1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>

Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

Pastoral Exhortation

PrintE-mail

My dear brethren in Christ,

Serving you for Christ’s sake has been my joy for the last 20 years. Not that there was no distress or pain, but it has provided innumerable opportunities to experience the Lord’s grace and power. In as many ways as the Lord has helped me to minister to you, He also works through so many of you to bestow His blessings on me and the work that He has entrusted to our church. We have served together for the glory of our Saviour through the preaching of His Word.

When I think of our church, I sometimes think of it as “an army of workers”. On the Lord’s Day, this is all too apparent. Only a blind man would go away thinking that Gethsemaneans are a bunch of lazy people. Brethren, I am fully persuaded about our church that the grace of God not only works in each of us, but also that grace makes us work for His glory.

Children, youths, men, women and all are workers. Some do work more than others, nonetheless all work. None of His children is excluded by God from the joy of His service.

I can see the great truth of the Scriptures being fulfilled among us: “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:6-7). Let me testify briefly how I am cheered so often on the Lord’s Day by many of you who serve the Lord.

I can see the great truth of the Scriptures being fulfilled among us: “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:6-7). Let me testify briefly how I am cheered so often on the Lord’s Day by many of you who serve the Lord.

  • Several of the church members come very early to church to prepare the worship place. They, some with their little ones, arrive even one hour before the morning Bible Study begins. If you are early, you will see them preparing the worship hall and children’s classrooms, getting ready the audio/video/projector/Internet equipment, hymnals, newsletters and Bibles for the worshippers. Well, there are also those who beautify the worship hall by placing a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the front.
  • There are sisters who labour to provide refreshments - some set up the tables for food and drink, boil water for coffee, tea and other beverages. Among them there are also those who labour many hours the previous day to provide the worshippers with refreshing and delicious food that all may enjoy the time of fellowship after the worship.
  • There are also sisters who labour to prepare the bread and wine for the Lord’s Table.
  • There are also those who labour to set up the book table that good books may be made available for your edification.
  • There are those who regularly labour to teach children in their Sunday school classes, junior worship, choir, etc.
  • Elders and deacons teach in catechism classes before the worship service.
  • Greeters and ushers take their places, and avail themselves to help worshippers.
  • The musicians get themselves ready and take their places to help us sing unto the Lord.
  • There are brethren who labour to collect, count and keep account of tithes and offerings.
  • There are ‘prayer-partners’ who get together to pray for brethren and our ministries.
  • Many make effort to talk with one another, to encourage one another before and after the worship.

Now, what I have recounted above is not a complete list of all that are being done by every one of you. There are many other things that are done in a very small, unnoticed way; and yet glorious in its effect. For instance, quite frequently I have been greatly encouraged by young children and even old folks who come to me with a cup of warm water, saying, “Pastor, this is for you.” How refreshing was their humble gesture of love! May the Lord be praised for all such works of love and tenderness that are found among us.

As we thank Him for the joy of co-labouring, let us renew our commitment to join our hands in truth and love. Unless we conscientiously work in love and unity, we cannot make good headway in our efforts for the Lord. Let us remind ourselves of the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2:2-3: “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

I must also caution you, my dear brethren, that there can be offences. When difficulties and disappointments occur, let us look to the Lord for His special help to serve with grace. If you have given yourself to serve the Lord in a particular area of the church, you must put on love, patience, forgiveness and cheerfulness. No matter what we have to sacrifice or suffer in His service, it is a great privilege to serve Him. It is an honour even to suffer for Him.

If all were easy, if all were bright,
Where would the cross be? and where the fight?
But in the testings God gives to you,
Chances for proving what He can do.

Let us press on then, never despair;
Live above feeling, victory’s is there;
Jesus can keep us so near to Him,
That nevermore shall our faith grow dim.

Finally, brethren, let us spur one another on to serve in the church for His glory. Say a word of gratitude and encouragement to those who minister God’s grace among us. Offer any help that you can render to aid the other in the service. If you find it necessary to give your suggestion or advice, please remember to do it with meekness and patience. Appreciating one another’s service is to be thankful to God for what He is accomplishing in our midst through each of us. May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing in His church.

Heartily in Christ,

Pastor

Pastoral Exhortation