Pastoral Exhortation

Biblical Guidelines on How to Relate to Your Pastors – II

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 08 December 2013

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Follow your pastors

The last part of Hebrews 13:7 exhorts us further – “whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation”. The word “follow” is the translation of mimnisko, which literally means “to mimic” or “to imitate”. The word “considering” is anatheoreo, which means “to observe attentively”. The phrase “end of their conversation” is more clearly “the outcome or issue of their manner of life”. The exhortation, then, is to observe their leaders who spoke the Word of God to them, with the intention of imitating their lifestyle. They are also urged to imitate their faith while they observe attentively how they live in obedience to the Word of God and its outcome. Paul urged in 2 Thessalonians 3:7 that “for yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you”. Therefore, no believer is to despise the lifestyle of a godly pastor but rather imitate it.

Express loving loyalty to your pastors

Pastors often bear much burden in their hearts. Many of the burdens of the people in the church often become the pastor’s burden. He bears them in his heart to give the right counsel, to pray for them earnestly, and to care for them. In such emotional, mental, physical and spiritual struggles, the expressions of sincere love and loyalty from members of the church go a long way to bring cheer and comfort to his heart. The apostle Paul illustrates this truth in 2 Corinthians 7:5-7, “For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.” Again he wrote in verses 13-16, “Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all...And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.”

Co-labour with your pastors

The Scripture enjoins believers to co-labour with their pastors. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The apostle Paul was full of thanks when he recollected the work of the believers in the church of Thessalonica. He wrote, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). Believers ought to serve to fulfil the vision and desire of their pastor concerning the ministry. They can labour in evangelism, mission, music, teaching, visitation, encouragement, care for the needy, etc. Brethren whom the Lord has equipped with spiritual gifts must co-labour with him in the leadership, as pastors, elders and deacons. One such man was Epaphroditus, whom the apostle Paul describes as “my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants…Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me” (Philippians 2:25, 30).

Honour your pastors

The apostle Paul instructs believers “to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (1 Thessalonians 5:13). Members of the church must honour their pastors very highly. The phrase “very highly”, in the Greek text, is a compound word made up of three prepositions for the sake of emphasis. The exhortation is therefore to give great honour to pastors. We should relate to them with much respect and submission. The respect and honour should not only be accorded when they are right before our eyes, but at all times. We must not malign them, but talk about them with respect. Paul taught the Corinthians to “let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). Paul commended the Galatian church for the honour and love they bestowed on him, saying, “And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus” (Galatians 4:14). In 1 Timothy 5:17, Paul wrote, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” The context of this exhortation is Paul’s instruction to support the teaching elders or pastors financially. He reminded them that “the labourer is worthy of his reward” (v. 18). In Galatians 6:6, Paul instructed the believers, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” Not to reward the labour of a pastor, in a spirit of high honour, is unbiblical.

 

Thanksgiving for the Philippine Relief Fund

Dear Pastor Koshy, Session members and brethren of Gethsemane B-P Church Singapore,

Thoughts of Cheerful Givers
From the offering bags.

If we hoard our abundance today, mimicking the Israelites’ attempts to store manna, should God supply our needs in our time of need?


1 Dec 2013

Dear Pastor,

The Lord has blessed me much more than I deserved. And it is not only because He has given me a job in Singapore. But because He brought me to Singapore to believe on Him and be saved...

I pray that the Lord will accept my heartily-given gift for the Building Fund.

Greetings in the name of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Gracious is the Lord and full of mercy. Praise be unto the Lord who has sustained and given relief to the burdens and needs of the brethren in Bogo and San Antonio. On behalf of the brethren of Bogo and San Antonio, please receive our heartfelt thanksgiving for the generous gift you had lovingly extended to us. The brethren received with thanksgiving to the Lord weekly provisions sufficient for their daily needs in a week. Provisions would continue to be distributed in the coming weeks.

Repair works in San Antonio church are now ongoing. Hopefully in a week’s time and God willing, the church repair would be completed.

Currently, we still have our combined worship service in Bogo church. Praise the Lord for good attendance every Lord’s Day and for newcomers. Power lines in Bogo have been partially restored though we still have problems with Internet connections.

All glory be to the Lord who has used Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore, for the relief and comfort to the brethren and their families both in Bogo and San Antonio.

Sincerely in Christ,
Eliezer Ortega