in the seventh chapter of Matthew.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. – Matthew 7: 15
My best friend actually began to make fun of the meeting I attended. I explained to him what took place and also spoke to him about this exact subject – fellowship with darkness. He joked and said “Let’s go and fellowship with some darkness.” You see the fact that he made the decision not to seek God first was already having an effect on him. It was a little bit freaky to see. For the first time in my life, I wanted to get away from him. His life eventually became a disaster, slow but sure. He dropped out of college, his wife left him, took the kids, and he now lives alone and works at a job he hates. He was one who loved this present evil world and it destroyed him. Everyone has free will. Our lives have become like opposites.
You should read verses 16, 17, and 18 of Matthew Chapter 7. Jesus Christ explains that you know where someone is coming from by what they manifest in their lives. The fruit they cultivate is either good or evil.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7: 20
I have put together a separate teaching on this subject simply called Fellowship With Darkness. It would be wise that you study this teaching and be sure to master it. I have seen people drawn away from the Word of God many times. The adversary is so sly that he will work through the ones you love the most to pull you away from the Word. Why? Because he knows that the Word of God must set you free from his clutches. He wants to continue to control your life. I have seen parents, girlfriends, member of someone’s family, friends etc., influence a new believer to walk away from God. I knew God was working wonders with me so I told my earthy family to take a hike. I allowed no one to pull me away from God’s Word. You need to acquire that strength.
Believe, me, when it comes to God’s Word, you don’t have any friends. You must keep God Almighty first before your family, friends, spouse, girl or boyfriend, whatever and whoever. GOD FIRST, PERIOD.
Christ says in Matthew that we are not to give that which is holy unto the dogs (God-rejecters). Don’t share God’s Word with those who persistently refuse to believe. DO NOT CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and deny what you said and then attempt to break you in pieces. You are not to witness to people who you know refuse to believe. YOU DO NOT FELLOWSHIP WITH DARKNESS.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because straight [narrow] is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. – Matthew 7: 13, 14
Jesus Christ said that the way is broad and the gate is wide that leads to destruction. The adversary has many ways for you to destroy your life - many tricks and traps. BUT strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and THERE ARE FEW THAT FIND IT. That way is by the Word of God - by renewing your mind and applying it in your life. That is the only way to the more than abundant life. You may be one of the few who found that way. You should know by experience, many of the other ways the adversary has for a person to follow, that lead to destruction of life.
Now let’s move to a new principle.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. – II Corinthians 11: 13, 14, 15
Jesus Christ also taught us this in the Gospel of Matthew.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. – Matthew 7: 21, 22, 23
Not everyone that said to Christ "Lord, Lord" will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but those that DO the rightly divided Will of God. There are so many counterfeits out there - so many religious people that know nothing of God's Word. Neither do they make any attempt to study the Word of God. They may talk about Jesus Christ but they know nothing about him since they don't study the Bible.
There are many so-called ministers in this world that are nothing but counterfeits working for the god of this world. That is why you must know the genuine to recognize the counterfeit. Very many of Satan’s ministers are transformed into angels of light. You see them in many religions and also on television. They take untold amounts of money from blind followers and line their pockets. Their end shall be according to their works. Thus saith the Lord.
Now we will move to another new principle, which will probably be the last in this series, Part Four.
And the world passeth away, and the lust [over-desire] thereof: but he that doeth [practices] the will of God abideth forever. – I John 2: 17
God is saying that the doers of the Word, those who renew their mind, will have eternal life. Jesus Christ spoke in a parable which when understood, is stated in more detail.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. – Matthew 7: 24, 25
Verses 26 and 27 goes on to say the opposite regarding those who hear God’s sayings and do not do them. One person builds his house upon a rock and the other upon sand. That rock is Jesus Christ.
When you base your life upon the Word of God, you can withstand a great deal of tribulation without giving in to pressures or failure. Unbelievers may act like all is fine, but inside they are suffering, are full of fear and anxiety and actually live a miserable life, giving in to worldly ways and submitting to evil and conformity. These are the people you want to stay away from. Remember what we taught about previously, regarding fellowship with darkness.
And in conclusion, let’s talk about a final leadership principle of Jesus Christ that made a major impact on his ability to influence others to God’s way of thinking. Jesus Christ had boldness and acted without fear. He had confidence and it showed when he was teaching. The words he taught did not trickle out of his mouth. Let’s see what God’s Word says about this subject.
And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. – Matthew 7: 28, 29
Jesus Christ studied the Word of God in great detail so when he taught it to others, he had confidence in what he was saying and knew it to be true and accurate. He did not stumble and get stuck in his words as the scribes surely did. He never let spectators run his performance. He took charge – he was a leader in the true sense of the word. That’s what it means when he said he taught them as one having authority.
This is what will happen to you as you listen and apply the Word of God after you are born again of Holy Spirit. Once a person becomes born again of God’s Spirit, he now has body, soul, and SPIRIT. Take a look at what happened to Peter after he was born again of God’s Spirit after the original outpouring on the Day of Pentecost. Remember that 50 days before the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the Apostles were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Peter now spoke as one who had authority.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: -- Acts 2: 14
This was the first verse of the first Christian sermon and concluded in verse 40. Peter stood up – he lifted up his voice – and he said - you men – listen to me! That’s acting without fear and only the Word of God uproots the fear out of a man or a woman.
In Matthew, towards the end of Chapter Six and Seven alone, in this teaching, I counted seven (7) leadership principles of Jesus Christ. In Chapter eight (8) we will continue learning from the greatest teacher who walked this earth and his teacher was God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe.