Week 44 Day 4
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
1 Thess. 5:12-13 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
Heb. 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Jesus was asked a number of times about the source of his authority. “‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’” (Mark 11:28). After his resurrection he gave the definitive answer regarding the source and scope of his authority. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’” (Matt. 28:18). The source of his authority is that it had been “given” by God the Father and the scope of his authority was “all.” Authority has many meanings; some synonyms include: power, ability, jurisdiction, privilege, and prerogative. To have authority means you have legal or rightful ability to oversee or rule over. All rightful human authority is derived. The authority of government in a nation ruled by laws is the law itself. The authority of a boss over his or her employees is derived from a position determined by the owner or shareholders. Ultimately, all authority is derived from God. He sets up and deposes kings and kingdoms. He gives life, breath, and everything else. The authority of a spiritual leader in the church is derived from the authority of God. These leaders can, and sometimes do, misuse this authority and when they do they must be set aside. But short of a misuse or abuse of authority, these leaders are to be treated and followed as authorized representatives of God. This does not mean they are more “loved” by God or that they are unable to make mistakes. It simply means that they have been given a role and often with that role comes a gift or gifts that enables them to serve the church well. Leadership is a stewardship given to certain people in the church to serve the church. It is no more “special” than the stewardship of service or any of the other gifts that God gives his people so they may serve one another. The gift and responsibility of leadership must not be misused by the leader or despised by the follower. All the gifts and all authority are given by God for his own glory and for his people’s good. We must think and live with clarity about this.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.