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The PASSION Blog

The PASSION Blog is a place where I share reflections on faith, life, church life and the Bible.


The Pastor's role
23 February 2017


As a Pastor I recently started to look at the Pastor’s role according to the Bible. We all have our ideas of what the Pastor should do, but I think it is important to start from what the Bible says.

The term Pastor only appears once in the New Testament. This might surprise some, as it did me when I looked it up first time. So what is the context of the one time it is mentioned?

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

This is the only reference to the Pastor. The role mentioned above is an equipping role. Equipping the people of God to do the work of God in the church and the world.

I asked someone at the denomination that I am apart of and they said the same thing. The Pastor is there is equip the church to do the work of ministry, not do the work of ministry on behalf of the church.

So the Pastor’s role is a teaching and equipping role. This happens through sermons, Bible studies, and encouraging the church in their faith.

The interesting thing that I aslo found is the Greek word used for Pastor is Poimen. This is translated as Pastor in the above passage, where is other places it is translated as shepherd. This is where the Pastor as a shepherd image comes in.

In 1 Peter 5:2-3 it says, ” 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. ”

The second role of a Pastor is to shepherd God’s flock. To watch over them, look out for them, counsell them, provide an environment where they can grow in their faith in Christ, living out a goldly life and to lead them with the other Elders to the place where God wants them to be.

Pastors do so many things but the two main roles they will be accountable to God for is equipping the church members to do the works of service and shepherding the flock entrusted to their care.

My final thought of the role of a Pastor is the Greek word for flock. It is Poimnion, which is closely related to Poimen. This means a group of believers. The focus on the Pastor should first and foremost on the group of believers they are overseeing.

It is a really interesting exercise to research the biblical role of the Pastor. With people expecting so much of Pastor’s and the many different roles they undertake, equipping and shepherding needs to be the focus.

God Bless,
Dave


Just hang in there
22 February 2017


Today as I was reading Hebrews 10, the following two verses jumped out at me…

Hebrews 10:35-36 - So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.

In these two verses two words really jumped off the page – “patient endurance”. Patience often means waiting. Endurance means continuing on for a long time doing the same thing.

So I guess you could say patient endurance means “just hang in there”. It is hard when you want something to happen now.

But God promises we will recieve all He promised in verse 36. He also promises we will reap a harvest if we do not give up doing good in Galatians 6:2.

If you are waiting on breakthrough today, I would encourage you to just hang in there with patient endurance. We can trust God because we know He IS a God who backs up His Word.

God Bless,
Dave


A great report of faith and commitment
21 February 2017


In 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 the Apostle Paul tells of the peoples great faith. He says their faith is known far and wide. It says…

"And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don't need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God's Son from heaven--Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the One who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment."

There are a number of important elements in these verses…

1. They turned from serving idols to serving God.

2. They have a vibrant faith that others have heard about. Their faith and reputation goes before them.

3. They are looking forward to return of Jesus.

4. They are rescued from future judgment because of their faith in Christ.

Wouldn’t it be great if people said these things about our churches? Wouldn’t it be great if our faith reputation went before us?

God Bless,
Dave


Saved by grace to serve
19 February 2017


Ephesians 2: 8-10 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

One of the great truths of the Bible is we are saved by grace thought faith in Christ. This means we become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part.

Out of love for God and out gratitude for this free gift from God, we should seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not just not live as we please.

While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit, but to serve Christ and build up the church.

God wants to save us. That is why Christ came and died on the cross for us. God wants us to accept this and go one and serve Him all the days of our lives. We truly are saved by grace to serve.

God Bless,
Dave


Valentines Day and the love of God
14 February 2017

One Valentines Day we talk about the love we have for one another, especially those who are couples. On this day we should also remember the love God has for us. God's love can be seen in a number of ways.

1. In His love for us even when He knows all about us

Psalms 139:1 - O LORD, You have examined my heart and know everything about me.

2. In His amazing hope filled plan He has for our lives

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

3. In the way He gave up His Son for us

John 3:16 - "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

4. In the way He is always there for us

Deuteronomy 31:8 - Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

5. In the way He has always loved us

Jeremiah 31:3 - Long ago the LORD said to Israel: "I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.

These are just five of the ways God has showed His great love for us.

God Bless,
Dave


Preaching plan for 2017
2 February 2017

In January many of our regular families go away on holidays, so for a Pastor it is a bit quieter and you can plan your year. One thing I prayerfully did was plan my preaching schedule for this year.

I have decided to do three series...

  1. A series on 1, 2 & 3 John - one chapter a week
  2. Great prayers of the Bible - what was going on, the prayer and the result
  3. A series on the Book of James - one chapter a week

For the series on James and John I will also do a companion Bible study that we can do in the week after the sermon. This will help us to further build on the message.

All the sermons will be available on the sermons page.

God Bless,
Dave


Jehosaphat’s reaction to pending war
23 January 2017


I was reading 2 Chronicles 20:3-9 this morning. This is where the people of God are facing attack from the surrounding nations. Three things stood out to me as I read.

  1. Jehosaphat begged the Lord for wisdom and guidance.
  2. Jehosaphat called the people to fast. This would focus the people’s attention of God and their reliance on Him.
  3. Jehosaphat called everyone together and asked God to save them in a public prayer.

In his prayer we see He proclaimed God as the only God in heaven, he said He was their God and the God of their ancestors, that He is all-powerful and no-one can stand against Him, that the people built the Temple to honour Him, and that they look to Him for protection and help as they had in the past.

I love Jehosaphat’s response as leader. He looked to God for wisdom and help and He prayed publicly so the people could stand together as one in their reliance and trust in God.

I think Jehosaphat showed a lot of wisdom that we can learn from today. If we are faced with trouble on all sides we an learn from him and ask the people to fast, pray and trust in God too.

God Bless,
Dave



Wait patiently on the Lord
17 January 2017


Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord”.

Waiting patiently is not always a strong point for us as human beings. We want things now and we want to get moving.

David who wrote this verse knew what it was to be patient. At 16 he was anointed as king by Samuel. It didn’t actually happen until he was 30.

In the time in between he was chased around the desert by King Saul who was jealous of him. David looked to the Lord and waited. In God’s time he became king.

For us as Christians it can be hard to wait patiently. We live in a world with microwaves cooking, instant finance on credit cards and the internet where we can look things up in an instant.

But God is a God who deals with His people over years, decades and centuries. He is a God who has an unfolding plan that He alone is in charge of. We may not see Him working, but He always is.

When it seems like God is silent and not answering our prayers, we can be assured He is working away in the background of our lives and putting things in place.

The above verse tells us to be brave and courageous too. At times being patient does requires us to be brave and courageous when everything else calls us to act.

It is hard to sit still at times and wait, but if we look to the example of David, we see that in His good timing God will work things out in His way. David the shepherd boy became David the King in God’s time.

If you are waiting on something to fall into place today, I would encourage you to trust God and wait patiently on Him. He is working away in the background to bring His plans to pass.

God Bless,
Dave



The Priestly Blessing
13 January 2017


I love the blessings from Numbers 6:24-26. It is the one God told Moses to tell Aaron to speak over the people. It says…

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you. 25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you. 26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

27 Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

This is my prayer for the people of our church. I want God to bless and protect them. I want God to smile upon them and be gracious to them. I want God to show them favour and give them peace.

I like the fact that God says that if we bless people in His name, He Himself will bless them. As a Pastor I pray this every day for our church members.

God Bless,
Dave



Encouraging words and prayers
11 January 2017

I was just talking to someone over email and they said they had been praying for me today using two verses. They were…

2 Thessalonians 3:5 – May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

Ephesians 1:17 – asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

It was a real encouragement for me to hear. Two great verses that someone is praying for me. I gladly receive it with joy!

Perhaps there is someone you can pray these verses for today too. Maybe even your Pastor?

God Bless,
Dave



God will go before you and handing over the reigns
8 January 2017


I was reading Deuteronomy 31 today as a part of my devotions. The first part of this chapter is where Moses hands over power to Joshua. As a part of this he tells him God will go with them.

In verse 6 it says, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

This is a private ecouragement to Joshua. It is Moses giving Joshua some final words to let him know that God is with him and God will go before him.

Moses then calls the people together and says a similar thing in front of everyone. He makes his private encouragement to Joshua public. He also fomalises the handover.

In verse 7-8 he says, “7 Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

There are three important things in this passage that can help us today.

  1. It is important for leaders to know when it is time to handover to those who are younger to continue God’s work.
  2. It is important for leaders to encourage those under them in private.
  3. It is important for leaders speak publicly to encourage and proclaim the new leader and what God has called them to do.

History tells us that Joshua led the people of Israel into the promised land and God went before them. We can learn a lot about trusting God to go before us, and we can also learn a lot about godly leadership and the handover of power too.

God Bless,
Dave



We can trust God
7 January 2017


As believers in Christ we can trust God to do all He says He will do in the Bible. As it says in Numbers 23:19…

“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

What God has said in the Bible will happen. There were over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Christ. So we know He is true to His word.

It is said there are over 5000 promises of help in the Bible for us today. Many millions of people hold on to the promises of God each day and He upholds them.

Because of God’s past actions, His present help and His unchanging nature, we can trust Him for the future.

When Jesus said He is going to prepare a place for us and coming back for His own in John 14:1-3, it is a promise we can hold on to. He is also bringing His rewards with Him for all we have done (Revelation 22:12).

We can trust that all will come to pass as it says in the book of Revelation. One of the great promises from Revelations is found in Revelation 21:1-4…

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Jesus IS coming back with His rewards. There WILL be a new heaven and new earth. God WILL wipe away every tear from our eyes and there WILL be no more sorrow and pain. And best of all, God’s home WILL be among His people.

God Bless,
Dave


More blog posts

To view my older posts you can visit my other blog here. This contains an archive back to 2006 and has posts on a variety of topics from a faith and life perspective.

 

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