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July 30 Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 1-3
“Pastors According to Mine Heart”
God’s prophet Isaiah warned us (Isaiah 56:9-12), as we are repeatedly warned throughout the Book of God, to “beware of dogs,” false prophets. They are called dogs, because they are vile and unclean, and because, like male prostitutes (Deuteronomy 23:18), they hire themselves out to the service of the flesh. Isaiah told us that all false prophets are “beasts” who devour and blind ignorant, dumb, sleeping, greedy dogs, whose only concern is the gratification of their own lusts.
Here the Lord God, our heavenly Father, promises that he will give his church pastors according to his own heart. That means he will give his church pastors as he sees fit, and pastors who will serve the good of those people he so dearly loves. Those men God gives to his church as pastors, according to his own heart, “Shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Here are three things that characterize every God called, Spirit anointed, heavenly ordained pastor.
A Faithful Man
Every true pastor is a faithful man. Without question, if a man is called of God to the work of the gospel ministry, he will be faithful in the work. His life and conduct will reflect his steadfastness, commitment, and faithfulness to Christ. He will faithfully seek the glory of God, faithfully study and prepare to preach the Word of God, faithfully seek the welfare of God’s people, and faithfully preach the gospel of Christ. He will be faithful to Christ, to the Word, to the church, and to his own conscience. No man should be set apart for the gospel, until he has proven himself to be a faithful man (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
A Fallible Man
Every true, faithful servant of God is also a fallible, sinful man. The apostles and prophets of old were themselves only frail, fallible, sinful men. They were infallible in the writing of Holy Scripture, as they were carried along by God the Holy Spirit. But they were not perfect men. Moses smote the Rock in anger. Peter took a cussing fit and denied the Lord. All the apostles forsook Christ for a while. Paul and Barnabas had a terrible fight over John Mark. And you can be sure every pastor will have many faults. Those who want to find fault with any can easily do so.
Yet, every true pastor is God’s ambassador, God’s servant, God’s messenger. He is to be loved, cared for, respected, and obeyed as God’s representative in his church. I often hear people say, “I do not follow any man.” If you follow God, you will follow that man who speaks for God. You will not err by following a faithful pastor. God commands you to do so!
Blessed heavenly Father, how I thank you for sending me a faithful pastor, a pastor according to your heart to feed me with knowledge and understanding by the gospel of your dear Son. O my God, make me such a pastor! And we beg of you in this dark hour, God of all grace, raise up and give to your church many pastors according to your heart for the furtherance of your gospel, the salvation and edification of your elect, and the glory of your dear Son. Amen.