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Qualifications of A Pastor
I can take you to I Timothy chapter 3 and go over the qualifications of a Bishop, Elder, or Pastor in the Church. I prefer to look at a different view. I wish to look at the type of men that became the great leaders in the Bible and what their lives were like.
What a leader of men! A strong man that followed God all the way to the Promised Land, though he did not go in to see Canaan, he vigorously led the Hebrew people to the Promised Land.
Moses was a Hebrew living in Egypt as an Egyptian. One day he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew young men. Moses looked and saw no one around and slew the Egyptian guard. When the Pharaoh heard he sought to kill Moses, but Moses fled to Midian. Moses became a shepherd in the land and married and had a son in a strange land to him. He had killed the Egyptian yet after the Egyptian king died God called Moses to lead the Hebrew children out of Egypt. Moses tried to say he was not qualified, that he had a stammering tongue. But God had called him, God wanted Moses. That is the same with you and me, if God calls you answer. We know the story from there that Moses stayed devoted and obedient to God from that day forth and led the Hebrew people out of Egypt. A murderer turned to a servant of God.
Probably one of the first stories we hear of as a child. We hear how the man with all the hair was the strongest man ever to live, but when he cut his hair his power was gone. Samson did not loose his power for cutting his hair but for disobedience to God. Yet God had called him to a work. Samson pleaded with God for his strength to return and God heard his cry. While the Philistines mocked him and put him on display he once again found his strength and killed all the Philistines in one moment.
See so far it is not what your past is, but, rather how you return to God and answer His Holy calling. It is turning back to the LORD GOD and being obedient to His truth, His mercy, His grace.
Where to start with David? Lies, deception, adultery, murder, covetousness and that is just beginning. Yet, God called David a man after His own heart. How can this be? David also is considered one of the greatest leaders throughout the entire Old Testament period. In his despair David cried out,"Restore the joy of thy salvation."
The man considered by many as the greatest of all the apostles. What was his life like? Peter was a fisherman a foul loud mouthed man. Very quick tempered, as we would say today extremely frontal lobed. He spoke before he thought out the situation. He many times questioned Jesus and doubted the truth. He showed confusion more than once throughout the times Jesus walked with him. In an attempt to save Jesus he cut the ear off a Roman guard. Then he cursed and denied Christ three times as Jesus was taken by the soldiers. Yet Jesus asked him, "Peter lovest thou me?" We all know how Peter responded and preached the day of pentecost to the crowds that were gathered. Then in his death he is said to have claimed not to be worthy to die as his Saviour and was hung upside down on the cross. He also watched as his wife was hung and told her to keep the faith. I often have been compared to Peter for my quick temper, someday I hope someone says I had the faith like Peter.
A leader of men, pharisee, tent maker, murderer. A man of zeal ready to do what he knew was right. Sold out to correctness whatever the cost. Yet while he was Saul he used that zealousness to kill those that followed Christ. Then upon his conversion he became a dedicated follower preaching more mission trips than anyone else of his time. He has written more of the New Testaments books than any other writer.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Grace is the common thread with all these great men of God mentioned so far. All deserved to be eternally punished by God for their iniquities. Yet they found favor in God by His grace. God knew the capabilities these men had, for God had given it to them. They were blasphemers, despisers of God, adulterers, murderers, disobedient, scoundrels, but, through God, By His grace they were great leaders of God's people.
Yep, me! Taking the Ten Commandments, I have destroyed them nearly all. See they point out how by the law we are condemned, not worthy of God. But grace given by the cross of Jesus Christ abolished the sin in our lives and gave us worthiness to stand before the Most Holy High God. That is why Jesus said,"Whosoever will may come."
I was a quick tempered loud foul mouthed man. I used it to show strength, that no matter what I would not back down. I felt I had to be this way and to bring on the fight if that is what you want. I was a deceiver, a liar, headstrong, and unbending. I maintained malice and hate in my heart, my tongue was like brazen ambers of fire ready to explode. I was a covetous thief, wanting what was not mine. I was condemned by the very law God had given to Moses. I could not stand up to such a powerful law. I melted in the very presence of the LAW. Then in the Easter Day evening service waiting to be baptized I asked Jesus to come into my heart and forgive my sin that was plunging me into a devil's Hell from the law I could not hold to. His grace exploded in my heart. The black sin stained heart had met His crimson blood and became white as snow. No, I have not been perfect since then. But, Jesus said He is just and able to forgive our sins if we confess them to Him.
Then He took this man that previously was so full of grievous sin and gave me the awesome responsibility to spread His Gospel. He has trusted me with His Word.
See Jesus doe not call the righteous to preach His Word but those that came just where I was. I know what sin in my life has caused me. I know what walking away from God in my life has caused me. I know what trying to do everything by myself has caused me. And that is the type of person God calls. He calls us with the life experience to give those times to the lost. We have learned and been corrected by His guidance and He fully entrusts us with His Gospel to lead the lost to Him. Jesus knew where I would be one day. He knew I would be back stronger than ever, just as He knew this about, Moses, Samson, David, Peter and Paul.
He uses the ordinary for the extraordinary, and praise His Holy Name, He is using me!