Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Call to Preach

Who would have predicted what happened last night in the BCS National Championship game? I mean, we might have thought Florida had a chance to win -- but 41-14? Wow!

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I haven't shared any Tozer for a while, but I thought this one was interesting. I have heard wise men many times in my life say, "Don't preach unless you have to." And they are right. I resisted the calling for about 12 years myself. But I think I would have to be put in a straighjacket with duct tape over my mouth to keep me from preaching now. So, here's Tozer:

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
--1 Corinthians 9:16

The true minister is one not by his own choice but by the sovereign commission of God. From a study of the Scriptures one might conclude that the man God calls seldom or never surrenders to the call without considerable reluctance. The young man who rushes too eagerly into the pulpit at first glance seems to be unusually spiritual, but he may in fact only be revealing his lack of understanding of the sacred nature of the ministry.

The old rule, "Don't preach if you can get out of it," if correctly understood, is still a good one. The call of God comes with an
insistence that will not be denied and can scarcely by resisted. Moses fought his call strenuously and lost to the compulsion of the Spirit within him; and the same may be said of many others in the Bible and since Bible times. Christian biography shows that many who later became great Christian leaders at first tried earnestly to avoid the burden of the ministry; but I cannot offhand recall one single instance of a prophet's having applied for the job. The true minister simply surrenders to the inward pressure and cries, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
God Tells the Man Who Cares, 87-88.

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I will begin teaching a new semester of The Gospel of John tonight at Amberton University. Please pray for me and my class. Many of them will not have a clue what the Gospel of John is.

1 comment:

randy said...

Sometimes I think nothing is more difficult than understanding what your calling is - still haven't figured mine out.

It's no big secret that the gospel and letters of John are my favorite books of the bible. I've learned many things I didn't know from your class on Sunday morning. Alas, we'll miss this Sunday as we're going out to the rest home.