Sunday, July 27, 2014


And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (Mark 3:14 KJV)

Not all twelve did. One was a thief, liar and betrayed Him – and He knew that would happen. The rest of us don’t know when a man is ordained whether he will continue or preach, or not.

Friday night at our church, the last of our “Preacher Boys” was ordained and on his way to lead a church hours away. He will be missed here, but was welcomed by a new congregation. We know that because many made the trip to celebrate his ordination with us.

One of the scriptures read Friday tells us that Jesus ordained twelve out of many followers.

And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. (Mark 3:13 KJV)

He called them out to do specific tasks. He still does. Paul explains more about the type of man and the tasks as he explains to Titus:

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: (Titus 1:5 KJV)

Then Paul gets specific – and as a preacher explained tonight, it’s a matter of priorities:

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. (Titus 1:6 KJV)

Seek a good man who follows God’s plan of marriage and family. Family comes right after God, before the congregation. I had not noticed that before, but it’s a beautiful picture of how a Father loves His children, isn’t it? Paul continues repeating the first condition:

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; (Titus 1:7 KJV)

That “selfwilled” means “self pleasing, arrogant.” I believe the easiest sin to fall into is pleasing ourselves rather than our Lord. “I will” instead of “Thy will” comes so quickly and easily, doesn’t it? Then Paul moves into positive territory:

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; (Titus 1:8 KJV)

All of that is good for any of us to follow – blameless, one spouse, loving children, unselfish, even tempered, loving our fellow man, seeking holiness – but the next one is not a calling for all of us:

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9 KJV)

Paul taught Titus, Titus was to teach others and the result should be sound doctrine that helped other believers mature as well as convince non-believers. That’s a huge task, but one the newly ordained must continue to accomplish in the Lord's service.

This new pastor answered doctrinal questions before the congregation Friday night. We heard him state his beliefs and we heard the testimony of his salvation as well as that of his wife. Every Christian should be able to answer such questions and explain why, but a pastor must be able to help non-believers not only understand, but reach a turning point in their lives. That’s a huge task, too.

There are failures. We read about some in national news, others quietly fade away. Most new pastors spend their lifetime doing the huge tasks Jesus laid out:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 KJV)

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