Exhortations to Fellow Elders

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A while back, a fellow pastor was kind enough to ask me to meet with and encourage his elders. The church had weathered some real difficulties, including a split and some reductions in ministry and staff. He felt the brothers needed a shot in the arm. It was an honor to talk with some fellow elders laboring in a different section of the Savior’s vineyard.

I felt encouraged to share with them five exhortations.

1. Serve like you work for Jesus–because you do.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” (Col. 3:23-24)

2. Live like your example matters–because it does.

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12) “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)

3. Pray like heaven must come today–because it might.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:9-10)

4. Love as if it were the only way the world would know you’re a Christian–because they’re watching.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

5. Enjoy Jesus as though He were better to you than all the world–because He is.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt. 13:44) “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:7-11)

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