Today marks one year as a worship resident at The Austin Stone. One year ago I began a journey which has challenged me, empowered me and equipped me, not just as a worship pastor, but to better lead of my family. To love, encourage and equip my family in a way that reflects how Christ first loved us. This is paramount. I have learned much about the practical side and spiritual side of being a leader in the Church. But before I go any further I must say this: Everything goes back to the cross. All attributes of a good leader: love, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, flows forth from Cross. Healthy development is a natural part of learning more about the character of God, but it is not because I am a developed or wise person that I am able to be a good leader. Yesterday I was reminded of this while reading 1 Corinthians chapter 2:
"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
This is an vital reminder and a humbling reminder. This is an empowering reminder. The truth of the gospel isn't dependent on us. (whew! and it's a good thing it's not right?) But the truth of the gospel should transform us. In fact we should become more like Christ as we trust Him and put our faith in Him. This is humbling because we must realize our dependence on Christ. This is also empowering because the work of Christ has enabled the spirit to move through our mortal bodies demonstrating true love, patience and kindness (the fruits of the spirit). Paul continues with this idea in verse four:
"And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
What an encouragement! Our faith is not dependent on what we can accomplish with our own might. Our faith and hope is firmly rooted in the "power of God".
Indeed, everything goes back to the cross. Because of Christ's true demonstration of love for all humanity we can live with confidence and humble boldness, firmly rooting our lives in His love. In verse 9 of the same chapter, Paul references a passage from Isaiah. This passage has been an anchor to me as I remember back to a time not long ago when my mom was battling cancer - she had this verse taped to the wall:
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
My desire is that this passage would be etched on my heart. That these words would be an anchor for my soul and that the true love of Christ demonstrated on the cross would be reflected in my life.