FROM PASTOR TIM JOHNSON:
Thank you all for the positive feedback from Sunday’s sermon, and, for your patience as we worked through several things at the beginning of the service. You all need to know that Pastor Dave Metzger and his wife Patti were moved by our prayer for them and commented that our church has a very sweet feel to it.
Praise the Lord!
One saint noted that what is an otherwise typically boring sermon topic came to life because it connected the ideal of the biblical world with the reality of our church. We have great elders, men we know, men we hear, men we pray for, men who are imperfect, growing and becoming more conformed to Christ.
Praise the Lord for them, for those who are being prepared to serve who may not know it now, and for the Holy Spirit’s leading in the process.
You might from the message that I had wanted to briefly look at a passage in Acts 20. Paul is saying good-bye to the Elders in Ephesus for the final time. It is a bit teary as they all know they’ll not see each other again. Beginning in verse 28 Paul admonishes the Elders:
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.”
There are lots of things to notice here, easily another sermon. First, Elders are to pay attention to BOTH the flock AND themselves. An unhealthy Elder cannot feed the sheep. Pray for the Elders to be spiritually healthy and rigorously tending to their own spiritual health and disposition.
Second, there will be attacks on the Church, both from within and from without. Therefore, Elders need to “be alert.” Elders must be constantly on the lookout for those who would divide, disrupt or otherwise disable the work of the church.
This is not easy to do. Again, when an Elder whiffs something in the air that might develop into something dangerous, we must act for the sake of the church, which was obtained by our Savior’s blood.
Naturally, there’s much more in this passage that could be addressed, but those two principles coincided and supplemented what we examined on Sunday from Titus 1, and I wanted to at least reveal these small nuggets for you to chew on.
Please, pray for the Elders.
Please, encourage them.
Please, respect them.
Please, thank God for giving us men who conform to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Please, help the Elders lead with joy and not with groaning.
We love you all and care deeply for your souls!
Limping, laboring and loving with you all,