The Man of God: A Life-Giving River

Acts 20:28 “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

“The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.” [1] 

The daunting responsibilities of every minister of the gospel–and really, every believer, is to embrace a life of:

  • Praying
  • Trusting in God’s promises
  • Rejoicing in the truth
  • Weeping over souls
  • Musing on the depths of revelation
  • Praising God’s name
  • Treasuring the riches of Christ
  • Walking by the Spirit
  • Exercising spiritual gifts
  • Dealing with demons
  • Pleading with backsliders
  • Perseverance in the challenges of marriage
  • Playing with children
  • Courage in the face of persecution
  • Patience with everyone

“God, deliver us from [making ministry about profession]! Deliver us from the ‘low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us.’ God give us tears for our sins. Forgive us for being so shallow in prayer, so thin in our grasp of holy verities, so content amid perishing neighbors, so empty of passion and earnestness in all our conversation. Restore to us the childlike joy of our salvation. Frighten us with the awesome holiness and power of Him who can cast both soul and body into hell (Matt. 10:28). Cause us to hold to the cross with fear and trembling as our hope-filled and offensive tree of life. Grant us nothing, absolutely nothing, the way the world views it. May Christ be all in all (Col. 3:11). Banish professionalism from our midst, O God, and in its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for God, rigorous study of holy things, white-hot devotion to Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and glorify our sovereign Lord. In Jesus’ great and powerful name. Humble us, O God, under Your mighty hand, and let us rise, not as professionals, but as witnesses and partakers of the sufferings of Christ. In His awesome name. Amen.” [2]

___________

[1] John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, 3 (2013).

[2] Ibid, 3-4.

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