Reformed Pastor: take oversight of ourselves

Christian ministry is demanding. There are as many needs as there are people in a parish, and most people have more than one need. Church ministries need to be organised and the more we do the more organisation is required. In addition to that inexaustible workload is a personal life, being a husband and father, and so we find there is plenty to distract the minister from feeding himself on the word of God.

In chapter one of the Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter warns pastors against scimping on their spiritual nourishment.

See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought in your own souls…Take heed of yourselves, lest you perish, while you call upon others to take heed of perishing; and lest you famish yourselves while you prepare food for them…many a cook scarcely licks his fingers, when he hath dressed for others the most costly dishes. Believe it, brethren, God never saved any man for being a preacher, nor because he was an able preacher; but because he was a justified, sanctified man, and consequently faithful in his Master’s work.

To have and maintain a living knowledge of the grace of God, my justification in Christ and the theological and practical sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, this is what comes first as a Christian believer.  Everything else flows from this source. Simple but essential. Chapter 1.1. May my life never be so cluttered and busy that I starve myself of Christ.

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