Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
A plain man -- with a good natural understanding -- well read in the Bible, -- full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, -- though he comes from the forge or the shop, would, I own, in my view, as a missionary to the heathen, be infinitely preferable to all the learning of the schools; and would possess, in the skill and labour of his hands, advantages which barren science would never compensate.
After many years of sitting under the ministry of quite few excellent, some not so excellent, preacher/pastors, and having been called to our first country pastorate, I had been impressed with similar thoughts as those expressed by Thomas Haweis.
I have a very clear memory of the first day I sat at the desk in my first office, surrounded by the library of good books I had collected over the years, all by great men of God. I felt a surge of pride, and immediately was ashamed, as I remembered my previously mentioned thoughts.
As I sat there I was compelled to pray that my loving Father would keep me an ordinary man,able to be in touch with the lives of those to whom I would minister.
A few years later, after the Lord of the Church had blessed our evangelistic efforts I was asked to speak at an evangelism conference regarding rural evangelism. I mentioned that one thing I had learned was that it was important for those who wish to minister to others to learn to "sit in the dust" if necessary, "get some dirt under one's finger nails", if we were to fully relate to those we sought to influence for Christ.
There were some fellows there, both young and older, who thought my comments were ridiculous.
Over the years we continued to be blessed. I can only assume that the Lord didn't consider my words ridiculous.
Whether I'm still an ordinary bloke, that's for others to judge,but I have no desire for anything else.
Haweis was right. Thank you Dave for reminding me!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I wonder whether you have noticed what I'm alluding to?
I will illustrate what I'm noticing with a well known story by C. H. Spurgeon, told in a sermon preached on March 13th, 1859.
“A Welsh minister who was preaching last Sabbath at the chapel of my dear brother, Jonathan George, was saying, that Christ was the sum and substance of the gospel, and he broke out into this story:
A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, "What do you think of my sermon?"
"A very poor sermon indeed," said he.
"A poor sermon?" said the young man, "it took me a long time to study it."
"Ay, no doubt of it."
"Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?"
"Oh, yes," said the old preacher, "very good indeed."
"Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn't you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?"
"Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon."
"Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?"
"Because," said he, "there was no Christ in it."
"Well," said the young man, "Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text."
So the old man said, "Don't you know young man that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?"
"Yes," said the young man.
"Ah!" said the old divine "and so from every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business when you get to a text, is to say, 'Now what is the road to Christ?' and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ. And," said he, "I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it." Now since you say amen to that, and declare that what you want to hear is Jesus Christ, the text is proved—"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious."