As with other pastors, against my preference for peace, the Lord sometimes called me to deliver a strong prophetic word to rebellion among his people. It always grieved me deeply to do so.
When I see controversial pastors revel with relish in the same task, I reevaluate myself.
If my voice relishes the opportunity to blast the deceived… If the one conveying God’s Word speaks hard truths without love… Then I am not filled with God’s Holy Spirit but with my own spirit, and that is very dangerous.
What brings this to mind this morning is my devotion. Ezekiel was told, “These are the men who plot evil and give wicked advice… Therefore, prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man!” (11:2,4)
When he did, one man died in judgment. But Ezekiel did not laugh, as I saw one pastor do. No, Ezekiel “fell facedown and cried out” on behalf of the people of God (v 13).
If I as a pastor do not love the people whom God loves—I mean really love them, such that I rush to rejoice and weep with them in their triumphs and trials—then I do not really shepherd them in his name.
Yes, brothers, let us speak God’s truth with power, but always with love, always recognizing we are all sinners saved by grace alone, we are all guilty in ourselves, and we come to the throne only by grace through faith in the humbled man on the cross.
Only through his righteousness and resurrection do we have hope.
Remember Him, remember yourself.