DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-03-28
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 18:14-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 14 Jethro saw how much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, “Why are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses answered, “Because they come here to find out what God wants them to do. 16 They bring their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of God’s laws.”
17 Jethro replied: That isn’t the best way to do it. 18 You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out. The job is too much for one person; you can’t do it alone.
OBSERVATION: There are varying opinions about what a pastor’s job description should look like. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we’ll see where Moses filled a similar position as God’s leader, and how he had placed himself in quite a predicament as the fearless leader of the Israelites. Perhaps we could learn when, or how our pastor does ‘too much’.
APPLICATION: Some will pass judgment on a pastor and attribute his pastorate as a scapegoat for a hardworking manual labor job. Some will insist that the pastor do all the work of ministry around the church, since he is being paid for that. Others who know the hours labored by a pastor will wonder how they ever save their marriage, or spend any quality time with their children. Moses was ordered by God to do some important things that way exceeded the ability of any man. For example: go before the king and demand release of the Israelites; follow the instructions of God through various actions with his shepherd’s staff; provide food and water for over a million people – out in the desert; find a way of escape for the people when there was water ahead and an oncoming army approaching from the rear; deal with all the attitudes, grumbling and complaining from such a large following; etc. So of course, Moses found a very real need to be judge and jury for the people when disagreements arose. This in itself was enough for many judges, but Moses felt a responsibility to God and his countrymen to fill the gap of being a spokesman for God to satisfy all disagreements. As an innocent outsider, Jethro quickly saw that his son-in-law was headed for disaster in being overworked and under constant demand by his people. It was unfair to the people, and was way too much on Moses as a lone judge. Friends, in my Observation I used our pastors as an example, but I believe there is more of this in us individually than we might care to acknowledge, for we could each be accused at times for trying to do it all. I have spent time in leadership of a smaller church, where pastors only stayed there for a limited number of years. Had the leadership of lay persons not been trained in ministry and willing to jump in and share in the ministry of God in that church, one could easily see where many parishioners would have gone unattended to. I believe that God is showing us through this example of Jethro helping Moses, that it is vitally important to not do ministry, or the work of God alone. Share the blessings with others by letting them serve alongside you, for we must always remember that we are about God’s work, and He always provides workers for His ministry. Sure it’s important that we are willing to do the work, and sure it is important that we are always busy about God’s work, but I believe that we should never do any of this exclusive of other workers who are ready and willing to serve. Yes, I believe that God wants you in His Service, but I also believe that He wants you to bring along as many as you can to help you accomplish the ministry fully and effectively.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, there’s a lot to be done in Your vineyard here on earth, and it often seems like there are never enough workers to accomplish the work. Please help us to assume the job of Jethro, when needed, for it seems like many tend to be lone rangers who feel like Your ministry will collapse without them. Please teach them to share the joy of helping others along in leadership, so that they won’t simply encounter a lost person and only invite them to church. Often if we fail to share Your story with a lost person, they may expire before ever making it to ‘church’ to hear the good news. Teach us Lord to listen closely to Your voice and to be ready and willing to serve, so that our pastors and other leaders would see growth in leaders who always help them to reach the lost and minister to the saints. It’s Your ministry Lord Jesus, and as saints of God, we are all workers in Your vineyard, until Jesus comes again to take His church home to heaven. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!