For those of you who want to know… This scripture is why I study, prepare, teach, preach, and absolutely LOVE the WORD of GOD.
Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Paul was saying good-bye to the Ephesian Elders in Acts 20 reminding them why they mattered to the church. (For those of you who don’t know, an Elder and a Pastor share the same responsibilities. I am a “teaching” Elder/Pastor of our church. And we have a great team of Elders in our church who care for all of you.)
Pastors/Elders are necessary because:
1. The Church is God’s own precious possession:
The Church is a high-stakes operation. It cost the blood of God’s only Son to create it. Therefore it is my sincere privilege to lead people to Jesus. He paid for them and they are His. My job is to keep people hungry for Him. I pray that my testimony might be that I lived and died and people fell in love with Jesus and forgot about me.
2. The Church is a flock and it requires protection.
Paul said false doctrine and teaching would come from within. Hollywood is not the problem. It’s false teachers from within. The term, “False doctrine” may sound too clinical so let me put it in “street.”
“False doctrine” is any idea/teaching/concept that leads you away from freedom in Christ and into a man-made system, set of rules, or organized form of religion necessary to be accepted by God.
These ideas are everywhere and in someway affect all of us. I must constantly self-purge my heart from false ideas that lead me away from the freedom Christ came to give. It is my sincere and utter delight to see people set free from legalism, religiosity, “churchianity”, etc…and simply fall in love with God over and over again as the source of all hope, love, life and peace.
3. Only TRUTH sets people free.
There is nothing like seeing someone find out that God loves them AS they are. That we can stop beating ourselves up and realize the brokenness within us is a sign that God is missing from us. We are fallen. And by GRACE we now can stand. This is the TRUTH of Jesus. It does not mean we have license to STAY as we are. It means we can find the path to change in time, with God’s help, in God’s way.
When I preach Christ and lead people in Christ, I feel freedom happening in the hearts of those present. It sets me on fire. It makes what I do an absolute joy and passion. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
And that’s why I do what I do.