Leadership in the Image of God: Commitment and Image
Read Romans 12:1-2
Effective leadership flows from commitment to the right things. As followers of Christ, the single most important commitment of our lives is to God. Any true (and eternal) success we experience as leaders will flow from that commitment.
The apostle Paul urges us on God’s behalf to devote ourselves to God. The word “Therefore” (v. 1) points to all the apostle has written in the previous eleven chapters. In light of God’s mercy, which justifies, sanctifies, and will someday glorify us, we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Him. In other words, we should allow God’s mercy to accomplish this additional work in our lives. We should let it drive us to absolute commitment.
The word “offer” implies that this act, much like a wedding vow, occurs once. It may be renewed, but at some point we should be motivated by God’s mercy to devote ourselves to Him. When we take this step, we’re acknowledging Christ’s leadership in our lives. We sacrifice our selfish desires and misguided ambitions as we strive to align ourselves with God’s will. Once this act of commitment occurs, our talents and dreams will be surrendered to His purpose. And the more we give ourselves to Him, the more He will bless and use us.
Have you committed yourself completely to Christ? If not, consider doing so now. If you’re a devoted follower of Christ, perhaps you could consider renewing this commitment.
Commitment and Who God Is
What is the basis for security and significance in life? Security relates to commitment, and significance relates to how long something will last. God tells us that He is committed to all who are in Christ, and that our relationship with Him will last forever. Read Jeremiah 31:31-36 to see the covenant of commitment the Lord made with His people.
Read Jeremiah 31:31-36
In spite of the rebelliousness of the people of Judah, the Lord assured them through the prophet Jeremiah that He was committed to their ultimate good. Judgment was inevitable because they had flagrantly violated God’s commands, but the prophet looked beyond this impending condemnation to a time of consolation. There will be a faithful remnant, and God’s people will eventually enjoy the blessings of forgiveness and complete renewal.
In this covenant, God commits Himself to the welfare of the house of Israel and Judah and predicts a time when they will all know Him and when His law will be written on their hearts (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s grace is always previous to our response and demonstrates His unshakable commitment to us (1 John 4:9-10).
When we love God, it is only as a result of His love for us first (1 John 4:19). If God is this committed to your personal welfare, what keeps you from enjoying a full sense of security and significance?
Commitment and Who I Am
Quality relationships are founded on the rock of commitment, not the shifting sand of feelings or emotions. God calls us to be a people of commitment, first to Him and then to others. Look at Joshua 24:14-27 to study the parting words of a man whose entire life was marked by commitment.
Read Joshua 24:14-27
Joshua told the people that even if they chose not to serve the Lord, they would still not be exempt from service. If we do not serve the Creator, we will unavoidably serve some part of the creation. But the gods of success, position and possessions are cruel taskmasters and never deliver the profound satisfaction they promise. God alone is the worthy object of our total commitment, and if we direct our highest commitment to anything else, we commit idolatry. We were designed to serve God and to find our deepest satisfaction in Him, but we will be half-hearted at best if we try to play by two sets of rules and serve two masters (Luke 16:13).
Many of those who followed Jesus were merely curious. Others were convinced of the truth of what He was teaching, but only a few were fully and personally committed to Him. When His uncommitted followers began to leave Him in response to His difficult sayings, Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked if they wanted to leave with the others. Although it is doubtful that they understood the Lord better than those who were leaving, they realized that once having committed themselves to Him, there was no turning back (John 6:60-69). As disciples of Christ, we are called to remain committed to Him even when we are unable to understand Him.
As a godly leader, you have made a commitment to serve the Lord (v. 22). Have you assessed how that commitment has been played out in your life? In what ways has your level of commitment to the Lord been conditioned by your understanding of what He is doing in your life? The call to commitment is a call to constant vigilance in maintaining and understanding the standards of that commitment. No matter what distractions a godly leader may encounter, he or she needs to maintain his or her focus on serving the Lord.
(Taken from Ken Boa's Handbook to Leadership)
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