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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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A Message To Ministers From C. H. Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon

In this excerpt from a sermon preached at a conference for pastors, Charles H. Spurgeon reminds ministers where their strength, wisdom, and knowledge must come from. As Spurgeon explains here, it is much too easy for a teacher of the Gospel to put himself forward in the place of God:

In order to have power in public, we must receive power in secret. I trust that no brother here would venture to address his people without getting a message fresh from his Lord. If you deliver a stale story of your own concocting, or if you speak without a fresh anointing from the Holy One, your ministry will come to nothing. Words spoken on your own account, without reference to your Lord, will fall to the ground. When the footman goes to the door to answer a caller, he asks his master what he has to say, and he repeats what his master tells him. You and I are waiting-servants in the house of God, and we are to report what our God would have us speak. The Lord gives the soul-saving message, and clothes it with power: he gives it to a certain order of people, and under certain conditions.

Among those conditions I notice, first, simplicity of heart. The Lord pours most into those who are most empty of self. Those who have least of their own shall have the most of God’s. The Lord cares little what the vessel is, whether golden or earthen, so long as it is clean, and disengaged from other uses. He sees whether there is anything in the cup; and if so, he throws it all out. Only then is the cup prepared to receive the living water. If there is something in it before, it will adulterate the pure word; or if what was there before was very pure, it would, at least, occupy some of the room which the Lord seeks for his own grace. The Lord therefore empties us, that we may be clear from prejudice, self-sufficiency, and foregone conclusions as to what his truth ought to be. He would have us like children, who believe what their father tells them. We must lay aside all pretence of wisdom. (Sermon: “The Preacher’s Power”)

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