Thursday Thoughts

Due Respect

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.

1 Thessalonians 5:12,13a

No matter what congregation or fellowship you belong to, each will have a leadership team. You may know them as Elders, Pastors, Overseers or Ministers, but regardless of their title, they are all shepherds of God’s people.

The Lord Jesus presented himself as the Good Shepherd, primarily because it was a concept that the people of the day could relate to very easily. He also uses this visual because of the sheep. There is a misconception that sheep are daft, but those who rear them and research them will tell you that they are intelligent, emotional and complex. That being said, they cannot care for themselves completely and need someone to look out for them and lead them.

The shepherd invests his time and energy into the care of his flock. He makes sure they have good pasture to feed on and water to drink. He watches over those who wander and ensures that they stay clear of danger.

Just as Jesus instructed Peter to “Feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep”, our church leaders have been called by God to do the same. They labour among you and are over you in the Lord. It is their charge to instruct us in the Word and to guide us in the ways of the Lord. Within their authority they have a responsibility to correct wrong thinking and to lead us away from dangerous paths. They dedicate their lives for our benefit and they deserve our utmost respect. So, pray for those who lead us and teach us. They commit their time to expound God’s word in order that we might grow and mature spiritually.

As those who lead us faithfully guide us week by week, let us also faithfully lift them up before God that they would be blessed and continually refreshed.

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