Today's Word for Pastors...
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.]
Today's Preaching Insight...
Once upon a time, there was a traveling preacher on the American frontier. Hungry and tired, he arrived at the home of Christian people to stay the night. Before he went to bed he entered this optimistic note in his journal:
"Arrived at the home of Brother Brown late this evening hungry and tired after a long day in the saddle. Had a bountiful supper of cold pork and beans, warm bread, bacon and eggs, coffee and rich pastry. I go to rest feeling that my witness is clear; the future is bright and I feel called to a great and glorious work in this place. Brother Brown's family are godly people."
On the basis of his entry the next morning before he left his room, however, it appears that his bountiful supper had changed his spiritual outlook. This is what he wrote in his journal the very next morning:
"Awakened late this morning after a troubled night. I am very much depressed in soul; the way looks dark; far from being called to work among this people, I am beginning to doubt the safety of my soul. I am afraid that the desires of Brother Brown and his family are set too much on earthly things . . . "
Even deeply spiritual men and women down thru history have experienced depression. Martin Luther, great Protestant reformer, suffered periods of black gloom. Charles Spurgeon, probably the most effective British preacher of his generation, was immobilized for weeks at a time by depression. Soren Kierkegaard, influential nineteenth century writer, suffered chronic depression. And J.B. Phillips sank into a debilitating depression after the popular success of his paraphrase of the New Testament.
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"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, then falsehood that comforts and then kills. It is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie.
"It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It's better to stand alone with the truth than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better ultimately to succeed with truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie." (Adrian Rogers)
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