Are You A Zealous Pastor?

Pastor Andrew SchankPastor, do you have zeal or have you lost it? If so, then where did you leave it? Do you still have that ardent desire to follow God wherever He may lead you? As with the three Hebrew adolescents, have you resigned your life into the Providential hand of Almighty God without any reservations, or have you begun to think that zeal is set aside for the uneducated and immature Christians who have not achieved your spiritual level? Could it be that you have mistakenly embraced liturgical practice with zeal for God?

Lack Of Zeal Due To Fear And Duty

Human nature astounds me sometimes for people can be pious one minute and carnal the next! Jumping from one extreme to another, whatever the venue, is not all that great. It shows lack of temperance and stability. Pastors have to guard against projecting a roller coaster mentality and endeavor to be an anchor steadfast and sure. As one strives to be a source of stability and strength, there is a natural tendency to lose zeal and excitement. Fearing to step out and reach for new and loftier goals, many pastors opt to live under the shadow of yesteryear. After all, yesteryear is just that… yesteryear!

Noah Webster defines zeal this way: “Passionate ardor in the pursuit of any thing.” Way back in 1828 Mr. Webster understood what it meant to have zeal or not. One must remember that out of control zeal, itself, can be the instigator of a roller coaster emotional ride. Of course, unbridled zeal can also lead to a great disaster, just like it did with Israel. The Apostle Paul spoke about this in Romans 10:1-2Romans 10:1-2
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10 1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  

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. It is also quite possible to be zealous in the wrong thing(s). Paul understood this awful scenario all too well! (Galatians 1:14Galatians 1:14
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14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. equals: Gr. equals in years  

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and Philippians 3:4-7Philippians 3:4-7
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4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  

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(Romans 10:1-2Romans 10:1-2
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10 1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  

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) “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (KJV)

Pastors who understand that a lack of zeal can be a side effect of trying to be a consistent source of strength and stability will be able to guard against being hedged in by fear and duty. Never think it cannot happen to you. It is like a cancer that eats away at us and often going unnoticed till we are totally desensitized.

I want to encourage every reader of this blog to passionately pursue Christ! Be a follower of the Lamb of God. No pastor should lose his zealous love of Jesus Christ. No matter how hard the battle may be and no matter how tall the mountain may seem to stretch into the sky, just keep on the firing line! Remember that you can make a difference where you are at by being a zealous pastor!

 

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Originally posted 2012-02-04 15:50:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastoral Challenge For The New Year!

Pastor, as you well know, this year could be the last year that you or I may be able to minister for Jesus Christ. Satan has leveled his gun and drawn a bead on our ministries and testimonies. Not one of us is exempt from spiritual warfare and there are many dangers which await us in the next 52 weeks. Are you preparing for this battle? I hope so!

Challenge…

On behalf of those of us here at The Working Pastor, I want to challenge you to be FAITHFUL to our Lord! Success, contrary to popular opinion, is not measured by numbers, pats on the back, how many book sales you have or how big your ministries are! Success is found by being FAITHFUL to our Lord in everything we endeavor to do.

The measure of our FAITHFULNESS can be seen in our motives and methods. If our motive or methods are not found to be righteous and according to God’s Word, then we will suffer loss. FAITHFULNESS, though not mentioned by name in the following verses, is definitely a key factor in the determination of reward or loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Consider the follow verses…

(2 Corinthians 5:9-102 Corinthians 5:9-10
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9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. labour: or, endeavour 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  

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) “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  (KJV) Emphasis mine – Literally “Approved or disapproved”

(1 Corinthians 3:10-151 Corinthians 3:10-15
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10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. it shall be: Gr. it is 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  

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) “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”  (KJV)

FAITHFULNESS, in my humble opinion, is the primary issue at the Judgment Seat. FAITHFULNESS or loyalty to Christ will enable us to bring forth fruit that will remain, and will keep us on the path that will help us build with the proper materials which will endure the test of fire. Make no mistake about this, our FAITHFULNESS to God will be revealed! My pastor put it this way… “You may not be much but you can be FAITHFUL!”

“You may not be much, but you CAN be faithful!” Dr. Bobby Roberson – Pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church of Walkertown, North Carolina

Are You Up To The Challenge?

The Scriptures are full of examples of those who were FAITHFUL in the midst of dire circumstances. Joseph, Daniel, and Moses are just a few. No matter what you are facing today, or will face tomorrow, you CAN be FAITHFUL to Christ! Are you up to the challenge?

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Originally posted 2012-01-03 15:33:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastor, Are You Ready For Christmas?

Pastor Andrew SchankCountless times over the last several weeks, a question has been posed to me. It goes something like this… “Pastor, Are YOU Ready For Christmas?” Of course, I answer in the affirmative and I usually assume that the person is speaking about having gifts purchased and ready to distribute. As I ponder this, all too common, question at this time of year, I am now absolutely sure that there is more to it than what most of us want to admit to.

Tradition

We usually gauge our readiness for Christmas upon what we witnessed from our families growing up. Remembering how Momma and Daddy did things and how Grandma and Grandpa prepared for the grandest day of the year is usually how be judge our success.

One fond memory I have as a child is all of the baking and cooking which took place prior to Christmas Day. Long days and late nights in the kitchen would produce an aroma that would not easily be dismissed. It was only when you committed the sin of gluttony that you were deemed satisfied.

Again, many of us would answer the question, “Are YOU ready for Christmas?” in light of our family traditions and our allegiance to them. For example, if Momma baked mounds of cookies (as mine did), or if she over spent her checkbook buying presents for everybody (as mine sometimes did), then we might feel obliged to ascertain our readiness in view of her example.

Trends

All families grapple with trends they are confronted with each and every day. With the Hollywood stars and starlets being popular trend setters and with this age of instant gratification being propagated from cable TV and such the like, it is no wonder that families are in the shape they are in. This is especially true around Christmas time.

There is not a year that goes by that some new toy, shoe, or video game does not makes the news. It is not because of its “NEWNESS” that makes it the focal point of a Breaking News bit on the 6:00he 6:00
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se začne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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o’clock news show. No, it is because of some person, or persons, who got all wrapped up in the new trend of having to own the new toy, shoe, or video game. See, they were arrested for spraying pepper spray at someone who broke into the line at the check out in front of them! Or it might be that the whole shelf of those new shoes were sold out in 30 seconds, but not without mowing down the man who opened the store at 3:00 AM

Some people would not deem themselves ready for Christmas if they have not purchased that cutting edge piece of technology, the new video game or that NEW “thing – ma – jig” that is in style. The fact is that many people only think they are “READY” for Christmas, what ever “READY” means, when they have made their unique, but not so unique, purchase.

Truth

We have to remember that our family traditions may or may not REALLY prepare our hearts for Christmas. We also have to understand that just because modern day trends seem to be the thing to do or be a part of does not mean that they prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Being “READY” for Christmas is not about traditions or trends… it is all about Christ! When I was a boy, people were using “X”mas instead of “Christ”mas. There was so much uproar about this and then there was not much said anymore. The truth is that people are going to refer to and be ready for Christmas in some way or another EVERY year.

To be ready for Christmas means that you know Jesus Christ personally through repentance and faith in Christ’s sacrifice for your sins when He died, was buried and rose again for you. It means that you understand that God gave the greatest gift  the world has ever known… His SON! (He named His SONJESUS! What a name for it means SAVIOUR! “Saviour from what?” you ask. Sin!)

(Matthew 1:21Matthew 1:21
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21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. JESUS: that is, Saviour, Heb  

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) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  (KJV)

Every gift we purchase or make, and give to someone else, is to represent that we are thankful for who God gave to us and we want to give as well! Are YOU ready for Christmas?

Originally posted 2011-12-24 15:57:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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