Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Dangerous Text to Pray


For pastors . . .

(Letters of John Newton)

"He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord."
Colossians 4:7

Dear fellow pastor,
You have desired a good work--may the Lord give you the desires of your heart. May He give you . . .
the wisdom of Daniel,
the meekness of Moses,
the courage of Joshua,
the zeal of Paul, and
that self-abasement and humility which Job and Isaiah felt--when they not only had heard of Him by the hearing of the ear--but when they saw His glory, and abhorred themselves in dust and ashes!

May you be taught of God--for none teaches like Him--and come forth an able minister of the New Covenant, well instructed rightly to divide and faithfully to distribute the Word of truth.

In the school of Christ, you will have to learn some lessons which are not very pleasant to flesh and blood. You must learn to labor, to run, to fight, to wrestle--and many other hard exercises--some of which will try your strength, and others your patience.

You know the common expression, 'a jack of all trades'. I am sure a minister had need be such a one:
a brave soldier,
an alert watchman,
a caring shepherd,
a hardworking farmer,
a skillful builder,
a wise counselor,
a competent physician,
and a loving nurse.

But do not be discouraged--you have a wonderful and a gracious Master, who does not only give instructions--but power and ability! He engages that His grace shall be sufficient, at all times and in all circumstances, for those who simply give themselves up to His teaching and His service.

"Be an example to all believers . . .
in what you teach,
in the way you live,
in your love, your faith, and your purity."
1 Timothy 4:12


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