Monday after the First Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ezekiel 2:1-7 (NKJV)
2:1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.
6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious.
Pastors do not get to pick their audience. They are called and sent by the Lord of the Church. Sometimes a pastor is blessed with a congregation full of grateful hearers who love the Lord and His Word—this is a wonderful thing. Other times, a pastor has the hard duty to shepherd a church of argumentative and stubborn people who fight him on doctrine and practice. The writer to the Hebrews tells God’s people, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Regardless of his audience, the pastor’s duty is to be faithful to the Gospel message. A pastor’s account to God is based on this faithfulness and not on the faithfulness of his hearers. He often needs to be encouraged by that fact, rather than discouraged by any lack of appreciation for his work. Whether the people hear the Word with good and honest hearts, or whether they harden themselves against it, they cannot claim the Lord has neglected them. He sends them ministers and stewards of His mysteries so that the saints may grow in the grace and knowledge of His precious Gospel.
Prayer: O God, the Strength of all them that put their trust in Thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without Thee, grant us the help of Thy grace, that in keeping Thy commandments we may please Thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.