“Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.” (2 ki 17:28 kjv — emphasis mine)

This is an excellent description of what I do. I am not a salesman. I am not the entertainment coordinator on a cruise ship. I am not a social worker. I am not a CEO or a manager. I am not your flunky or your boss. I do not “cast the vision” (which sounds an awful lot like necromancy or the occult, and actually is pretty closely akin to such enthusiasm and blindness). I am not here to turn things around singlehandedly and knock unbelievers senseless with the force of my personality and my dazzling rhetoric. I convert no one. I am not the Savior — the church already has a Savior, and His name is Christ the Lord. He has done and will do far more for His people than I ever could.

So what is my place, my role? I am a representative. I am an ambassador. “He that heareth you heareth me” (Lk 10:16 kjv). I do not speak for myself, but I speak the Word of God and I testify to the Word made flesh. I call to repentance and I announce the grace of God. “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained” (Jn 20:23). I teach people how they should fear the Lord. That’s what I do. I reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine (i tim 4:2). I have been made a steward of the mysteries of God. To me has been entrusted the administration of God’s grace, to teach people the way to have a right relationship with God and ultimately to be saved– to “know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jn 17:3). This is not my doing or my accomplishment, but that of God working through me as I serve with His Word. To young and old, faithful and straying, believer or non, I give to each as they have need — to one consolation, to another rebuke, to another encouragement, to another support. I am here to teach God’s people what it truly means to fear the Lord — through all of life, in ever situation, making full use of the whole counsel of God. That’s my life’s work and the aim of my call to be pastor, shepherd, overseer for God’s flock. People shouldn’t expect anything else out of me, and they shouldn’t look for anything less, either.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Ps 90:11-12)

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