Prior installments of this series on the next generation of leaders focused on the qualifications of officers of the church, as well as on the importance of prayer in the process of considering and selecting our next officers at Tenth.
As the Nominating Committee approaches the latter stages of this year’s work, beginning to interview potential officers and awaiting decisions, we acknowledge common questions and themes that come up in our conversations: the busyness of daily life, the difficulty of maintaining a healthy balance between work and rest, and the ability to fulfill other obligations to which our Lord has called us. Fortunately, our Lord knows and understands, acknowledging and speaking to these themes through his word.
The Sabbath under God’s law showed the connection between God’s work and our work, and God’s rest and our rest:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all of the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work, which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.”Genesis 2:1-3
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”Exodus 20:8-11
However, mankind has disrupted that rest through sin (Hebrews 4:1–5; John 5:17). Yet through Christ and his finished work on the eighth day, rest has been restored. We may now, by faith, enter the true, final rest—the eighth-day circumcision-of-the-heart rest in Jesus (Hebrews 4:9–11; John 7:22-23). Thus, we can celebrate our rest in Jesus Christ on the Lord’s Day by rest, leisure, fellowship, and spending time with family and friends (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 21, § 8). Our rest in Christ is more than just leisure; it involves corporate worship in gratitude of the one who gave us the rest (Isaiah. 58:13–14; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). And that worship in a presbyterian church requires members who serve.
We need to understand that time is a gift from God, and we should treat it as a quality rather than quantity (which inevitably leads to a schedule and task-dominated life). He created the heavens and the earth, and he has placed us under the limitations of time. This is so that he can remind us that he is our Creator, and we, his creation. As such, we should acknowledge that we may never feel that we have enough time to accomplish all of our goals and tasks, both for work and rest. If our schedules and agendas are filled beyond what we have capacity for, or if it is difficult for us to consider new requests or opportunities properly and prayerfully, we may be trying to do more than God intends, expects, or allows us to do. We should not be so busy with things of this world—even good things—that we are anxious (Matthew 6:26-34). As Christians, we are commanded to make the best use of our time for his kingdom because “the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
As he has called us to rest, he also calls us to work. Through our work, we fulfill our purpose of glorifying and enjoying him forever. It is a stewardship of what God has given us, as well as a moral obligation to help those in need:
“Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.”Colossians 3:23-24
Given that the God that we worship is excellent, we should be committed to excellence in our work. How can we do this? Let us look to the triad of faith, hope, and love on how we can serve him. We have faith that God calls us to our work and will provide us the requisite tools to perform it (Isaiah 40: 29-31). We have hope that he will bless and prosper it. And, we have love, as we view our work in service to his people.
Your Nominating Committee is seeking candidates to serve Jesus by serving his church. As a presbyterian church, our officers are drawn from our membership. Apart from a handful of teaching elders, our church is led by godly members who accept the call to serve the church. It is members who answer the call to serve who help conduct orderly worship. It is members who answer the call to serve who oversee the teaching of sound doctrine. It is members who answer the call to serve who help the poor and lonely in our midst. Our church depends on members who hear God’s call and say, “here I am Lord” or “let it be to me according to your word.”
Please keep the above in consideration, and as it pertains to discussing and selecting candidates whom he has called to be officers at Tenth, whether for this season, or future years.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:25-33
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