The first session covers the individual’s personal relationship with Christ. We talked about the importance of leaders being in the Word for themselves not just to share with others. That is a challenge not only overseas but here as well. The relentless advance of Sunday each week, as one pastor put it, is a continual challenge and burden for one who has the task of speaking the Word each Lord’s day.
But, if a man is not in the Word for himself, his ministry, his life, his relationship with Christ will be severely limited.
That is true not only of the pastor, the leader of the church, but also of the father who is the leader of the family. Ministry and leading of the church or of the family has to be an overflow of our personal relationship with Christ. We cannot lead others to follow Christ if, in fact, we are not closely following hard after Him ourselves. One of the main elements of following hard after Him is to abide in His Word, to study His Word, to delight in it.
David was declared by God to be a man after God’s heart, 1 Samuel 13:14. David delight was in the Word of God. His delight was of such depth that he wrote 176 verses of alliterated poetry about his love of the Word. David wrote each octet of Psalm 119 starting with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, working through each letter. Think about that for a minute. He took the time to express his love for God’s Word by thinking through how to state it with each verse in the octet starting with the same letter. That takes thought. That is a focused intensity. All to capture the transforming power of God’s Word on David’s life.
If we say we want to be after God’s heart, if we say we want to lead, seems like the Word will play a major part in accomplishing those ends.