Daily Devotional for Sunday April 19, 2020
A sad commentary on so many pastors and Christian leaders right from God's Word!
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Father, give me a passion for Your Word. Give me a desire each day to read and consume Your precious Word that really is a lamp unto my feet and a guide for my life. I pray each day that I cannot just be a consumer of Your Word, but a DOER of Your Word. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
***LIVEPRAYER CHURCH!!! Haven't been to church yet this week? Join me for this week's service at the LivePrayer Church. This week’s message is: “The Great 'NOs' in the Bible!” Please visit the website at: http://liveprayerchurch.com and be part this week’s worship service. Each Sunday there will be a new service at 12:01am EDT
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Not surprising, but the media used Easter Sunday to disparage and attack a true man of God., Dr. Robert Jeffress the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Dallas. For those who may not know, First Baptist Dallas is one of the top churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. For 5 decades it was led by a the great pastor W.A. Criswell. His wife Betty taught a Sunday School class at First Baptist for 70 years that often had 5,000 people in attendance. It is truly one of America’s great churches. CNN for example, targeted Dr. Jeffress for condemnation due the simple fact that because of the nationwide shutdown, President Trump chose to attend First Baptists Easter Service online. So because Dr. Jeffress simply preaches the Bible and espouses standard Christian orthodoxy, he was vilified as being homophobic, an Islamophobe, anti-woman for advocating for the life of the unborn, and hate monger for taking a stand against same-sex marriage. These are the standard criticisms I have personally received over the 21 years of Liveprayer, and why I have been listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map for the past 12 years along with true hate groups who advocate for violence like the KKK, skinheads, neo-Nazis, and New Black Panthers to name a few. The beliefs Dr. Jeffress advocates are simple Biblical Truths that all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ believe. So in essence, CNN and media demonize and depict as bigots and haters apx. 40% of the nation who may not be born-again Biblical Christians, but do hold to these traditional beliefs rooted in the truth of God’s Word. It is always a great day for the media when they cannot just attack President Trump, their 24/7 agenda, but lambaste, mock, demean, and ridicule the beliefs of Christians!
*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm
"The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them." Ezekiel 34:1-6
A sad commentary on so many pastors and Christian leaders right from God's Word. Last week I was doing some study in the Book of Ezekiel. In reading through some passages, I came across these first 6 verses in Ezekiel 34. As I read these words, I could only think that this was the sad description of so many pastors and Christian leaders today.
50 years ago, you could sit in the pew of most any church of any denomination and hear the Truth of God's Word. Those pastors and the men and women God raised up on the national scene were men and women who would never compromise the Truth of the Bible and understood their only mission was to bring the lost to Christ.
Fast forward to the year 2020 and you have entire denominations of pastors who don't even preach, teach or believe the Bible. It is questionable if many pastors were ever "called" and are even saved. Those who have risen up into national prominence are more worried about selling books, having the newest private jet, building bigger buildings, and living like the rulers of small nations rather than preaching the unadulterated Truth of the Bible and leading the lost to faith in Jesus Christ.
When these are the men and women leading the people, why are we surprised that many who sit in the pews of the nation’s churches on Sunday aren't even saved, don't accept the Bible as Absolute Truth and our only authority, and the majority of the ones who do lead weak and ineffective lives. That is why I encourage people all the time to seek out a pastor who is a true shepherd.
That is increasingly difficult today, but there are still many men of God who have not bowed their knee to Baal and are not the shepherds described in Ezekiel 34. Sunday is the day most Christians go to church. It is the only time most of you ever see your pastor, and that is usually from your seat in the sanctuary as he leads the worship service and preaches the message.
Having preached in over 500 churches of every denomination nationwide, I can honestly tell you that for most pastors, Sunday morning is their favorite day of the week and the one day they usually feel their work for God really has some meaning. You can never know the pressure most pastors are under. If it was only getting up on Sunday morning and being the "man of God" it would be wonderful, but that is not reality.
It is a 7-day a week, 24-hour a day calling. Many have outside jobs. There is the constant pressures of raising the budget, dealing with the interpersonal problems that always exist when you have a group of people, overseeing the political infighting that often occurs, on top of the spiritual requirements of shepherding the flock, having an anointed word each week for the various services, and other requirements the office of pastor carries with it.
My prayer for you today is to support your pastor. Pray for your pastor each day. John 10 gives us the picture of the ideal pastor. Pray that your pastor will be able to tear away from the distractions of this world to be the shepherd described in John 10. God has placed that pastor in your life to guide you, spiritually nurture you, and have spiritual leadership over your life.
Do all you can to show your love and appreciation for all your pastor does for you, most of which you may not even recognize. Also, God has placed your pastor in your life for spiritual leadership. When you come into times of crisis, don't hesitate to go to your pastor. That is ultimately why they are there, to help you and guide you through those difficult times in your life.
I love you and care about you so much. I pray for you daily. Sadly, today there are too many pastors and Christian leaders who fall into the description found in Ezekiel 34. It makes the work that much more difficult when you have people running around calling themselves Christians, but supporting sins like abortion, homosexuality, the destruction of God's plan for the family. You have others who think there is nothing wrong with belonging to a cult or false religions and they have bought the universalistic lie from hell that everyone will get to Heaven.
Let this message today be a remember to lift up your pastor in prayer and recognize him for all he does for your life. God has called His sheep to be obedient and obey those in spiritual authority. Take inventory and see if you are fulfilling this admonition, and ask God to help you. He loves you so much, that he has placed your pastor in your life to shepherd you and guide you in your spiritual journey. Show your love for Him today by praying for and supporting your pastor.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,