Summary: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Pastor's Appreciation.
Pastor’s Appreciation LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
It is love to the highest degree. M.H.
Amplified Version John 15:13 No one has greater love--no one has shown stronger affection--than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
I. THE UNDER-SHEPHERD --- The man who is laying down his life.
Paraphrased Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as our Pastor also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
No, his sacrifice is not redemptive as was Christ's, but it is an "offering and a sacrifice to God."
II. THE FRIENDS --- are they who have been given unto his care. You are "his friends."
A. They are the sick and afflicted who have come for healing and comfort.
B. They are the hungry who have come for food.
C. They are the naked who have come for clothing.
D. They are the lost who by his ministry and sacrifice
have found their way to the cross and the Christ of Calvary.
III. IN WHAT WAYS has he "lay down his life for his friends? ( What life?)
A. Leaving secular employment with its steady pay-check and benefits such as medical
insurance and retirement. We call it making a living. ( God has blessed him for
B. Spending time with and for the "friends" instead of with his wife.
C. Spending time with and for the "friends" instead of with his sons.
D. Spending time with and for the "friends" instead of with his grandchildren.
And without complaining about it.
IV. THE DIFFICULTY OF PASTORING TODAY
Your pastor does not need sympathy. He does not need a "pastor appreciation day" [ as much as we do] with lemonade and handshakes or another plaque on the wall. What he needs and desperately craves is understanding and love and prayer. He needs you to do your job well, to be faithful. He needs you to attend church business meetings and to speak up. And if you think he's doing a good job, he'd a hundred times rather you would say it to another member or to someone in the community than to him personally. That way it blesses the work of the Lord, and when it eventually gets back to him, as it will, it carries a greater weight of authenticity. Then, it blesses him in a far greater proportion than if you had simply told him and let it go at that.
Elders who rule well, particularly those who preach and teach the Word, are worthy of twice the honor of any other leader. Paul said that in I Timothy 5:17. The pastors I know do not seek double the honor of anybody in the church or out of it. However, we in the church could easily give them twice the honor they have received heretofore without hurting ourselves, or corrupting them or coming close to meeting the standard of I Timothy 5:17.
Taken from Pulpit Helps August 1999, pg 14.
A PREACHER'S PREDICAMENT
A man had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He could receive little company and was not to be excited. While in the hospital, a rich uncle died and left him a million dollars. His family wondered how to break the news to him with the least amount of excitement. It was decided to ask the preacher if he would go and break the news quietly to the man.
The preacher went, and gradually led up to the question. The preacher asked the patient what he would do if he inherited a million dollars. He said, "I think I would give half of it to the church."
The preacher dropped dead.
A Treasure of Bible Illustrations pg 249
FIVE WAYS TO GET RID OF YOUR PASTOR
1. Sit up front, smile and say "amen" every time he says something good. He will preach himself to death.
2. Pat him on the back and tell him what good work he is doing in the church and community. He will
work himself to death.
3. Increase your offering in the church. Then he will suffer from shock.
4. Tell him you have decided to join the visitation group and win souls for the Lord. He will probably
suffer a heart attack.
5. Get the whole church to band together and pray for him. He will get so efficient that some other church will hear about him and give him a call. That will take him off your hands.
A Treasure of Bible Illustrations pg 250