Thursday, March 27, 2008

Any preachers out there know this feeling? And need this grace?
So many aspects of ministry demand excellence, and there are not enough hours in the day to be excellent in all of them. When I was a young man, I heard D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comment that he would not go across the street to hear himself preach.Now that I am close to the age he was when I heard him, I am beginning to understand. It is rare for me to finish a sermon without feeling somewhere between slightly discouraged and moderately depressed that I have not preached with more unction, that I have not articulated these glorious truths more powerfully and with greater insight, and so forth. But I cannot allow that to drive me to despair; rather, it must drive me to a greater grasp of the simple and profound truth that we preach and visit and serve under the gospel of grace, and God accepts us because of his Son. I must learn to accept myself not because of my putative successes but because of the merits of God’s Son. The ministry is so open-ended that one never feels that all possible work has been done, or done as well as one might like. There are always more people to visit, more studying to be done, more preparation to do. What Christians must do, what Christian leaders must do, is constantly remember that we serve our God and Maker and Redeemer under the gospelof grace.
From D.A. Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (pp. 92-93).

(HT: Expository Thoughts)


Anonymous said...

It was said, by a very faithful and helpful preacher of the gospel.

He is well known, and not known hardly at all. Henry Mahan

And he said, His best sermon, was in his dream,then he woke up.

As a young man listening to such a one who has been called a modern day spurgeon, now fading in his old age, I did not know what he meant, until I started preaching.

I do now. I will not listen to my sermons, unless I want to get depressed. Or to humble myself.

But I like what our LORD said in luke 17:10 " So likewise, ye, when you have done all that is commanded of you, say, We are unprofitable servants. We have done that which is our duty to do!

I'ts a wonder God would use any, but this is His means.

The foolishness of preaching!

By Grace Alone

David Zook said...

I had no idea that ministry and preaching is never ending. Even if there was 30 hours in a day, I still would not able to get it all done. Dr. Carson's comments resonate with me today, far better than four or five years ago. A great many times when I step down from the pulpit I wonder if my words have pierced hearts, renewed minds, and inspired souls or if they are glad that "church" is over so that they can go to lunch.

John said...

I have felt like that almost every time. It seems like I have failed completely, and the nice comments I receive are just that, people being "nice."

What do we do? Sleep three hours a night? Thank God that His grace is sufficient!