Friday, July 10, 2009

Bonar's Advice to Pastors


Today I once again picked up my copy of Horatius Bonar's little book "Words to the Winners of Souls". It has been a while since I spent time with this old friend. Listen to his sage counsel to all who are in the ministry:
"We take for granted that the object of Christian ministry is to convert sinners and to edify the body of Christ. No faithful minister can possible rest short of this...If souls are not won, if saints are not matured, our ministry itself is in vain.

The question, therefore, which each of us has to answer to his conscience is, 'Has it been to the end of my ministry, has it been the desire of my heart to save the lost and guide the saved? Is this my aim in every sermon I preach, in every visit I pay? Is it under the influence of these feelings that I continually live and walk and speak? Is it for this that I pray and toil and weep? Is it for this I spend and am spent, counting it, next to the salvation of my own soul, my chiefest joy to be the instrument in saving others?'" [P&R Publishing, 1995 reprint, p 4, 5]
When I read such books, which illuminate the very heart of the Gospel, I cannot help but to tremble. So many of us stand idle when God has called us to zealous action.

Forgive me, Father, for the time I have failed to redeem and bring under the yoke of Christ. Grant me the faith and wisdom to redeem what is left, for your glory alone.

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