“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”Hebrews 13:17 NKJV
October has been designated as Pastor Appreciation month. All good churches will take time to honor and celebrate their pastor this month. A church’s pastor is one of their greatest treasures. There is no such thing as a perfect pastor but that does not matter. God demands that a congregation should love and respect their pastor. They must treat him with the honor and dignity that is due to the pastoral office.
God would have you to know that your pastor has the legitimate authority to lead the church. He is worthy of your respect and you should treat him as a leader and a friend. You should always pray for him and offer him your hands as helping hands. Deacons should shoulder their share of the ministry, and their share is probably more than they have been doing in the past.
Your pastor is not part of the furniture of the church, do not take him for granted. You should pay him as much as you can, indeed pay him a little more than you can afford. Above and beyond his salary, pay his ministry expenses. Understand that he will make mistakes and that he does get tired. He needs time off and adequate vacation time. Make sure he has it and make sure that he takes it.
A pastor is not hired by the church, he is called by God. He has been charged with the great responsibility of caring for the souls of his people. He is never off duty because his greatest desire is to fulfill his responsibility to the people he loves and the God he serves.
The challenge for the church is this. Learn from your pastor’s teaching, follow his lead and strive to be made perfect. You should also resolve to never hinder, nor allow anyone else to hinder, your pastor as he fulfills the functions of his office and position as your pastor. Finally, always treat your pastor as if he is the greatest pastor you have ever had and he probably will be.
I believe that laughter of children is sweet music and the love of a child can put a song in your heart. I believe that the sweat from hard work feels good and the reward of working hard is a good feeling. I believe that reading the Bible while the sun comes up is the best way to start the day. A cup of coffee while talking to God will make the day good to the last drop. The Bible tells us in Romans 15:13 “ The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said whoever believes in Him will never die and I know this to be true. I also am convinced that whoever does not believe in Jesus has never lived. Belief is a powerful thing. It can imprint on your life unending hope and it can erase from your life debilitating fear. Belief in the Savior has caused crippled men to walk, blind men to see and dead men to live. I believe that God is good and greatly to be praised. I will praise God in all things, good and bad.
God has promised that with a little faith, we can prayerfully move mountains. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, your prayers can bring healing to the sick, salvation to the lost and hope to the hopeless. This is true for all of us who believe in the power of Jesus our Savior. Sometimes in our human frailties, we struggle to believe this. But if we cry out to Jesus, He will help us in our unbelief.
I believe that my sins are great but God’s forgiveness is greater. I believe that when I fall my Jesus will be there to pick me up. In my weakness, I often stumble but I have this certain assurance that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know that I am righteous, but only because of the shed blood of Jesus. So for this reason I have firmly planted my feet on the Rock of my salvation. This salvation is found only in Jesus Christ the Son of God. HE is the One in whom I believe.
What is a conqueror? A conqueror is someone who enters into battle with the knowledge that he might lose. Yet with courage and determination he pours all he has into the battle seeking to overcome the enemy. Hoping that he will be victorious.
However, the Bible tells us that a child of God is more than a conqueror. What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Well, a person who is more than a conqueror knows that the fight is fixed and he cannot lose. As we enter the battle, we know that we can be wounded and injured. There will be times when we are frightened and discouraged. And yet, we are more than conquerors, because we have the assurance that whoever is born again has already overcome the world. Our hope is in Christ and He has already made us victorious.
Yes, those of us who are more than conquerors are assured of victory before the battle even begins. When Moses demanded that Pharaoh let the Israelites go, Pharaoh was already defeated. The walls of Jericho could not stand, because Joshua obeyed the instructions of the Commander of the Army of the Lord. And the giant Goliath had no chance against a little shepherd boy, because David knew that the battle belonged to the Lord.
We have this promise, if God is for us then no one can stand against us. So, I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable can defeat us. If Jesus is your Lord, absolutely nothing can come between you and God’s love. Victory is ours because in Christ we are More than Conquerors
I confess, like most people, sometimes I miss important words in the Bible. For instance in Matthew 11:11 Jesus says “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.” As often as I have read that passage of scripture until recently I had not considered the word, “risen.” This is important because John was not born great. Jesus is telling us that John the Baptist rose to greatness.
Yes I know that the circumstances of John’s birth were miraculous. However, that was not what made him great. John became great when he rose up and unashamedly preached the need for repentance. Pointing to Jesus he joyfully proclaimed that He was the Lamb of God. Then John rose up and fearlessly pointed out the sins of King Herod. After this he relentlessly clung to the Kingdom of Heaven even as the axe separated his head from his body. No, he was not born great, but by his faith John rose to greatness.
Strangely enough after Jesus honors the greatness of John, He then turns to you and I and says “He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.” I believe that through these words Jesus is issuing a challenge to all of us. This is the challenge; Godly men must rise for the Glory of God and by faith cling to the kingdom of heaven.
This time we live in is strange and terrifying. This world has a need for great men who will stand up for righteousness and the Kingdom of God. These men will not come from the entertainment or sports venues. Nor will they come from the pulpit or political world. The Holy Sprit is looking for ordinary men who will sink to their knees in prayer and stand up to do battle with the enemy.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren, it is time for ordinary men to cling to the Kingdom of Heaven and by faith rise up to greatness.
A large source of contention between many husbands and wives is that the husband does not talk much. I suppose it has always been this way. Most men do not feel a need to talk. When they do, they use short sentences and mostly single syllable words. This drives their wives crazy. They wonder does my husband love me? Well yes he does, but he is most comfortable saying nothing.
Now, men have a good precedence for not being talkative. Joseph the husband of Mary was one of the most well respected men in the Bible. And yet no one can quote anything Joseph said. Joseph was a good man who sought the best for his fiancé. He was a thoughtful man who carefully considered the path that he was to travel. He was a listening man who was able to hear the angel say, “You are to take Mary as your wife and call the baby Jesus.” Joseph was a quiet man and in all of this we find that Joseph said nothing.
Now I am not defending the tendency of men to be silent. I, like most men, need to learn to better express my thoughts and feelings to my loved ones. However, I do want to challenge men to step up and become men of God. A great problem in the world today is brought about by Satan’s mostly successful plan to destroy the family. This problem is the huge number of children who have no father because of rampant divorce and unwed pregnancy. This issue is as prevalent in the church as it is out. And just like most men are silent, the churches of today are loudly saying nothing.
Joseph did not have to be a daddy to Jesus. But he listened to God and did it anyway. That is what real men do. We listen to God. Hear me men, it is time for you to step up and become the righteous leaders of the church. It is time to address the uncomfortable issues. It is time for men to be Godly daddies to their own children. It is time for men to be righteous father figures to those who have no daddy.
Now I may have lead you to believe that the Bible did not record anything that Joseph ever said. But that is not quite right. You see, when Mary’s baby was born Joseph called His name Jesus. Today we need Godly and righteous men who will speak the name of Jesus to the world. When it comes to saying anything better than that, I can think of nothing.
I confess, like most people, sometimes I miss important words in the Bible. For instance in Matthew 11:11 Jesus says “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.” As often as I have read that passage of scripture until recently I had not seen the word, “risen.” This is important because John was not born great. Jesus is telling us that John the Baptist rose to greatness.
Yes I know that the circumstances of John’s birth were miraculous. However, that was not what made him great. John became great when he rose up and unashamedly preached the need for repentance. Pointing to Jesus he joyfully proclaimed that He was the Lamb of God. Then John rose up and fearlessly pointed out the sins of King Herod. After this he relentlessly clung to the Kingdom of Heaven even as the axe separated his head from his body. No, he was not born great, but by his faith John ascended to greatness.
Strangely enough after Jesus honors the greatness of John, He then turns to you and I and says “He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.” I believe that through these words Jesus is issuing a challenge to all of us. This is the challenge; Godly men must stand up for the Glory of God and by faith cling to the kingdom of heaven.
This time we live in is strange and terrifying. This world has a need for great men who will stand up for righteousness and the Kingdom of God. These men will not come from the entertainment or sports venues. Nor will they come from the pulpit or political world. The Holy Sprit is looking for ordinary men who will sink to their knees in prayer and stand on their feet to do battle with the enemy.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren, it is time for ordinary men to cling to the Kingdom of Heaven and by faith rise up to greatness.
I refuse to insult my intelligence by watching any of the alphabet soup propaganda networks on TV. However, recently I read that one of their vacuous talking heads insinuated that no intelligent person believes the Bible. That same morning in my daily Bible reading I was encouraged by Second Samuel Chapter 22. So this is what I have to say to all of Beelzebub’s cranium deficient mouth pieces on TV.
God is a rock, a fortress and He is my protection. A shield and a refuge, He is my place of safety. If the waves of destruction and death sweep over me, I will cry out to Him. I know He will hear me because my prayers are prioritized in heaven’s throne room.
I am an extremely sinful person. But because of the blood of Jesus Christ, God sees me to be blameless. If I seem to be bragging, it is because I have a great and powerful God to brag on.
He has reached down from Heaven to rescue me and He will continue to shield me from a strong and powerful enemy who hates me.
You may say, “I see no God, therefore there is no God.” Understand this. To the pure, God reveals Himself to be pure. To those with integrity, He shows His integrity and to the faithful, HE IS the manifestation of faithfulness. If you have eyes to see, He is the light of life. However, if you choose to remain in your blindness, for you He has reserved eternal darkness.
Satan is the prince of the power of the air waves and he comes to kill, steal and destroy. From many screens he spews excrement into our homes. He uses poor deluded fools to attack the Word of God and the faith of His people. His goal is to deceive people into worshipping the puny and putrid gods of this world.
But the Bible is perfect and true. In its pages I feel the breath of God and hear the voice of my Savior. Because of the infallible Word of God, I know the Lord lives. I shout praises to the Rock of my salvation. Everyone must choose who they will worship. But as for me and my house we will serve the one true God who is our Savior, Jesus Christ. If that makes me a fool, then I am a fool for God.
This week my daily Bible reading has me in the book of Job. As I read, it occurs to me that we may have missed something in this story. You see for years I’ve heard people talk about the patience of Job. However I think it was God and not Job who was patient.
As I read the story of Job, I see God being very patient as Job’s wife tells him to “curse God and die.” God was patient with Job’s friends who gave long speeches but had nothing to say. Most of all I see the patience God had with Job himself. Job struggled with his pain and suffering. He charged God with being unfair. He wanted to meet with God in a court of law and he demanded answers from God. But through it all, God patently waited until Job was ready to see Him with clear eyes.
God’s patience has been evident throughout all time. He was patient with Adam and Eve when they hid themselves in the garden. He was patient when David cheated with Bathsheba. He was patient when Jonah ran from His calling. And He has been very patient with me when I have been everything but the man I should be.
I am thankful that the God of all grace has called me to His eternal glory in Christ. I know that even though I fail miserably, He himself will restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast. The patience of God is driven by His love and mercy. It is because of His merciful patience and not my goodness that I know He will never leave nor forsake me.
He is most well known for being the son of Abraham and the father of Jacob. Some commentators have referred to him as a mediocre son of a great father and a mediocre father of a great son. I think this is unfair to Isaac. I believe he admirably fulfilled his place in history. He was not born to be an Abraham nor was he born to be a Jacob. He was just Isaac.
Every where you go you will find men with the spirit of Isaac. Most people unfairly consider them to be just mediocre. For instance, you might see a man at the little league game in grimy clothes. His clothes are dirty because he came straight from work to watch his child or grandchild play. You might also see him in those grimy clothes at church on Wednesday night. He wants to be an example for his children and grandchildren so he also came there straight from work. He will probably never be great in the world’s eyes, but he loves his family, does his job and worships Jesus. He will never be seen as a V.I.P. But neither was Isaac.
On Sunday a bivocational pastor will step into the pulpit to preach a message that God has given him. Many nights he has been up past midnight praying and laboring over the sermon. He pays the bills by working all day. He then rushes home, cleans up, and spends the evening visiting his small congregation. The members of his little church love him but the denominational leaders don’t know him. Although his sermons are better than most of the big shot preachers, he will never be asked to preach to large crowds. He is just a simple man doing what God called him to do. Just like Isaac.
Throughout history a handful of great men have done great things for God, and we all know their names. However the Bible teaches that in Heaven the first shall be last and the last shall be first. By far the men who have done the most for the Kingdom of Heaven are the simple men whose names are not known. On earth they never hear the applause of men, but in Heaven a great cloud of witnesses will greet them with a standing ovation. With dirty hands and calloused knees they are simple but faithful servants who do their jobs well. Just like Isaac.
I recently acquired some chickens. Seven fat hens. I am responsible for their safety, so I built a secure pen for them. It has a top to keep out hawks and is reinforced around the bottom to keep out varmints. Daily I make sure they have fresh water and plenty of food. They are safe, well fed and have a warm dry coop to sleep in. Everything a chicken could want.
Everything a chicken could want, except they want out. Whenever I go to feed them, they are standing at the gate hoping I will let them out. They are glad to exchange the free food for food they can find for themselves. They are also happy to swap the safety of the enclosed pen for the wide open freedom of the yard. When a hawk flies over they hide under a bush and when a varmint comes around they fly into a tree. They don’t need me to take care of them. They are willing to take care of themselves.
It occurs to me that my chickens are exhibiting the true American spirit. True Americans don’t sit around waiting to be fed, they take care of themselves. True Americans will not trade freedom for safety. True Americans will not be told when, where and how to worship. They will worship how, where and when the God of all creation calls them. True Americans don’t depend on the government but will lift their eyes unto God in whom they have placed their trust.
The Declaration of Independence declares that it is evident that we are endowed by the Creator with the rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It appears that many people are willing to trade these rights for the dubious promises of corrupt politicians. I am not! I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross to free me from my sin. And brave soldiers died on the battlefield so I can live in freedom. Satan cannot steal my salvation and I will not sell my liberty. I will stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made me free, and will not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. I was set free to live in freedom and I will be free.