With the continued spread of Covid-19, people spend more time online than ever before. It effects us all and grinds down on our faith as we can't meet face to face and can't hold each other for comfort. So a little to help in these regular articles here. We pray they help!
In most congregations, the majority of the members-only see and hear the preacher on Sunday and Wednesday. Two hours a week. How about the other 166 hours during the week? Where is the preacher? What is he doing? Some think he only has to work a couple of hours a week. Others, such as the elders and other leaders, know what he is doing, or should be doing, because of job assignments and accountability procedures.
The preacher wears many hats during the 166 hours he is not in the pulpit or classroom. He, even though it is not the context, applies Paul’s remarks, “… I have become all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Humorously, a preacher once wrote on an application in the space asking for his occupation, “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” There may be a speck of truth in his answer. Especially the reference to “Jack of all trades.” And yes, he is master of some.
During my 55 years of preaching, teaching preachers, and serving as an elder, I have worn and observed other preachers, wearing many hats. Here is a quick list of some of those hats.
These 25 examples are presented, not as criticisms, but as positive observations about the servant heart of preachers. However, on another note it may be observed that these may serve as reminders relative to why some preachers have experienced burnout. How do these observation relate to local preachers and educating the congregation?
J.J. Turner is the author of a book, “505 Observations about Preaching” (amazon. com).
The Bible continually encourages us to examine ourselves (Psa. 26:2; 1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5). Take a moment and examine your present total stewardship practices. Here is a chart covering most of the areas where we fulfill our stewardship responsibilities.
Using the numerical scale of 1—11, with #1 being the FIRST priority. Use # 2
thru # 11 to identify the following priorities based on your personal numerical ranking. (Review your last 3 months expenditures for proof)
__House mortgage payment
__Giving to the church
__Eating out and entertainment
__Utilities and house upkeep
__Savings and investments
How does your evaluation relate to “Seek the Kingdom first” (Matt. 6:33)?
__Not at all
Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and faded away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue (Job 14:1, 2).
These words spoken by Job centuries ago come tumbling down to us in cataclysmic proportions. The leader of the avalanche is the pandemic caused by the Corona Virus. As of this day, January 10, 2021, 377,000 people have died from the virus in the USA. I have had family members, brethren, friends, and acquaintances die from the virus. I’m thankful vaccines are being distributed and additional treatments are helping combat this enemy to health, the economy, and life. In deed we are living in “troublesome times.”
To speak on a sad note, I am deeply aware and concerned about the attitudes and actions some have toward wearing masks, social distancing, and limited gatherings. Even among some Christians there is a disregard for these guidelines; some have created division and spread of the virus to others or caused quarantines. One of the popular remarks made by the rejecters of guidelines is, “The government will not tell me what to do. If I choose not to wear a mask it’s my business not theirs.”
Talk about inconsistent! These same rejecters let the government tell them what to do about paying taxes, obeying traffic laws, taking oaths, sending children to school, etc. Then there are the Scriptures that tell us to pay our taxes, pray for rulers, obey the law, not to curse those in power, love our enemies, do good to all men, etc.
I think, at least for me, the relevant question relates to God. Is God interested in our health? Does He care about what happens to His children—you and me—health wise? My answer is YES. It is yes based of Scripture.
BASIC SCRIPTURES ABOUT GOD AND HEALTH
I don’t have the time and space to go into a deep and detailed presentation relative to what God has said about what we can classify as health concerns. Hopefully, what follows will be a door opener to a more in-depth study.
Here are 10, what I call, bedrock truths to base what will follow on:
JESUS’ CONCERN FOR HEALTH ISSUES
The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing and performing miracles. Each one should be studied in its context; however, for my purposes I simply want to call our attention to the fact that Jesus was concerned with the health problems of people; reinforcing the point that our heavenly Father is concerned too. Affirming we should be concerned too.
While these healings and miracles were designed to prove Jesus was the Son of God, they point to the fact that He was concerned about the life and health of others. We cannot heal or perform miracles but we can, and should, be concerned about the life and health of others. It’s the “Christ-like thing to do.
EXAMPLES OF HEALTH CONCERNS UNDER NEW COVENANT
Several times after the establishment of the church we see examples of health issues, concerns, and healings:
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES ON HEALTH
Romans 15:4: For WHATEVER things were WRITTEN before were written for OUR learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the SCRIPTURES have HOPE.
Paul affirmed that we can learn by studying the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, it is relevant and essential that we take a few minutes and read what God has said about health and related issues. The following are randomly selected passages that reveal God’s attitude toward our health, etc. (Please take time to read the Scriptures).
These things were written for our learning, not in order to “bind them as conditions of salvation”, but to educate us relative to what God has said about sickness, diseases, procedures, healing, death, etc. Therefore, I conclude that God is interested in our health. This is why as a steward of my body I will do everything in my power to protect my health and the health of those I am around.
Remember God’s desire for us under the New Covenant is: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in ALL THINGS and be in HEALTH, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).
Caesar is trying to help us be in “good health” by giving these rules:
Think about this. What if you had the virus, won’t wear a mask or observe social distancing and infected someone else and that person died, how would you feel?
As James commanded, we need to pray for wisdom (James 1:1-6).
As Paul commanded, we need to obey Caesar (Romans 13:1-7).
As Jesus affirmed, “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34, 35). YES! God cares about our health. Do I?
A. Passages from:
1. Proverbs 14:29; 15:1, 18; 16:32; 29:20.
2. James 1:19, 20.
3. Ephesians 4:26-31, 5:1 (20 Observations.)
4. Psalm 7:11; 78:48 (God’s anger).
5. Genesis 4:5, Cain killed his brother.
1. Passive Aggressive (indirect, subtle insults, insinuations).
2. Explosive Outburst (Sudden loss of control, “hot tempered”).
3. Harden Anger (Stuck in quicksand, chip on shoulder, can’t forgive).
4. Vengeful anger (Get back at person, even after years).
5. Chronic Anger (Will not let go, continual episodes, DSM mental illness, 2 month or more).
6. Incidental Anger (Not all negative, God allows emotional, motivated to deal with.)
7. Empathic Anger (On behalf of a wrong committed against another, arouses sense of caring).
8. God approved: “Be angry and sin not, don’t let sun go down on wrath.”
1. Starts with an event: (Anger Thermometer).
(a) May be a mental trigger of a memory….Thought fixation.
(b) May be something you see….media, home, neighborhood.
(c) May be a perceived violation of your “rights” (Traffic).
(d) May be a continual occurrence: home, work, school, etc.
2. Recognizing triggers:
(a) Know from past experience…button will trigger.
(b) Face starts getting warm.
(c) Heart rate increases.
(d) Sweaty palms, face, body.
(e) Raising of voice, cursing, yelling.
(f) Start throwing things, threating.
(g) Rush, stomp out, and kick stuff.
3. Start by admitting your worse anger issue:
(a) Confess it to God and to persons it affects.
(b) Study and meditate on Scriptures.
(c) Develop a plan to stay cool…count to 10, 100, etc.
(d) Do all you can to AVOID situation—eyes always open.