Revelation 10; Nehemiah 13; Psalm 104:24-35
October is Clergy Appreciation Month. In a godly world, we wouldn’t need to have a special month because those that minister to us would experience that appreciation all the time. Somehow, though, it’s easy to get so caught up in the things of life and the church that those who minister among us are taken for granted. Nehemiah experienced this. His leadership had brought major changes to Jerusalem: the wall was rebuilt, the Temple and worship in the Temple was restored and the people were focused on their relationship with God. He went back to his job with the King for awhile. When he returned he found that cronysim was the order of the day and the priests and Levites had left their work in the Temple and had gone back to work in the fields because they needed to eat. Nehemiah was enraged. He took care of the cronyism and reminded the people that the priests and Levites were needed for worship of the Lord in the Temple. They needed appreciation and support. “Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.” (Nehemiah 13:12-13) Once the religious leaders were given that support, they could return to their work for God without the cares and concerns of basic needs preventing them from leading out in the Temple. Even today, many churches try to get by on the cheap with pastors and other church staff. The old saying was that pastors needed to be poor and humble and that the church would keep their pastor poor, while God would keep them humble. Hopefully we have moved past that mindset. Today would be a good day to remember those who minister among you. Pray for your pastors and other church staff members. Send them a note of encouragement. Remind them that you are praying for them. God has placed these leaders among us and they need our support to be able to do the job that He has called them to do.
Lord, how easily we take those who labor among us for granted. I confess that I have done that and I seek Your forgiveness. I pray right now for the members of our church staff. I ask that You bless them and keep them. Remind them of Your presence and give them encouragement as they go about the job that You have called them to do.