Today's Expositor's Quote is from John Piper:
A pastor . . . [cannot be] indifferent to his joy if he loves his people. [Hebrews 13:17] says that joyless ministry is no advantage to a people. But love aims at the advantage of our people. Therefore love cannot neglect the cultivation of its own joy in the ministry of the Word. Peter puts it in the form of a command: "Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not under constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly" [1 Peter 5:2-3]. "Willingly" and "eagerly" are just different words for gladly.
One reason an essential element of love is the enjoyment of our work is that you can't consistently give what you don't have. If you don't give gladness, you don't give the gospel, you give legalism. A pastor who guts out his work in gladless "obedience" transmits that life to his people and the name of it is hypocrisy and legalistic bondage, not the freedom of those whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
Another reason is that a pastor who is not manifestly glad in God does not glorify God. He cannot make God look glorious if knowing and serving this God gives no gladness to his soul. A bored and unenthusiastic tour guide in the Alps contradicts and dishonors the majesty of the mountains. . . .
The gladness of preaching is biblically essential if we would love men and glorify God - and these are the two great ends of preaching.
John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching, (Baker, 1990), p. 54-55. This quote is a continuation of the one posted 3/22/00 .
[What kind of tour guide have you been lately to the mountains of the majesty of God? Are you cultivating your own joy in ministry? When your people see your service, do they get the impression that God is an abundant source of joy in the midst of all the trials and difficulties of life? Make this resolution for 2001: "I will set aside time and energy toward cultivating my own personal joy in the Lord - for the love of the flock and the glory of God." - Coty]
[This quote completes one year of this email list. Praise God for His use of these small efforts for His glory, in my life and in all of yours. Consider visiting the archives and reading or praying through some of the earlier quotes, as part of your spiritual preparation for the new year.]
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