As I conclude this series on the importance of sacrifice in leadership, I would be remiss to not include a few thoughts about God's call to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
In Genesis 22 we read about Abraham's love for Isaac and God's call for the boy to be sacrificed.
In verse 2 God said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love ..."
God clearly demonstrates to Abraham that He fully understands Abraham's love for Isaac. God made it clear He understood how difficult it would be for Abraham to sacrifice his miracle son. The love of Abraham for Isaac must have been greater than any words could describe.
Yet God commanded, "go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you." Abraham understood the significance of the offering and the great pain that would come from the loss. Yet, Abraham prepared to obey the command of God.
Every moment of wood gathering and preparation must have been filled with questions about how he could tell Sarah about the loss of her son. How could she ever understand?
Abraham prepared the altar of sacrifice with a broken spirit. Abraham didn't argue with God. We see no evidence of begging or questioning the directions. Abraham apparently did not appeal to God in any way. To do so would have been haughty or selfish. Abraham insured that his heart "could not be despised" (see Ps. 51:17).
In the moment of this decision, we clearly see a model leader. Surely, Abraham wanted to please the Lord, but wouldn't Abraham also be considering another path? Leaders are constantly presented with opportunities to take an easy way out.
Unwavering love for God is better than all sacrifices or any external form of worship. So we conclude that to love those who follow us, as we would love ourselves, is better than any sacrifice that must be made.
Leaders die to self.
"To love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.
NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.
The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.