Marks of a Good Pastor – Part VI

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. John 10:2 AMP

7. A good Pastor/Minister desires divine success – they realize that they are under-shepherds under the Good Shepherd, Jesus, and they are responsible to Him for His sheep.

a. A good Pastor/Minister is a minister – not for money or popularity or any other selfish reason – but out of God’s call, out of love for Him, out of the desire to please Him, and out of love for people.

John 10:11-13 AMP – I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. 13 Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them].

b. A good Pastor/Minister must be zealous and fearless to protect, heal, preserve, increase, watch over, and sacrifice for the flock.

Mark 16:15-18 NKJV – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

James 5:14-16 NKJV – Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Luke 19:10 NKJV – For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

c. Father God uses strong words against pastors and ministers who do not do their job and who do not take care of the flock. He expects the pastors/ministers to love, lead, feed, protect, warn, reprove, rebuke, and admonish the flock. He also expects them to stand in the gap for them and warn them of things to come.

Jeremiah 23:1-5 NKJV – “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

Ezekiel 13:1-9 NKJV – And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of the Lord!'” 3 Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5 You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. 7 Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The Lord says,’ but I have not spoken.” 8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord God. 9 “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 34:1-5 NKJV – And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.

Ezekiel 34:10 NKJV – Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”

Ezekiel 34:31 NKJV – “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God. (See Ezekiel 34:1-31)

Thirty Things That Grace Cannot Do – Part V

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NKJV

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NKJV

7. Grace cannot cancel the law of confession of sins before they are forgiven.

Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior involves acknowledging our sin – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV) – believing that Jesus died to pay the price for our sin and that He rose from the dead to give us His resurrection life. It involves confessing Him as the Lord and Master of our lives from that moment on. From that moment all your sin, and your old life, is washed away by the blood of Jesus – you receive a new heart, a new slate and a new beginning.

If you sin after that, God’s grace cannot erase the sin while it yet remains. In order for God’s grace to be applied to the sin, you must repent of the sin and confess it as sin. Once you repent and confess, you are forgiven by His grace.

8. Grace cannot forgive future sins, for transgression and confession are necessary before forgiveness.

The one thing that the Blood cannot wash away, nor can grace do away with, your future sin. The Bible says that you are New Creature in Christ and that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. When you sin, you must come and confess your sin to the Lord, ask His forgiveness and then He will forgive you. God cannot forgive you of sin you have not yet committed. Besides the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin, God can only begin to actually deal with your sin after you sin and after you repent and confess it to Him as sin. Repentance is not merely being sorry for getting caught, but it is being sincerely sorry for the sin and turning away from that sin.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 NKJV

Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. Revelation 2:16 NKJV

Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. Revelation 2:22 NKJV

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Revelation3:19 NKJV

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-5 NKJV

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 NKJV

So they went out and preached that people should repent. Mark 6:12 NKJV

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds” Romans 2:4-6 NKJV

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 NKJV

9. Grace cannot cancel the responsibility of saved men concerning sin.

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10 NKJV

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12 NKJV

We are each responsible for our own choices and our own sin. We will reap what we sow here on earth and – no matter what – we will still have to give God an accounting of our lives and what we have done. Grace cannot change the fact that we must give an account and be held responsible before God, but grace can wash away our sin when we pray, confess, and repent of the sin we’ve committed so that we don’t have to take it with us when we go before the Judgment Seat. You never know when the end will come for you, that is why you need to make sure you keep your heart right with God at all times!