Summary: Pastor’s Appreciation Sermon
I. Israel attacked by the Amalekites.
(A) Amalek was the grandson of Esau. Full of the hate of his forefathers. So the Amalekites, who were actually Israel’s family, came to fight with Israel. The book of Deuteronomy tells us that the attacked the “hindmost…even all that were feeble…” Stragglers are always a temptation to the foe. I think I’ll stay with the church, close to the man of God, close to the cloud!
(B) We do not get to heaven without being interrupted. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We fight against Satan, sickness, wickedness, and the perverseness of this old world.
(C) But we have something else in common with the Israelites. When they were slaves in Egypt, they did not fight. God fought for them and freed them from their bondage. Now they fought. Not as slaves versus a ruler, but as free men versus a foe. We were once bound by sin, but Christ fought and won our freedom, so now we fight as free men and women.
(D) But Satan is fighting a losing battle.
II. In this battle, there were actually two fights taking place.
(A) Joshua-service: in the plain by fighting men
(B) Moses-service: on a hill by the man of God
(C) We have need of both.
III. Joshua service- Moses told Joshua,” Choose us out men to go out and fight with Amalek.”
(A) Every believer should be a soldier in God’s army.
(B) In all holy service, willingness to be led is very important point. Soldiers without discipline become a mob, not an army.
IV. Moses service- Moses climbed the mountainside where he could see the conflict. There he lifted up the rod of God.
(A) Hands up versus hands down. The scales of the conflict were in the hands of Moses.
(B) The service of Moses lay in very close communication with God.
(C) If God gives you the power to lead in Christian work; the condition of the leadership is often costly.
(D) In this hallowed service, help is precious.
(E) Charles Spurgeon said,” Have you a leader fit to lead you? Bring a stone and put under him; cheer his heart with some gracious promise from God’s word, or with some happy sign from the work itself. Cheer the good man as much as possible!”
V. In the Bible we are commanded…”Bear ye one another’s burdens.”
(A) A pastor can always use some Aarons and Hurs! Someone to hold his arms up when they get a little tired. Someone to stand beside him when he has been fasting and praying for the members your family! Someone to encourage, give some confidence, treat him with respect…these are the works that the laity of church should be doing.
(B) Statistics of those in the ministry.
* 75% are in an emotional crisis due to stress. (Focus on the Family Survey)
* 80% percent feel that the ministry has had a negative effect on their families. (Sunscape Ministries)
* 1600 to 2100 ministers per month resign their pulpit or leave the ministry.
(C) Church, you may never see the strain or the stress that your pastor and his wife may be under, but I can promise you that it is there. The burden that God has given him for you is not always an easy thing to carry. But you have a shepherd, not a hireling!
(D) You need to encourage him! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! We don’t want you to give in. We don’t want you to compromise. We’ll stand behind you. We’ll be right here.
(E) “ Moses, I don’t know where you are going but you are God’s man and I will follow you as you follow Him. Because I remember when we were in bondage and you came to Egypt and spoke for God on our behalf. You could have stayed in the desert tending sheep but you didn’t. I remember when we got discouraged at the Red Sea, but you prayed to God and he made a way for us!”
(F) How encouraging it would be to your pastor to hear you say,” Bro. Steve, it isn’t very comfortable when you step on my toes, or when you urge me to prayer, but I know you have heard from God and I will follow your lead. I won’t get mad when I disagree with you. Because I remember when I was low and about to lose my mind and God gave you a word for me. I remember when you were there at 5 in the morning for my surgery, or by my side when I lost a loved one, and I will follow you as you follow Christ!”