Teachers and preachers

The Bible includes some scary verses, and for me this one ranks high on the list:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1).

Those of us who are preachers and teachers need to read it often, if only to remind ourselves that what we’re doing is serious business.

In some sense, of course, it’s a message everyone needs to hear—teacher or not.

Hardly a month goes by when I don’t hear of a fellow preacher—several times it’s been guys I know—whose life has been discovered to be terribly inconsistent with his message. He’s fallen to a sin of immorality or lack of integrity and lost his ministry, and often his family.

Sometimes it’s a problem not with his life but with his message.

Swayed by outside pressure, he starts preaching a gospel that isn’t really the gospel. He gives in and preaches what people want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

Satan loves to seduce teachers of the word. He knows if he can overthrow a minister, he can shake the faith of many who trust him.

If you would, take a few minutes today and pray for the preachers and teachers you know.

Pray that God will shield them from Satan . . . that he’ll put a hedge around them and protect their faith.

That they won’t neglect their own spiritual lives as they minister to others.

That they’ll never do anything to discredit the gospel they preach.

That they won’t give in to pride, to selfishness, to immorality, or to dishonesty.

That they’ll commit themselves to lives that are consistent with their message.

That they won’t give in to discouragement.

Teaching God’s word is a weighty work, and those who presume to do it need to remember James’ warning.

It’s a scary thing to pursue a calling that leads to a stricter judgment.

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