Sabbath Rest is Commanded

As pastors and preachers the fourth commandment is probably one of the easiest commands for us to preach and the hardest for us to practice. Sabbath rest is not something that comes natural to many of us. I’m sure we all can justify working long hours and working every day, but the reality that lies in front of us is that Sabbath rest is command for everyone.

In this article Mark Dance explains how Sabbath is a Command to Obey.

 

The Value of Integrity in Ministry

drill instructor

“Farmer! If you don’t get this right, you will do pushups till you can’t anymore! If you don’t, there is no Jesus, cause all I’ve got is my word!” Sgt. Wegman, Marine Recruit Depot, Parris Island

Those words are seared into my brain. My memories of my drill instructor at Parris Island have a funny way of popping up on a regular basis. This particular statement more than any other.

Think about what Sgt. Wegman was saying in this statement. Essentially he was saying that if he did not follow through on his promise, then I could not trust him about anything, including the existence of Jesus. He was saying that living a life of integrity is vital.

Can you imagine sharing the gospel with someone who then discovers you were dishonest about something inconsequential? Why would that person believe what you have to say about the Kingdom of God when you can’t be trusted about trivialities? Baltasar Gracian, the 17th century philosopher, stated, “A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.”

In the local church, a minister is often invited to meetings or to participate in some ministry. It can be tempting to make an excuse with a “little white lie” in order to get out of the obligation. However, it is unnecessary to do so. It is okay to say no.

Another common situation is when the minister makes a mistake. It is tempting to make an excuse for the failure, but this comes at great cost. Simply admit your mistake, and strive to do better. You may deal with consequences for your error, but you keep your integrity.

A final situation is the embellished story during the sermon. How ludicrous that a preacher of the gospel would stand before a group of people to share the truth of God’s word and lie at the same time! Proclaiming God’s word is an awesome responsibility. Do not take it lightly.

I am going to finish the post with an encouraging quote from Billy Graham. He said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

My encouragement for you today is to live a life of integrity. You are loved by the Creator of all things. Honor God by emulating Him.

Meditation on Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Col. 3:17

I teach for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I have the honor of working alongside a group of professors who are committed to equipping the next generation of pastors. We consider it an awesome privilege and responsibility. At NOBTS, we focus on one of our core values each year. This year, the core value is Characteristic Excellence – “We want everything we do to be characterized by offering the utmost of our abilities and resources as a testimony to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

As I have prepared for the fall semester classes, I’ve thought about what characteristic excellence means for my ministry and my life. Colossians 3:17 immediately comes to mind. Characteristic excellence in light of Col. 3:17 means that everything I do is an act of worship. The manner in which I conduct my life reflects the value I place on Christ. Therefore, I should seek to perform with excellence each and every task I undertake.

So what about in your ministry? Are you worshiping God with your best in ministry? Are you giving God your best effort everyday? Consider each morning how you can show your commitment to Christ. Work hard. Love unconditionally. Let your words and actions reflect your devotion to your savior.