Thank you pastors for the work you are doing to minister to the people God has placed under your watch care. Sermon preparation is a challenge when you are trying to keep yourself untainted from the world which we serve in, and yet remember God is directing you to deliver His message to stained people who have lived in this world.
I read from 2 Chronicles 30 today. I am reading from the Christian Standard Version (CSV) and I found it fascinating, very informing, and enlightening about the role of a shepherd. First there were priests that were doing their work who were not committed to the LORD. They were just going through the motions. There was a call to come and be together to worship at the Temple. Some folks didn’t see a need. But there were many who responded (possibly because of a nagging wife) they came but their hearts were not in it. The king knew that and had the priests to pray over those who would rather be somewhere else and offered a special sacrifice for them as well as a prayer. Then there were those who were there and were excited that they finally got to come back together to worship corporately. Does that remind you of anything happening today?
I want to take a sentence or two and focus on the ones who were stained by the world and really weren’t there to grow in their love and passion for God and His Word. The king and priests recognized this and had a special prayer before the service begin to ask God’s blessings on each of them. These folks had not prepared themselves for worship and so the shepherd prayed over them. Verse 18 - “were ritually unclean, yet they had eaten the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah had interceded for them saying, ‘May the good LORD provide atonement on behalf of whoever sets his heart on seeking God, the LORD, the God of his ancestors, even though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.’”
Not only do our pastor/shepherds prepare the message but they spend many hours praying over the people that God will send to worship Him each service. So thank you pastors for ALL you are doing to be faithful to our LORD. And that is why you are a blessing to us. Read this chapter from different versions and listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you.