FOR PASTORS, ON MONDAY
Another quality made Moses a familiar name in the courts of God. He tied his fortune and future to Israel, just as God himself had. No pastor ever led such a heartbreaking group of malcontents as Moses did, yet even when God offered to cut them loose and build a great nation from Moses, he wouldn’t have it.
These days, our people often know very little about their pastor’s meetings with God. Nonetheless, many of them hope you know God better than they do. They hope your prayers have the lift and heft that theirs don’t, that you have God’s ear. It matters to them when their pastor prays for them personally. I often marveled that they thought my prayers were special, but they did.
That hard ground of tough ministerial work that Paul described—fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith—is the seedbed of the righteousness God grows in us. Remember Jesus’ kingdom parable about the man who scattered seed? “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain” (Mark 4:27-28). Our righteousness grows as we persevere in pastoring.
Once my pastoral heroes were older shepherds. Now they are you—today’s Timothy and Titus, Phoebe and Priscilla—the younger shepherds who come behind me, loving Christ, gripping your Bibles, learning to pray, determined to feed, lead, and guard the flocks God has entrusted to you.