State Your Name And Position And God Will Honor You!
A few months ago I attended an appreciation service for a pastor of a church.
The congregation was honoring him for his long and dedicated service to the church.
The service was well organized, and the members, including the children, and friends of the church were very generous with their outpouring of gifts and tributes to their pastor. I was very impressed and touched.
Indeed, the Lord stated in his word that we should honor those who are in authority and who labored in the word:
Let all the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the scripture says, “you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and “the laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Timothy 5: 17-18)
God has called some of his people to be full-time workers for Him. These pastors and ministers should receive their wages directly from the church.
In other words, God will provide for them directly through the tithes and offerings.
Th Bible clearly states:
Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offering of the altar? Even so, the Lord has commanded that those who preached the gospel should live from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)
During the Israelites reign in the promise land, the Lord made it clear to Moses that the Levites should not own any land or inheritance because their heritage is in the Lord.
The offerings and tithes that the people brought to the temple should be their wages. The Levites were the full-time workers in the temple.
We are required to follow the above principle to ensure that the full-time workers such as pastors and evangelists devote their entire life to God.
It is a full-time job to care for the sheep and it involves much more than preaching on a Sunday morning or night.
It includes serving the sheep directly in love and compassion; and visiting their homes on a regular basis to encourage and strengthen them.
It is within the homes that you will be able to identify the evil spirits from the enemy that are attacking the people and preventing their deliverance.
Home visits are crucial but unfortunately not many pastors engaged in this.
Prayer meetings should also be done in the homes of the believers and non-believers.
The Pastor’s work is also to visit the sick in the hospitals and to visit the elderly in their homes. They are also to exhort and counsel the sheep.
Another important function of the shepherd is to identify the gifts of each member of the church and encourage them to use these gifts to edify the church.
Sometimes the pastors have to risk their life to save a sheep that the enemy has captured. They have to physically and spiritually snatch the sheep or lamb from the mouth of the enemy.
The role of the Shepherd is intensive and requires dedication and commitment. There is no room for the Shepherds to engage in other secular work.
If they do, the work of the church will be lacking and the sheep will become goats wandering to and fro until the enemy plunders and captures them.
Furthermore, goats cannot pay tithes so the church will cease from growing.
Note that when full-time workers dedicate their total life to God’s work, the Lord will also reward them with an open door from heaven and total protection.
At this point, the Shepherds (Pastors) will be able to identify with the testimony of David that the Lord is their shepherd and they will not want or lack anything.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their lives and they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalms 23)
For these reasons, we need to always honor our pastors and elders with our tithes, offerings, and gifts to appreciate them.
God also wants us to honor each other.
The Bible states that every member of the body of Christ is important and we need to acknowledge and encourage each of them.
The scripture also emphasizes that we should bestow greater honor to the members who are weaker (1 Corinthians 12: 20).
Who are the weak members?
- These are members who are babes in Christ because they are new in the faith.
- The new converts need to be encouraged and fed with the sincere milk of the word.
- Members who are financially restricted. They need help to become independent and not dependent.
- Another group of members who is considered to be weaker is the strangers and foreigners in our congregation.
I have lived in a country which is not my birth home for fourteen years and I hardly felt as if I was part of the community.
Even among my church brethren, where we are supposed to be one spiritually, I do not feel as if I am a part of a family.
Occasionally, I will be reminded that I am not a ‘belonger,’ I am a stranger.
As a matter of fact, a belonger who was born in the BVI but lived in another country most of his life will receive more honor than a person who was born in another country but spent their lives serving and laboring in the BVI where they currently reside.
The Lord is not pleased with injustices.
We were once strangers and foreigners under the law but Christ’s death and resurrection broke down the walls of division so that we can have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Therefore we are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:14-22).
Since God tore down the walls of separation between us through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are united together irrespective of where we were born.
Let us, therefore, learn to honor each other so that we can partake of the abundant life that God has in store for us to enjoy.
We will grow from strength to strength as a church.
Let us give God the glory and be obedient to His words of life.
Additional references: Leviticus 19:15, 32; Exodus 20: 12; Judges 13:17;1 Samuel 2:30
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The folks who give us the greatest rebuff…seem to be those who should be embracing us. This writer was born in this country, and so could not be “hit” with the “alien” type mean words. But….because of believing in the scriptures alone…NOT man’s interpretation of those words…the anger directed toward me used to amaze me…now I realize that it is just as the Apostle Paul told us.
We will be hated for our belief. For our faith. Even by those who profess….to be believers. Perhaps…ESPECIALLY from those who say they believe. Like a “sucker punch” from one who says they are a friend. Unexpected at first…then, understood when searching it all out in the verses that explain it all.
Maranatha….you are not alone. It’s just that our fellow “team” members are often invisible…and that is where faith in the unseen Lord above steps in. Those who are in the true “Church” are often not seen by us. Think of Isaiah in his cave…he thought he was alone.
Maranatha….we are NEVER alone. But are..,separated out from many who are around us.
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Thank youLefthudson for sharing with us. I appreciate your presence on this blog and I am looking forward to seeing more of you. I couldn’t agree with you more because it is so true that those who should embrace us are often the ones who discriminate against us.
The bible clearly states that even though we live in this world we are not of this world. The enemy who lives in the heart of many people is constantly at war with us. Therefore, we need to be fully clothed in the armor of God so that we can be protected.
May God bless you. and have a great day.
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Amen, sister in Christ. Us “choir” members….must support each other…after first bringing glory to The Lord!Maranatha..
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