Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/16/2019

Bill Gaultiere

Soul Shepherding

 

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be

conformed to the likeness of His Son...

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8.29 & Philippians 2.5

 

 There can be no doubt that God desires we each be conformed to the image of His Son, that we have a Jesus heart, attitude, disposition, and behavior; that we be like Him. This is especially true of leaders in the church of Jesus Christ. Angry reactions, lustful impulses, conflict avoidance, emotional distance, prideful self-reliance, materialism, apathy, power plays, and inability to work well with others sabotage godly intentions and lead to failure. Like Paul, we must be aware of our weaknesses and work to eliminate them. "I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within. What a wretched man that makes me! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 7.21-25.

 

  Emotional immaturity undermines our influence for Christ. This is true for Preachers, Elders, Parents, and People of the pew—even those who are highly gifted, wealthy, or famous. This is even true for leaders who are deeply committed to Christ and earnest about loving other people – Because neglecting our emotions...

• Weakens our ability to hear the Lord’s voice...

• Weakens our ability to experience His presence...

• Weakens our acting, walking "in step with His Spirit."

 

 Listen church, when we see someone walking outside the truth, going in the wrong direction, we have an obligation to Shepherd that Soul. "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood... So be on your guard!" Acts 20.28-31. I'm aware that this admonition was given to the Ephesians Elders, but many other Scriptures can be given affirming the fact that this also a responsibility of any and every child of God. Aren't we to watch over ourselves, our brother, the straying, false teachers, and others that would lead the church astray of God's Will and Word? Of course! 

 

  Here it is church, spiritual leadership is a lot deeper than believing and doing what’s right—the Lord looks at the heart. He wants our heart to be right, motive to be right. Samuel was preparing to anoint a new King for Israel, a leader of God's people, His family, church. "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16.7). When church leaders lack right and pure motives, when they ignore their weaknesses, they are likely to hurt people, even whole church communities. “Search me out, O God, and know my heart. Shine your light on my anxious feelings and thoughts. Show me if any of my ways are hurtful or sinful; lead me in your way of life” (Psalm 139.23-24 Paraphrased).

 

—Adapted and edited from an article by

—Bill Gaultiere