Stop Earning It | Selah Leaders Podcast | Episode 2

Embracing God’s Approval: A Leader’s Guide to Rest and Grace

Welcome to our latest blog post, inspired by a recent sermon that delved into the profound truths about leadership, grace, and rest. This summary aims to encapsulate the key points of the sermon, making it easy for you to understand and apply these lessons to your life. Whether you’re a church leader, a business professional, or someone seeking to deepen your faith, these insights are for you.

Understanding Leadership and Discipleship

What is the Connection Between Leadership and Discipleship?

Leadership and discipleship are often seen as separate entities, but they are intrinsically linked. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He commanded His followers to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey His commands. This is a clear call to leadership. As leaders, we are entrusted with guiding others in their spiritual journey, making leadership and discipleship synonymous.

Why is the Gospel Not About Earning?

The gospel of Jesus Christ is fundamentally about receiving, not earning. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast. This principle should extend into our leadership. When we understand that God’s love and approval are given freely, we can lead from a place of security and confidence, rather than striving for approval.

The Significance of Jesus’ Baptism

What Can We Learn from Jesus’ Baptism?

Before Jesus performed any miracles or began His ministry, He was baptized by John the Baptist. During His baptism, a voice from heaven declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This affirmation came before any of Jesus’ works, teaching us that God’s approval is not based on our achievements but on our identity as His children.

How Does This Apply to Us?

As believers, we are adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. This means that we have God’s love and approval without having to earn it. Understanding this can transform our approach to leadership and life. We no longer need to seek validation from others because we already have it from God.

The Importance of Rest

Why Should We Stop Trying to Earn Rest?

In our culture, it’s common to hear phrases like “I’m working for the weekend” or “I need to earn my day off.” However, the biblical concept of rest is different. In Genesis, Adam and Eve’s first full day was a day of rest, not because they earned it, but because it was a gift from God. As leaders, we should view rest as a starting point, not a reward for hard work.

How Can We Practice True Sabbath?

True Sabbath is not merely the absence of work but a time to rejuvenate our relationship with God. Jesus often performed acts of ministry on the Sabbath, showing that it’s a day for restorative activities that draw us closer to God. By starting our week with rest, we can work from a place of renewal and strength.

Dealing with Unhealthy Tendencies

How Do We Address Unhealthy Tendencies in Ourselves?

Recognizing and addressing unhealthy tendencies is crucial for effective leadership. Here are three steps to deal with them:

1. **Address It**: Acknowledge the issue and understand its impact on your life and leadership.

2. **Confess It**: Bring the issue before God and seek His forgiveness and guidance.

3. **Seek Accountability**: Share your struggles with trusted friends or mentors who can hold you accountable and pray for you.

How Can We Apply These Lessons This Week?

Understanding that we don’t need to earn God’s approval or rest can revolutionize our lives. Here are some practical steps to apply these truths:

1. **Start Your Week with Rest**: Choose a day to rest and rejuvenate, focusing on your relationship with God.

2. **Seek God’s Approval**: Remind yourself daily that you are loved and approved by God, regardless of your achievements.

3. **Address Unhealthy Tendencies**: Identify one unhealthy tendency in your life, confess it to God, and seek accountability from a trusted friend.

Questions to Reflect On

1. **Do I live as if I need to earn God’s approval?**

2. **How can I incorporate true Sabbath rest into my weekly routine?**

3. **What unhealthy tendencies do I need to address, and who can help hold me accountable?**

By embracing these principles, we can lead more effectively and live more fulfilling lives, rooted in the grace and love of God.

Thank you for reading, and may these insights guide you in your journey of faith and leadership.


Nick Newman

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