What humiliation! All his life Elijah had been self-sufficient. Now he waited on scavenger birds to deliver him his daily bread....
Elijah was like so many faithful preachers of the Word who are too true and too uncompromising for their congregations.
"We don't have to take that," the people protest. And they stop contributing to the church. More than one pastor knows the meaning of economic strangulation. Preach the truth, and the brook dries up! But the Lord knows how to deal with each of us in our humiliations. He takes us from truth to truth. Men Who Met God, pp 96, by A.W. Tozer.[Emphasis by this author]
Once again, great pearls of wisdom from my friend, A.W. Tozer.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 should be followed by those who want to be ministers, which has proven to be the case under so many circumstances that a servant is often torn apart between family and God's calling.
But yet we have to ask this question: “Is the ministry a profession or a calling?” As we have seen in the past 2000 years since Christ ascended to Heaven, most preachers and pastors (regardless of the denomination) have chosen to pursue a profession rather than responded to a Holy calling.
Once again, my dear friend Matthew Henry explains with deeper and more gracious eloquence than mine, what a true church should look like, what a true church should be doing, as The Day draws near:
1. That we should consider one another, to provoke to love and to good works. Christians ought to have a tender consideration and concern for one another; they should affectionately consider what their several wants, weaknesses, and temptations are; and they should do this, not to reproach one another, to provoke one another not to anger, but to love and good works, calling upon themselves and one another to love God and Christ more, to love duty and holiness more, to love their brethren in Christ more, and to do all the good offices of Christian affection both to the bodies and the souls of each other. A good example given to others is the best and most effectual provocation to love and good works.
2. Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, v. 25. It is the will of Christ that his disciples should assemble together, sometimes more privately for conference and prayer, and in public for hearing and joining in all the ordinances of gospel worship. There were in the apostles’ times, and should be in every age, Christian assemblies for the worship of God, and for mutual edification. And it seems even in those times there were some who forsook these assemblies, and so began to apostatize from religion itself. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a good means of steadiness and perseverance; hereby their hearts and hands are mutually strengthened.
3. To exhort one another, to exhort ourselves and each other, to warn ourselves and one another of the sin and danger of backsliding, to put ourselves and our fellow-Christians in mind of our duty, of our failures and corruptions, to watch over one another, and be jealous of ourselves and one another with a godly jealousy. This, managed with a true gospel spirit, would be the best and most cordial friendship. (Matthew Henry Commentary on Hebrew 10)
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