Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Minister's Call

We are on the cusp of Pastor Appreciation Month. Perhaps the following will give some perspective.

Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
Heb 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Heb 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

The priest had the duty of ministering on behalf of the people. In our age of grace, each believer becomes his own priest. However, some of the aspects carry over to a New Testament minister.

First, he is chosen by God out from amongst his peers just as the Holy Spirit said to the Antioch church, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." We must remember, natural gifts, talent, and personality give way to the providence of God. He chooses whom He will for His glory, the weaker and more unlikely the vessel, the greater the wonder of God's ability. See I Cor. 10 concerning this.

Second, the individual is ordained "for" men. That is, he is set apart for the service of others. Personal goals, ambitions, treasures and career are no longer a concern. The life of the minister is no longer his own, he serves totally at the behest of his Caller and Enabler.

Next, he busies himself in offering gifts and sacrifices for sins. Now that the sacrifice of Jesus has been offered once and for all, the minister's constant offering is outward. He takes the message of God's gift and sacrifice to a lost and dying world.

Additionally, the minister is called to have compassion on the ignorant, that is, on those who don't know. The lost are without knowledge of Christ's payment for them. Many of the saved are ignorant of even some of the basics. Therefore, it behooves the man of God to methodically and compassionately instruct those who, many times, oppose themselves because of their lack of knowledge.

Finally, through the strength of the Lord, he must overcome his own weakness. The salvation and subsequent calling of the New Testament minister do not exempt him from temptation and occasional indiscretion. The fact is that the preacher is himself also compassed with infirmity. Therefore, it stands to reason (vs 3) that he also falls under the "blood plan."

To conclude, the 4th verse reminds us that humility is a necessity. This honor, and it is a high honor, is not self-imposed, it comes only from God on high. The man of God does not choose ministry, but is chosen of God to minister on Heaven's behalf. This is not to say that he may not volunteer his life and be chosen for the task.

So pray for those who are called to minister on your behalf. Theirs is a high calling, though often lonely, sacrificial and without thanks. (Until that day when the Master says, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!)
And, a blessed pastor appreciation month to all of God’s true ministers.

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