Pastor Appreciation Month: Day #30
October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
Take time today to express to your pastor how much he means to you.
Pastor’s Love for the People (John 21:15-17)
John 21:15-17, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
Jesus questioned Peter intently about his love for Christ. “Do you love me more than these?” “More than what? Fishing? Than the disciples? More than the other disciples love me?” Peter boasted about his love for Christ. John 13:37, “Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.” Matthew 26:33, “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” Jesus asked, "Do you love me?" The word "love" is from the Greek word agape which means "a divine, deep, purposeful love based upon consideration." Peter's response was, "I love or phileo you." Phileo means "fondness or a warm, intimate love between friends or family." Jesus tells Peter, "Feed my lambs." Peter was asked about his love for Christ three times, perhaps because he denied the Lord three times. He was telling him, "If you love me, then serve me." It's one thing to say you love the Lord. The real test is your willingness to serve Him. John 21:18-19 speak of Peter's death. The stretching-out of the hand was a reference to crucifixion. Jesus commanded Peter to follow. The word "follow" means "to keep on following continuously."
Jesus sees love as the basic qualification for Christian service. Jesus’ description of his followers as lambs (John 21:15) and sheep (John 21:16) suggests four things:
1. We need pastoral care from loving, capable and faithful leaders.
2. We need to feed constantly on God’s Word.
3. Since sheep have a wandering nature, we need repeated guidance, protection and correction from God and others He may use in our lives.
4. We must continue to be loyal disciples of Jesus Christ.
October is pastor appreciation month. It is a blessing for pastors to know that their churches appreciate them. I’m grateful for every encouraging comment, card, text, email, and acknowledgement. I, as a pastor, truly love and appreciate the work and dedication that everyone puts into our church ministries.
I’m certainly aware that pastoring and leading people can be challenging. I know that churches have difficult members, and I also know that some churches have difficult pastors. Regardless of the challenges pastors may face, we have many important reasons for showing appreciation to our churches. The body needs every member, and those that use their gifts faithfully should be thanked regularly. Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Every Sunday is special as God’s people gather to worship Him. Seeing how each member is involved in worship and giving of themselves for the service of the Lord is beautiful. Each member attends each service craving the truth of God’s Word. Knowing this is very encouraging to me. I spend several hours every week praying, reading, studying, preparing for six preaching, a teaching engagement and seven devotions each and every week.
I appreciate the opportunity to personally know each member of our church. Many members face hardships, challenges, sickness, and the death of close friends and family members. They need the time, love, and support from a pastor who will be there for them in their time of grief.
Each service I get to have a sample of a taste of Heaven. I am forever grateful for Fellowship Baptist Church. God has truly blessed me with the privilege of serving with a gifted church full of members who love Jesus. I pray that each service the Lord is pleased with us. Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
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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.