Today's Devotional Thought
October 14, 2013 by Rachel Piferi
Overwhelm Them with Appreciation & Love
Yesterday was Pastor Appreciation Sunday. And this week, I plan on devoting time and words to the importance of appreciating, loving, and praying for those in leadership. Specifically, the importance of appreciating, loving, and praying for our pastors and their wives.
I have the very unique position of having a BFF who is a pastor's wife and as such, I get to see the ins and outs, ups and downs of her life. And simply put, my eyes have been opened over the last several years regarding the life of someone called to ministry and how much they handle each day. And I have become devoted to praying for and supporting those called to ministry.
Those like my dear sister.
Over the years, I have watched my dear friend balance a lot. In addition to all of the regular family activities and obligations, she and her husband have embraced the responsibilities that come from following God's call to lead his people to know him more. This call takes many forms from weddings and funerals to Bible studies and meetings. Along with the baseball games and high school graduations that their own family experiences, they experience the many high points and low points of others' lives.
They balance a lot. And I have watched them balance it all with grace, genuine love, and the strength of the Lord.
And simply put, I am awed. I am awed by my dear friends, but I am also awed by the very important role that our spiritual leaders occupy. As it says in today's verses, pastors and their wives have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding us in our spiritual walks. It is such a special responsibility and one that certainly deserves our appreciation as Paul writes. You see, so many of us depend on our Pastors and their wives when life comes crashing down. And I have seen my dear friend rush to the side of many people in their hurting hour. The calls for help come in the middle of the night, in the middle of dinner, and in the middle of many plans. And each and every time, I watch them respond quickly with love and care.
Why do they do this?
The answer is simple. My dear friend and her husband love the Lord and they love God's children. And, they want everyone to feel God's love and know him deeply.
Just like they do.
When I think of people working tirelessly for the Lord, I think of Paul. I love the picture of Paul's heart that we get in his letter to the Colossians. In Colossians 2, he writes, "For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face. My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ" (v. 1-5, NLT).
We are all so blessed to have men and women who have been called to full time ministry and who have answered that call. These men and their wives struggle for us, pray for us, encourage us, and work so that we can understand, and I mean truly understand, God's love and sacrifice for us. They love the Lord and they love us just like Paul did.
If you haven't hugged your pastor's wife in a while, then grab her on Sunday morning and tell her you appreciate the life she has chosen to serve God. And, tell your Pastor that you appreciate his service to the Lord and dedicating his life to God and to His people. And, as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love (I Thessalonians 5:12-13, MSG).
I know I am so grateful and full of love and appreciation as I watch my precious friend serve the Lord daily alongside her husband. Oftentimes neglecting their own needs, schedules, and desires, pastors and their wives serve God by serving people. And they do it because they love the Lord and they want others to know of his love too.
Take a moment sometime soon and follow Paul's advice and overwhelm your pastor and his wife with appreciation and love for dedicating their lives as a true living sacrifice to God and his people! And this week, I thank them for devoting their individual lives and their marriage to the Lord in full time service to Him. May God continue to richly bless you both.