ANGLICAN DAILY FOUNTAIN DEVOTIONAL FOR OCTOBER 24, 2022 (LEADERSHIP BY STRATEGIC INFLUENCE)
TOPIC : LEADERSHIP BY STRATEGIC INFLUENCE
TEXT: Acts 15: 12-29(NKJV)
12. Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
13. And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men [and] brethren, listen to me:
14. “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
15. “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16. ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;
17. So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’
18. “Known to God from eternity are all His works.
19. “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,
20. “but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, [from] sexual immorality, [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.
21. “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22. Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, [namely,] Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
23. They wrote this [letter] by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
24. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “[You must] be circumcised and keep the law” — to whom we gave no [such] commandment —
25. it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26. men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
29. that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
James the brother of Christ was one of the leaders of the Jerusalem Church in the early apostolic age. In today’s passage, after an argument in response to whether Gentile Christians in Antioch needed to circumcise to be saved, James played a prominent role – providing strategic influence (though he wasn’t the presiding officer at that meeting).
James was the last-named figure to speak after Peter. He delivered what is called ‘decision speech’ in a wise, cool and collected manner. His opinion so greatly influenced the council’s decision that it was eventually adopted as their ruling. He suggested among the other things that circumcision was not necessary for salvation but that the new converts should abstain from being polluted by idols and sexual immorality (vv.19-24).
The Apostles including James came together to settle issues on Church doctrines that could divide the Church. Many people today abuse positions handed to them, by way of exerting unnecessary rigidity, while others lord it over their subjects as if all powers belonged to them. However, we have observed that by tactics of wisdom as well as calm and sound words of enlightenment, greater number of people can be easily influenced for good.
When you are in a meeting and arguments capable of creating grudges and hindering the move of God arise, what usually is your role? Would you not rather be a mediator of a soft-landing, even though no particular office is attached to you, or would you be an agent to sponsor anarchy?
TODAY’S PRAYER: The best form of leadership is leadership by influence.
Anglican Daily Fountain 24 October 2022 (Devotional Today)