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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: January 24, 2024


When St. Paul tells St. Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness, this is a journey all Christians should take with Timothy, shepherd and sheep, young and old, man and woman, rich and poor. All Christians should follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and build lives centered in imitating the heart of our Lord.


And yet, when Paul urges Timothy to live this way, it’s worth noting that he does this in the context of Timothy’s vocation as a pastor. As Paul says a bit earlier in this epistle, Timothy should strive toward these things because the shepherd sets the example for the sheep in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. What the shepherd teaches with his words and actions, the sheep will imitate.


So when pastors are zealous for pure doctrine, generally speaking, so are their sheep. When they cherish the word, so do their sheep. When their hearts burn with compassion for the lowly and the forsaken, so do the hearts of their sheep. But when pastors are self-dealing, self-righteous, self-glorifying, these vices infect the hearts of the faithful and the downstream effects are disastrous. The people lose trust in Christ, they begin trusting in themselves, and the worship and mission of the church suffer. As go our pastors, so go our congregations, our schools, our works of mercy, and, very often, our families and communities.


So may Christ bless His church with faithful pastors, men who pursue the righteousness of Jesus Christ poured out upon us at Calvary, men who walk in the godliness of the Holy Spirt. May Christ bless His church with men who cling to to the faith once delivered to the saints, men with hearts molded by the sacrificial love of Christ, men who would rather die than depart from the steadfastness of their Lord, men who will always pour out the gentle salvation of Jesus Christ upon those crying out for mercy. May Christ bless His church with pastors who share these virtues so that all Christians may share them as well.

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