FIRST RESPONDERS

by Pastor Jessica Baker on March 23rd, 2018

Have you ever been in a real emergency?  I mean the kind of emergency that makes you dial 911?  If you have, then you probably have a sense of tremendous gratefulness for First Responders!  They are some of the most amazing people in the world.  They will pull you from a burning car, run in to a burning building, stand in between you and gunfire, and administer CPR for you to have life.  All of us should thank God everyday for people who are willing to place themselves even in harm's way if need be to rescue us!

​I have noticed something very interesting about this type of person -- they are not typically going to be the ones that have lengthy conversations with you about your emotions at the time of emergency or even your opinion of the way you should be rescued.  They are what I call "in the zone!"  They are completely focused on what needs to take place in order to ensure your safety -- whether it hurts your feelings or not!  I don't know about you, but I am thankful that they stay on point!

​Isn't it like this in the body of Christ?  Aren't ministers like these first responders for us spiritual speaking?  How many emergencies have we had that an ambulance, tourniquet or ventilator could not fix, but the Word of God through our Pastor swept in and rescued us?  Ministers are God's men and women on the job, and are just as amazing as those who come to our physical rescue.  They, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have the responsibility of rescuing humanity from things that are unseen.  They are called of God to rush into the fire of life if need be, and pull us out of our destruction!  We place too much weight on whether or not they shook our hand on Sunday.  It is time for all of us to recognize the blessing that they are and thank God that they keep their focus!

​Just as our first responders have to answer for the way they administer care to those who have been hurt, ministers of the Gospel have to answer to God for the administering of His Word for the care of His people. He is going to ask questions like, "Did you tell them the truth?  Did you tell them that I have come that they might have life?  Did you stand in the way of the destruction of sin?  Did you deliver my unfailing Word so that their hearts could be healed?  Did you feed my sheep?"  When the five-fold leadership of the church stands before God, He is not going to ask if they did a good job pleasing people, but He is going to require an account of what they did with His Word​.

​In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  Peter said, "Lord you know I do!"  Jesus' response is very interesting, He says, "then feed my sheep."  One of the greatest expressions of love that your Pastor or any other minister of the Gospel can give to the Lord is His attention to delivering the Word of God to us so that we might grow.  Just as we should be thankfully praying for the strength of our community first responders, how much more should we pray for the strength of our Pastors? 

In Romans 15:30-32, the Apostle Paul asked for the church to pray for Him.  He asked them to pray specifically that he would be filled with joy and be refreshed.   It is time to change our perspective about our Pastors and begin to daily thank God for them and pray for them.  We are much better off,  when our Shepherds -- our spiritual First Responders --  are full of joy, refreshed and focused -- in the zone -- doing what they need to do to provide for our spiritual growth, safety and rescue!


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