What’s your favorite radio station? Do you prefer talk shows, call in shows, news, sports, public services or religious programing? We all have our favorites.
Regardless of our various likes and dislikes there is a station that each of us tunes in to quite frequently, WIIFM. We all want to know the answer to the question, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
All this month, I have honed in on the clergy appreciation theme. Now I feel the need to challenge you to let your demonstrative acts of appreciation leak over into the rest of the year.
I dare not request anything from you without giving you a why. Why should you honor your pastor and shower his family with love? What’s in it for you?
In the gospel according to Matthew chapter 10 we hear Jesus instructing these new believers when he sends them out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Jesus deployed them to hazardous duty.
Jesus issued these travelers some alerts and warnings.
He shared that when they preached the truth, they should expect ridicule, slander, persecution, trouble with civil authorities and more than likely, their families would betray them. It would not be an easy journey.
Jesus then shares a very important concept.
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
I’m sure this was a hard concept to conceive. It is incomprehensible. But God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9) Jesus wanted his protégés to know that he alone would take care of them. He already had a plan in place for their provisions.
God would touch the heart of lay people to care for God’s messengers. It’s his Mode of operation. He used a raven to carry Elijah meals on wings and the widow of Zirapheth fed him her last meal. Both instances occurred during a famine. (I Kings 17)
The widow woman’s obedience to God and the prophet were rewarded. She and her son had a surplus of food for the rest of the famine due to her selfless act of feeding the prophet.
When we sustain the preacher, God sustains us!
God has promised that he will reserve a reward for those who take care of his messengers. I don’t know about you but when I think about a reserve, I imagine something like Fort Knox. A place that is fortified to protect its treasure from the adversary.
Why would Jesus lay up a reward for us in a reserve?
Because whoever receives God’s word through his messenger and receives that messenger in his home for encouragement and refreshment is not doing it to the messenger but unto Jesus himself.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:40-42 NKJV
There is your why! Blessing the man of God is blessing Jesus.
In the same way Jesus vicariously died on the cross in our place, we show him our gratitude by blessing his representative here on earth.
As we end our discussion on appreciating the clergy and blessing his family, keep it in perspective. It’s not really about your pastor or his family, he’s just the representative. It’s about Jesus!
Who are you honoring?
When was the last time you blessed God’s representative in a demonstrative way?
Do you participate in negative speech about your pastor and the members of his family?
Do you withhold opportunities to bless your pastor?
Do you pray for your pastor and his family or do you prey on them?
Have you opened your doors, your resources, our time to the pastor in a way that would bless him and add to the treasures that God has reserved for you?