6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 31
John 10
Proverbs 7
Galatians 6

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Truly I tell you, anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:1-5 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

As I write this, I’m still reflecting on my time with some pastors this afternoon. We talked about how we were leading our churches to respond to our current crisis, we prayed together, and then we ate together.

My own Baptist Association (South Florida Baptist Association) is served well by men like them!

Sure, pastors are concerned about whether they will continue to be able to financially take care of their family.

But what I heard from the group of pastors today was also a passionate desire to care for the folks in their congregations. They spoke of church members and specific needs that had arisen in some of their church family over the last 24 hours. They even told of a pastor whose primary task is to minister to the homeless … and it’s almost a given that he will get infected with the coronavirus … and he already has some serious medical problems.

In the verses that I have chosen for today, we read of the kind of pastors that I met with today. They are men who love their “sheep” and are willing to give up much of what they could claim as their rights.

In fact, if something were to threaten to hurt their congregations, they aren’t going to run. Instead, they are going to courageously position themselves to protect their flocks … even though there are folks in every congregation who wouldn’t dare do that for their pastor.

Folks, we are in uncharted territory right now. With a pandemic sweeping our world, and with anxiety (and some hysteria) characterizing so many in our world, pastors are leading their congregations into uncharted territories.

Will their churches survive? Will the church continue to do its God-ordained mission? Will they (the pastor and his family and their staff) financially survive? Only time will tell.

Friend, this is a time to be in prayer for your pastor. This is a time to lift them before the throne of grace. It’s easy to pastor and lead when things are going well but these are difficult days that require courageous, wise leadership. So, pray for your pastor and let him know of your support.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I pray for the man You have seen fit to lead our congregation. While I may not agree with every decision he makes, I trust that he is staying at Your feet. I pray that he is regularly at Your throne relying upon You to give him the ability to lead our congregation. He will need Your grace and my support to weather this storm. I commit right here and now that I will do my part in being an Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12-13), lifting up his hands when he grows weary so that we can emerge victorious when this storm has passed. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash