1 Thessalonians 3
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
Since those of you who read this devotional are not pastors, I would like to explain this passage from the viewpoint of a pastor to help you understand how we think. (For some of you this is a revelation that we pastors actually do think.)
When Timothy came back from Thessalonica with a good report of the faith of the Christians there, Paul was comforted. Before Timothy’s report, as we read yesterday, Paul was struggling as he wondered how these disciples were doing. His concern for their faithfulness to Christ was so great that he sent his closest companion away to get and to bring him news.
Upon Timothy’s return, Paul was greatly comforted by the good news that he had prayed for. Here is the point: pastors take a great deal of time working on the hearts of the people in the church. When those people continue in the faith of Christ the pastor’s hearts are comforted and encouraged. When those whom the pastor have invested in fall away from the faith, the pastor’s heart is depressed and sorrowful. A good pastor truly loves those whom God sends him to love. God works through the heart of the pastor to show His love and a true bond is made. When people continue in the faith that bond is made stronger and the pastor knows that his labor was fruitful.
However, when people fall away from the faith of Christ and determine to live apart from the wisdom of God and the truth of the Scriptures the pastor who loved them for Christ’s sake is deeply pained. One day a man told me that he was leaving the church over an altercation with another member. I told that man to cut off my arm and take it with him for his leaving us would have been that painful. As a pastor, I still pray for all of those who have left our church over the years that they would come back, reconcile to us and become a part of our church family again. I do not like it when people leave for that demonstrates a failure of Christians humbly walking with God together. The body is supposed to remain whole and amputations are always painful.
Yes, churches are going to have problems with members. Once in a while I get a pain in my own wrist, knee or head but I do not consider amputation. In the church, when we resolve our issues and work out our sinful pains we are made stronger and rejoice together in the power of God between us. Make your pastor rejoice; remain faithful to God and to the church of Jesus Christ.
Last night our evangelist spoke on Titus 2:5-8. It was a difficult message to hear but an important one for the church. Tonight we will hear another message from Titus 2 and we will hear from a missionary couple going to Spain. Join us at 7:00.
Please pray for a teenager in our church. There was an issue yesterday between this teen and their mother which escalated to the point where the father called the police for help. Pray for God’s peace to be sought after and found.
Have a great day in the Lord,