Pastor Appreciation Month: Day #27
October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
Take time today to express to your pastor how much he means to you.
The Pastor and the Pitfalls (James 3:1-2)
James 3:1, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”
The word masters has the sense of a “teacher.” Being a teacher of God's Word involves the instructing and directing of other people's lives. The word condemnation means "judgment." Preaching and teaching the Word of God is one of the greatest privileges that God gives to man. With privilege comes responsibility and responsibility brings accountability. The Lord will hold us responsible for those we teach. Jesus taught the same thing (Mark 12:38-40). The Preacher and the teacher are to use their tongues to enlighten, establish, exhort, encourage, and edify others. What a serious undertaking it is to teach others. If one fails in this matter of teaching and declaring the whole counsel of God's Word, God will hold him accountable for misleading his hearers, whether done through ignorance of the Word or through neglect. Had Paul been careless and negligent in proclaiming and explaining God's Word he would have been guilty of the hearer's blood (Acts 20:26-27). James says those responsible for proclaiming the Word will receive the greater condemnation. Those who would exalt themselves, to be a teacher (spiritual leader), would do well to remember unto whom much is given, much shall be required. These will be held to a higher standard, both by others as well as by God. Those who do will face greater criticism than those who are more discreet.
1.The Danger of Lying Lips.
The man of God will never survive that allows his lips to tell lies. The man of God must set the example for pure lips. He cannot partake in telling lies or listening to lies. The lying lips of God's man will undermine his ministry to the point that eventually they will overtake his ministry. The minster that allows his reputation and character to be known as a liar will minimize his power and maximize his problems. God hates lips that lie and the man of God must honor the expectations of the Lord.
2.The Dismay of Loose Living.
It will not go unnoticed in the community if God's minister has a reputation for looseness. This looseness may be identified in his own life or the life of his spouse or his children. How can the pastor preach against sin when it has camped out at his own doorstep? The Word of God tells us to avoid the appearance of evil.
3.The Dread of Lost Leadership.
The man of God must protect his leadership as if it were gold. The day a man loses his ability to lead; that man’s days are numbered. The minister must avoid the allurement of sin. Nothing will bring a minister as quickly as his known association with sin.
1) We stumble or offend people when we are Wrong.
The word "offend" means "to cause one to stumble or fall, to err, make a mistake, to sin, to fall into misery, to slip up." We tend to slip up or stumble when we are taken off guard. When we lose our temper, we suffer from a slip of the tongue, saying things we regret later.
2) We offend people when we are Right.
We offend people when we preach the truth, discipline, counsel, or correct those who are wrong. You cannot and will not please everyone. This is the tough part of the ministry.
It is the wise minister that faithfully guards himself against the pitfalls that will rob and ruin him. The enemy often lies in wait for the opportunity to trip Gods men. In understanding this truth, we should be aware and alert at all times. In being a chosen man of God, the minister has his own set of unique problems. The difficulty of this is that the man of God constantly soothes and solves the problems of his church and community. The minister due to his very role is allowed the opportunity to help resolve a multitude of problems. The problem with this is who will help the man of God deal with his problems? The minister barricades himself behind the wall of misperception and misguidance in portraying himself and his family to be problem free. This is dangerous and can become disastrous to the man and his ministry. There is great responsibility and accountability in being a leader, especially if you are a preacher of God's Word.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.