As leaders we set an example for others in putting off the old conduct of our old man. We do this by putting on the testimony of Christ. We allow Christ within us to be the source of life to our souls. We live each day to receive the renewal that comes to our minds by Christ’s Spirit within us. We are receiving a new way of thinking inspired by our spirits made alive by Christ’s Spirit within our hearts. We are constantly and progressively becoming new men and women in Christ. Our character, nature, way, power, and authority are becoming that that speaks truth to others with passionate love. This is not speaking law; it is releasing life-giving words to others through the expressions of who we are. When we go through the challenges of life we don’t let the challenges of life determine who we are. Christ in us determines who we are. When we are angry, we never let our day end in anger. We don’t hold on to anything that would be a root of bitterness in our hearts. We are becoming by nature what God already saw us to be. It is affecting our attitudes, our actions, our conversations, our efforts, and our expressions and influence upon others in life.
Ephesians 4:20-32 But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
These things are not disciplines of the flesh. They are transformations in our flesh brought about by the power of God’s grace at work in our lives. We are being changed from glory to glory and that change is activating our purpose and destiny to others.
The more we know God, the more we become like Him. We are His children and He is our Father. This is why our view of God is so important. Whatever we see God to be is what we will become to others. If we see God to be a master, we will become a master of others. If we believe He is unapproachable, we will also become unapproachable in life. If we believe He is compromising in His character, we will also become compromising in our character. If we believe that He is legalistic in His words, we will become legalistic in our words to others. If we believe He simply forgives, but He never empowers us to change, we too will be forgiving, but we will never live to empower anyone else in the change that God can bring in life. We must be leaders who see God more clearly each season of our lives. It is only then that we can be an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma of life.
Ephesians 5:1, 2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
This is called living for the sake of the Father and for the sake of the unfolding generations of His family in the earth. We were born for such a time as this and we are on this earth to bring life to others. As leaders we must be imitators of God as dear children and then examples of fathers and mothers to others.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson