“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1stThessalonians5:12-15)
Christians should respect leaders called of Christ to do specific works of ministry. Leaders earn respect, honor, and love through their work for Christ. Leaders must work for peace in the church, because it takes dedication, commitment, and love to do so.
Formalized ministry was just becoming to develop in the church. Church leaders either did not have specific titles for their offices, or those titles were considered unimportant. Today leaders who direct the activity of the church are to be treated with respect and gratitude because they give themselves to labor among the congregation. One of the key requirements for leadership is readiness to work for the welfare of he congregation. The congregation as a whole, however, has the shared responsibility of admonishing the disorderly, encourage the timid, and helping the weak in faith.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, those who work withing the congregation to lead ministry should have our honor and respect for their efforts. These people should be supported in prayer, assistance when necessary, and love at all times, for they have responded to a call from Christ to lead ministry within the congregation. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Christians, keep the faith, but not from others!”
“As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” (Acts16:4-5)
The elders and apostles met in Jerusalem to discuss circumcision. They sought to strengthen the churches in their faith. The council demonstrated its willingness to ignore secondary issues in order to proclaim the heart of the gospel. The work of the church is to proclaim the gospel of Christ to those apart from Him and to strengthen the saved.
“Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of he Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” (James5:13-15)
A basic Christian response to suffering is to pray. God may relieve the suffering, or, as in Paul’s case, He may strengthen the sufferer in the suffering. Healing the sick is part of the church’s ministry as it was of Christ’s. The church needs to find practical ways to help the troubled and sick experience God’s presence. Christians do get sick, and we must become the medium for God to work His healing, through us and to His children that need healing in mind or body or spirit. Elders have responsibilities for pastoral oversight and visitation of the sick, orphans, and widows. Their physical presence with the sick best demonstrates the love and support of the church and fosters hope for God’s power to be manifested in healing.
Second Thought of the Day:
“An argument started among the disciples as to which of hem would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—-he is the greatest.’ ‘Master,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘for whoever is not against you is for you.’” (Luke9:46–50)
The church has servants but not rulers. No human official controls the church; all serve Christ through the church. The church practices openness and acceptance toward all people. The child, the weak, the poor, and the powerless belong to God. Those who reject these little ones reject Christ. Those who accept the outcasts show they have accepted Christ.
Christ has followers who do not belong to our group. We cannot reject them for not being with us or doing things our way. When they oppose evil and service Christ, they are part of His church. God’s people include all who serve Him and do His will. The people of God are multinational, bearing different gifts and speaking many languages. This great throng of people is united by common allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord.