REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on February 11, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“What Qualities Would You Look for in a New Pastor?”
And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.’”
Imagine that after moving to a new city, you are looking for a church pastored by someone whom you approve. So what criteria should you use to find such a pastor? Pastor Jim Cymbala told a story of a “successful” pastor who, after hearing his talk on church being the house of prayer, said to him, “I could not have a real prayer meeting in my church. I’d be embarrassed at the smallness of the crowd. . . . I can only get them for a one-hour service and that only once a week.” For people looking for a short service, this is the right church.
This pastor and the priests in Malachi have one thing in common, which is aptly captured by Prophet Micah: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim ‘peace’” (3:5). The priests said nothing to correct the people who brought defective animals for sacrifice. Why? Did they get a kickback? The pastor just went along with whatever people wanted: No prayer meeting since people didn’t want it; one-hour service so people could go home to root for their favorite football team. A smart move since they pay his salary.
Choose your pastor wisely because he can greatly affect the course of your life. Choose a pastor who fears and honors God more than the approval of man. After that, consider qualities such as the soundness of doctrine as well as character, preaching ability, erudition, etc. Once you have found him, stay with him, even if it means turning down the promotion that will move you to another state, because having the right pastor in your life is that important.
As we looked for a church after moving to Mexico, I didn’t look for a pastor who was a dynamic preacher; rather a man who feared God and was a man of integrity. After finding such a pastor, we attended his church for 8 years before returning to the States. We were so blessed to have a pastor who cared and prayed for us. Maybe that’s why I still pray for him. Pray for your pastor this morning.
Prayer: Dear God, I thank You this morning for having placed my pastor in my life because he has been an amazing blessing to me. Renew his mind and fill him with the Holy Spirit daily so that he can continue to represent You and Your word to us. Keep him in good health and keep his family safe. May you continue to maintain in him a heart that fears God more than any man! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 5
Lunch Break Study
Read Acts 20:26-7 (ESV): “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
Judge Samuel speaking about his responsibility for people in 1 Sam. 12:23 (ESV): “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.”
The apostle Paul describes the character of Pastor Timothy in Phil. 2:20-2 (ESV): “For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.”
Questions to Consider
- What does Paul mean by, “I am innocent of the blood of all,” in light of his statement in Acts 20:27?
- Based on Samuel’s statement, what are some main responsibilities of a spiritual leader?
- According to Paul’s description of the character of Pastor Timothy, what traits are important in a
- It means that Paul declared to people every aspect of God’s word, even those parts that may be offensive and demanding, so that none can say to God on Judgment Day that their disobedience was a result of not knowing God’s will because Paul didn’t teach it correctly or taught selectively.
- Among other pastoral duties, two are underscored here: praying for people whose souls you are held accountable and instructing people the “good and the right way,” which is equivalent to “declaring . . . the whole counsel of God.”
- A person who genuinely cares for people and is not given to selfishness, a man who preaches the gospel.
Do you have anyone whom you pastor? Someone you care about, particularly his (her) spiritual life? If not, pray for such a person so you can share God’s blessing. Wrap up your day with a prayer.