Luke 20: The Dangers of Spiritual Leadership

Being a leader is both a great privilege and responsibility.

Spiritual leadership is perhaps more so, because there is the added factor of walking humbly with God while also pointing the way for others. Even some of greatest heroes of the Bible had their dark side–David’s had an affair with Bathsheeba, Moses murdered an Egyptian in anger, and Peter denied knowing Jesus on the night His Master was arrested. Yet God still used them, flaws and all.

But there is another category of spiritual leader Jesus despises. Luke 20:45-46 reveal their traits:

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

They lead others, but they love power and attention for themselves. In the end, “…these men will be punished most severely.”

Some have claimed introverts make better leaders because they lead out of necessity, not out of a need for attention. I’m not sure this is always the case, but it reflects the idea Jesus has in mind in these words. The danger of spiritual leadership is to serve so you can be a leader rather than serving because you are a leader. This motive makes all the difference.

When people see us or any Christian leader serving for our own purposes, it makes the Christ we serve look bad and His message is dishonored. But when we offer ourselves to serve others, whether in leadership or any other act of service, much good can be accomplished. People can then see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven, as Scripture mentions.

If you are a Christian leader today or emerging leader in progress, please take Jesus’ words in these verses seriously. Our goal must always be to serve to help others, not to help ourselves. It may not pay well, turn out well, and can even lead to suffering and death in some cases (as it did with Jesus), but we can only lead well when we are led well. We must stay connected with Jesus that we may connect others to Him.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Luke 19: Faith Changes Everything

As a kid, one of the first church songs I remember is, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he…” As an adult, I realize the story involves much more than a short guy who climbed a tree to see Jesus.

The end of this account in Luke 19 reads:

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The people were not surprised at Zach in a tree; they were surprised Jesus would hang out with a “sinner” like him. But it took Jesus showing up at Zach’s home to discover why Jesus was there, “to seek and save the lost.” Jesus was not showing up for a free meal; He was there to offer freedom.

The result was a changed heart and changed actions. Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor and made restitution to those he had cheated. The actions were not his salvation, but his salvation led to actions that helped others.

Zacchaeus may have been a wee little man, but faith changed everything. He is now known in the Bible as a person who sought Jesus, chose to follow Him, and lived a life that reflected this transformation.

May our lives show this same attitude today.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Luke 18: Never Give Up

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

What do these words reveal to us now, in this moment?

Jesus used the example of an uncaring judge to communicate His care for us. Even those who show apathy toward us can be moved through persistence.

If those who do not care can respond, how much more will God, who cares perfectly for each of us, respond?

Further, Christ promises God will grant justice at the appropriate time. Does life seem unfair? It often does. But God will answer in His perfect timing when we pray without giving up.

Seeking justice? Pray. Then pray more.

God is there. He will answer when we call to Him.

Never give up.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.


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