As I read this passage, what I see is a defense to a cancer that digs into and divides generations. This is the same cancer that can be found in marriages, if not defended against. The cancer is Neglect and Pride. Neglect and Pride can become a hungry monster that will devour all relationships, at all costs. Neglect and Pride demonstrate no accountability, no remorse, and no forgiveness. Today, we are going to see how Peter deals with this, and as he addresses Neglect and Pride, inspires us to be a humble people willing to serve Christ with all that we are. True godliness will cause us to tend to our flocks with humility, and follow those who lead us while laying down our pride.
We are seeing signs of revival. This is a comparison of numbers, from the last two fiscal years, in areas that are important for growth in our church community.
2013 Decisions: 932
2014 Decisions: 440
2013 Holy Spirit baptisms: 139
2013 Holy Spirit baptisms: 50
2013 Water baptisms: 125
2014 Water baptisms: 159
2013 Prayer for healing: 4454
2014 Prayer for healing: 3314
2013 Rededication: 256
2014 Rededication: 164
2013 Demonic deliverance: 54
2013 Demonic deliverance: 10
2013 Child dedications: 16
2014 Child dedications: 18
Where does revival start? __________________________________
What does this mean for us? ________________________________
We must know our role and take our proper positions. Any small/large organization is always under some kind of restructuring, seeking the right formula for growth. I have always been astonished because the companies that seem to do well have chosen to follow biblical principles. Today, we are going to talk about roles and positions within the church in the many communities in which we are a part.
Elders in biblical times were skilled in judging cases.
Who would we consider Elders here?
What are leading reasons for neglect?
- Lack of relationship
- Indecisiveness, which leads to not making decisions = NEGLECT
When I become neglectful as a leader, I am no longer present. Therefore, those I am leading lack direction and begin to make leadership decisions that I should be making because I have stepped outside of my role. Many times these leadership decisions can be viewed as rebellion, but they are simply a sheep that has been neglected. A sheep without a shepherd begins to wander. As an Elder, I must be present.
Who would we consider Youngers? _________________________
What are leading reasons for pride?
- Lack of relationship
- Untold story with lack of why
- Distrust and an attitude of knowing better = PRIDE
When I become prideful, I no longer trust the leadership God has placed over me. This causes an attitude of discontent in which I can begin to silo myself, believing that I have better ideas and know better (Ro 12:3). As a Younger you have to be willing to submit to your leaders and choose to be level-headed.
The real problem
The real problem has very little to do with whether you consider yourself an Elder or a Younger, but rather has everything to do with developing relationships with those we lead or those who lead us. We must not expect that its the other persons responsibility to develop relationship, but it is my responsibility. I have never had God tell me, Dont take part in trying to develop a relationship with this very important person. (That would be the flesh speaking.) Gods number one goal with mankind is His plan of redemption. He wants relationship with His people. It would be contrary to Gods character if we chose to not be redemptive ourselves.
So, today I want you to think revival, in the sense of reviving and unifying. This small revival will become a great flame of redemption that will ignite every relationship you have. God is doing a great work in each of our hearts today, and we need to be willing Elders and Youngers to lead this fresh revival of redemption.
What do I do next?
Get water baptized
Get baptized in the Holy Spirit
Get in relationship with the community of believers
Fight neglect and pride by having a daily devotion: Wake up, spend time in the Word and let God talk to you. If all you ever hear is your voice and the voice of others, without a doubt, the enemy will devour you. Through your devotions, God will open your eyes to things you havent seen and will help you to see when you have been over emotional. He can nip pride in the bud before it even has time to get going (Ac 13:22).
1. What role do you fit into at work, home, and church? (Elder/ Younger)
2. Have you been neglectful or prideful in any of these areas?
3. What are steps you are going to take to change neglect and pride in these areas?