PASTORING
PASTORING

Rejected messenger

Ezekiel 1:28-3:15 King James Version (KJV)
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

2 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.

4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.

5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;

10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

3 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.

11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place.

13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.

14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.

15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

Struck this morning was the passage of Mark Dever’s Call of God (The Shepherd as Preacher, is so raw and pure as a sheer reflection of His Word.

Re-echoing his edifying thoughts:

* “Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen closely. Go to the exiles, to the son of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, thus says the Lord God.”

*…direct correlations between biblical characters and ourselves -correlations not necessarily accurate.

*…the message we proclaim must be the Word of God. A messenger must not be called to be inventive rather commissioned to give God’s Words alone.

*Puritan pastor= painful (taking pains in ministry), pathetic (feeling for the flock) and plain (not drawing attention to yourself) = high compliment!

*Ezekiel was to be, if you will, the donkey on which Christ sat to ride into Jerusalem. The prophet was simply to bear the Word of God.

* God whatever You’re speaking, I will give out. If it’s in Your Word, I will reach it, and I will not go beyond it by presenting something that is not the Word of God as the Word of God.We’re not called to be preachers in a sense that we can preach whatever we want.

* As a pastor, will you direct all your sympathies to toward people and none to God? Are you tempted to condemn God as being too harsh when you read certain passages of Scripture? Assume for a moment that He is right, that He is infinitely holy and that He can justly require everything of us, and then see what does to your assessment of the situation. As God’s messengers, we should have sympathy with God, not as the object of our pity, rather we must share our Father’s perspective. We must have a concern for His name, glory, and honor. We must be sympathetic not only to people but also to God, our Creator and Redeemer.

* Pastors cannot rely on their own ability, but on God’s. ” Give me the grace to do as You command, and command me to do as You will.”

* the title “son of man” seems to mean mortal or subject to death, and it oftentends to b associated with rejection. Ezekiel refers to Himself as son of man because he understood himself to be rejected ambassador of a rejected King.

* By adopting the title “son of Man,” Jesus was affirming a long tradition of rejection the that He explained by quoting Pslaml 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? and Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. If you want to survive in the ministry, you must witness the rejection that Jesus experienced. Must not allow the carnality in your own heart to entice you to find a way to become more successful in your ministry than Jesus was.

* If you are presenting the gospel in a way that makes it attractive to a carnal person, then you’re setting your church up to misunderstand the what it means to follow Christ.

* Hebrews 12:2-3 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

PRAYER:
GOD, You know the weariness that goes far beyond the physical. We pray, Lord, that any opposition that we have experienced from sinful men will be put in perspective as we consider Him who endured such opposition. O God, give us hearts that are fixed on the presentation of the LordK=Jesus Christ in your Word. Give us the time, patience, and discipline to meditate on Christ. Help us to understand further how to follow Christ and to be Your messengers. Work in our hearts by Your Spirit in a way that You would never work through the eloquence of a speaker or through the accuracy of descriptions in a book, but only as Your Holy Spirit can work through our hearts, through each one of our situations, so that you may receive all the glory. In Jesus name we pray, for HIs sake, Amen.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

Excerpt from the Open Air Mission tracks:

Is there such thing as absolute truth? or is everything just a matter of personal opinion? Many today believe that truth believe that truth is relative. They say it depends on your own feelings an circumstances at any particular time. That means that what is true and right for you, may be false and wrong for someone else.
However, this kind of thinking leaves us without any firm guidelines when it comes to making decisions about moral and ethical issues. it creates a society without fixed standards, where any kind of behaviour may be practised and tolerated so long as it does not harm anyone else. it encourages people to believe what they like so long as they are “sincere” about it. Evolutionism are sincere about it but they are wrong.

Christians believe that truth is absolute. It is something that does not vary from age to age from person to person. So where can we find that absolute truth?

God has revealed the truth in His Word, the Bible. He has made Himself known very clearly to us in this unique book.

The Bible is the handbook for life, given by God wh loves us and wants the very best for us.

Mankind’s biggest mistake have always resulted from rejecting God’s truth.

The Bible focuses on one particuar person- the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Evry word that jesus spoke is the truth. Think about some of the following things Jesus said:

WHAT HE SAID ABOUT GOD
” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

WHAT HE SAID ABOUT HIMSELF
” I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

WHAT HE SAID ABOUT US
” …unless you are converted…you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

WHAT HE SAID ABOUT ETERNITY
“Most assuredly. I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” JOHN 6:47

WHAT HE SAID ABOUT LIFE
“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10,11)

Jesus taught that He was sent in to the world by God the Father ti give His life on the cross as the once for all, final sacrifice for our sins. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” 1 Peter 3:18

Three days later Jesus rose from the dead and He is nt only alive for evermore, but he offers eternal life to all who will turn from their sons and put their trust in Him. Jesus once made this promise, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. JOHN 8:32

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