Alan and Miriam are very close and meaningful friends of mine and I jumped at the opportunity to present the weekend message in their honor. Following are the notes for my message.
As you read these notes, will you consider how much honor you are giving to God’s gift to you (your pastor)? Enjoy!
In Appreciation Of
Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries
It is my joy to give honor, blessing, and appreciation to Pastor and Mrs. Humphries on the occasion of their twenty-sixth year of pastoring the Soldotna Church of God.
Let’s study, today, Ephesians 4.
In verses four and five Paul emphasizes the “One” part of our Christian reality:
• One body Vs. 4
• One Spirit
• One hope
• One Lord Vs. 5
• One faith
• One baptism
• One God and One Father of All
There is no mistaking it. Our Christian life is ONE! Everything is the same.
HOWEVER, in that “one-ness” Paul sees very different graces in each person. “But grace was given to each one…” Vs. 7
Everything is the same and everything is different too!
The graces, of Ephesians 4:7, are given by Jesus in the measure He choses!
Notice the emphasis in verses 7 and 8 on “gifts.” “He gave gifts to men.”
What are the particular graces and gifts that Paul is speaking about? Ephesians 4:11. “And he gave the Apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers…..”
It is my distinct joy and delight to declare, upon the firm foundation of the Word of God, that Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries are “graces and gifts from Jesus to you!”
In Proverbs 18:16 we learn that “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.”
Paul just taught us that Pastor Alan and Miriam are God’s graces and gifts to you and now we learn that ….
God’s gift to you makes room for Him. In other words, “Alan and Miriam, God’s graces and gifts to you, make room for God’s presence among us.
• God is Head over everything and His gift is Jesus.
• Jesus is Head over the Church and His gift is Alan and Miriam.
• Alan and Miriam are head over Soldotna Church of God and their gift is their whole lives in ministry to you.
God hates grumbling and disputing (Philippians 2:14) and loves blessing, thankfulness, and honor. I Thessalonians 5:12, 13
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
• We are to respect God’s gift, Alan and Miriam.
• We are to esteem them very highly
• We are to do all of this in love.
• Because of their work.
God loves it when you love His gift to you!
When you honor, respect, and esteem highly God’s gift, you are, in fact honoring, respecting, and highly esteeming the Gift Giver, who is God.
When you bless your pastor you bless God who called your pastor, prepared your pastor, sustains your pastor, anoints your pastor, enables your pastor, gives revelation to your pastor, empowers your pastor, and protects your pastor.
I love the truths of Psalm 133 when applied in this context.
The oil of blessing runs down!
2013 Pastor Appreciation Proclamation
Pastor Alan and Miriam are my shepherds; I shall not want.
They make me lie down in green pastures.
They lead me beside still waters.
They restore my soul.
They lead me in paths of righteousness
For God’s name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For they are with me;
Their rod and their staff,
They comfort me.
They prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
They anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord