Friday, September 20, 2013

Newly Planted

One of the requirements that Paul gave Timothy is that a pastor should not be “a novice (1 Timothy 3:6).” Does that mean that a pastor cannot be a rookie? If so, then how much experience is required in order for someone to be a pastor? After all, everyone has to start somewhere.

The word that Paul used for novice means “newly planted.” Anyone who has ever done any gardening or landscaping understands that something newly planted cannot be left alone to fend for itself. It requires extra attention and care. You have to watch it to see if it needs water, more sunlight, shade from sunlight, fertilizer, or protection from the cold. You might need to stake it up, pull some weeds, or spray some bugs.

As the plant matures it will not require as much attention; it will be able to survive more on its own.

That is the goal of any believer; new converts are new plants, or novices. They need to be looked after and cared for until they mature. New converts are not yet ready to be pastors.

Who are you investing in? What new plant are you caring for as they mature into what God wants them to be? That young Christian could be the next pastor, missionary, or great worker for the kingdom. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The World's First Elevator

In Acts 9 we see Saul’s life on two extremes. When the chapter opens he is a terrorist who was “breathing out threats and murders” against the church, and by the chapter’s end he is being hunted down for being a believer.

As you may know, the difference was made when Saul saw the light. His encounter with Jesus left him a dramatically changed man, and it should do the same for us.

Near the end of the chapter the new-and-improved Saul is a marked man, being hunted by the Jews who “watched the gates day and night to kill him.” This is when Saul’s new family of faith steps in and invents the world’s first elevator.

Putting Saul in a basket, the believers lower him down from the backside of the wall, where he is able to escape and return to his home in Tarsus.

Saul was dependent upon his new brothers and sisters in Christ. You might find yourself in a similar boat (or basket) as Saul; don’t be too proud or afraid to ask for help.

Or maybe you are like the church members in Acts 9, and you have the means to help someone who is in need. Look for any way to help. Be creative. Invent an elevator.

If someone is depending on you for help, don’t let them down. Unless they are in a basket.