Ducks in a Row
Women's Leader Devotional
Posted September 18, 2015
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Ephesians 4:1
To Read: Ephesians Chapter 4
I'm sure you have all heard the saying, "ducks in a row". We can picture in our mind all those cute little ducklings walking in a line behind their mother. When we say that phrase we are talking about organizing and lining things up in order to move forward. Those things we need to prepare and get into place are our "ducks".
I hear from women's leaders all the time that want to focus on what is wrong with the ministry or group they are working with. Don't get me wrong, there are always things that go wrong in the ministry.
There are always going to be things that need improved upon in our women's church groups, but we have to start with ourselves as leaders. Having our ducks all lined up in a row will help us be prepared to move forward in the Christian life and serve the Lord.
I notice I tend to mention these same "ducks" a lot throughout my writing but they are so important. They are the staples of the Christian life so here I am talking about them again. I just think that everything we say and do as a Christian hinges on these things.
I find that problems seem to escalate when these basic "ducks" are not lined up.
Duck #1: Salvation
The importance of salvation can never be overlooked. You need to know Christ in order to live for Him. It is the first duck we have to have lined up in our lives. Even when we have this settled, we cannot forget about it. It is something we need to concentrate on.
We need to stop and reflect on what Christ did for us. Are you familiar with that old hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"?
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
That is so powerful. We've got to go back to our salvation and remember what all Jesus did for us. When we have salvation in line and really grasp hold of what it means to us as Christians, it can change our whole outlook on life.
When salvation is really important to us we will start living better. We will start looking on others with compassion. We will start showing love to others like Jesus did. Salvation is all about the love of Christ. Do we really allow it to "demand" our soul, life and all?
As a leader, does salvation play a big part in your decision making process? Are you a Christ-like leader? Are you a loving person? Are you compassionate? Are you humble? Are you forgiving?
When salvation is important to us, we start reflecting Christ.
Duck #2: Prayer
Lining up our prayer life sharpens our communication with the Lord. It is how we talk to God. How are we ever going to be followers of Christ if we are not interacting with Him?
One thing I love about prayer is that it helps us concentrate on others and not just ourselves. When we start bringing others to the Lord in prayer it helps us see beyond ourselves. Praying for others helps us to become encouragers.
Prayer allows us to get things done. I think sometimes we forget how powerful prayer can be. Prayer can change things. Prayer can move things forward. Prayer can stop things. Prayer can heal. Prayer is a powerful weapon in our hands.
We have to have a strong and active prayer life lined up in our lives if we are ever going to accomplish anything for Christ. Is your prayer life fine-tuned? Are you praying for the women in your ladies ministry? Are you making decisions prayerfully?
Duck #3: Bible Study
Have you ever noticed how people that are successful in business read a lot? T hey take management courses. They teach themselves to be better at what they do. Successful people immerse themselves in learning.
It is the same to be successful as a Christian. We too have to immerse ourselves in learning. Digging into the Word on a regular basis will help us become more effective Christians. Bible reading and study allows us to get a handle on the ins and outs of the Christian life.
This duck helps us flourish.
Is Bible study something you make time for? Are you actively studying God's Word? Are you making decisions for your women's ministry based alongside of Biblical principles? Are you using the Bible as your plumb-line to follow?
Duck #4: Fellowship
This duck is our interaction with other Christians. This is something we sometimes think is optional, but it is not. A Christian cannot be an island unto himself. We need to have that fellowship and interaction with others in the body of Christ.
We are members working toward the same goals. There are souls out there dying without Christ. We have got to get over ourselves and work in harmony to carry the Gospel to the world. Others depend on us to get this duck lined up.
How do you interact with the women in your church and in your groups? Are you friendly towards them? Do you encourage them? Do you get along with them? Do you work and play well with others?
Duck #5: Worship
Worshipping the Lord is a simple basic of the Christian life. The majority of us worship on Sundays as part of an organized church service. That's great. We need that but worship is more than just what we do on Sundays. Worship centers on praising God and glorifying Him in everything we do in our daily lives.
Again, we have to get over ourselves. Everything we do whether personal or in the way of ministry should be to bring honor to God. We are not working for ourselves. We can't let it be about us.
Worship has to be one of those ducks that is lined up. Having it in place will help us weed out self from our lives and focus on the Lord more fully. As a leader are your goals set in line with worshipping the Lord? Are you keeping worship and honoring the Lord as a priority when you plan and carry out activities?
Duck #6: Witness
Witnessing for Christ should be part of us as Christians. It should become like second nature to us. You hear so much about life-style evangelism and I believe in it. I just don't believe that it is enough.
How we live is important but so are those opportunities to actually tell others about the Lord. To really have this duck lined up, shouldn't we be actively sharing Christ with others?
People think it is so hard to witness. Many think witnessing requires going through the plan of salvation. It doesn't. Sure, you may eventually get the pleasure of doing that with someone but it isn't required to witness.
Jesus taught us something when He healed that crazy man (the maniac of Gadara).
Do you remember this man in the Bible? He was the man running about the graves while possessed by demons. Look what Jesus told him to do after He healed the man.
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. Mark 5:19
The man wanted to follow along with Jesus and his disciples but that wasn't the plan Jesus had for this man. Jesus just wanted him to go home and tell his friends what God had done for him.
Isn't that a wonderful way to witness? Just simply share what the Lord has done for you personally. Talk about your blessings. Talk about what the Lord is doing in your life. It can be the start of a deeper witness.
We have to have this witnessing duck lined up in order to carry out the Great Commission. Are you allowing your life to bring others to Christ? Do you think others want what you have in Christ?
Are you sharing your blessings and encouraging the women in your group to share their blessings with others? Are you reaching out to your community with the Gospel by the projects and activities that you plan? Are you actively witnessing for the Lord?
All of these "ducks" are important. Lining them up helps our Christian life to expand and grow. When it comes to ministry, having these ducks in place is going to make things run a little smoother and you are going to accomplish more for Christ. You won't be looking inward for answers but it will enable you to look to the Lord.
Having these basics in place puts Christ at the head of our decision making and the management of our daily lives. In turn that will bleed out into our leadership roles.
I find that Christian leaders, especially church women's leaders, want to jump on board for everything that is out there when it comes to ministry. Women's conferences, retreats, seminars, and books might help in some areas of ministry, but they are not the answer to really learning how to be a better leader.
We have got to get back to the basics. We have got to get these "ducks" lined up. All that other stuff isn't going to help if salvation isn't important to you, if you are not reading your Bible, studying your Bible, fellowshipping with other Christians, working in harmony with other Christians, praying, worshipping, and witnessing.
You can read all the new ministry books you want. You can even attend all the seminars and conferences on leadership in the world but it isn't going to do a thing for your Christian walk long-term if you don't have the basics in place.
I think that holy living is the best thing to keep all these ducks lined up. When we allow sin into our lives those ducks start drifting out of line. They start marching in the opposite direction. They start sinking in the pond.
Sin takes our eyes off the cross. We start forgetting about what all the Lord has done for us. Our prayer life and Bible reading start sliding.
Look how sin stirs up conflict between believers. We stop getting along. Sin causes our worship and witness to suffer.
We have to make holy living a conscious decision. Holiness is what nudges those ducks back into line. It sets them in the right direction and keeps them afloat. It keeps them following the Leader, which is Christ. We have to put off that "old man" (Ephesians 4:22).
See how that "new man" is created in Ephesians 4:24?
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
When we read through the entirety of the 4th chapter of Ephesians, we see the importance of living for God. Look what it says in verses 14-16 of that chapter.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Did you catch that? "...be no more children". We can't remain babes in Christ. When we do we get tossed around by everything that comes along.
We have to grow and move forward. Having these ducks in place will help us do that.
So, do you have your ducks all lined up in a row?
Copyright ©2015 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
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