Micah

Tuesday Devotional: Micah 3

bibleMicah 3:11

Her leaders judge for a bribe,
her priests teach for a price,
and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No disaster will come upon us.”

The church is not safe from sin.  In fact, just as the church has the most potential to do good for the Kingdom of God it is often the most susceptible to attack from the enemy in the form of worldly temptations.  Viewing church as a haven from sinful activity or protection from sin is misunderstands the church altogether.  The church is a place where believers can gather to pray, worship and learn in unison with the shared belief that drawing closer to God through Jesus Christ is our only hope in this world.  However, as believers gather at church to pray, sin is still there.  As believers gather at church to worship, sin is still there.  As believers gather at church to learn, sin is still there.

Never be deceived that simply attending church protects you from sin.  Never be deceived that becoming a leader, elder, deacon or pastor of a church removes you from sinful motivations, intentions and activity.  If the church is often a target of the enemy to thwart the spread of the Gospel, it stands to reason that her leaders, especially the pastors and priests, are at the focal point of those attacks.

Pray for your leaders.  Pray for your pastors.  They are fighting a fight that many will never know or understand. It will be as a result of your offensive and defensive prayers on their behalf that they will ever bear fruit in their respective ministries.  They need your help, your fellowship, prayers, and guidance.  The temptation of a pastor is to seek the approval of a congregation before the approval of God.   The temptation of a pastor is to seek the success and growth of a ministry rather than the quality of disciples being developed.

Church leaders need to be the first to serve, to listen, to learn and to repent.  Becoming a leader is not the sign that you’ve arrived.  It is an opportunity to lead on behalf of God Himself, at the tip of the spear, pursuing the presence of the living God by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the direction of God’s Holy Scriptures.   A leader/disciple professes to the congregation that God is the ultimate judge and we are all convicted equally by our sin.  A leader/disciple teachers with the guidance of the Holy Spirit as Counselor and holds the line of truth found only in God’s words.  A leader/disciple acknowledges the omniscient and sovereign authority of God alone to know where we are headed in the future and what we will do.  A leader/disciple also reveals to the congregation that suffering is not only imminent but is the sign that Jesus Christ is truly living in us.

The temptation to stray from God’s presence is as much a threat to the pastor and leader as it is to the average churchgoer.  Do not be deceived.  God is with us but so is sin and the only defense we have against the attacks of the enemy is to cling to the Holy words of God and to always demand truth from those privileged enough to be His ministers of truth in this world.

 

 

Tuesday Devotional: Micah 2

bibleRead Micah 2:1-5

Within man is a yearning for harmony among all people.  In each of us there resides a sweet delight in witnessing peace, love and joy spread through communities, uniting groups that once stood at odds with one another.  Love in the heart of man is a pure and powerful force, but only when being used for the betterment of others.  If the same heart is used to empower or benefit the individual at the cost of others, this purity and power can quickly become more corrupt than anything we know.  This delicate balance between beauty and corruption is affected by how much attention we give to our own gain.  When we serve self, each new day is full of anxious anticipation on how to more effectively gain what we wish.  When we serve self, we treat the consequences of our actions on those around us flippantly, as long as our goals have been achieved.  From this perspective, the “self-made” man is a delusional and utterly fictitious view of self. Over time, with any level of success, serving self feeds the pride within the heart of man, leaving no room for correction, no room for competition and no room for a God who is ultimately in control.  The truth of the matter is that while man can achieve “greatness” in this world, man-made success pales in comparison to the consistent successes of the word of God.  There was a time when we were not, and God was.  There will be a time when we will cease to be, and God will remain.  The ways of man have the potential to create greatness in unity with others.   However, in seeking and serving the selfish nature of our hearts we delude ourselves in believing that our ways our unshakable and everlasting.  The ways of man are not represented by these words.  The ways of God are, and always will be.