12 Brothers, we ask you to show your appreciation for those who work among you, set an example for you in the Lord, and instruct you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard, loving them because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
– 1 Thess. 5:12-13 IVS
We are instructed to pray for and respect those that are in leadership positions and have authority over us. This is true in the natural and spiritual areas of our lives. It is God that has lifted them up or has allowed them to be lifted up to those positions. God can use these people, be they good or evil, to accomplish His plans and purposes. As long as their instructions to us do not violate man’s law or the Word of God, we should follow their directives. So, it is imperative for us to pray for and support our pastoral staffs as long as they hold to Biblical principles. Our support should not only be financial, but we should support them with our time and our presence at the activities they have planned for the church. Love them, pray for them and be there for them when they need someone. The leaders of the church are worthy of double honor.
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” — 1 Timothy 5:17, 18
God has raised them up and if they are no longer worthy of that position, He is their judge and He will bring them down. We should live in peace, not only with the leaders of our congregation, but also with our brothers and sisters in our church, our community and throughout the world.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.— Psalm 60:3
There are times in all of our lives when we feel like David in this Psalm. We feel like we are broken down and unable to function. It is as if everything we have held on to is being shaken and stripped away from us. God allows us to go through these hard times to develop our faith. We are often confused by the things God allows, although we should not be. When we meditate on God’s Word, we are reminded that the answer is always the same. We don’t need things, we need Jesus. We need to learn to pray a new way. If we want peace, then we have to do what God has called us to do. We should be asking God, not so much for things, but for His presence to be magnified in our life and our lifestyle. We cannot accomplish this alone, We need the Holy Spirit every second of every day. When we get our priorities straight, we will arrive at the same conclusion that David did in this Psalm. We are unable to do anything of value with God’s help. It is He who tramples our foes and does mighty things for us. Or, as Jesus put it, “you can do nothing without me”. But with His help, Paul reassures us that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:5-9 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul continues to teach that it is the message, the Good News, that is important. Paul and Apollos are only servants of Jesus Christ carrying out His command to “go and make disciples”. It is also a message to us that each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise that gift and use it to further God’s work and His Kingdom here on earth. We are all members of one body and each of us has a part in the Kingdom and the church. We will be rewarded in heaven for the works that we do here on earth. But if we refuse to use the gift that God has given us to benefit the body, then the whole body is injured and unable to function in the way God has planned for His church. He will call someone else to fill that position and we will lose our earthly blessing and our heavenly reward for that particular task. We are co-workers, planting and teaching, but God is the One who gives the increase. We are responsible for being and doing, we are not responsible for the results. That is God’s part and He will not fail.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)