Bible Reading: Acts 5:33-42
Key Verse: Verse 38 – "And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:"
Key Words: if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought
The ultimate test of a person’s leadership is the health of the organization when he is gone. This truth was behind Gamaliel’s counsel to the Pharisees (Acts 5:38-39).
A work inspired by God and built on spiritual principles will survive the shock of leadership change and may even prosper as a result.
J. Oswald Sanders writes: “We sometimes demean God by assuming that the death of a great leader takes God by surprise, or sends God into emergency action. Though we may feel shock and anxiety, we need not tremble for God is still in control. Christian leadership is different from the worldly sort. God selects and prepares leaders for the kingdom (Mark 10:40). No work of God will be left destitute until its purposes are achieved.
“Great movements are often thrown into crisis at the death of a founder. Such crises need not be fatal, however. Lyman Beecher said that he despaired when the first secretary of the American Board of Missions died. Then another leader arose and did so well that Beecher felt despair again when the second secretary died. At last, when the third secretary proved himself competent, Beecher began to feel confident that God’s resources were equal to the task at hand. When Beecher himself was gone, some believed he could not be replaced. But all of Beecher’s causes – temperance, orthodoxy, and foreign missions – found capable new leaders in God’s time and way. Indeed, no man, however gifted and devoted, is indispensable to the work of the kingdom.
“God is always at work, though we cannot see it, preparing people He has chosen for leadership. When the crisis comes, God fits His appointee into the place ordained for him. Often such a replacement is not apparent to an organization, but time will reveal him.”
What to do:
✞ Remember, changes in human leadership should not shake or dismay us.
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