Leaders, Shepherd the Flock

Leaders, Shepherd the Flock

Here are standards for those who are Pastors, elders, or leaders in a church.  If you would LIKE to become a Pastor, elder, or leader, study the Scriptures to discover what is required of such a person.  Then begin to live that out in your life; behave as if you already ARE a Pastor, elder, or leader.  It will not go unnoticed by God, and He will put you into the position that you desire.  (1 Tim. 3:1)

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords (masters) over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  (1 Pet 5:2, 3 NKJV)

  1. Shepherd the flock of God AMONG YOU! That means everyone that you come into contact with daily!  Make an impact for GOOD on those with whom you connect regularly—including your own family members.  (Mk 3:14; 16:15; Ac 5:42; 8:4; Heb 6:10, 11; 2 Tim 4:2)
  2. We’re to serve as overseers. An overseer is an administrator, manager, or someone who gets things done.  We were not elevated to our responsible position in order to prosper financially or to charge people fees.  We never saw Jesus give us such an example.  We’re to help people—help them receive all that they need by whatever means that the Lord directs us to use.  Whatever a person’s needs are, the salvation of Jesus Christ has already met that need!  We’re put here to help people to see this truth, and to help them to receive God’s blessings.  (Mt 6:10; 16:19; 18:19; Ac 20:28; Phil 4:19; Col 1:27; 1 Joh 5:14, 15)
  3. We are supposed to serve willingly and eagerly, with a good attitude and cheerful heart. We are called, each one of us, to BE a blessing!  (Col 3:23-24; 1 Pet 3:9)
  4. We are told not to “lord” it over people. Instead we are to sacrifice and humble ourselves even as our Savior, Jesus, sacrificed and humbled Himself to provide and secure our salvation.  (Mt 18:4; 23:12; Rom 12:1, 16; Eph 5:2; Phil 2:8; Heb 13:16; 1 Pet 2:5; 5:6; Jas 4:6, 10)
  5. The sheep have been entrusted to the care of their church leaders, and we are NEVER to harm the sheep. We are serving as an under-shepherd under the authority of Jesus, the Good Shepherd!  (Jer 50:6; Eze 34:10; Joh 10:11, 14; 1 Pet 5:4)
  6. The Word tells us that we should be examples to the flock. Jesus was our example, and we’re to follow in His footsteps.  (Joh 13:14-16; Phil 3:17; 1 Pet 2:21)

May God bless you and flood you with His love and grace, as you pursue your leadership role in the Kingdom of God.

You Are God’s Temple

You Are God’s Temple

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.  (1 Cor 3:16-17)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  (1 Cor 6:19)

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (2 Cor 6:16 – emphasis added)

The Word of God tells each and every believer, “You are the temple of the living God.”  That’s pretty mind-blowing, right?  Yes, we may accept it as fact that the Spirit of God indwells each one of us, but have we really thought deeply about it? 

The physical, earthly temple of the Israelites had three parts:

  • the exterior of the structure and outer court;
  • the holy place (which the priests, alone, could enter), and
  • the Holy of Holies within the veil that could only be entered once a year.

We also have three parts: 

  • Our body, the exterior part;
  • Our soul where our minds, emotions, and will reside; and
  • Our spirit, our inner heart—where the Spirit of God dwells and through which He works His works and sanctifies us wholly.

With respectful and joyful confidence, we need to ponder this mystery.  The Spirit of God will direct our thoughts, actions, and lives if we will lovingly yield to Him.  If we will obediently learn to be sensitive to the inner voice of the Spirit, He will unveil the mysteries of our faith to us.  He will commission us to serve Him, and to serve others in the name of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of relationship—belonging.

. . . who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  (2 Cor 1:22)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise . . . (Eph 1:13, see also Eph 4:30)

We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  This seal identifies us to angels and demons as being children of God and anointed by God—set apart unto Him.  We belong to God; we are His prize and His possession.  Take some time to ponder this truth, and to revisit it from time to time.  You are blessed!

We Are Servants

We Are Servants

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.  (! Cor 4:1-2)

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad . . .  (Jas 1:1)

“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”  (Act 16:17)

. . . just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  (Mt 20:28)

As shown in Matthew chapter 20, Jesus came to serve humanity—He came as a servant.  Jesus came to reconcile mankind to His loving Father, and how thankful we are for His completed work. 

The Bible tells us that Jesus is our example.  (1 Pet 2:21)  Since He lived to serve humanity (which means people), so also should we!   Let’s admit that God saved us to empower us to serve others. 

How may we serve other people in meaningful ways which bring glory to God?

  • Hold onto and teach others sound doctrine. (Tit 1:9; 2:1)
  • Perform good works/deeds for other people so that people will give glory to God for them. (Mt 5:16; Eph 2:10)
  • Be LIGHT in the world. (Mt 5:14)  Jesus says in John 8:12 that He is the light of the world.  As believers, we are to allow the light of Christ within us to shine forth to all.
  • Live honorably. (1 Pet 2:12)
  • Be faithful. (Mt 25:23)
  • Use your gifts, skills, and passions to serve within the body of Christ. (Rom 12:4-6; 1 Cor 12:27-28)

Living our lives as an offering and a sacrifice to the Lord—in service to others—is not only honorable; it is very satisfying.  God bless you.

Creativity, Part 2

Creativity, Part 2

As we discussed in the last article, God has made mankind in His own image; He has made us to be creative even as He is creative. 

Every human being has a unique personality—we all understand that fact.  In the same way, we each have a wonderfully individual mixture of talents and abilities blended in a distinctive combination. 

Whatever our talents and giftings, God has not only given them to us but He has blessed us to serve Him and His kingdom through them.  Here are several passages of Scripture that demonstrate the talents that He has given to mankind, and also how those abilities are intended to bless everyone around us.

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.  (Ex 31:3-5)

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:4-8)

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Pet 4:10-11)

In our creativity we live, walk and work by faith, trusting that God has blessed the work of our hands.  By faith, we also understand that the Lord uses our creative work to bless, help, and to inspire other people.

Keep on creating, friend!

Walking in God’s Truth

Walking in God’s Truth

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.  (Ps 26:3, emphasis added)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.  (3 Joh 1:4, emphasis added)

The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.  (Ps 119:160)

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  (Joh 17:17)

How do we “walk in God’s truth”? 

Let’s consider the Scripture verses shown above, and ponder the fact that Jesus told us in John 14:6 that He is the Truth. Elsewhere, the Scriptures inform us that Jesus is the Word made flesh.  (Joh 1:14)  The Bible also states in John 17:17 that God’s Word is truth.

After reflecting upon these points, we can understand that “walking in the truth” means:

  • living our lives in obedience to God’s Word;
  • making our decisions in agreement with the values of the Scriptures; and
  • living according to the wisdom of the Bible.
  • It suggests that we would highly value God’s Word, and that we would study it diligently. (2 Tim 2:15)

There are many passages of Scripture that remind us that when we seek and serve the Lord, He showers us with His protection, His favor, and His blessings.  Have a blessed day.

(Also see my article titled “Truth & Love Are Bound Up in Jesus” posted on 02/20/2017 in this blog.)

Choose

Choose

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life, and death, blessing or cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live . . . (Deut 30:19)

In this passage of Scripture, God reminds us that He has given us the power to make our own choices.  We can choose life or death; we can choose blessing or cursing; we can choose to obey God or not.

As Christians, many of life’s seemingly inconsequential choices are simply opportunities to live as disciples and followers of Jesus Christ—or not . . . !

Think about the importance of such things.  It’s kind of mind-blowing when we view our lives from this perspective.  Each and every day, we have so many choices to make.

We must choose:

  • Whom we will serve (Josh 24:15)
  • What type of words we want to speak (Job 15:5; Pro 8:8; 21:23; Jas 3:6-9)
  • Not to be an oppressor (Prov 3:31)
  • Our friends wisely (Prov 12:26)
  • The good and refuse evil (Isa 7:15)
  • To bless God (Ps 33:1;146:2; 147:1; Heb 13:15)

We each have one life to live.  We each have millions of choices to make throughout the course of our lives. 

Take time to consider which kingdom you are serving with each and every choice that you make.  God bless you.

Power to Serve

Power to Serve

Here are a handful of Bible verses about:

  • God, who has power and uses it;
  • God gives strength and power to His people;
  • Jesus, who demonstrated his power by many mighty miracles; &
  • Jesus sharing His power with His disciples (and us).

O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!  (Ps 68:35)

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  (Isa 40:29)

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  (Mt 10:1)

Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power.  (Mk 3:14-15)

And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.  (Mk 6:7)

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  (Lk 9:1)

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (Lk 10:19)

For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.  (1 Cor 4:20)

Jesus called His disciples together to commission them to preach and to impart power to them.  Luke 9:1 says that He gave them power and authority; and Luke 10:19 says that our power can triumph over the enemy and protect us from harm.

We have been given this power to SERVE–in order to testify of Jesus and to preach Good News to all.  We are called to serve the Kingdom of God from the moment that we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

What a joy and a privilege to serve Jesus!