It’s not popular.
In fact it’s gotten to the point that when holy and righteous living is preached or taught, it is censored by many of those who should be saying; “Amen!”, in humble obedience and submission to the Lord and His Word!
Those who do make the decision to submit and live a life of holiness and obedience before the Lord and men, are mocked, discriminated and downright hated for their stand for right, but not only by the world, that’s to be expected, but by their own “brethren!”
The work of “Pastoring” today’s "sheep" is becoming more and more difficult and painful. Consider I Peter 5:2-4, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
Thank God for that “crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Because even many "aged" men and women are “fading away” or going astray, in ostentatious rebellion against Scriptural truth; Consider the Pastor’s responsibility shown in Titus 2:1-3, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”
And what do I say about the young people? Many see their parents as the ones going astray in rebellious disobedience to God and His shepherds! This is devastating to the pastor that in love, willingly and of a ready mind and by example seeks to obey the Word of God. We must obey Titus 2:6, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.”
Folks, we are to live godly, righteous and holy lives in this present day! In this present world! God has not changed! His Word has not changed! Yet so many think that they can call themselves “Christians” or “Believers” or “followers of Christ” and continue living like and loving this world!
Consider the following Bible verses: Titus 2:11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
Are we being “despised?” Yes. Are we allowing it to move us away from “speaking, exhorting and rebuking” with all the God given authority we have? No! We must not go astray!
We must continue steadfast preaching, teaching; Living the Word of Truth!
II Timothy 4:1-5, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
Preach on the truth of Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Preach on the truth of I John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Preach on the exhortation of Philippians 2:12-16, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
Preach on! Live on! Declare “all the counsel of God.”
Oh dear Lord please help me to live my life in such a way that at its end I may humbly say as did our beloved Apostle Paul; Acts 20:26-27, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
May I obey the charge of verse 28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
My Lord Jesus, they are Your sheep, purchased with Your precious blood; Please help me oversee well, this small part of Your flock.
(All Scripture references are from the KJV)
January/February 2015 Prayer/Update Letter
4 years ago