Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
This week, Michael writes that Christianity is a rescue mission for desperate people. Love is the motivation for rescuing. Pastors are sheep like the rest of the flock. Pastors are called to be under-shepherds of the flock as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is different from us because He did not inherit the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. When the sheep are together, they have strength in numbers. Therefore, forget not the assembly of yourselves together as the manner of some is. Our encouragement is to stay with the shepherd's flock in congregation for comfort exhortation, and edification.
The Lord's exhortation for missionary pastors is "don't spoil the fruit that I've raised up." The pastor's calling is to feed the flock of God which is among them. The calling is to meet their needs according to the flock's own calling and their own culture. They first need the Lord’s salvation before their lives can be changed to God's honor and glory. Therefore we must pay much closer attention to the Word of God that is spoken, lest we drift away from it. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? Christians do not deliberately turn their backs on the truth that has been revealed to them. They gradually fall away by neglect. Our walk with the Lord must be intentional, deliberate, and purposeful according to his purpose.
Salvation is only through confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and believing that God has raised him from the dead. We are “born again” not because we never sin, but because we have accepted the Savior from sin. If we reject Jesus Christ, Romans 11 says that, If God will not spare Israel, the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Christians have been grafted into the natural branch of Israel to whom was given the original covenant of Abraham. When we have been saved by faith, our awareness of our eternal life in Christ will bring us through the suffering of this present world.
Hebrews 4:1-2 says: “Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed."
Our ability to endure suffering is according to what we see at the end of this earthly life ... eternal life in Heaven with the Lord. This physical life is but for a moment in time. Everything that we see in this world is temporary. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says that the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are unseen are eternal. What is it that you value most? What is it that you treasure? When we see beyond the things of this material earth to the spiritual things of eternity, of walking in fellowship with Him, of living for His glory and not our own, then nothing we endure can affect our communion with Him. For we have this treasure (this spiritual life) in an earthly vessel that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of ourselves.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael