The Pastor's Prayer for the People of God
1 Thess. 3:11-13
Introduction: Many Christians wonder, ''What is the Pastor really like inside himself, in his spirit, his innermost thoughts? How does he feel? How does he express himself before the Lord? How does he react to God's people? For some people see only the pastor's one side and don't really know what is on his heart.
ILL. Sometimes the desire to know the pastor's heart comes from good motivations and bad motivations.(Travis Harp who said he was not comfortable unless the pastor was his friend and in his home, and stopped by to drink coffee with him and just really be his bosom buddy. I discerned his motivation was not so much support of the pastor as to be counted in the inner circle.) But there does remain that need for people to know, for the pastor to be transparent to a point of being human and sharing his struggle to walk in the light and in the Spirit as God is in the light and in the Spirit.
In this particular passage of scripture, Paul bares his Heart and he had been struggling with those enemies of the cross and enemies of the church and enemies of the commitment of God's people questioned his messages, questioned his motives, and questioned his method. They attacked every area of his life.
They evidently had been saying, ''Why aren't you here with us, Paul? If you really love us you would be here.'' And so in Chapter 3 he opens his spirit to them and you catch the very essence of the pastor's heart.
First, there is affection. We can never win people at all unless we begin by liking them as individuals.
ILL. It was Carlyle who said of the people of London, ''There are 3 1/2 million in this city. Most of them are fools.''
The man who begins by despising people, whether lost or looking down on them or by liking them in their sin can never go on to win men and women to Christ.
Second, there is concern that when we have done the best we know how and launched som ...
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