topics of interest

Church Leadership in difficult times

I’ve been reading the accounts of biblical leadership in several New Testament books. What did this biblical leadership look like and what did they do as Christian leaders?

In the case of the Apostle Paul we see great hardship and sacrifice on behalf of Christ and believers. Being a strong leader to the Gentiles he often took the brunt of opposition. He was the one who faced jail and frequent beatings by officials and stoning by the mob. Paul says in I Cor 4:9, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”

Sacrifice and service is a recurring theme within the books of the NT concerning the apostles. Paul encourages Timothy to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Certain of the apostles became pillars in the House of God, teaching, establishing doctrine, and encouraging the faith of believers. They nurtured new believers holding these converts in special care and regard for Christ and for their future eternal hope as joint heirs with Christ. Paul stated, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” (Philippians 2:17)

II Corinthians 12:15 “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”

II Corinthians 12:19 “we do all thing, dearly beloved, for your edifying.”

There was great reliance on the Holy Spirit by these leaders. There is no doubt that the early church apostles and leaders could not have done what they did as testified to in the New Testament scriptures without God’s help and strength.

How to Repent

In Genesis 50:15-21 we see a good example of how to repent of our sins and actions toward man and/or toward God. Josephs brothers had been grieved by their actions done many years earlier of selling Joseph into slavery in order to get rid of him. They had been jealous and resentful of him because their father Jacob favored Joseph over them.

In Genesis 50:17 the brothers and Joseph are living in Egypt because of a severe famine in Canaan. Joseph had been promoted by Pharaoh to being second in command in Egypt. Jacob had died and the brothers were fearful that Joseph would now exact his revenge on them and perhaps their families because of what they had done to him.

In their repentance toward Joseph they acknowledged their sinful actions. They confessed that they had done evil. They asked for forgiveness. They reminded Joseph of their long born sorrow and grief. They went to Joseph and fell down and submitted themselves to him as his servants to try and make up for what they had done to him.

Joseph’s reaction is just and right. He weeps for the repentance that he sees in his brothers. He reassures his brothers that he has no ill intent toward them or their families. He comforts them, and assures them, and speaks kindly toward them the scripture says.

The Bible says that when we sin we also can repent and ask forgiveness of God. We are to acknowledge our sin before God and submit ourselves to him. The Bible says that God is just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.