I was presented with this message today in a sound bite and would love to share this with all. Please take a moment and listen when you have 73 minutes, you will be glad you did.
Brothers and sisters, this is a good video, please find a few minutes to watch. Created by a brother in Christ “Identity313” on YouTube.
This is a wonderfully short message to pastors at the SBC’s Aspire Conference this week. You can find some good notes on this message HERE at Ben Terry’s blog. Thanks Ben!
As we can now see, nothing happened. Why? Because God has never and will never reveal His judgment day to the world. It is not for the church to count the days and preach such things but the church has a call to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ!
This video is a good response to Camping’s prophesies. Let us pray for revival through the power of God and HIS gospel!
Short video clip from the sermon on Testing Your Faith by Testing for Your Joy!
Here is the sermon in its entirety
After over 16 years in ministry, I have determined that the best of devices of preaching for me is the Holy Spirit of God as He wrings me through the meat grinder of my own depravity and pours me into the cup of His grace. It is from there that I am a nothing of a man crying out to a people who should tremble at the holy hand of God and repent and believe for the salvation of their souls and the joy of their existence.
As I reflect over the last four years of preaching and teaching and praying and studying for the glory of God, it’s very evident to me that the longer I remain a shepherd of the flock, the harder it will become to look and gaze at the emptiness in so many hearts who are always hearing but never hearing. It amazes me that so many for so long can be so idle and never shaken by the Word of God into a stable lover of Christ resulting in a foundation of extreme joy. So how does a pastor cry for the sheep? How does he mourn over the souls of misery who cannot smile due to the life that has choked joy from their hearts? How does the pastor cry out for the sheep to God without being broken beyond use never leaving the floor of petition? How can one who declares “thus says the Lord” every stop crying out to God for mercy on those who sit under the word and never flinch except in hardness of heart.
These never-ending questions are the silent current of my soul leading me to the exposure of these cries that terminates in the pulpit of the church. Standing in front of souls, who except by God’s grace will perish before the sermon is done, and begging and pleading for all to hear and believe and see the glorious beauty of God’s eternal grace and glory in the face of Jesus Christ, His holy Son… this labor is without a doubt one that no man can hold an empathetic ear lest he has stood in those shoes with a call from God.
How does a pastor cry? He cries for himself, he cries for his sin, he cries for his soul and he cries in worship. These cries move to the pages of scripture and through the pen of his journal, they move through his lips by the power of grace to the ears of people who are in the hands of God. How does a pastor cry? He cries in the power of Grace with no other hope, no other message, no other means except to prepare his heart to lean wholly on the power of the Almighty and trust that those who sit before him each week will, in the timing of God, come to faith.
Let us be thankful for the grace that keeps the pastor’s tears from consuming his soul. Let us be thankful for the grace of God who uses ordinary men to proclaim the truth of repentance and mercy. Let us be thankful for the cries in the closet and the cries of the preacher who never holds back but shows his affection through generous emotion and eternal faith in a righteous and loving God.
I am thankful for being called by God to pastor His people and to be used up, in all ways, for His glory.
Staying Stupid – James
“It does not answer the aim which God had in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the Scripture, and other good books of divinity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men’s hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion in their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already. ” — Jonathan Edwards
Yes, I know that I have “mispelled” [sic] shepherds as “sheepherds” because I want to make a point about the role of a pastor/shepherd among the church. Often I talk with fellow pastors who continually tell me that they cannot meet the demands of the congregation. When I ask what they mean, they reply with, “I am unable to meet the emotional needs of individuals in the church.” To this I reply, “if you keep trying, you are unfit for the ministry.” There seems to be a severely misaligned view of what a pastor is or should be and how his ministry should look.
Although there is much to be said about how to measure successful pastoral ministry, let me boil it down to one word: faithfulness! A man of God is called to feed, tend and care for the sheep of which he is a part. Pastors are not the SHEPHERD but an undershepherd or “sheepherd” that should be pointing the flock to trust and rely on the True Chief Shepherd who is Christ. When any one person feels that a pastor is their “personal” pastoral counselor and chaplain, they have placed themselves above the church of Jesus Christ and in turn, placed their pastor in a place of perpetual failure.
Pastors main role is to POINT and provide opportunity for the sheep to grow to MATURITY, not be their savior. The main problem is that tradition has clouded the reality of God’s word when it comes to the purpose of the church and the role of the pastor. Although some pastors are gifted in certain areas and called to different ministries while they shepherd, the primary and foundational role of a pastor is the point to Christ through the faithful prayer, study and teaching of the word of God so that through the word of God, lives are brought to faith and equipped and strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus so that God receives glory.
Just a little thought for the day…
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:1-5:4 ESV)
The reality of the work of God in the lives of His church is that we will make disciples of all nations, starting with each other…