I hear many of the thoughts he thinks as he prepares his sermons throughout the week. I hear him say often times, as the Holy Spirit has been with him in his study, "This is going to be a good one!" or hear his heartbreak as he knows this week's morning message is going to be a difficult one to share. He never preaches his opinion, only what he knows to be the right message from God's Word for his people.
Last month, as I was reading through Ezekiel, I couldn't help but be reminded of my husband. In Chapter 33, we see how God made Ezekiel to be a watchman to Israel, to guard it from dangers yet unseen by the Israelites.
The word of the Lord came to me; Son of man, speak to your people and tell them: Suppose I bring the sword against a land, and the people of that land select a man from among them, appointing them as their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows his trumpet to warn the people. Then, if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet but ignores the warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but ignored the warning, his blood is on his own hands. If he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. However, if the watchman sees the sword coming but doesn't blow the trumpet, so that the people aren't warned, and the sword comes and takes away their lives, then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood. As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word for My mouth, give them a warning from Me. If I say to the wicked: Wicked one, you will surely die, but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn't turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life." -Ezekiel 33:1-9 HCSBOh, the rest of the chapter is awesome too, but time doesn't permit me to type it all! Read it in your own copy of God's Word! But I must share the end of the chapter!
Now, son of man, your people are talking about you near the city walls and in the doorways of their houses. One person speaks to another, each saying to his brother: Come and hear what the message is that comes from the Lord! So My people come to you in crowds, sit in front of you, and hear your words, but they don't obey them. Although they express love with their mouths, their hearts pursue unjust gain. Yes, to them you are like a singer of love songs who has a beautiful voice and plays skillfully on an instrument. They hear your words, but they don't obey them. Yet when it comes - and it will definitely come - then they will know that a prophet has been among them. - Ezekiel 33:30-33 HCSB (emphasis mine)If you've expressed verbally an appreciation for your pastor this month, know that what he desires more than anything is for change to take place in your heart, to see you grow more and more into God's image and to be holy, set apart from the world.