“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.
When Jesus taught his disciples using parables, the parable was like solving a math problem with pen and paper. He wanted His students to gain understanding more than knowledge. And Jesus used His parables like a road map because when His disciples arrived at their destination, He wanted them to know how they got there.
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What kind of people do you think Jesus likes to hang around with? Some people think that Jesus would never be near a drug addict, an alcoholic, or any person who does bad things. The Bible teaches that we are to be perfect just as He is perfect. So does that mean Jesus only hangs out with perfect people? Do you think that He prefers to be around preachers, Sunday School teachers and other church people? After all, church people are perfect right? Righttt!
Do you have self-inflicted scars and pains from past mistakes? Do you have wounds on your heart that still fester years after someone has hurt you? If so, I have good news for you. You are the kind of person Jesus wants to spend time with. Jesus loves broken people. The Bible tells us that, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,” So if you have a broken heart or a broken marriage, if you are the victim of broken promises or broken dreams, you can be sure that God has a special love for you.
Most people have serious problems in their lives. Maybe you are an addict of some kind. Most of us are. Maybe your marriage is closer to hell than it is to heaven. Perhaps you have a child who has broken your heart or maybe it is a parent that has broken your heart. If so read Psalms 147:3 and find the promise that God will not turn away from a broken and contrite heart.
All people have an element of brokenness within them, but few realize that God can turn their brokenness into a blessing. The blessedness of brokenness is this; God knows you by name and He wants to mend your wounds and heal your broken heart. Jesus said “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Many of you have darkness in your hearts that comes from brokenness. But Jesus says we do not have to walk in darkness because His Light can overcome our brokenness.
On a clear morning as the sun rises, the sky seems to be full of jet planes. At an altitude of five miles you don’t really see the planes, you only see the contrails they leave behind. And yet contrails are nothing but water vapors formed by the exhaust of the jet engines. Some contrails are long while others are short. Some spread out and last a while, but others disappear almost immediately. All contrails are different. But they all have one thing in common. They all fade away.
As I watch these planes in the sky, I know that they all have importance and purpose for being. Each one carries hundreds of people to their predetermined destination. Even so their greatest impression on the morning sky is nothing but condensed water vapor evaporating in the air. This reminds me that in spite of our importance and purpose, the Bible teaches that our lives are only a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Someone once asked President Ronald Reagan how he wanted to be remembered after he was gone. His answer was, “ I don’t care, I won’t be there”. This great man understood that in the grand scheme of eternity even the actions of presidents will dissipate in the winds of time. You and I should also remember that our life on earth is like a shadow and like a cloud our works will fade away .
There is great good news for those of us who love Jesus with all our hearts. This great good news is that while men will forget we ever lived, our Omnipotent Father in heaven knows our name forever. Our goal on this earth should be to lay up treasure in heaven. Treasure in heaven is not silver and gold. No, treasure in heaven is the souls of men that are there because of our witness. It is a wise person who leads souls to Christ. The Bible says “Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens. Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.” This is a promise that will never fade away.
This may seem strange to some of you, but I am a superhero fan. Especially Superman and Batman. It is entertaining and sometimes inspiring to see these noble characters with their courage and conviction rushing in to defeat the evil villains. Often as I listen to the news and hear of the evil in this world, I wish there really was a Superman who could fly in and crush the bad guys. When I hear of sickness and diseases in the world, I wish that a Bruce Wayne would invent the cure. Then Batman would deliver the antidote to the afflicted while riding on the wings of the wind.
Now I know that these superheroes are simple fictional characters. Superman will never save the day and Batman will never solve any riddles. However, I can see how most superheroes may have been inspired by Biblical stories. Throughout the Bible we read of many common men who were raised up by God to accomplish miraculous feats. For instance, think of Moses who divided waters and called down fire as he delivered his people to the promised land. Then with one of the greatest story endings of all time, he walks up to a mountain top to die in the presence of God.
When I watch a Super Hero movie the special effects are awesome, but they cannot match the powers of my God. In 2 Samuel 22, I read that when God’s children are attacked by His enemies the anger of God is stirred. Then the earth shakes and the foundations of Heaven tremble. His voice thunders from heaven and the lightning bolts fly like arrows from His bow. Look and you will see the clouds billowing out behind Him like a cloak of righteousness as he comes Riding on the Wings of the Wind.
As I continue to read this chapter, I find that God can still use common men in uncommon ways. When we place our feet on the Rock of His salvation, His strength and power will be ours. He will teach us how to be spiritual warriors and our prayers will fly like arrows from a bow. The Blood of Jesus will be the shield of our salvation. The Word of our Testimony will be the destruction of our enemy. Then one day this Greatest Story ever told will come to an end. The theme music of our Savior will sound like a trumpet. The sky will crack open and we will rise to meet The Lord while Riding on the Wings of the Wind.
Since my porch is facing to the southeast, I am able to watch the motion picture that is the rising sun and wakening day. This morning I am watching a doe and her two babies as they feed on the remnants of my garden. From the woods I hear chattering squirrels and all around me is the unmatched music of God’s orchestra.
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Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel. The writers of these books of the Bible are called major prophets. However, these men would not be popular preachers in todays world. They would be canceled by the woke culture. Talking heads in the news industry would call them religious kooks. Most politicians would label them as right wing terrorists. The elite denominational leaders would shun them and call them conspiracy theorist .
Isaiah was a visionary and Jeremiah was tenderhearted. God gave Ezekiel a hard head and He blessed Daniel with the gift of diplomacy. These men were called by God, led by God and answered only to God. They knew that it was not their responsibly to please people. They were called to say, “ thus says the Lord.” Their responsibility was to speak God’s truth regardless of the consequences.
A pandemic of stupidity has infected the world today. It is a direct result of religious leaders who are controlled by the prevailing winds of popular opinion. Many churches have decided that putting rear ends in pews is more important than putting truth in people’s hearts. They would rather disobey God than offend people. Instead of standing on the word of God, they listen to news media, entertainment figures and politicians. This is why churches are dying and souls are being lost.
God’s people need to be like the great prophets in the Bible. All of us need to be visionaries with tender hearts, hard heads and like Daniel be diplomatic but willing to brave a den of hungry lions. The world does not need any more smiling preachers or tolerant Christians. It needs prophets whose feet are planted on foundations of righteousness. It needs followers of Christ who are rooted and grounded deep in God’s Word.
That old long con artist Satan has stung society into lunacy. Now it is time for Christians to stop going along with anything in order to get along with everyone. We must take the old prophets as our mentors and be willing to suffer anything for our God and Savior. We are God’s watchmen so let us exercise our right and responsibility to be salt and light to a dark and rotting world.
Two of the most precious gifts that God has ever given us are work and rest. Yes, I believe that a good days work is as much a gift from God as a good nights sleep. After all, what is rest without work? In my own life, I have found that sweaty clothes and sore muscles combined with the knowledge I have done the best I could, always meant I would rest good that night. It is an undeniable truth when you work hard you will sleep good.
God Himself is our example. In the book of Genesis, we find that our Creator did the work of a engineer, a horticulturist and a DNA specialist. He sent the stars on their journey and established the path of the planets. He mounded up the mountains, organized the oceans and traced the route of the rivers. But His greatest work was done when He got His hands dirty. He scooped up a handful of red clay and formed man in His image. His breath is our life and we are the apple of His eye. That is why we are blessed with the ability to work hard and sleep good.
In the book of Luke, we read that the one who works is deserving of his wages. Whatever we do, our work makes our world a better place. Throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that the ones who will work are worthy of their pay. He also makes it clear that the ones who will not work deserve nothing. For those who will hear it, socialism is an satanic and destructive form of government. Anyone who promotes socialism is ungodly and evil. Do not be fooled by politicians who try to buy your vote by offering you things you have not earned.
Whatever job we find ourselves doing, we should do it for the glory of God. If you are a lawmaker crafting laws or cabinet maker crafting cabinets, do what you do for the Glory of God. If you have the calloused hands of a builder or hands that hold a scalpel, glorify God with the work of your hands. All work is important because all work is a gift from God. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” And “ It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of his labor- all the days of his life- for this is his heritage.” So for this reason I hope you will enjoy this gift of God. I hope you work hard and sleep good.
I recorded this video while working in my shop. This is me in my element. I am from rural, blue collar background. The paved road really does end just passed my home. I have never and will never be wealthy but God has always provided my family’s every need. For this reason I will always say, “ The Lord is my Shepherd and He is all I want.