Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#1 Priority: To Save Souls

Oh Heavenly and Gracious Father, we come to you today Lord with thanksgiving.
To thank you Lord for being so good to us Lord. Father even when we don’t deserve it Lord, you still love us Lord. You still forgive us Lord,  You still provide for us and bless us Lord.  Father we can't thank you enough for all that you do for us Lord.  Father we pray that the same Love that you have for us Lord that we also have for others dear God. We pray that you give us the opportunity Lord to be a blessing to someone Lord.  Whether it be an ear to listen, speak words of life,  financial assistance, or just acknowledging them and being that person for them to lean on Lord.  I pray that you use us Lord. Use us to do your work lord. Use us to reach the lost, the broken hearted, the spiritually blind,  oh Lord.  Lord they are so many lost people out there.  They are next to us everyday Lord.  They’re the people we work with, we talk with, we live with Lord.  Father they are walking around everyday Lord with their eyes open but they are dead inside Lord.  I pray oh God that you use us to help them Lord. Use us Lord to reach those lost souls Lord.  Use us Father to do your will dear God.  All these things I ask in your son Jesus name.   Amen!
                                                                                                                   Prayer by: Judith Notice

There was a time, maybe when I was too young to understand, or even further, where the preacher was the pinnacle of the community.  He was a man families gave respect to, because he was worthy of that respect.  He would walk the community, and people would rush to hear what he had to say.  He would be welcomed into every home.  The man of the house saw it not robbery to leave his wife alone with the preacher.  The mother saw it not robbery to leave their young daughters in his care.  To speak ill against this man was unheard of.  He was the vessel of God that brought encouraging words to the parishioner’s ears.  He brought words of conviction that penetrated your inner parts to where you were tore down, and yet tell you it is ok, that we all have been there, and already you felt like you are being renewed.  His words were trust worthy.  His actions were aligned with scripture, and when he prayed over you, and for you and your family, deliverance was felt.  Oh my goodness, the power that permeated from such a man.  He was the man of God put in that community by God himself.  He can rally a community to exact change for righteousness.  The courts would allow him to intervene on behalf of a youth before the system took hold.  What I share with you now, is not wishful thinking.  That is how it was.  Ask someone old enough they would tell you.  Did you get that?  I asked you to ask someone “old” enough.  My goodness, what happened?

If we were to compare the preachers of old to now, what would we see?  We would see a bunch of men and women yelling.  We would see a bunch of men and women stirring up the crowd.  We would see a bunch of men and women shouting, “haaaaaayyy….oooooooohh”, like they are friends with Naughty by Nature, no pun intended.  We would see a bunch of men and women whose smile would indicate for you to hold on tight to your wallets.  Some men have pinky rings bigger than made men.  When they speak, it is almost like they are rapping, and they speak so quickly, you better think twice about saying amen, because you do not know what you are saying amen to.  These are the ones that scripture warned us about when it stated “For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (2Ti 3:6-7)  Yes, these are the ones who keep single women single, and married women to value the pastor over their husbands.  My goodness, what happened?

What happened is the priorities have changed.  Young men and women see pastors like Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Paula White, and Jaunita Bynum and say wow they are blessed.  They got it going on.  So the priorities are now about reaching a status quo rather than saving souls.  They want to be the next best thing.  It is no different when young black males watch BET and see the rappers with the bling, the cars, and the women.  They want that too.  So they do what is necessary to fall in alignment with that.  They hustle, they rob, they flaunt the money, and the wrong kind of girls pay them attention, and now they have to keep the cycle going to feed that high.  Ego!!!  These young up and coming pastors see how “lucrative” preaching can be, and they want in.  They figure if they just hoop and holler and put their hands on people, and hum a prayer over them, how their pockets can be laced.  Oh yes, they want some of that.  These young men see how these young ladies’ minds are open to serve God, and they put themselves in the position of God, and now teach these women error instead of truth.  If I was preaching right now, I would demand an “amen!”  I am speaking reality.  I was in a church that was just like what I am sharing.  I witnessed firsthand, the corruption and deceit, all because the pastor’s priorities were crossed.  The intent was not birthed from a righteous means, but an unrighteous one.

The bible states “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness--God is witness.  Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.” (1 Th 2:5-6)  When Paul was writing to the Church of Thessalonica, he was stating his purpose of why he brought them the word of God.  He stated that God is his witness, that his intent was righteous.  That is the problem with the preachers today.  They are not righteous.  They are trying to keep up with the Joneses in the form of churches that appear to be successful.  So instead of trying to save souls for God’s kingdom, they are using slick words, to keep the parishioners coming.  If they are able to identify the ones who are heavy givers, they use the word of God as a covering for their wickedness.  Instead of preaching for them, they are preaching for theirs.  They are preaching for what these heavy givers have.  Chi-ching!!! If the majority of the church is living unrighteous, they would rather preach a soft doctrine so they can still be employed, than trust God and stand firm on His word and let it convict who it needs to convict.  Now you have preachers who are men and women pleasers instead of God pleasers.  They preach as though if they do not please the majority, then the church will not stand.  Who thinking is that?  That is not of God.

I honestly believe, if preachers were to go back to the basics, if they were to mirror that beautiful display I opened this lesson with, if they were to just preach a simple, but effective doctrine, and stand firm on God’s word, the community will have faith again.  They will rally support for the pastor.  If the pastor moves, they will move.  The first priority and only priority is to save souls.  God will do the rest.  Amen!

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