“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” I Timothy 4:16
Shepherds of the church are accustomed to keeping a close watch on others. It is what we do, and most take it seriously. We need to be careful that as we are keeping a close watch on others, we are not neglecting ourselves. The sincerity of our faith, is a condition, for leading others to a sincerity of the faith.
Be sure you are worshiping well. Make sure you believe what you are preparing to proclaim. Walk closely with God, and love Him supremely. If you are not worshiping well, you cannot lead others to either.
Make sure you are not guilty of what you are warning against. If you teach against sin, and are harboring that very sin in your heart, God will not bless. Furthermore, your teaching will be without power or effect in the lives of the hearers. Are there any subtle strongholds that are resistant in your life? Repent, and pray for God to break them down, smash the idols and remove them from your life.
Persevere in the work. Ministry is not about what you did yesterday, or what you may accomplish tomorrow. It is about today. Put your hand to the plow and do not look back. At times it seems mundane, but life with God is never mundane. Ministry tests the core of your convictions, and your ability to persevere. Long-suffering is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. Do you want to be standing, with integrity, at the end of your journey on this earth? Stay close to God, work hard, be faithful.
This is a high calling God has given us. May we honor Him with our very best, knowing that we have nothing good to offer that has not been given to us by His good hand. Let us pray for, and encourage one another as we run the race!