Jesus Walk Easter Devotional – Leadership Articles

10th Anniversary Repost

Jesus Walk Easter Devotional – Leadership Articles 2004
by David Anson Brown Church Leadership Article #1 April 4, 2004

The Passion of Leadership (part 1 of 5)
by David Anson Brown

Luke 12:49,50 I (Jesus) am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Jesus has a Passion for leadership and for His leaders. The Old Testament foretold of God’s zeal concerning the fulfillment of His plan for mankind.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this …

As we all know it is not enough to just have Passion for leadership. Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod and Judas each had a Passion for leadership but as they went on to demonstrate, Passion without knowledge can easily be misdirected and when misapplied to the leadership role the results can be disastrous.

What then is our safety net for the much needed Passions of leadership?

Jesus is the anchor of the leadership soul. Jesus has to be the Passion for our leadership for it is only Jesus who has the knowledge and the understanding of mankind and He knows the fullness of His own plan for salvation, therefore Jesus is the only safety net to the Passions of leadership.

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

Whom seek we? …

Whom does our Passion dictate that we should seek after? Unless our Passion dictates that we seek Jesus than like Herod or like Judas we are setting ourselves up for disaster.

Leadership by definition involves moving people along through one event and circumstance and into another. Good leadership is going to substantiate good results of growth, maturity and endurance encompassing all of the individuals throughout all of the events and circumstances involved.

Because of the rapid succession of the Passion events of Jesus during the Holy week the question could be asked did Jesus get swept up and caught up in a series of events that were bigger than He is or did Jesus in His role of leadership use the series of events to instruct and guide each of us along through our own betrayals, trials and circumstances to bring us into His everlasting resurrection life.

With so much written in each of the Bible’s four Gospels about the Passion events of Holy Week the events themselves clearly come into focus as a chain, a series of meaningful connected links connected to establish and fulfill the meaningful events foretold by the Holy Prophets of old. Events that would forever alter the face of history and the destiny of mankind. Clearly these are not just a series of random circumstances but the deliberate and ordained plan of God Himself.

The Passion is a study in the leadership of Jesus Christ as He and the disciples go through one event after another and in the case of the disciples sometimes it is triumph and sometimes it is not a triumph but a momentary failure and regardless of victory or defeat each event is a learning experience for the disciples.

In our own Passion to follow Jesus and to learn from Him, as disciples of Jesus, let’s go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as “Holy Week.” The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth.

The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.

Next week: Lessons in Leadership from the Fig Tree part 2 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown Church Leadership Article #2 April 11, 2004

Lessons from the Fig Tree (part 2 of 5)
by David Anson Brown

Leadership requires the Passion to get to the root of the matter …

In our journey with Jesus and the rest of the disciples during the Bible’s original Holy Week – Passion events we find that on the very next day after the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that Jesus and the disciples encounter a fig tree that is not capable of producing fruit for God. Finding no fruit, Jesus will then curse the fig tree.

Matthew 21:18-20 Now in the morning as He (Jesus) returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Jesus’ leadership at the fig tree reveals that leadership is not just a surface matter, but in regarding problems Jesus is depicting for us that the correct action is not to merely prune a few branches and then let the problem still exist or to try to make it easier to look at and more appealing, but that leadership involves getting down into the root of the problem and then cutting it off at the root for a total removal of the problem.

Good leadership knows that with a total removal of the burden comes the total freedom of relief from the problem. Good leadership knows that to totally remove the burden, it is the root of the problem that has to be discovered and cut off. But, what not even our good leadership knows is the depths of the root of the problem.

How deep are the roots of the problem? …

Genesis 3:7,8 … and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Only Jesus knows the depths of the root of the actual problem.

Jesus, with full knowledge is able to fully access the depth of the root of the problem. In the case of the fig tree, the root of the problem of man seeking to hide himself from our loving God extends all the way back to the original sin of mankind and continues on to this day.

During our journey with Jesus we stand by looking at the fruitless fig tree in amazement as we realize that this Jesus is the same God that Adam and Eve sinned against in the Garden of Eden. They then used the fig leaves in an attempt to cover up the shame of their own sins instead of acknowledging their sin & looking and turning to God, their loving Father to provide the answers to their problems.

Jesus with His cross in view and within days of it is now saying that there are no more self-made, man-made coverings for sin. The covering of sin is to be the blood of Jesus from the cross and not of contraptions derived and stitched together by man.

In fact the system of fig tree religion is now cursed by God. Cursed because fig tree religion never did produce fruit for God and certainly fig tree religion never did lead to eternity.

Jesus as the leader recognized unfruitfulness and He took action to remove it. Everyone one of us (unlike Jesus) has an unfruitful aspect in our own life. Can we be bold like Jesus, and when we see unfruitfulness declare it as unacceptable to God? Can we recognize it as a cursed item and not a blessing? And in cursing it to curse it at it’s root so that it will immediately wither and dry up, no longer sustaining an appearance of being potentially fruitful but being what it truly is, something that does not give pleasure to God.

Matthew 21:20 … And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

During our own individual companionship with Jesus as He reveals problem areas to us in our life and we begin to remove them at the root we too like the disciples will rejoice and say, “How soon is the fig tree withered away!”

The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.

Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Gardens of God; Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb in part 3 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown Church Leadership Article #3 April 18, 2004

The Gardens of God; Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb (part 3 of 5)
by David Anson Brown

During the Passion events of Jesus at the completion of the Last Supper – “The Lord’s Passover Feast” and with Jesus now on His way to the infamous Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begins His Priestly Prayer of intercession for us to the Father. Jesus then commits to His crucifixion and crosses over the brook of Cedron as He proceeds to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of destiny and betrayal.

Leadership is the ability to recognize and to correlate events into a meaningful pattern; a pattern that can display the lessons that the leadership desires to be taught, the valuable lessons are learned and can then be passed on and distributed to others.

The Garden is the ideal place to reveal that God is in control, it was so many years ago that Adam and Eve lost mankind’s relationship with God, through their own sin of disobedience, in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden, the Garden of creation.

Had Jesus been arrested anywhere but in a garden, say for instance, in the streets or in the upper-room it would be difficult to correlate the events of the Last Supper to the events of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But since God made certain to go to the Garden we can only correlate these two Garden events and the coming event of the resurrection of Jesus from His Garden Tomb. This again reveals the detailed plan of God as He has set it out for us in His Prophetic word, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

On this Passion night as we journey with Jesus we now know why God has not made the Lord’s Passover to be a “Rest – Sabbath Feast” like all of the other Holy Feasts prescribed by God to Moses and written down in Leviticus chapter 23 of the Holy Bible. Had the “Lord’s Passover Feast” been a rest feast then Jesus and the disciples would have had to remain at home or inside after the feast and could not have legally walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, this Garden of destiny. Had this been a “Sabbath – Rest Feast” it is also very unlikely that the Temple guards would have broken the Sabbath Law themselves to journey to the Garden to arrest Jesus, who after all was only peacefully praying to the Father. This is another powerful demonstration that these events are orchestrated and allowed to happen by God Himself and are not solely the whims of man but instead are completions to the events that were foreseen in the prophetic writings by the prophets of the Old Testament.

It was God that walked during the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve so long ago in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden and now it is God that is stepping into another Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. This time through His desire and obedience Jesus will continue to restore back the lost relationship between mankind and God, and this time forever.

We follow and see that Jesus is separated from His disciples and engaged in prayer to the Father. Jesus asks for the third time for the Father to remove “this cup” Matthew 26:42 but there is no other “cup” of redemption available to mankind. Either Jesus gives His life for us, or mankind will never be reunited to God.

Angels come and minister to Jesus. He arises. Judas can now be seen leading a group of Temple soldiers intent on arresting Jesus. Judas then betrays Jesus with a kiss, Matthew 26:49. Jesus in turn calls Judas “friend” Matthew 26:50. Jesus is arrested, bound with ropes and led off meanwhile all of the disciples abandon Him and flee.

Two Gardens revealing the destiny of all mankind, the Garden of creation, fellowship and beauty, and the Garden of agony, suffering and betrayal. Yet there is a third Garden of God, a third appointment with destiny, the Garden Tomb where Jesus would physically resurrect from death and begin to establish His new Garden Paradise in those His followers the Christian Church.

The Gardens of God are an invitation a call from God to mankind to walk with God among His Gardens. To walk among the original Creation Garden of Eden and sometimes journeying into the Garden of agony, rejection and betrayal, but always onward and into the glorious Garden of Resurrection and of Eternal Paradise life.

Walking with God does indeed require us to walk along on His path and among the Gardens that He Himself has walked in.

The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.

Next week The Holy – Passion Week Holy Feasts of God part 4 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown Church Leadership Article #4 April 25, 2004

The Passion of Leadership: Holy Week Feasts of God (part 4 of 5)
by David Anson Brown

Leviticus 23:1-2, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are my Feasts.”

As we already know Leadership requires both Passion and knowledge the passion to do the job and also the knowledge to accomplish the job correctly. In the case of Christian leadership it is required to have some knowledge of the plan and events of God. Fortunately God has carefully spelled out His plan for us in the Bible.

With the Passion events of Jesus being the very definition of Leadership, let’s take a look at just what some of the events are that Jesus was fulfilling in His deliberate plan of leadership. We can find a list of the plans of God in the Old Testament in Leviticus chapter 23. This is a list of eight Feast or Holy-Event days given directly from God to Moses and prescribed for the followers of God to follow for all eternity.

Since the Holy Week – Passion events occur on four of the eight Holy Feasts Days and they directly relate to the other four Feasts let’s take a look at the Feasts of Holy Week and their fulfillment as Jesus in His leadership role is fulfilling His desired plan for mankind.

A look at the plan of God given in His Holy Feasts …

Leviticus 23:4, “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”

These four Holy Feasts are observed in the First Month of the Jewish religious calendar, occurred during the Holy Week – Passion events and correspond to the First Coming of Jesus.

Feast #1 Sabbath

Sabbath means a complete Rest including one’s spirit, soul and body. This is the kind of rest that can only come from having security and trust in God. This rest can only come from having God as our ultimate leader. This feast day is observed and fulfilled in Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem [Palm Sunday] presenting Himself to the world as the rightful ruler and King of the World.

Mark 11:10, “Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”

*Note: In the Greek writing of the Bible it is evident that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was accomplished on a Saturday the Sabbath feast day even though today the day is traditionally celebrated on a Sunday (Palm Sunday).

The next two feasts are both celebrated as the one long eight day feast of Passover. The Lord’s Passover (1 day) + Unleavened Bread (7 days) = Passover (8 days).

Feast #2 The Lord’s Passover

The Lord’s Passover is the covenant feast of God whereby God agreed to step into man’s predicament of condemnation and death whereby God would take upon Himself the sins of the world and suffer death in order to bring about death to sin. This feast day was observed and fulfilled as Jesus offers His eternal body and His eternal blood to His followers in His New Covenant of Eternal Life given during the Passover Feast. In fulfillment of this feast death has now “passed over” all of those who have entered into this New Covenant relationship with God.

Matthew 26:27-28, “And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Feast #3 Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the removal of sin. Leaven (yeast) is a type of a symbol of sin and to remove the leaven is to remove the sin. This feast was observed and fulfilled on the day that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.

1st Corinthians 5:6-8, “Your glorying {about sin} is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Feast #4 First Fruits

The Feast of First Fruits according to Leviticus Chapter 23 was to be observed on the first Sunday after the Feasts of The Lord’s Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had been observed and yes, you guessed it! This is the very exciting day that Jesus rose from death (Easter day). This feast has begun to be fulfilled as Jesus breaths the First Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Resurrection Life into each of His new followers.

John 20:19, “Then the same day (Easter Sunday) at evening, .. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (Spirit).”

Romans 8:23, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Feast #5 Pentecost (Fifty)

Later the Feast of Pentecost would begin as the disciples would again receive of the Holy Spirit this time it will be an actual experiencing of the Holy Spirit as the disciples will individually speak in tongues and observe the flames of fire upon the heads of the other disciples.

Acts 2:1-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, ..”

For a more in depth look at all eight of the feast days please refer to the Jesus Walk 2004 Timeline Devotion.

The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.

Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Communion Cup part 5 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown Church Leadership Article #5 May 1, 2004

The Passion of Leadership: The Communion Cup of Jesus Christ (part 5 of 5)
by David Anson Brown

Matthew 26:27 “And He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them (disciples), saying, Drink ye all of it;”

Matthew 26:28 “For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

As we have seen in the Leadership of Jesus during the Passion – Holy Week events, the many events didn’t just happen to Jesus but in actuality Jesus happened to the events.

In the final analysis Leadership has to have Passion and substance and it has to be a part of reality in order to have meaning. Without meaning nothing is being accomplished except for an opinion, an idea or a philosophy that is simply being taught and not the meaningful life forming substance of reality.

The substance, meaning and reality of Jesus’ Passion Leadership is embodied in His Communion Cup the cup, that contains the mercy of God within His eternal blood providing the forgiveness of our sins and the reconciliation of sinful mankind into a relationship with the Holy God.

Jesus taking the cup of redemption, Mark 14:23 and like the bread, giving thanks. Jesus then passed the cup to the disciples and said “take, drink all of it”, “this cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do, that as often as you drink of it, do it in remembrance of Me” (Jesus) Matthew 26:27.

The disciples are fully aware that Jesus is speaking of a better blood than man has. He is speaking of His Spiritual life blood. They gladly take the cup of wine and gladly drink all of it. We marvel that Jesus wants us to “Drink all” that He has for us, all of His life, love, healing, compassion, mercy and grace.

Through the New Covenant; God agreed to take on the appearance of a human and to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life “All things have become New.”

2nd Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold All things are become New.”

Christianity is substance and as substance it is to be taken part in. The offer is to take-receive and to drink-absorb it, to internalize what God has for us and to then live out all that God has for us, all of His comfort, security, holiness, boldness and convictions.

While embracing the substance of Jesus’ cup of wine, we Christians are to become connoisseurs of the fine wine contained within the cup. We are to savor every drop and to delight in the infinite eternal pleasures to be derived from the exceedingly fine wine all the while discerning even the tiniest hint of man’s imperfections that might have been added to the meaningful substance of the communion cup of Jesus.

Christian Leadership knows that the reality of freedom cannot be obtained without actually being free. Therefore, Christian leadership leads us to the eternal blood of Jesus Christ. The blood that He provides, provides our freedom as it is only the eternal blood of Jesus Christ than can provide the resurrection life, liberty and opportunity that comes with a new life in the resurrection relationship with God.

But will we drink of the cup of eternal blood that Jesus is offering to us? …

Yes, we will drink of it if we see our need for it as the gift of eternal life that God has given to us in His unselfish sacrifice on the cross. Like Jesus our Leader we are to give thanks for the Cup and for the opportunity that is contained within it. It is only through acknowledging our need for it, by recognizing its significance of the eternal life provided by it and by being thankful for what we have received from God, that we will use it and appropriate it into our lives.

Ultimately the leadership of Passion is to give thanks to God by accepting from His hand His cup that He is offering to us and to drink from His cup of Christianity. To take part in Christianity is to partake in God’s culture of life, freedom and joy. It truly is God’s gift of life, freely given for us and it is from acceptance of this gift that all of our Passion for Leadership then does emerge.

Are we allowing ourselves to live in our new found Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers, Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to “Drink all of it” Amen! and drink all of it we will.

The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotional is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotional.

Thank you for taking part and being a part of The Passion of Leadership series.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown

About the author, David Anson Brown is currently the administrator of the website and moderator of the [now closed] Basic Christian discussion forum.

Source: The Jesus Walk 10 Day Holy Week Timeline Devotional