Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 5:12-22

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (I Thessalonians 5:12,13)

Paul concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians with a number of practical admonitions. The first of these addresses our responsibilities toward those who lead us spiritually. God has raised up spiritual leaders who are to teach, admonish, exhort, encourage and train us. In the church we have elders, deacons, pastors and lay leaders who have been uniquely gifted to serve Christ and His church. These leaders are to labor diligently among us. They are called by God to be servant-leaders who model gospel living.

I am so grateful for the leaders God put in my life over the years. I have been blessed with godly men who greatly influenced my life. I learned so much about ministry by observing them. My primary mentor and spiritual father recently went to be with the Lord and I miss him greatly. He taught me about leadership, pastoral ministry, missions and preaching. My preaching and many other aspects of my ministry have been patterned after his.

These ordained leaders have spiritual authority over us. They are to protect us from error and they are to disciple us. We are responsible to yield to their authority over us. These leaders are to teach us and they are to model gospel-centered living.

We should appreciate them greatly. We need to tell them how much we appreciate their labors among us. Because they have been called by God to positions of spiritual authority, we are to esteem them. Take time this week to write a thank you note or give those who are having an impact on your life a call. Tell them how thankful you are for them. They don’t expect you to do this, but what a gift to them if you do.

Lord Jesus Christ, You have called and appointed spiritual leaders who represent You in their ministries and labors among us. I give You thanks for the godly leaders who have greatly influenced my life. I thank You for the leaders of our church and pray for them to have wisdom as they give spiritual oversight to me and to all the members of our church.


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