Ministering Like Mr. Great-heart
2 Timothy 4:1-5 is fuel to my soul: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
The minister of God’s Word is charged in the presence of God and Christ Jesus. But if that is not enough, we are charged in the presence of the one who is to judge the living and the dead. Could there be any greater motivation? Oh yes! And charged in view of his appearing and his kingdom. And what is it we are charged to do? Preach the Word. Yes, not only to teach, but to preach. There will be dangerous to warn against. There will be dangers which assault the children of God. There will be sheep to lead tenderly along. So we are to preach with strength and sobriety. May we have the same resolve as Spurgeon when he said:
I am occupied in my small way, as Mr. Great-heart was employed in Bunyan’s day. I do not compare myself with that champion, but I am in the same line of business. I am engaged in personally-conducted tours to Heaven; and I have with me, at the present time, dear Old Father Honest: I am glad he is still alive and active. And there is Christiana, and there are her children. It is my business, as best I can, to kill dragons, and cut off giants’ heads, and lead on the timid and trembling. I am often afraid of losing some of the weaklings. I have the heart-ache for them; but, by God’s grace, and your kind and generous help in looking after one another, I hope we shall all travel safely to the river’s edge. Oh, how many have I had to part with there! I have stood on the brink, and I have heard them singing in the midst of the stream, and I have almost seen the shining ones lead them up the hill, and through the gates, into the Celestial City.