26th October 2011

Clergy Appreciation Month

 “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
Matthew 4:11 (NKJV) 

As I was praying this morning a few thoughts went flashing through my mind.  In the USA, October is Clergy Appreciation Month, and I began to wonder how do I treat those I am called to serve and with whom I fellowship ?  Do I/we as leaders show appreciation as we should in the Church of God? 

While still praying, certain words and scriptures flooded my thoughts, and I was reminded of the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness.  More questions came to my mind. Do I tempt, tease (in a negative way) or torment the flock of Christ or other people? 

My thoughts saddened me as, all too often in the past, that is what I may have done.  Yet, my desire remains to be like the angels who came and ministered to Jesus at the end of this desert episode.  Then my spirits were lifted as I remembered that this is a new day, I am a new person in Christ and filled with the Spirit.  Then right on cue I got a beautiful message, in text speak, from a friend saying, “Good mornin my mind run on u hop ur ok? Its bn awhile but bi Gods grace am still ere. Hop ur family is well? Tak care…” 

Quite dramatically my prayer changed and the emphasis was taken away from the negative and my personal failings.  Like Jesus, I was not not relying on myself, my reasoning or the smooth hissing words of the Serpent.  Instead, in a spirit of praise and thankfulness I prayed with singing in my soul, that through what God has given me I will encourage, that I will be a helper of joy and that I will be a source of inspiration. 

Yes, each day I will be tried and tested.  All too often I may not live up to my calling and the hope in my heart.  But thanks be to Jesus, the perfect example, I can call on Him who loves, cares and is ready to help on every occasion no matter how I may feel.  So today I can better appreciate what He has done, what He wants me to do and, importantly, who He wants me to be. 

So this Clergy Appreciation Month God is still actively working in His Church, your life and mine.  If you will permit a few ‘text messages’ from a friend in heaven. 

1)   We are all created in the image of God, so help us to respect others.
2)   Minister (serve) others right here and now when help is most needed.
3)   We are in an awesome relationship with God and part of His world changing community. 

Prayer
Thank you, Father, for the spirit of appreciation you have given to us.  Help us today to use our minds to praise you and find creative ways to serve others. In Jesus name.
Amen
 

Study by David Gibbs

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