1 Thessalonians 5
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
As we go through this chapter in 1 Thessalonians the next paragraph is about the church’s treatment of pastors. I am thankful for a church that cares for their pastor; so these thoughts are not aimed at anyone in particular just all of us in general.
Paul, the consummate pastor/shepherd of God’s church, knew what it was to be blessed by a church and what it was to be cursed by a church. His ministry spanned several different congregations so he wrote to all of them with this passage from the Holy Spirit. Paul knew what it meant to labor for the souls of men and women and to have spiritual authority over them. He admonished all of the churches with the authority of the Lord in his preaching and teaching. His instruction to those who are ministered to by faithful shepherds is to esteem them highly in love for their work’s sake.
I grew up in a pastor’s home so I had no illusions of the pastorate. It was not unusual for my dad to get calls during the night, during dinner, on Saturday’s and more. He was like a doctor, always on call. But sometimes he was like a nurse just caring for people whom God might be doing an operation on. Then he was called to be a leader of the deacons and the church staff and their issues became his issues. On top of that he was always prepared for Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night as well as an adult Sunday school class. He labored among the people of the church.
One of the pains of the pastor is when those he loves do not return his love. I think this is what Paul is addressing here. Pastors don’t typically have personal agendas other than the spiritual growth and maturity of the church members. Paul calls the church to realize this labor and to esteem the pastors highly in love for this work. Then he says that the church is to be at peace among themselves. There is a connection between a church where the pastor labors in love and the people show appreciation for that love and the level of peace in the church. When the body works together as it is supposed to great peace and unity result.
Apparently I forgot to give the time for tonight’s praise and testimony service. We will start at 7:00. Afterward we are having a desert fellowship so be sure to bring something to add to the desert table. Above all, bring a testimony of praise to share with us. The length of this service seems to depend on the richness of the testimonies. I will be bringing a message of thanks and praise from the book of Zechariah.
Sunday morning I plan to bring a message on Justification through Christ alone. This could be a series in and of itself and I am thrilled with this study.
Have a great day in the Lord,