Monday, November 2, 2009
A good, biblical pastor has a desire to impart not only the gospel but his very life to the people entrusted to him by God. No pastor ever is adequate in of himself to fulfill this objective. Even in our country, pastors face suffering and spiteful actions at the hands of those without and within the church. This will surely intensify in these last days.
Pastors must boldly speak the gospel message even in the midst of great conflict. The inner turmoil and outward pressure of daily ministry calls the pastor to a clean and true exhortation. His faithful work looks to the approving eye of God who called him. Pleasing God rather than people is his objective because it is God who tests his heart.
It is not a light thing to be entrusted with the very same message proclaimed by Paul, the other apostles, and faithful men throughout the history of the church. This message cannot be fettered by flattery or cloaked by covetousness on the part of the man of God. He must as gentle as a mother who cares for her nursing children. He must exhort, comfort, and charge as a father does with his own children.
So, as pastors, we set our affections on the people of God imparting not only the gospel but our lives. The struggle we have with making such a statement is that our words need to align with our actions. Actions always speak over mere words. This is the point at which we both feel inadequate. The affections we have for the people of our church are driven by devout, just, and blameless lives among the family and people intertwined with our lives. Thinking about this makes us both cringe because we’re both aware of the hypocrisy in our lives.
Setting a week aside during the year for pastor appreciation is a wonderful sentiment. Even though we are extremely thankful for the cards, notes, and gifts this past week, we are even more thankful when we see people receiving the Word of God as it is in truth the Word of God. This reception will effectively alter the lives of the people upon whom we both have set our affections.
Hindered in this life by the evil one and our own sinful natures, our hope still resides in the changed lives of people who receive the Word of God. It is to those people that we commit our care and prayers in the coming days. The joy and crown of rejoicing for any pastor is people gathered in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming. This is the glory and joy of a pastor’s ministry – nothing less will do.