Don’t Despise the Word
The young pastor and his wife were sitting in our living room devastated and wondering whether or not they should continue. Only a year before their church was the place to be in the city. He was the new “in” young pastor and the crowd came. But then another gifted communicator captured attention, the crowd left, and at the annual church meeting, my friend didn’t get a vote of confidence. His preaching gift was disrespected, and he was out of a job.
In the first century, before the completion of the New Testament, it was common for the Holy Spirit to powerfully speaking through gifted prophets in the local congregations. The Apostle Paul was seeking to give order to this practice when he told the Corinthian church to have two or three prophets speak and then allow the entire congregation to weigh carefully what they had heard (1 Cor. 14:29).
Today, small groups allow for this kind of back and forth discussion and evaluation. Opening the floor for questions and discussion when I teach, even in a large group, allows the Spirit to correct things I might have said that weren’t biblically on target or missed applications that the Spirit desired to make.
When the Spirit is moving in these teaching moments, the Apostle Paul warns us not to quench the Spirit’s fire. There is a grave danger when we hear the Spirit’s words to reject, or worse, despise what we are hearing.
“Don’t despise prophecies but test all things and hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every kind of evil.”
1 Thessalonians 5:20-23
The prophetic word is given to us by the Spirit to strengthen, encourage, and comfort each one of us (1 Cor. 14:3). The Apostle Paul had just given a prophetic word to the Thessalonians about the need to live a pure, devout life, especially in the area of sexuality (1 Thess. 4:3-7.) Those who rejected this revelation would be despising Paul’s inspired revelation about sexual conduct and would face the judgment of God. We are not destined for this judgment; therefore, Paul warns us not to despise his God given, authoritative teaching. Instead, we need to cling to all that is good—living at peace with one another.
After prayer and encouragement, this pastor and his wife went on to a lifetime of effective ministry. Praise the Lord, they didn’t allow the rejection by some of God’s family to cause them to quit.
LORD, keep fueling the power from your Spirit as our friends minster not just here in the U.S. but around the world. Thank you that they recovered from rejection. Use this Devo to move your children not to distain, but to cherish, honor, and respect the words they receive from their gifted, godly teachers.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!