Who’s Going to Lead

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 60-62; Romans 5

18 So now the righteous requirements necessary for life are met for everyone through the righteous act of one person, just as judgment fell on everyone through the failure of one person. 19 Many people were made righteous through the obedience of one person, just as many people were made sinners through the disobedience of one person.20 The Law stepped in to amplify the failure, but where sin increased, grace multiplied even more. 21 The result is that grace will rule through God’s righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, just as sin ruled in death. (Romans 5:18-21, Common English Bible).

If we were going to dance, traditionally the guy leads. I’m not sure why. Perhaps we are too hard-headed to follow. Maybe we aren’t smart enough. The more traditional answer puts women lower than men. Men are the natural leaders, some would say. I personally don’t think either gender has the key and lock on the abilities of leadership.

When I was in the Navy I learned to “two-step.” The poor woman who taught me got stepped on and kicked many times during the lesson, mostly because kept I continued to try to lead even though I had no idea of what I was doing. I did finally learn despite my inability to get out of the way. In the end, it really didn’t matter as I haven’t danced more than a half-dozen times in the 40 years since.

In today’s lesson, Paul talks about those leading and who we will follow. He says there is one teaches us disobedience. When we choose to follow the one who leads us to disobedience, just as I couldn’t learn to two-step until I let my teacher lead, as long as we insist on taking the lead, as long as we follow the wrong leader, we can expect problems, difficulty, and worse in our lives.

Paul also tells us, however, that when we follow the right leader, Jesus Christ. Following Jesus, says Paul, will result in grace. Grace will lead us to righteousness. Following Jesus will lead us to life eternal. And, Jesus is infinitely patient with me. If I step on his toes or kick him in the shin (accidently of course), he just says, “It’s OK, let’s start again.” That is grace.

I also think the message of this passage can have additional meaning. Paul says to the Corinthians:

14 Don’t be tied up as equal partners with people who don’t believe. What does righteousness share with that which is outside the Law? What relationship does light have with darkness? 15 What harmony does Christ have with Satan? What does a believer have in common with someone who doesn’t believe? 16 What agreement can there be between God’s temple and idols? Because we are the temple of the living God. Just as God said, I live with them, and I will move among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord. Don’t touch what is unclean. Then I will welcome you. 18 I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Common English Bible).

When we tie ourselves to others outside the faith, when we allow them to lead us, we are walking on a destructive path. This does not mean Paul is advocating we not follow the Great Commission. It doesn’t mean Paul is saying we shouldn’t talk to or associate with people outside the Christian faith. It simply means, be aware of who you are following and keep following the one who gives you light and grace and life. Keep following Jesus.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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