Does Your Leadership Have Intention?
Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews — Acts 20:17-19
Paul is traveling with seven men from a variety of churches. In the video today, you will see a map where these men have traveled. Currently, they have traveled from Troas to Miletus. And then will board a ship from Miletus traveling to Tyre. And then travel from Tyre to Jerusalem. Paul's mission is to bring a significant financial gift to the church in Jerusalem. But Paul has a strong sense that this will be his last trip, and he's right. But a short distance away from Miletus is the city of Ephesus. This is a city where Paul lived and worked for about two and a half years. And so he will call the leaders of the church at Ephesus to come and join him because he has a special message for them. And I want to spend the next few devotionals unpacking this speech because it's very emotional.
This text immediately references three distinctives about his leadership during his time with the church in Ephesus. First, the character by which he led — he uses the word "humble" in this text. Second, the passion with which he led — he uses the word "tears" to describe his anguish and passion. Third, the integrity with which he led — he uses the word "trials" to describe the opposition and testing of his leadership.
I love this transparent look into Paul's leadership because it demonstrates the intention of his leadership. You see, his leadership was never an afterthought. It was aforethought. His leadership was intentional. He knew that when he walked into a town as a spokesperson for Jesus that his character, passion, and integrity would be put to the test. And although preaching the gospel was his mission, he knew that how he lived and led was also of great consequence. Therefore he lived life with them with humility, in tears, and through trials. And how he handled the leadership obstacles along the way would either add credence to the gospel he preached or diminish it.
As followers, we are put to the same test. Yes, we can believe the gospel and even communicate it clearly. But we must also live it. You and I have to live it with character, passion, and integrity because this adds credence to what we believe and the good news we teach to the people around us. This includes our wife, kids, family, coworkers, and friends
So today, reflect on these two questions:
- Who will you teach truth to today?
- How will your actions teach it?
ASK THIS: The two questions above.
DO THIS: Then do it.
PRAY THIS: God, as you put a person's name on my mind today, may my actions represent you and the truth I will teach.
PLAY THIS: Teach Me.
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