Categories
Uncategorized

Pray (even more) for your Pastors

We live in uncertain times. We need to pray for our Pastors.

Pastors can experience deep valleys of loneliness. Of pressures from those whom they counsel. Of thoughts, “Did I do enough?”

I have heard from many Pastors as of late. One theme? Pastors hear from people (even from within their own congregation) on opposite sides of all kinds of subjects; the subject which is having the greatest impact right now is Covid.

Let me get straight to the point: Whatever decision a Pastor makes, he is being confronted for his “wrong”, “poor,” or “bad” decision.

These decisions are not sin issues. These decisions are in the areas in which we hope and pray will make a bad situation (at least) somewhat better.

Yet Pastors are confronted as if these are sin issues.

My mind is brought to 1 Corinthians 8 where the Apostle Paul discusses food being offered to idols. Idols are nothing. So it doesn’t matter that food was offered to idols. We know the truth. “We know that an idol has no real existence, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”

Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, no better if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. Please read this passage (1 Corinthians 8).

There is not a one-for-one parallel between “food offered to idols” and Covid.

What remains, though, is: Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

Are we building up in love? Are we sacrificing our energy in love? Are we acting in selfless love for others?

Your Pastor is striving to build up everyone for whom he will give an account to God.

Worship of God (corporately) is a preeminent privilege and responsibility of God’s people. The goal is to establish a situation in which the vast majority of members (if not every member) will feel confident in their conscience to physically join the corporate worship.

This is a weighty responsibility Pastors take seriously.

Your Pastor needs even more prayer. We need to pray for our Pastors.

If at the very least, pray for your Pastor and text him that you have just prayed for him. Let him know he is not alone. Let him know you will support him in his decisions because when it comes down to it, he is not making them to make everyone happy–Nor are his decisions a matter of sin. He’s making these decisions so that the people for whom he will give an account will be able to join in one accord as many of the others who desire to worship God in Spirit and Truth.

Pray even more for your Pastors.

Categories
Uncategorized

Pray for your Pastors

Pray for your Pastors.

I grieve at the loss of Darrin Patrick. He was a man of God who God used greatly.

Pastors carry a weighty load. Not only do Pastors carry their own weighty loads, they carry the weighty loads of the people under whom God has placed in their care.

Sharing. Listening. Counseling. Laughing. Grieving. Preaching. Rebuking. Caring. Loving. Leading. Guiding. Sympathizing. Helping.

Much of the time, these things are not easy. Multiply your situation times the number of people in your church, plus others who randomly stop by for help, and you have a part of what a Pastor carries.

Pastors can be very lonely. They need others to help carry their loads.

When you disagree with your Pastor, please disagree in a spirit of humility and gentleness: Not because he can’t handle it, but he is already discouraged with a situation you know nothing about.

There is always something a Pastor is dealing with.

Listen to your Pastor. Take heed his counsel. He cares deeply for you.

Hebrews 13:17

[17] Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (ESV)

This is not an absolute, “obey your Pastor!” It is a joyful submission under their leadership. (If you cannot listen to your Pastor’s advice, why are you submitting yourself under their leadership? Is it because of your hardness of heart? Granted, it could be your Pastor is difficult. I believe that is the exception). My point is more, Pastors know they will have to give an account for how they shepherd God’s people.

Did you know that? Pastors will give an account for how they shepherd God’s people.

That’s weighty.

And sometimes Pastors struggle through the challenges set before them. Weighty challenges.

Pray for your Pastors.

Pray your Pastors will be fortified in the inner-man so they may be an example to the flock God has given them.

Pray your Pastors do not give up hope. Pray your Pastors will stand firm upon the Gospel for which they have been called to preach.

And right now, pray for Darrin Patrick’s family. They also carry a heavy weight of loss.

Above all, pray.

Categories
Uncategorized

God Still Works

We read in Genesis 2:3, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Did God rest? Yes. Was his rest a complete rest? Well, his rest from creation, yes.

I suggest, God kept working just not on creation.

Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

This work is God working to glorify himself in creation and covering the earth with his glory like the seas cover the earth by the saving of souls.


Categories
Uncategorized

Be Followers of Me

“This habit that modern people often have of thinking and speaking of the new birth as if it could be perceived in the soul and is something to be possessed in themselves is a great snare to many humble and earnest believers; it drives them to despair or turns them into hypocrites, for though they try to live up to “born-again and converted” lives, they know secretly how sinful they are, and that considered in their deepest selves they are not new creatures. That is not the way of Jesus but the way of the Pharisees. Just as it is not in ourselves that we have to seek our righteousness but in Christ, so it is not in ourselves that we have to seek our new birth but in Christ alone. The animal is made to have its life in its own carnal experience, but man is made to find his life in God and not in himself. The Christian who lives out of his own experience of new birth is a carnal Christian, and has not yet learned to know that new birth is from above, and is of the Spirit, and therefore that it cannot be discerned below but only discerned above in Christ.

….Nicodemus was a deeply religious man, but it was precisely to him that Jesus spoke so strongly of the need for new birth and birth from above. There was another Pharisee of whom we know much more than Nicodemus, Saul of Tarsus, who had an outstanding conversion which changed his whole life and who, as born again and baptized in Christ, was known by a new name, Paul. But Paul never spoke of new birth or of conversion as a psychological experience; from beginning to end it was of “the new man in Christ” that he spoke, because it is in Christ that we are given to share in the new life of the new creation. It is in St. Paul that we find the perfect fulfillment of what Jesus Christ taught to Nicodemus, and it was St. Paul who said,’Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ.'”

T.F. Torrance, pg 74-75 “When Christ Comes and Comes Again”

Categories
Lamentations lamentations 3 Uncategorized

The Mercies of God

21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

  • God is faithful to everyone that is His
  • God’s mercies are new every morning
  • There is not a moment on earth when morning is not breaking
Categories
Uncategorized

Help My Unbelief

Words: John Newton (1725-1807), Music: Clint Wells (2005)
From the album “Help My Unbelief”

I know the Lord is nigh,
and would but cannot pray,
for Satan meets me when I try
and frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus makes it soft.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have pow’r to move
a soul as base as mine.
A soul as base as mine.

I would but cannot rest
in God’s most holy will;
I know what he appoints is best
and murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.