The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’

Revival

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 19, 2008

WHAT IS IT? DO WE NEED IT? HOW CAN WE GET IT?

How would YOU answer these questions? I think before we can understand what revival IS, we must understand what revival IS NOT. Revival is not a series of evangelistic meetings. Revival is not an emotional experience that’s soon forgotten. Revival is not a popular fad or wave of change that comes and goes. None of this is revival. So what is it?

Revival defined by Webster is a restoration from a depressed, inactive, or unused state; the restoring of force or validity. With me personally, I’d like to think of revival as a rekindling of God’s fire in my heart. I’d like to think that when my heart doesn’t burn brightly for God as it once did and I catch myself just going through the motions and viewing my service more as duty than dedication and devotion, then I am primed for a personal revival. This is how I know I need revival. And to be honest with you, my reader, as I write this, I humbly confess that I need a personal revival…how about you? If you don’t, please pray for me; and if you are in need of a personal revival, let me know and I promise to pray for you.

How can we get revival? It can only come from God, and I believe God will only give us a true revival when we are truly determined to get it from God! 2 Chron 7:14, a very familiar but [I believe] applicable verse for our answer of “how can we get it“, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Did you notice God said, “IF…THEN”. God is a God of conditions. God WILL hear from Heaven, God WILL forgive sin, and God WILL heal the land IF God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wickedness. God will take you and me from a depressed, inactive and “just going through the motions” state and restore us – revive us – IF we would humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. How bad do YOU want revival?

How do you know you’ve had revival from the Lord? Let me just briefly touch on 3 ways:

#1: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW ATTITUDE

You’re “I” problem must go away. You need to have J.O.Y. again – that’s Jesus, Others, and then You. You must see the lost just like the Lord Jesus sees them – with compassion and as sheep having no shepherd…hopeless without God.

#2: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW ENTHUSIASM

You won’t “have to” read your Bible and pray…You’ll “want to” read your Bible and pray. You may just start singing those old hymns…in the shower! You’ll look forward to telling others of the Saviour. You just may add “AMEN” and “HALLELUJAH” to your vocabulary…and rejoicing will become a must!

#3: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW DETERMINATION

How determined are you to serve God? How determined are you to find out and follow what God says? How determined are you to be determined to do right?

IS REVIVAL NEEDED AMONG THE CHILDREN OF GOD? Many today who claim the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ have become complacent, volatile, inflammatory, lethargic, self-righteous, apathetic, self-centered, and accusatory. Many have become outright sinful and couldn’t care less about it!  Nuff said.

Ps 85:6, “Wilt thou [LORD] not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

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Everyone Teach Someone

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 4, 2008

The title of this post was born from 2 Timothy 2:1-4, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. [vs2] And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [vs3] Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. [vs4] No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

The Book of 2 Timothy is Paul’s farewell and final epistle in the Bible. Now there are many interesting things about this Book, but did you know that there are TWENTY-NINE different people named in this Book? Most of these named were a blessing unto Paul, and the thought of these ones ought to remind us that God does His work through people.

In my last post, Witnessing IS NOT a gift, I stated that “no one is excluded from being a vocal witness for Christ“. It is our responsibility to not only be a vocal witness for Christ, but it is also our responsibility to teach others the things that have been committed to us.

It’s not only, Everyone REACH Someone, but it’s also, Everyone TEACH Someone!!!

In our Scripture text above, we know this is the Apostle Paul speaking to Timothy. Paul called Timothy, “my own son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2). Timothy grew up with strong Christian influences in his mother [Eunice] and grandmother [Lois] (2 Tim 1:5; 3:15). Although these influences were vital to Timothy, I believe he was lead to the Lord by Paul, his “father in the faith“.

Paul not only was the one to reach Timothy, he also would be the one to teach Timothy. Paul taught Timothy, and Timothy was supposed to commit what was taught to him to faithful men who would teach others also. WOW! WHAT A GREAT EXAMPLE AND MODEL FOR ALL OF US TO APPLY!

As a laborer for our Lord and Saviour, it is your responsibility to do your very best with God’s help in teaching someone else who will then be able and go teach someone else. Just look at your own life in Christ. Is there a hand print of others in your life who have made an impact, a difference, and an investment? I truly believe all of us who name the Precious Name of Jesus can say with affection, “YES”. So then let me ask you this: Are you investing your life in the life of someone else?

This PRINCIPLE again is found in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” It is essential that you and I pass on to someone else the things that we’ve learned of God. As someone once said, “Those who know must tell those who do not know“.

But be aware, for in teaching someone else, there is always a PRICE to pay: [vs3] “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Time, effort, prayer, expenses, and sacrifices are just some of the costs of teaching God’s Truth to someone else. It’s not easy – it’s hard. This is why many believers just aren’t teaching or aren’t being taught. Having a godly heritage to go on after us demands a price to be paid. Question is: Are YOU willing to pay the price?

If you’re willing, then you’ll be thankful to know that there’s only One PERSON to please! [vs4] “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” This PERSON is the One who has chosen us to be His soldiers – the Lord Jesus Christ! Keep your eyes upon Jesus. Why will you follow this principle laid out by Paul for Timothy and for us? You want to please the Lord Jesus. Why will you invest so much, even your whole life in the life of someone else and pay the price? You want to please the Lord Jesus.

Friends, Jesus is why everyone should teach someone! Take your eyes of yourself and the seemingly monumental tasks of teaching, training, and the discipleship of others, and turn your eyes upon Jesus. Know that God does His work through people and He is pleased when you and I commit what has been taught to us to faithful men who will then teach others also.

DEDICATE TO DISCIPLE!

And it will surprise you what the Lord will do!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Pastoral Authority

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 1, 2008

One of the most misunderstood aspects in true, New Testament Baptist Churches today is that of Pastoral authority. This “misunderstanding” has surfaced for several reasons…here’s just some:
 
1.  The way many of our churches operate has changed

Churches have become social clubs and the mission has changed.  Instead of trying to win souls, feed saints, and glorify God, there are those churches who have evolved into entertainment centers for the unsaved and carnal members.
 
2.  The “chain of command” in our churches has changed.

Many churches have become prototypes of other denominational churches that are operated by deacon and trustee boards.  Many of these churches are characterized by “mob rule” and not “pastor-led”.
 
3.  Many Pastors in our churches keep changing on a regular basis.

Some are voted out by the “once a year” evaluation of the Pastor’s ministry while many have Pastors who change churches more often than they change automobiles. God gets the blame for most of these moves when, in reality, it is because of either better salary and benefits or the Pastor has used up most of his sermons. When a Pastor believes it is the will of God to leave a church, it ought also to be the will of God for him to be honest with his present church and let them know BEFORE he goes.
 
4.  The respect for the Office of Pastor in churches has degenerated.

The Office of Pastor has been brought down to a “supervisory” status, and we all know who most everyone complains about the “boss!” Pastors are now spoken to on a first-name basis instead of “Preacher” or “Pastor” I would never call my Pastor by his first name – it’s just respect.
 
5.  The Office of Pastor has been corrupted by hirelings.

God-called men are getting fewer and further between.  Men of character, conviction, compassion, and call once filled Independent Baptist pulpits. Has there been a change in the “quality” of men in the ministry? Are men standing for the things of God like our Baptist forefathers?
 
IT WOULD SEEM TODAY… 
Many church members do not want a Pastor. They want a preacher to give a generic, “offend no one” message, and visit the hospitals and funeral homes.  They want preachers who are “Yes-Men” and obedient to the will of the people.  But God-called Pastors have God given authority.

1 Peter 5:2, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind”

Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent!  He is not a volunteer! He is not self-elevated to the office! The Pastor is God-selected, God-called, God-anointed, God-equipped, God-led, God-chastened, and GOD-PROTECTED!

Listen…if a Pastor is worth his weight in salt, that man IS NOT trying to be “lord” over you: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” [1 Pet 5:3]. He is trying to fulfil his God-given responsibility and calling…he’s trying to complete and edify you [Eph 4:12] and bring you into the unity of the faith [Eph 4:13]. Do you have a problem with that?

Is there a problem with Pastoral authority in the church in which you are a member? Why…and with whom does the problem lie?

Posted in Devotional Thoughts, Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

Defining Success

Posted by Pastor Szekely on July 28, 2006

How should the people of God define success? Today in what’s called “contemporary ministry philosophy”, success is defined by how large a church is, by multimillion-dollar facilities, spas, handball courts, day-care centers, and so on. But as statistics show, not even one church in a thousand falls into this category.

This ought to tell us one of two things: either most churches are and have been pitiful failures, or the gauge of success in ministry must be something besides a material prosperity. So the question is, “How should the people of God define success”? Should external factors and criteria even be a gauge of success in the ministry for God?

Now the world, and unfortunately contemporary ministry philosophy, says that prosperity, power, prominence, and popularity would be some good gauges of success. But what does God say? “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” 2 Tim 4:2-5.

God says that real success is not “results at any cost”, but it is doing God’s will regardless of the consequences. Let’s not change!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »