Posts Tagged ‘Preachers

12
May
17

Those Who Teach

Good Friday morning to you! James gives a warning to those who teach the Word of God. They are held to a higher standard. He writes:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. – James 3:1 (NIV)

The teaching and preaching of God’s Word is so very important to the life of the church and followers of Jesus Christ. Those who handle it must do so with great care. Not only are we to be concerned with the Word itself, but those who hear it and who sit under our teaching. Hebrews says that the Word of God is sharper than a sword. Many have had their faith cut to pieces because the Word was handled incorrectly and wielded recklessly. May God have mercy on those of us who teach. May God give wisdom and discernment to those who sit under our teaching. May we all honor God and obey His Word faithfully until Christ returns.
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07
Aug
15

Do What It Says!

James 1:22-25 (NIV)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Week after week, we sit in a room and listen to someone speak from God’s Word.  Perhaps you’ve heard countless sermons on countless subjects from countless passages of Scripture.  I’ve preached somewhere in the neighborhood of 900+ sermons in my ministry (18 years * 50 sermons/year = 900, give or take).  I wonder how many of them were memorable.  I wonder how many of them were life transforming.  I wonder how many times I heard the words, “Good job, preacher!” as the people walked out of the door and quickly forgot everything I said.
We hear God’s Word preached every week, yet, if we’re honest, we would admit that it rarely changes our lives.  It’s not the fault of God’s Word.  It is living and active, according to Hebrews 4:12.  Perhaps it is the fault of the listener who zones out each week with a glazed look in their eyes.  More than likely, though, it is the fault of the earthly communicator.  God has given us a powerful message and yet it is communicated poorly.  The problem is that preachers, myself included, forget about James 1:23.  We don’t challenge people to do what the Word says to do.  We’ll spend a lot of time getting into the text to determine its meaning and we’ll tell people what it means and we’ll feel really good that we told them these things, but we fail to tell them what they should do with it.  On the day of Pentecost, the people asked Peter what they should do with his message.  He responded with definite action.  Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, gave the people concrete applications of His message.  We need to do more than just understand what a text of Scripture means.  We need to do what it says to DO!  That means that preachers must preach application as well as explanation.  That means that Christians must think about the ramifications of what they rad as they read their Bibles.  It means that we cannot read a passage of Scripture and say, “I know who needs to read this!”  The point of Scripture is to change YOU, not those around you.  Let the Holy Spirit convict others.  At that moment, the Spirit is convicting YOU!
Scripture is more than a text book for gaining trivial knowledge.  It is an instruction manual for how to live and please God.  When we do what it says, we not only live better lives, we please the Father and we will be blessed in all that we do.
PRAYER:  Father God, I thank You for Your Word.  I ask that it would penetrate my heart today.  Help me see how living it out will not only result in blessings for me, but how it will please You.  Help me to not only understand what it means, but how to live it out each day.  Thank You.  Amen.
04
Feb
15

Honor and Respect Your Church Leaders

Being a preacher or an elder is a tough job.  This is why Paul tells Timothy:

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. ​- 1 Timothy 5:17 (NIV)​

But what does that mean?  I think it means a couple of things.  First, it means that elders and preachers who do their job well deserve respect.  God has given them the authority to lead in His church.  God, who directs all things in the church, has given the authority for leadership in local congregations to the elders, including those who preach and teach.  When the elders do a good job of shepherding the flock and leading the church, they should have the respect and trust of the church family.  Second guessing the every decision those in leadership make leads to very long days and nights for church leaders.  Honor your elders and leaders by respecting them and trusting them.  They have invested themselves in God’s Kingdom through study and prayer and those who do their job well deserve to be honored.
Secondly, I think that those who have given themselves to serving the Lord by serving the church in full-time Christian service should be compensated well.  Granted, I could be accused of having a conflict of interest here, but I really do believe that this is what Paul is telling Timothy here toward the end of chapter 5.  I have always been taken care of by the churches I have served.  I will not complain about compensation because I know that God is the One who provides for my needs.  I have yet to miss a meal or not have clothing for my child because a church did not provide adequate compensation.  I thank God for the elders I have served with through the past nearly 18 years of ministry.  They have taken such good care of me and my family.  I believe that I have a responsibility to God and to His people to do my best and earn the compensation I receive rather than to expect or demand that I be paid well for laziness or half-hearted effort.
Take good care of your elders and your preachers.  It’s a tough job God has called us to, but it is also very rewarding.  May God bless the elders and preachers who serve and lead well in His church.
1 Timothy 5:17-21 (NIV)
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.



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