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Pastor, Do Something!

Paul urged Timothy to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." (2 Timothy 2: 3)
It was said of Jesus that He "went about doing good." (Acts 10:38)

It could be said about many of us that we gad about doing little or nothing.
There is no place in the ministry of the Lord Jesus for a lazy or shiftless preacher.
A great leader of yesterday once said that
"No man under the sun has as little time to gad about as the preacher."

I do believe that most preachers stay busy.
But busy at what?

Much of what we do may be good, but we must beware lest the good shall become the enemy of the best.
If we are not careful, we may find ourselves being the slave to a multitude of civic, social,
yes, even church causes, doing what others might do and perhaps do better than we can do them.

We would do well to learn from Nehemiah.
He was busy rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.
Those who sought to defeat his purpose invited him to a conference.
He replied, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease,
whilst I leave it, and come down to you
." (Nehemiah 6: 3)

Obviously, there are extra-church duties which call for our participation.
But they should be scheduled and rationed so as not to detract from our primary duties.

One of the greatest detriments to our labors as pastors is a failure to budget our time.
For an overnight trip you can hastily throw a few things into a suitcase and be off.
But by carefully packing it, that same suitcase will hold enough clothes for an extended journey.

Likewise, time haphazardly spent is soon gone with little accomplished.
But a carefully, planned program will enable you to do much more in the same period of time.

There are also certain pastoral and administrative duties which must have the pastor's attention.
But there are some other things, which should occupy central places in the ministry of a pastor.

Time must be allotted to personal visitation with respect to evangelism and enlistment
of prospective members.
Probably, most of us fail at this point more than any other.
But preaching the gospel from house to house, not only will bless those to whom we go, it will enrich
our own spiritual lives, and it will make us better preachers, and it will prove to be contagious
among our people.

Time must be scheduled for our personal Bible study.
We should guard this time as we would guard our lives.
We should set aside time for devotional reading of the Bible, for meditation, and for prayer.
We also must set aside time for the reading of books and periodicals, which will broaden our horizons
and deepen our understanding of life and the needs of the world in which we live and work.
We must spend much time with the Bible as we delve into the deeper meaning of God's Word.

I have read that if the farmers of India would plow a furrow six inches deep rather than three inches deep
they could double the yield of their land.
Too many of us are content to plow the shallow furrow in Bible study,
and, what is even worse, to scratch around on the surface of oft, worked Biblical fields.
Plow deep, bring forth the hidden manna of divine truth, and your hearers not only will be fed,
they will be more willing for you to spend unnecessary time in your study.

The most important time of the week for you should be the time you stand in your pulpit.
This is the time when you lay before the hungry sheep the food for the soul through the Holy Spirit
which has been prepared for them.

This is the time when you stand as an ambassador for Christ, as though God did beseech lost men
and women through you, and to plead with them in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God.
This is the time to pour out the compassion of your soul as you preach as a dying man to dying men.
This is the time to preach as though it will be the last time you will ever preach.

As you ponder the responsibility that is yours, surely, your soul cries out,
"Who is sufficient for these things?"

Only God in Christ through His Holy Spirit can enable us to walk worthily of the calling wherewith
we are called.
And it may seem at times that we labor alone, unknown, and unappreciated by the world,
but our God who placed us in the ministry will not ignore our unfaithfulness -- neither will He forget
our faithfulness in this holy calling.

Pastor, do something!