Today's Word for Pastors...
Today's Preaching Insight...
"We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry," John Piper writes in his book Brothers, We Are NOT Professionals. "Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry."
Professionalism leads to spiritual decline, Piper believes: "For there is no professional childlikeness; there is no professional tenderheartedness; there is no professional panting after God."
In the chapter, "Brothers, Fight for Your Life," he urges pastors to take 20 minutes a day, six days a week, just to read.
"Without time of unhurried reading and reflection, beyond the press of sermon preparation, my soul shrinks... For your own soul and the life of your church, fight for time to feed your soul with rich reading."
A friend said, "My problem is that I have surrendered my time to work, to other people, and to bad habits." We should first surrender our time to God. God owns it anyway. Our task is to manage properly what has been entrusted to us until he returns or wants it back, including our time.
Think about a compass and a clock Two very important tools, but two very different instruments. One would be wise not to confuse the two. To surrender our time to God is to be governed by a compass rather than to be controlled by a clock. A compass provides a sense of direction, purpose, vision, perspective, and balance. A clock measures duration, the expenditure of time. A compass determines effectiveness-doing the right tasks. A clock determines efficiency-how long it takes to accomplish a task. Both have their place. But, the compass must come before the clock, therefore, effectiveness before efficiency. The "mega priorities" of the compass subordinate the "mini priorities" of the clock.
A compass, therefore, becomes a symbol of an internal guidance system that provides us with our values and convictions based on God's Word. This non-negotiable governs our lives. In the same manner that the gravitational force pulls the compass needle; it is God that governs the drive of our lives. We surrender to his force.
Our time should be surrendered to God daily. I asked a friend who is engaged in many pursuits successfully, how he managed it all. He said, "I give my first minutes to God, then I commit the remainder of the day to his Lordship. And amazingly I work more effectively and efficiently."
Have you surrendered your time to God? Is your time in his hands? (Rick Ezell, One Minute Uplift newsletter)
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