Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Posts tagged ‘Church Leaders’

Consequences for Criticizing God’s Servant

Wednesday, 2019-11-20

Bible Reference: Numbers 12:5-10
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  5 …the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. 7 But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.

OBSERVATION: In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

APPLICATION:  I would strongly encourage you to read the short chapter from which this scripture reference was taken, for it had a profound impact on me. Click on the scripture reference above and you will be taken to a place where you could read all 16 verses. You will get a better understanding in verse 3 why God took such a fierce stand against the sister and brother of Moses, for the Word declares that Moses was the most humble man on earth at the time. I believe this was included to help us understand that Moses would probably have loved his siblings regardless of what they may have said about him. What a humbling honor to be considered as the humblest man on earth, wow! Does that not automatically cause us to question ourselves and what we might do to be more humble in God’s eyes? However, this criticizing of God’s servant, truly angered God, and He dealt with it severely. He had Moses and his siblings go to the tabernacle, and there He called Miriam and Aaron to step forward as He was about to speak directly to them, and He wanted Moses to witness this. Friends, I want you to read verses 6 through 8 and imagine yourself in place of Miriam and Aaron for anything derogatory you may have spoken or thought about your Pastor or other called church leader. Don’t you know that these men have sacrificed their entire lives to Christ, instead of any possible worldly success? They have submitted themselves to God, and surrendered to the call of Christ to serve Him in the positions He has prepared just for them? Are we then not like Miriam and Aaron, where we are criticizing God for the man He has placed as His leader in our local assemblies? I would strongly caution you that we had better be very careful to pray for our leaders and their humbleness to closely obey God’s commands for His local church. Notice that there is no indication that Moses complained to God about the bad things his siblings were saying. God knew their hearts, He heard their words and saw their actions, and He subsequently reacted very harshly – not just with a tongue lashing, but actually imposed on the ringleader (Miriam) the horrible decease of leprosy. This caused her to be placed outside of the camp (city) for 7 days, even in spite of Moses’ plea with God to heal her. Friends, we must learn from this that we must respect God first of all and, in turn, those whom He chooses as His representatives among us – our pastors and church leaders. We must also learn that God loves His humble servants so much that He will stand in the gap for them. So if you are a called person of God and reading this devotional, please know that God has your back. Be committed to Him and serve Him faithfully, knowing that He will take care of the back-biting, gossip and ridicule. If God has truly placed you as His leader to His people, it is He who is more hurt by the backlash from His people, as they are really questioning His authority. Child of God, pray, pray, pray for the men of God that He places to serve you at your church. May we all be found faithful and true to our Master, until the day He calls us home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my Savior, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who Will Stand?

The Bible – The Good news Translation

Psalm106:29–31

                 They stirred up the Lord’s anger by their actions,

and a terrible disease broke out among them.

                But Phinehas stood up and punished the guilty,

and the plague was stopped.

                This has been remembered in his favor ever since

and will be for all time to come.

Thoughts:

Phinehas was recognized a few times in the Bible: for his leadership role in a group sent out, and as an adviser in a war. So he was not a known religious leader whom one would have expected to stand up again the evil that stirred up the Lord’s anger in the verses above. This precisely brings up an important point that I would like for us to consider in response to this passage. In today’s society, we will immediately look to our church leaders to stand up for evil, because we consider them God’s point men in our churches. However, like in our homes we have kids, and sometimes, spouses that rebel against our stand against evil, I believe that church members will be the first to criticize our church leaders for the stand against the evil that they have either recognized, or been told about. You see, I believe that many of us ‘church members’ are so wishy-washy in our beliefs and especially in our stand against the norm that we go along with the flow way too often, instead of standing up against the evil that happens around us out in this evil world. We are such advocates of being politically correct – in other words ‘splashing around in the truth in order not to take a stand and/or hurting anyone’s feelings’. So if this describes our ‘church members’ in general, who again do we expect to stand with our pastors and/or church leaders when they take a stand on behalf of our church? It won’t happen friend! We have seen churches split over simple things like the paint color on the walls, so imagine how quickly members will walk when asked to stand with our church leaders on decisions made that might cause the media to point out our church for a Biblical stand that it took! In these verses we see where the effects of sin were already being felt – a terrible disease had broken out. Do we see the effects of sin in our society, and in our churches today? I dare say that we do. There are diseases caused by certain known sins such as homosexuality, yet we have churches that splash around in the truth and accept this as a way of life. In fact some churches even accept these individuals as members, leaders or pastors. Yet we wonder why God permits certain disasters upon our land? Friend, our God is no different today than He was in this scripture we are studying today. I am studying a book by a popular pastor who said that he is not allow to preach something that is not Biblical. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, we agree to live according to His commands as detailed in His Word (the Bible). Why would we do this, but look to our ‘Christian’ brother living in sin and say it’s alright? As we take a stand for total obedience to God’s Word, we might be more apt to also join our church leaders in taking a corporate stand for Biblical truths and against SIN. Are you prepared to join the army of Christ, friend? Are you prepared to call sin what it is?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, taking a stand against the normal flow of society is very challenging. Yet when we accepted You as Lord of our lives, we agreed that we would live in agreement with Your Word, and its commands. You are very clear in Your Word on what is acceptable to You and what is sin. If there is doubt in our minds then we should consider the challenging thing as sin until we can get a clearer word from You. Many times we are so confused, I believe, because we are listening to the world for advice instead of looking to You for clarification. As we read Your Word more, we become more in tuned with what Your expectations of us. We then also understand Your commands and principles better. We learn the very heart of our Master and therefore have a much better base for the decisions that we should make, and subsequently for the stands that we should take. Please help us to stand firm on the Truth of Your Word, and that it is the only thing that would change our minds. We need more like Phineas in our world today. May I plead for Your strength and wisdom to be more like Phineas and not disagree for argument sake, but in order to stay the course for You. This is only possible through the power and mighty hand of my King, so Jesus I ask this in Your powerful and awesome name, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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.

Pray for other Christian leaders

I find it interesting how, even today, church leaders are quick to ridicule other church leaders, especially those of growing and/or thriving congregations. I was overjoyed to hear my pastor ask for prayer for a new incoming pastor of another church one morning, and he prefaced the request by reminding us that God has placed both churches in the area to minister in His name and meet the needs of this community. Both churches are needed. I pray that we can do that more often and pray for the needs of other church leaders instead of picking apart what they could do more like us, or at least differently. Peter and John was a threat to the Sadducees, probably because they were not doing all that they should do. With one common goal in mind, we should be praying for, and lifting up our brothers who are also evangelizing the lost of our communities, for they have the same goal as we do!
Book cover

They were annoyed because the two apostles were teaching the people that Jesus had risen from death, which proved that the dead will rise to life.

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