Pastors with Substance
Philip the Deacon
11 October 2018
People who stand for nothing will fall for anything. For example, often people lavishly support preachers who proclaim nonsense in place of the gospel. It is a shame that we are willing to give money to those who preach only what our itching ears want to hear (2Ti 4:3). We are willing to fall for anything. We're attracted by the glitz and pizzazz of the hyped preachers. But what are we attracted by? Just the fizz and not the substance.
 
The Christ comes preaching the gospel (Mk 1:15). He speaks of His life and His death. He says that He gives His flesh for the life of the world. Jesus is the real thing. He Himself is the substance. If we are not proclaiming Him, we are falling for just empty anything. God continues to give us His Son through humble and common preachers, who do not have pop and fizz, but they do have the substance.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"Those who want to be Christians are obliged in God's sight to think them worthy of double honor who ministered to their souls (1Ti 5:17-18). They are obligated to deal well with them and provide for them. For that reason, God is willing to bless you enough and will not let you run out. But in this matter everyone refuses to be generous and resists. All are afraid that they will perish in bodily needs and cannot now support one respectable preacher, where formerly they filled ten potbellies. Because of this, we also deserve for God to deprive us of His Word and blessing and to allow preachers of lies to arise again and lead us to the devil. In addition, they will drain our sweat and blood." 

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
1.161-63
1 Timothy 5:17-25

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (ESV)
Prayer
Dear God, continue to send us faithful preachers. Give us the faith to support them with sacrificial generosity. Amen.
 
For LouAnn Weber, who is undergoing therapy for heart issues, that God would guard and keep her in body and soul
 
For Bob and Jean Koontz, that the Lord who knows us better than we know ourselves would bring them comfort and care in the midst of trials
 
For police officers, firefighters and medics, that God would keep them safe in their calling to protect our community
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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