Be Encouragers of God’s Messengers

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6): God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3 We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. 4 God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives. 5 You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed. 6 We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.

Thoughts: I believe that when one does a job in spite of opposition, or in spite of whining and complaining by those they are trying to help, then we should appreciate that they are specially called for that job, and they are therefore working as a result of their obligation to a higher calling. This is what we see in this message by Paul, and if we are real honest, this is what we see in our pastors and teachers at our local churches. Although they may never openly complain, I believe that our pastors face a lot of correction, ideas, suggestions and self-proclaimed righteousness from their congregations to whom they preach and teach. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I believe pastors welcome your constructive input, because it helps to show them that you were listening and indeed care enough to correct them or encourage them with your words. But let’s try to be careful to be encouragers, and not on the list of ‘trouble makers’ or ‘opposers’ to the gospel. When our pastors have the freedom to share the unfiltered Word of God with us, then perhaps we can hear directly from God. If they have to speak in parables to make sure they don’t hurt the feelings of some, then many of us will totally miss the point! Paul shared that he had no other motive than to see Jesus accepted and God magnified and lifted up by the folk he was ministering to. I believe that we still have men of God who endeavors to do this through their preaching, teaching and actions in their life. I hope that even today we can commit to aiding these gentlemen – these men of God, to be transparent in what God wants to say to us through them, and not be hindered by us in any way. I was taught many years ago that each of us might mess up at times, but let’s learn to look at the heart and see what the other brother’s heart might be. Many times we will be convinced that although he may have said something differently to what we would have said, his intent was to help and/or to magnify God. So where do you best fit in this scenario today: Encourager; Opposer or just don’t listen close enough to care? I believe God wants us to all be encouragers, and we can do this through an encouraging word to our pastors and/or teachers, or we can pray for God’s ongoing hand upon them as they surrender to Him and try to share His Word with us. Let’s commit to improving our stance, so that our pastors might be improved in their walk and their talk!

Prayer: Lord, You have indeed blessed us with great messengers who sacrifice daily so that they might share Your heart and Your will with us. I sincerely thank You for my pastors and teachers and I pray that they might be even more energized by Your touch on their lives today. May they be drawn so close to Your bosom today that they might be reassured of Your love and Your direction for them as they lead us. May they receive a fresh anointing of Your divine Holy Spirit so that as they stand before us this weekend we may hear the unfiltered Word of God and not have to guess what You are trying to say to us through them. May our pastors have the freedom to be transparent in what You might need to say to us through them, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in Your precious name, with thanksgiving. AMEN!

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Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit


Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!