Common Sense Christian

The Thinking Christian’s Site

Daily Devotional – September 7



(Subtitled: A Manly Challenge to Pastors)

There are many young people who sign up for elite fighting units like the Green Beret, the Navy Seals, or Marine Recon. Often less than 5-10% of accepted applicants make it through basic training,  even less actually join the ranks of the elite.

There are literally hundreds of sites talking about “pastor burnout.” Some quote the percentages as high as 60%, many list various and sundry reasons “Lack Of Support/Encouragement For Pastors” to “Church Conflict” and hundreds of excuses in between. There is one site that cautions pastors not to preach but a couple times a month because of the “demands” message preparation puts on them and their families.

The true reason for pastor burnout is that many who choose this discipline were not CHOSEN to begin with.

To “endure hardness as a good soldier” (2 Tim 2:3) the job requires

  • discipline–the complete assumption of the role of a servant who accepts and follows orders without question,
  • a willingness to sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ,
  • and the desire to work to the point of exhaustion and beyond to win His battle.

Once initiated, the real man of God has little to worry about, his strength and tools to do the job come from above.  If you you can’t stand the pressure, get out and do yourself and God a favor–your pulpit desperately needs God’s man!

Service is tough, and God just needs a few good MEN.

The following is a paid advertisement by God’s Universal Army.

Enjoy creature comforts? Don’t join us–its about serving, not being served, or the accumulation of a comfortable lifestyle or pension.

God’s man is a lean fighting machine.

Want to be an elite? It takes work– HARD, SELF-SACRIFICING WORK.

God’s man knows hardness and thrives on it.

Fear burnout? Consider a easier branch of service, you may not have what it takes.  

God’s man is no pencil pushing desk jockey.

2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

1Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;


There is a missionary named Dr. Jack Manly. Dr. Manly is what one would refer to as a “real man.” Trained as a special forces soldier in WWII and a master linguist he gave his life to Christ, and immediately left for the jungles of New Guinea to live among headhunting cannibals. Breaking down both language and cultural barriers he lived as one of them bringing them the Good News. His second term in New Guinea resulted in the near death of his beloved wife and children. All of them enduring life-threatening disease, and constant danger from both hostile people and environment.

Dr. Manly’s ministry did not stop there. He ended up working tirelessly in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world, and finished out his ministry pastoring a church in the United States.

He “burned out” at age 78 after 50 years in the minister and at 80 currently works a ten hour day frantically writing everything he has learned.


September 7, 2007 - Posted by | Challenge, Spiritual Growth


  1. Did Paul know more than Peter?

    Comment by Voice of Reason | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. More? Maybe different. Peter was confused about a lot as revealed in Acts, even taught things contrary to the scripture, and there was a time that Paul had to correct him on his theology and his practice. He actually had to teach Peter “the mystery”–something God revealed only to Paul, something that had never been revealed in the Law OR the Prophets. By the time Peter wrote his epistles he was truly beginning to understand what it was all about, even though he started out as a novice/baby Christian in the book of Acts. Want to talk on this more?


    Comment by bereans | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

    And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

    And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

    Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

    And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

    But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

    And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

    Anyone ever correct Paul?

    Comment by Voice of Reason | September 10, 2007 | Reply

  4. Yes, Voice! Acts 9

    A good perspective (if you have time to read it) can be found at:

    Peter started out preaching the “Kingdom”, a theology that teaches that Christians have replaced the Children of Israel. God never made earthly covenants Christians – the covenant we have with God is individual and spiritual. God DID make an earthly covenant with the children of Israel (Exodus 19) which they broke (they didn’t keep up their end of their bargain and we find that God eventually told them that he was done with them for the time (Hosea 1:9). God then tells the prophet Hosea that there will come a time when he will resume dealing with the Children of Israel as a nation of which he will be king–a NEW covenant at a future time.

    Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.

    Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.

    This is also promised to the Jews in Romans, Hebrews and Revelation:

    Romans 9:26 And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

    Hebrews 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    REVELATION 21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

    This is when Jesus will return to his millennial kingdom, a kingdom of the Jews as promised by Isaiah:

    Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

    Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

    These are not promises given to the Christian. Unfortunately Peter, early in his ministry, thought that Jesus was coming back immediately to set up his earthly Jewish kingdom. In Acts 1 we see their confusion when he asks Jesus: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus told them that they weren’t to know the time when he come back to be the “King of the Jews” and set up the earthly Jewish Kingdom, but they ignored him and began to preach that Jesus was coming back very soon to set up his Jewish kingdom:

    Acts 3:19-20 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

    Acts 15:16 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

    In the early church thousands, quite possibly even hundreds of thousands of Jews accepted Christ because they thought he was coming back to set up his earthly kingdom at the time. Peter was ignorant enough and all too willing to preach such, and many flocked to the promise of an earthly rise to prominence. James indicates that many Jews had believed, but they were not oriented toward the message of GRACE, but of the law:

    Acts 21:20 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

    It was Paul who had to clear this up, indicating to us that during this time period, there is no more Jew or Gentile, and that we are in an age of grace (not law–not Judaism–which was still being practiced in the Church at Jerusalem 15-20 years after it was established!) and that we Christians are “not of this world” and have no place in an “earthly Jewish Kingdom.”

    This common fallacy exists today. There are thousands of ministers preaching the “kingdom” and mistakenly encouraging Christians to be militant, political activists, and “reform”-minded individuals. They think that the “kingdom of God” is Christianity and that we are to rise to be the earth’s rulers with Christ as our head. They indicate the purpose of Christianity is to take over the world, dominate governments, etc. Of course this is no different than Islam or any other religion with world domination as its aim. It is false doctrine:

    Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

    II Cor 11:13-15 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

    2PETER 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

    (“make merchandise of you” alludes to using people to advance political power, wealth building, etc.)

    This heresy has claimed the lives of countless millions since the third century A.D.

    To Paul was given the mystery of the Gentile church/Christianity. Peter was unaware, and only later began to learn this. There are people like James, the brother of Jesus, who became the head of the Church at Jerusalem who NEVER understood it, and tried to use his church to coerce and bring the churches in Asia back into the bondage of Judaism and its laws.

    We’ll talk more on this if you’re interested. I am in the process of writing a book on this issue, and hope to release parts of it via this site as I get them readable.

    Your thoughts?

    Comment by bereans | September 10, 2007 | Reply

  5. You still haven’t answered my question?

    Comment by Voice of Reason | September 13, 2007 | Reply

  6. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

    Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

    Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    Comment by Voice of Reason | September 13, 2007 | Reply

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