Holy Trinity Church – February 11, 2024

 

Peter wrote to church leaders in present day Turkey the following (1 Peter 5:1-2):

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them”. (As fellow elder, I am saying same to you … be a shepherd of….)

 

What does this shepherding entail? Paul told the pastors in Ephesus (Acts 20:28-30):

28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. // Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.// (Pivots: sobering, one of the reasons) 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock (Internet). 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

 

How? (Not automatically… effort, intentionality: God lamented… Malachi 2, Ezekiel 34)

 

Ezra 7:10 – v. 9: “the gracious hand of his God was upon him, for…”

 

“Ezra devoted himself to study the law of Yahweh and to practice it and to teach it’s statues to all Israel.” (Three things in order)

  1. Study the law of Yahweh (torah: instruction, wisdom, ways)
  • You love God’s word and it shows
  • Keen and inquisitive mind; careful scholar; not quick to draw conclusions
  • Continue to be humbled, amazed: Isa 66:2: “trembles at my word…”
  1. Practice – live it out
  • Lots of great communicators in pulpits; harder to find godly men
  • God puts premium on character: 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. What you do/Who you are
  • You and Sharon do this well: sincerity of belief, purity of heart, integrity, unimpeachable
  1. Teach – explaining to God’s people
  • You’ve been given a gift to connect the dots, absorb lots of biblical material, synthesize it and present it in a coherent, linear fashion
  • Always walk in the fear of the Lord. Teaching is a harrowing responsibility: James 3:1
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead, give you message that inform minds, transform hearts

Conclusion

  • My charge: Be an Ezra. Devote yourself to these three things… keep watch
  • I’ve watched your life and I believe in you. You’re a person I can learn from and follow