Scriptural Truths on Loving and Leading

So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you…If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:14-15, 17

Love and Lordship in Focus…We can serve in our flesh and feel good about ourselves and call it Christianity and discipleship…or we can learn to love and serve as an overflow of God’s Love for us and ours for Him.

We’ve been looking at the obstacles in our flesh that make it difficult to love and lead as Christ did.  His Word gives us clear commands in His Covenant Order as to how we are to love and lead as His disciples in all loving relationships in our homes and churches and beyond for His Kingdom and Glory.

I’m going to briefly share Scripture for training disciples, building Christ-like character and healthy loving relationships that honor marriage and family that reflect His Truth and loving image. I’m including the principles and related Scriptures for your personal study and growth as His disciple, as a spouse, parent and brother/sister in Christ…also so you can disciple others in Him.

We will look at seven Scriptural solutions and follow up next week, Lord willing, with practical application of these. We can and are called to trust and walk in Him and His Truth as it is the only way we can accomplish these:

1) Above all else, we need to seek to know the Love and Lordship of Christ and His model of relational servant-leadership as Authority (Truth)–1 John 4:19; Matthew 6:33; 20:24-28; Mark 12:29-31; John 13:1-17, 34

This begins by recognizing that we can only love because He first loved us. We then can start to grow by seeking Him above all else and learning to love Him with all we are. As we do so He shows us who we are in Christ and how we can love ourselves as He does.

As we are discipled to grow in these priority commandments, we mature to serve and disciple others in these same Truths by grace in faith and love.

Continuing with how we are to love and lead according to God’s Word…

2) Discipleship is our response to His Lordship and how we mature in Him–Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 5:14; James 1:2-4…by bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God–Colossians 9:1-11; Galatians 5:22-24

We can only grow in Christ by sharing and receiving His Truth in Love. In so doing we mature individually as His disciples and collectively as His Body, The Church.

Much of today’s discipleship is defined and lived out as: 1) Attend church; 2) Give some money, and; 3) Serve. Study and prayer are optional and you can do these in a class or small group.  These are all good things and needed but they fall far short of Jesus’ definition to be His disciple in Luke 14:25-35…1) He must take priority in our lives in all things; 2) We must do it wholeheartedly as halfhearted surrender is really no surrender at all and becomes a laughingstock both of our lives and our faith, and; 3) We must deny our self, take up our cross and go to our death (die to our own fleshly desires and pleasures) and totally follow Him.

The first trio of actions above mean very little in and of themselves. Only as they are an overflow of the second three actions listed above are they in line with His Word and worthy of being called His disciple…as Jesus defined discipleship.

Our next Biblical solution is…

3) As we are created in His image, we are to live out our discipleship in loving relationships and community with one another. We do this by prioritizing our relationships in His Covenant Order: Christ–>Marriage/Family–>Church–>World – Genesis 2:24; Matthew 5:19; Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:4-5

God’s design began with and always includes the building of loving relationships in His Truth so we can show the world His Truth and Love. He began with a marriage and family and from there called us into the family of believers in Christ as His Church. Disciples are made in loving relationships and that has never changed.

All the programs and systems in the world, including many of the church programs that have conformed to the world, fall short because they assume the world’s “natural” love and relationships which are rooted in the flesh and bring destruction. Only those relationships formed in Christ declare His Love and make His disciples.

Continuing with what God’s Word has to say about how we learn to love and lead…

4) As we are willing to follow His Word and Covenant Order this enables us to mature in discipleship and mentoring and in building loving relationships with Him and others through studying and serving according to His Word–2 Timothy 2:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 5:11–6:6

As we study and grow according to God’s Word and will, we learn to love and lead in our families, our churches and in the world according to His Authority, which is always invited influence. He never demands, He simply instructs and sets the example and leaves the choice to those who would lovingly obey Him. I pray that we will love and obey so that we will mature in our love for Him and others and lead them accordingly.

Our fifth Biblical solution is crucial in that it is the reason why we are called to love and lead first in our families and the fruit then is seen in Christ’s Church…

5) As we mature in Christ He builds a relational or family-based Body of believers rather than corporate and business-based–Ephesians 2:11-22; Ephesians 4

Isn’t it interesting and hopefully compelling that the Scriptures above in Ephesians 2 and 4 are followed in Ephesians 5 and 6 by His Covenant Order of loving and leading in marriage and family with marriage representing Christ and The Church, His Bride!  We must not continue to conform to the way of the world!

Moving along with our sixth solution that The Lord has provided in His Word for building healthy and Godly relationships that strengthen the love and servant-leadership in our homes and in Christ’s Church…

6) We are called to His Covenant priorities and throughout His Word these are familial and relational, rooted in character above performance, growth, financial, and numbers served; business acumen and ability are assumed and needed but not prioritized over family and relationships in selecting leaders and in decision-making (1 Timothy 3:1-13 (emphasis vv. 4-5); Titus 1:5-9)

We can only do this in His strength by His grace!

As we wrap up with these solutions for loving and leading our families and Christ’s Family, we look at the outcomes of walking in His Truth…

7) In following through His Covenant Order, we can and will build an Acts 2 familial Church that makes and grows disciples who serve, give, and share as a result of His priority principles—His Lordship and our discipleship—rather than service opportunities and programs masquerading as discipleship leading to shallow faith and lives as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 7:21-23.

Please don’t hear me saying we shouldn’t serve and share but rather that it must be an overflow of our relationship with Christ first (John 7:37-39) and then with one another in Christ so that we humbly serve and love in His Spirit and Truth, not in our flesh.

Food for Thought…Let us know for certain that our lives and service are a result of truly knowing and loving The Lord so we can love who we are and love others accordingly in the power of The Holy Spirit all for His Glory! 

Love in Action

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article. Ask The Spirit to show you where you are with regard to God’s Covenant Order and priorities in your relationships.
  2. Describe the ways you are loving and leading in conformity to the world.
  3. Describe the ways you are loving and leading in line with God’s Word. 
  4. List those areas in your life and relationships that you need to work on to align with Christ’s teaching and modeling and how you will follow through.

Love and Lordship Prayer Focus…Heavenly Father, forgive me when I have loved and led as the world does.  I desire and ask You to help me love and lead like Jesus in every relationship starting in my marriage and family and then follow through in His Church. In Jesus Name. Amen.