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Everyone needs to feel appreciated. It does not take long before people become discouraged if they
are not acknowledged for their fine efforts.
Jesus made a habit out of showing appreciation to those who it was due. One day, Jesus
commended a tax collector who humbled himself before God and cried out, "God, have mercy on
me, a sinner." Jesus said, "I tell you that this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified
before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be
exalted." (Luke 18:13,14)
The Lord knew how to appreciate peoples attitudes and actions in a way that became exemplary for
future generations.
1. Jesus knew how to give credit to whom it was due. One day the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with
His words. They said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of
God in accordance with the truth. . . Tell us the, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to
Caesar?" The Lord answered, "Give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Gods." (Matt.
Even the sovereign Lord of the universe expressed willingness to fulfill duties to the governing
authorities. Be generous in showing respect without sacrificing your principles.
2. Jesus acknowledged the disciples for their valued friendship. The Lord said, "I do not call you
servants, because a servant does not know his masters business. Instead, I call you friends, for
everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:13,14)
3. Jesus initiated appreciation and good will by urging Zacchaeus to allow Him to stay at his house.
The invitation by Jesus was such a public acknowledgement of Christs trust in the tax collector that
Zacchaeus was thrilled. Eventually, Zacchaeus returned the good will and gave back the money he
had taken from others.
4. Jesus gave public thanks to His heavenly Father to urge other people to do the same. John
writes, "Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much
as they wanted." (John 6:11)
Application: The Lord consistently acknowledged God as the giver of every good and perfect gift.
5. Jesus encouraged the disciples to show gratitude. Jesus saw many of his disciples turning back
because they were no longer willing to follow Him. He turned to Peter and said, "You do not want to
leave too, do you?" Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God!" (John 6:66-68)
6. Jesus provided opportunities for people to express their public appreciation for the good job done
by their spiritual leaders. Public appreciation acts a testimony to deepen people s faith.
7. Jesus spent a great deal of private time thanking His heavenly Father. Jesus said, "When you
pray, go in to your inner room and pray to your Father in secret and He will reward you." (Matt. 6:6,7)
Application: Solitary thanksgiving
to God develops a mind predisposed to gratitude for others.

8. Jesus gave corporate appreciation to the Lord in song. David writes, "I will give thanks to His
Heavenly Father because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most
High." (Psa.7:17)
Application: Even as Paul and Silas sang in their prison sell, God did great miracles. (Acts 16:25)
9 Jesus life was an offering of thanksgiving to God. Everything that Jesus did boiled down to the fact
that He expressed appreciation to the Almighty for every good thing.
10. Jesus showed public appreciation to God for the disciples victories. When the seventy-two
disciples returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied,
"I praise you, Father, Lord, of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the
wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."
(Luke 10:12,21)
Application: When we give thanks to the Lord for the fine work of fellow laborers in the Lords
vineyard we are achieving maximum appreciation.
Concluding thought: If we are not grateful for what we have we will probably not be thankful for what
we wish we had.


Jeremiah 38:6-13
(KJV) "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech,
that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there
was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. (7) Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one
of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the
king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; (8) Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and
spake to the king, saying, (9) My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done
to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in
the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. (10) Then the king commanded
Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the
prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. (11) So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went
into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags,
and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. (12) And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said
unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords.
And Jeremiah did so. (13) So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the
dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison."
We find in our text this morning that Jeremiah, through no fault of his own, was thrown into a mud
pit, and began to sink in the mud and mire
And there came a man, by the name of Ebedmelech who had compassion and literally lifted the man
of God out of the mud and the mire
And I want to speak to you on the subject of "Lifting the Man of God"
For you see, there are times when, like Jeremiah, that the man of God finds himself sinking in the

mud pit of despair

And for the man of God, there are many mud pits
A. There is the mud pit of the man of God's PERSONAL LIFE
For you see, the man of God is a person, a real person, just like all of us
I was speaking one time to a person at another church and I asked them how did they like one of
their former pastors
And that persons response was, All right, but he had his flaws.
And oh how true it is that the man of God has his flaws
And this is one of the great things about God and the Bible, and that is that in every story of the
great men of God, you not only see their great triumphs and exploits, but you see the real struggles
of their personal lives
Like a symphony that has both major and minor chords
Like a painting that has both bright colors and dark hues
We see the men of God in the proper light
Moses got angry
Samuel wouldn't correct His children
David committed adultery and murder
Peter denied the Lord
Paul was tempted to be high-minded
And yet, it was these flawed men, who moved their generations for God
Why? Not because of their personal flaws, but in spite of them
Pastor Bill Hybels tells the story in his book, The Contagious Christian about how when they built
their sanctuary and got ready for the final inspection, that one of his associates took a flash light and
shined it in the ceiling and saw numerous flaws
But the contract stipulated that in the final inspection, it was to be in normal room lighting only, and
they couldnt use flashlights to inspect
And thats they way it is with the men that God uses you may not see in normal situations to
personal struggles, but they are there
God doesnt call angels, perfect beings to pastor, but He does call the pastors angels people who
he is perfecting
We must understand that the man of God often, in his own inward struggle finds himself in the mud

pit of despair
Not only is there the mud pit of the man of God's personal inward struggles, secondly
B. There is often the mud pit of the extra strain on the MARRIAGE of the man of God
The man of God, the pastor, is unlike any other job
If you
--drive a truck, you spouse has nothing to do with it
--if you deliver the mail, your spouse has nothing to do with it
--if you sell cars, your spouse doesnt go there with you
Not so with the man of God his spouse must play a vital role, and often she is to be there as much
as the man of God, on top of her own job and children
And without a doubt, it puts a strain on marriages
And its no wonder that you see so many preachers families breaking up
Not only is there the mud pit of
--the man of God's personal life
--the man of God's marriage
C. There is often the mud pit of DISAPPOINTING RESULTS
Times when the results are not seen, times when the attendance drops, people leave the church
Paul took it personally
2 Timothy 4:10
(KJV) "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world"
Slow results can cause the man of God to sink into the mud pit
Then fourthly, not only is there the mud pit of
--the man of God personal struggles
--the man of God's marriage
--disappointing results
D. There is often the mud pit of OPPOSING PEOPLE
Paul said
2 Timothy 4:14-15
(KJV) "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evilfor he hath greatly withstood our words."
3 John 1:9
(KJV) "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them,
receiveth us not."

All of these situations can be traced back to one source SATAN

1 Thessalonians 2:18
(KJV) "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered
And that's where the real battle is
That's where the battle behind the battle can be clearly seen
Satan wants to do all he can to stop the mouth of the preacher
The King had Jeremiah shut up, to kill him
And its disturbing in our land today that so many preachers are leaving the ministry
Why? SATAN!!
Zechariah 13:7
(KJV) "smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered"
And if there's even been a time for the body of Christ to lift the men and women of God, it's now
And I want to encourage you, like Ebedmelech, to lift the man of God
And when you look at the text, you will notice that Jeremiah put the rope under both his arms
And I want to give you the two sure ropes that will lift the man of God
First of all
And men of God, like no others, need extra encouragement
Now, there are some, who would encourage the man of God, but are afraid to puff them up
Don't ever worry about encouraging a man of God too much
Because let me tell you, there are many more things out there that will off-set your encouragement
he or she can use all he can get
You see, I have discovered that there are three things that will keep the pastor humble
First of all
A. Other People will keep the Pastor Humble

It is a fact that for every word of encouragement the pastor gets, there are 3 words of
If you feel like you want to encourage the man of God, dont worry, there will be two or three others
to discourage
Not only will other people keep the pastor humble, but secondly
B. The Circumstances of Life will keep the Pastor Humble
Just life itself is enough to humble us
For every victory, there will be a defeat
For ground gained, there will often be ground lost
Dont worry about keeping the pastor humble, struggles in his own life, family, finances, and other
things will help out greatly
And then, thirdly
C. God Himself will keep the Pastor Humble
Paul said
2 Corinthians 12:7
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was
given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above
If you ever fear giving the man of God encouragement, dont worry go right ahead, because the
truth of the matter is that he needs all he can get
Geese know more about the way things out to be than Christians
And its in the church that there is so much grumbling and complaining just look at what Moses had
to put up with
William Barclay said
One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement. It is easy to laugh at mens
ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is
full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of
praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks
such a word.
15 times in the New Testament you will find the admonition to exhort, which means to encourage,
and no one needs it more than the man of God
Old Jeremiah wanted to quit, Im sure, but somebody through him a rope somebody cared

Secondly, the second rope to lift the man of God is


If you want to lift the man of God, then pray for him
You see, Moses is our example here, in Exodus 17
The battle was raging on the field, but the prayers were going up to God
But his hands got weak
And his hands were uplifted by two men, Aaron and Hur
Aaron is the high priest, and Jesus is our High Priest
But Hur means white linen, which is exactly what was used to lift Jeremiah
In sports, there is often mention of the MVP, the most valuable player
I got to thinking, who that might could be?
--Sunday School teacher
--church board member
The MVP is the Pastor's prayer warriors
If you want to lift the man of God, throw out the rope of encouragement
And throw out the rope of prayer
Let me bring to you out one more thought
Jeremiah was given old rags to put under his arm to keep the rope for cutting through him
And who is it that lifts the man of God? It's ordinary people like you
You might not think you are important, but you know what
Matthew 10
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He
that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that
receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the

name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. That means if you
encourage the man of God, then you will receive part of his reward
Dont you think that Ebedmelech got a great reward in heaven
What did he do? Did he
--raise the dead
--heal the sick
--write part of the Bible
NO!!! But He lifted the man of God, and he will share in those rewards
One of the greatest ways to lift the man of God is to get saved
Allow me to give an invitation to the lost at this time
And then, allow me to give an invitation to those of you who would like to throw out a rope to lift the
man of God.