So, there they are, this preachers alliteration about past, present, and future.
Lean forward: the glorious future gives us expectant hearts. Learn from the past: the past is our teacher to instruct and guide us. Leave the past: we can't forget it. But, we can move it out of our path.
Least in the Kingdom: favoring others will mediate our demands about the past.
Then there is the right now, the present. What in the world is the Christian worldview about life in the present? It's just another Lea word, but perhaps the most important. It is about our influence on the world around us.
Lead: to be the spiritual leader to the people in our sphere of influence.
Right up front we'll have to settle the matter of spiritual leadership. We tend to give that assignment to pastors, teachers, church staff members, small group leaders, professors, denominational workers, and those called and ordained to ministry status. Spiritual leadership is more than those specifics, however. In my belief system Christian parents are spiritual leaders. Even more, every believer is a spiritual leader in the circles of his or her personal influence---at work, school, in the neighborhood, in civic associations, sports, and virtually every influential placement. Yes, those formalized roles are certainly God's calling to places of organized service in the church and other spiritual service. They provide essential leadership in pursuing the mission Jesus assigned to his church. However, every single believer should be motivated to follow Christ decisively and model the blessings of faith to the people around them.
And, that's a pivotal point in the dynamics of our nation today. Our secular culture has discounted the mission and influence of Christ's church. The numbers are certainly proof of that societal shift. Pay attention to the main stream media obvious attacks on the church and its leaders. Christian faith is today surrounded by question marks because church life is challenged and questioned. Right now, today, the Christian witness through church life has been diminished by media portrayal. In all of the blather about race, gender, abortion, politics, and many of the troublesome dynamics of life the church is censured, often ignored. What registers today is the simple influence of believers with convictions and voice about the spiritual realities of life. What is more, the influence of sincere Christians is a biblical mandate---
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good
works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5: 26, ESV
And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are
considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise
authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great
among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be
slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his
life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10: 42-45, ESV
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you
as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2: 12, ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own
possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of
darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2: 9, ESV
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a
defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with
gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15, ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to
meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more
as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrew 10: 24-25, ESV
Understanding past, present, and future is a significant element of our Christian life. The right now dynamics are critical in dealing with the stresses of human relationships. Yes, the church should speak, and those leaders who guide our congregational life. More to the point, the life and witness of every believer is the right now character that can lead our nation to relational unity and solidarity.
Right now, every one of us should lead.