I felt led of the Lord to basically address the same subject as yesterday. I hope I’m right. Because we are human, it is very easy to place too much importance on things that really are not. I was reminded of that fact a few days ago when a church member called me to ask who was scheduled to preach on Sunday. As many of you know, our church has the unique distinction of having five pastors, all of which are actively involved in preaching and teaching in English and Spanish. I have thought in the past of posting our schedule in advance so that our members would always know who’s next but I decided against it because I believe faithful members should support their church always, regardless of who’s preaching or teaching on any given day. That being said, it is not a sin to prefer one pastor or teacher over another. If we are honest, we’ll all admit, even if its only to ourselves, that we too have our favorites. Nevertheless, that does not mean that our second, third, fourth, and fifth choices cannot be good. For example, your favorite meal may be a juicy steak, but your love for a burger from a particular place, or Mexican, Chinese, or Italian food may not be far behind.
When I read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, it seems to me that they were overly impressed with those in the church who were endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Even today, many people rate ministers by the apparent manifestations of their spiritual gifts when Jesus clearly stated that people are known by their fruits, not their gifts. (See Mt. 7:16) Jesus, warning against false prophets in that chapter, pointed out that they seemed to be part of His flock and even appeared to have genuine spiritual gifts, yet they were none of His. Paul alluded to that truth when he wrote in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 that if He had all the faith, knowledge, and spiritual gifts a person can have, and have no love, he would be nothing. He later added in 2 Corinthians, 11:14 that Satan himself is sometimes transformed into an angel of light.
Next time you wonder about the authenticity of a certain pastor, evangelist, teacher, or any other kind of minister, keep in mind these words which Jesus told His Disciples: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:35) In the end, the preaching and teaching which will be closer to the truth and benefit the hearers the most, is the one that will proceed from the mouths of those who truly love God as well as people, even if they themselves are not flashy, talented, or seemingly gifted. A genuine minister of God is more concerned about being known as a “good person” than as a great preacher or teacher.
Memory verse for the week: (Luke 10:27) “And he answering said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”