Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#43 The Shepherd Aids Spiritual Restoration

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: It is a fact of church life that from time to time one member or other needs spiritual restoration (Ps. 23:3).

   Satan is ever present to tempt Christians to spiritual negligence, to cool off and relax spiritually, or to yield to the allurements and spirit of the world. (Google image, Encourage one another)
   Satan is always ready to accuse one Christian to another, to cause a person to misunderstand another's actions or motives. Satan appeals to the carnal nature to break fellowship, wound believers and, if possible, to lead into open sin.

   If he does not succeed in leading people into sin, he tries to get wounded people to withdraw from fellowship with other Christians and thus more easily become his prey.

   You as shepherd must always be on the watch for signs of spiritual coldness, defeat, or the beginning of backsliding among your people. The exhortation of Galatians 6:1 ("Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently") is for all Christians, for we are each one our fellow Christian's keeper.

   But it is the special duty of the shepherd to restore the defeated in a spiritual and gentle way. This is one way to enter into another's burden and help him carry it; this is Christ's law for the church (Gal. 6:2; 2 Cor. 2:7-8).

   Even those who oppose you are to be treated with kindness, avoiding quarreling, but rather showing kindness in the hope they will become repentant (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

   Barnabas restored John Mark after he had failed in Crete, and later Paul found Mark a great help to him (2 Tim. 4:11),and to Mark we are indebted for his writing the Gospel that bears his name.

   Peter was restored after he denied his Lord and became the early leader of the church. Jonah was restored after he ran away from God's will. David was restored and greatly used by God, even though he had sinned tragically.

   You as shepherd must be always on the alert for any sign of discouragement, weakness, or temptation. The ministry of encouragement is a most important duty of the shepherd.

   God told Moses to encourage Joshua (Deut. 1:38) and strengthen him (Duet. 3:28). It  is even necessary to strengthen and encourage yourself in the Lord at times, like David did (1 Sam. 30:6). Josiah encouraged the priests in their ministry (2 Chron. 35:2). Isaiah exhorted, "Encourage the oppressed" (Isa. 1:17).

  Judas and Silas had a ministry of encouragement in Antioch (Acts 15:32). Paul sent Tychicus to encourage the Ephesians (Eph. 6:22) and the Colossians (Col 4:7-8). He sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the church in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:12).

   He urged Thessalonian believers to encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11) and especially those who were timid (5:14). He prayed for God to encourage them (2 Thess. 2:17). One of the qualifications for an elder, said Paul, was the ability to encourage others with sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).

   Young men are to be encouraged (Titus 2:6). He urged Titus to encourage those to whom he ministered (2:15). In his last letter before his death he urged Timothy to exercise the ministry of encouragement (2 Tim. 4:2).

   Obviously, Paul considered this ministry of encouragement a special role for a spiritual shepherd. But it was an encouragement with substance, with solid doctrinal teaching given in a meaningful and encouraging way (2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9).

   It must at times be the balance for discipline which you as a shepherd must also exercise (2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:15). Keep alert to any of your people who need spiritual restoration or encouragement.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Creative reading style by Jean.

Ablaze for God
#43 The Shepherd Aids Spiritual Restoration

by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 148-149) ZondervanPublishingHouse

Prayer for restoration
Let's pray-

   Father, we are well aware that we're tempted at times to be negligent, have a cooled-off attitude spiritually, and yield to the allurements and  spirit of the world.
   The evil influence may cause us to accuse a Christian brother or sister falsely, and misunderstand their true motives and actions.
   As Satan appeals to the carnal nature to break up fellowship by wounding believers, and possibly leading them into open sin, we must be on the alert to guard our words and thoughts, and to hold these fellow believers up in prayer.
   If Satan isn't successful in leading wounded people into sin, he'll try to get them to withdraw from fellowship with other Christians, to easily become his prey.
   It is the special duty of the shepherd to restore the defeated in a spiritual and gentle way, but we are also encouraged to participate in restoring our fellow brothers and sisters, as Christ guides us; prayer for them being the most important thing we can do.
   It is also necessary to strengthen and encourage ourselves when we see that we're struggling over some particular issue that concerns us.
   For Your help and guidance, Father, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Today's Bible verses-

       James 5:16 (NAS) "Therefore, confess your sins to one
       another, and pray for one another so that you may be
       healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can
       accomplish much."

       Phil. 4:6 (NIV) "Do not be anxious about anything, but 
       in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
       present your requests to God."

       James 1:12 (KJV) "Blessed is the man that endureth 
       temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive  the
       crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them 
       that love him."

Today's quote-

John Bevere- "When the plan of God for my life causes me to face my hurts and wrongful attitudes, I will not run from these things but will find healing and restoration from dealing with my hurts through the power of the Holy Spirit." (p. 73 of The BAIT of SATAN

Today's thought from a sermon: "Invest in the lives of others, for if they continue to wallow in their beliefs of arrogance, and we know what to do, they will walk alone into eternity. God urges us to reach out to them in whatever way He sees best.

Today's popular post-

Google image)

"A Minister passing through his church
In the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
To see who came to pray . . .

Upcoming posts-

#44 The Shepherd Must Give Guidance to His People
12th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
   Offenses Will Come
14th- Saturday's post by Jean Oathout
#45 The Shepherd Must be with His People in Their Times of Need
17th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
#46 The The Shepherd's Accountability
19th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Bleeding hearts

Jean's blog  (Click to see snippets of the 7 recent posts)
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