We learned in the last message, dealing with chapter five, verses 12 and 13, that the pastor and the people work together to carry out God’s will for His church. They serve together under the direction of God through His Word to accomplish His purpose. If you are not sure what His purpose is, we will look again to His command as written by Matthew in chapter 28, verses 18 through 20.
Each of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts declares this command from God. This message is repeated throughout the New Testament –
1 Timothy 2:3-5 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
This is the truth the church is to take to the world generation after generation until Jesus comes back. The Apostles are dead, the Prophets are dead, the Evangelist and Pastors of previous ages are dead, but the church is still alive and well! God could have extended the lives of the Apostles, kept them alive until He returned. This would have been an amazing sign to the world! Can you imagine Peter, James, John, Matthew and the others, how wise these men would be; how strong these men would be, how revered these men would be – they would be worshipped by the world, yet God declared –
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
This is us! We are the ones being described by Paul 2,000 years ago . And Jesus knows that we are
these that are being described and He promised a wonderful thing –
John 17:18-20 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
The Lord declared that He would build His church and through His church reach out to the world with the wonderful saving grace – the gospel. He will be in His church and He will direct His church! He is the Head of the church and He will receive the glory He deserves.
We need to know this and we need to submit to His will and work together for His glory. This is the truth that the missionaries are teaching the believers in Thessalonica as we learned in 5:13 “…be at peace among yourselves.”
We are all in this together. The pastor leads us in laboring with him in the ministry of the Lord.
Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
These verses inform us of our responsibilities to the Lord and to one another. Notice again how 5:14 begins – “Now we exhort you. brethren…” This is to us, all of us!
In verse 14 we are instructed to care for the good of those in need. We are to –
A. Command the unruly. They are to be submissive to the Lord as they are instructed in His Word. We must do God’s work God’s way!
B. Comfort the feebleminded. This word means those that are fearful and easily discouraged. Remember how John Mark seemed to be excited to minister with Barnabas and Paul, but quit when faced with opposition. Barnabas was a comforter and helped John Mark return to the work, reconciling with Paul and becoming strong in the ministry of God’s Word.
C. Carry the weak when they are about to fall. “…support…” We must know them and be able to recognize the signs of weakness, stepping in quickly to help them .
D. Casting yourself upon the Lord daily. “…be patient toward all men.”
We know ourselves and realize that we can become impatient and even angry when men refuse to be commanded, comforted, or carried.
We must practice the same that we preach.
We must memorize the same verses that we teach them,
We must seek the same grace,
We must know the same strength.
We must listen and act upon our own counsel.
As we enter the year 2018 will you commit to be willing to –
Command the unruly
Comfort the feebleminded
Carry the weak?
Then first, we must cast ourselves upon the Lord each day for we cannot help others until the Lord has helped us!
The Lord burdened my heart tremendously through the Prophet Daniel. We know about the life of Daniel and we know that he was a righteous man living in a sinful world. He could have rebuked the nations – all of them – telling them that they were the problem, not him. He could have said that he did not want to have anything to do with them, stay away from him, not tell him their problems, it was not his problem! Daniel did not do that though.
Daniel 9:4-6 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Daniel 9:17-19 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
Will we commit to pray this year for the will of the Lord to be done? Will you commit to pray?