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It is hard to hold your tongue, but you will never regret holding it. It is easy to speak your mind, but you will usually regret speaking it.
Š I am scheduled to preach Friday through Sunday for Fairmont Grace Church in Sylacauga, AL, where Bro. Larry Criss is pastor.
Nursery Duty Today: Shante’ Birchum (AM) — Stephanie Wilkerson (PM)
Divine Unction Needed — Don Fortner
(Tune: #291 — Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah —87.87.87)
1. Holy Spirit, now deliver
All Your saints from slavish fear.
Blessed Spirit, Comfort Giver,
Rest upon Your people here!
By Your unction, by Your unction
Bring our Savior’s fulness near!
2. By Your mighty operations,
Every contrite heart revive;
And reveal that full salvation,
By which ruined sinners live;
May Your unction, may Your unction
Pardon, peace, and comfort give.
Can poor sinners know the Lord.
Gospel truth to Jesus pointing,
Strength, delight, and joy afford,
When with unction, when with unction
You send forth the Sacred Word.
4. Come, O come, almighty Teacher,
Make Your people know Your pow’r!
On the hearers and the preacher,
Send a rich refreshing shower!
Of Your unction, of Your unction
In this consecrated hour!
Just for Preachers and Those Who Care for Them
“A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
I write this article just for preachers, faithful gospel preachers, men God has given to feed his church with knowledge and understanding, and for those people who care for them. I sometimes see pastors and their churches in conflict. It is my policy always, when conflict arises between a faithful pastor and the people he serves, to defend and support the pastor. Unless he has embraced some heretical doctrine in conflict with the gospel of Christ or has been engaged in some egregious moral evil, I always support and defend the gospel preacher. You should too.
Recently, I’ve had correspondence with two pastors which motivate me to write this brief article.
It should go without saying that encouragement is always appreciated. After sending a brief note to a friend encouraging him in his labor and complimenting him for an article I read in his bulletin, he replied saying, “Thank you very much my friend. I very rarely get any response from my folks. Is that typical?”
I responded to his note by telling him something another pastor I know once said. — “I’ve been writing bulletin articles for our congregation, two every week, for more than 50 years. In all those years I don’t recall ½ dozen encouraging comments from anyone. Many don’t even bother to take them home. — What a sad commentary about the people for whom we labor! All the more reason for us to labor on.”
My wife labors with great care to provide me with three good meals every day. She spends much time thinking about what to cook and works hard preparing the meal, serving it to me, and cleaning up the mess, three times every day. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten up from the table without thanking her and complimenting her for the meal. Such presumption would be unthinkable! Surely, the man who labors for your souls should be treated with no less respect and appreciation.
An Angry Pastor
On the same day, to a young pastor going through some things that (rightly or wrongly) greatly angered him, I wrote the following. — “Never carry your anger and disappointment into the pulpit. Rather, always seek to do what we are commanded to do in preaching (Isaiah 40:1-2). Pastoring is a relentless, heavy burden. It is not for the faint of heart. If God has put you in this work and given you the high honor of this gift, you must constantly seek his grace and strength to supply you with a tender heart for his people, an ear deaf to criticism and slander, shoulders broad enough and strong enough to carry piles of rocks, hands gentle enough to wipe a baby’s tears, a backbone of steel as wide as a freeway, and the hide of a rhinoceros. I am fully convinced that there is no work more demanding, less appreciated, and more totally consuming, and no work so honorable, so blessed, and so satisfying as the work of the ministry.”
“The God of Patience”
He who is our God is “the God of patience!” He is the one who effectually teaches us patience and works it in us by his grace. Patience is the fruit of the Spirit produced in chosen, redeemed, heaven-born sinners by his grace, by his Word, and by his providence. — “Tribulation worketh patience.”
Here our hearts and minds are directed to “the God of patience” that we might both rejoice in his goodness and imitate him. In all things our God is himself the pattern we must follow. Being the God of patience, he bears much and bears long with the children of men.
God’s Patience Experienced
How patient, forbearing, and longsuffering our God is and has been with us! The patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Father is beautifully portrayed in The Parable of The Prodigal Son. As the father of the prodigal obviously had his servant constantly watching over his poor, rebel son all the days of his rebellion and patiently waited for is son’s return, our heavenly Father created his angels and sent them forth to watch over and care for our poor souls throughout the days of our rebellion (Hebrews 1:14), as he waited the appointed hour of our return to him.
The patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Savior is manifest in the way he preserved us in the days of our rebellion (Jude 1). In our times of languishing, he patiently preserves and keeps us still. And when we are fallen, he patiently keeps his fallen ones and raises them up by his grace (Psalm 37:23-24).
We experience the patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Comforter throughout our pilgrimage here. When we hardened our hearts before he called us to life and faith in Christ, he was even then, as from everlasting, our Sanctifier (1 Peter 1:2). Though often we harden our hearts, he is our Sanctifier still!
Truly, we must “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15). He waits to be gracious to his elect before conversion and after it bears with our infirmities, heals our backslidings, forgives our iniquities. He patiently hears our cries, relieves our burdens, and carries us (Isaiah 30:18-19; 46:3-4; 63:9).
Patience to Imitate
Is God patient with us? How patient we ought to imitate his patience and be patient with one another, patient with our brothers and sisters in Christ, patient with unbelievers and rebels, and patient with our enemies.
Is God patient with us? How patient his servants ought to be with those we serve! Over, and over again, in Holy Scripture God’s servants, gospel preachers are taught of God to be patient, patient in afflictions and in need (2 Corinthians 4:16) and patient with men, following “after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).).
Patience before Him
Is God patient with us? How patient we ought to be before him! Wait patiently before his providence. Blessed Spirit of God, God of Patience, teach me patience! He it is upon whom and for whom we should patiently wait.
The Grace Bulletin
September 23, 2018
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 576-3400 — E-Mail email@example.com
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service