October 27, 2019

Enabling Careless Leaders [9:00]

What happens when those who are leading in worship actually lead others astray? If the religious leaders are careless, the followers will rarely surpass their example.

Malachi 2:1-9

“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”

The Priests’ Failure

  • If you are not listening to God, you cannot faithfully represent him.
  • The aim of the spiritual leader is not to secure an easy, cozy, entertainment-driven lifestyle that the world demands we have.
  • “Going through the motions” is death to the worship of God’s people.
  • Ministry leadership among God’s people is so important, that it is the means by which God protects and shepherds his people.

God’s Answer

  • God will judge spiritual leaders more harshly because of their responsibility.
  • God feeds his sheep with his Word, not with the opinions of his leaders.
  • God expects true teaching and godly character in the life of pastors and spiritual leaders.

Our Response

  • Pray for and encourage your leaders.
  • Hold your leaders to a high standard.
  • Look to Jesus, our true and perfect Priest.
  • In Jesus, we have a priest who does listen.
    • We have a priest who is holy.
    • We have a priest who has not turned aside.
    • We have a priest who has not broken the covenant, but who has fulfilled it all and represents us.