B.A.S.I.C. Newsletter #168

I Cor.. 16:9  ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
May 13, 2010

Pray for One Another
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin of the CLCI, India has written about his father, ” I regret to inform you that my father is in the hospital again. He is not feeling well. He has been losing his health day by day. He is unable to walk because of the weakness in the legs.” Pray for God’s will to be done.What a joy to know we have open access to the throne of grace and mercy to appeal to our loving Lord in all things. And what joy to know that He will give an answer even better than we ask, because He knows all things and loves us.”

Ascension  of our Lord
“On May 13th we celebrate yet again the Ascension of our Lord. It is a reminder of us to keep our focus on heaven and not on this earth. We are passing through. Our hope is in heaven. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us that where He is we may be also.Our preparations here are for there. Oh what a sight it will be to see Him come in the clouds to take us to be with Him!”

The Pastor’s Job – PART 2 and 3

Submitted by Pastor Nathanael Mayhew

Part II – Pastoral Duties

Paul tells the elders of Ephesus to “take heed to yourselves and to all the flock…”  Likewise Paul writes to Timothy, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).  The ministry of the Word involves the Biblical foundation of the pastor as well as his members.
In order to ensure a solid foundation Paul encourages Timothy, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13), and again, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).  The most important duty you have as a pastor is to continue in the study of God’s Word so that you may “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Practical Application for us:
• Personal Bible study;
• Preparation for worship service – Bible readings, hymns, etc.;
• Preparation for Bible teaching (catechism);
• Sermon preparation
• Conference preparation.
This solid foundation is also to be passed on to the members of the congregation through instruction in the Word.  The pastoral letters are full of terms like “preach” (2 Timothy 4:2), “instruct” (1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16), “charge” (1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:14), “teach” (1 Timothy 4:11, 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:2), “commit” (2 Timothy 2:2), “exhort” (1 Timothy 4:13, 5:1, 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9, 2:6,9,15) and “affirm” (Titus 3:8).  These terms bring out the importance of instructing the flock in the Word, and keeping them from wandering from the truth.  Scripture has been given to us for that express purpose: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
At times this work will also call for discipline on the part of the pastor and members towards the straying member(s), out of concern for their eternal future.  Paul tells Timothy, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20 – cf. 2 Timothy 2:25, 4:2; Titus 1:13, 2:15, 3:10).
Finally, the work of the pastor involves guarding against the intrusion of false teaching from without and within.  Timothy had been sent to Ephesus for that very reason (1 Timothy 1:3-4).  Then, after writing about some of the false teachings that would come, Paul continues, “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (1 Timothy 4:6).  False teaching is to be pointed out, rejected (Titus 3:10), and avoided (2 Timothy 3:5).
Practical Application for us:• Worship services;
• Bible study classes;
• Catechism classes;
• Discipline of members;
• Outreach into the community;
• Checking in with members / home visits;
• Pastoral sick calls /shut-in visits.

The Pastor’s Job – PART 3

The pastor’s work will vary from congregation to congregation, depending on the size of the congregation and the number of people assisting the pastor in that work.
The following verse serves as a good summary of the work of a pastor:  “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:  Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
As an “under-shepherd” of Christ, it is our responsibility and should be our desire as pastors to bring the Word of God to the believers under our care – through worship services, and the public and private instruction of our members in the Bible.  As pastors we are here to serve our flocks with the precious Word of God!
We pray that the LORD would enable us through our own personal study of His Word to  be shepherds who are faithful to the Word of God; we pray that we would have a love for souls, and conduct our work accordingly; and we pray that the Lord would give us the strength to carry out our work according to God’s will.  May the Good Shepherd bless each of us in our service for Him!

A Passage Explained = Mark 11:23

Mk. 11:23 “Truly I say  to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not coubt in his heart,but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray without doubting and here uses a figure of speech, hyperbole to stress this. This is an exaggeration for an effect. Think of when He told them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. A camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. This is the figure of speech again of an exaggeration for an effect. Jesus wants His followers to pray trusting completely in God. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane He said, “Not my will be done, but Thine.” This we have to always attach at least in our mind to our prayers. If something is according to God’s will, it will be done. In James 4:13-15 we are taught again that it must be according to God’s will, not ours, “…If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.”

Pastor Koenig