Today’s Expositor’s Quote is another challenge from Richard Baxter:
Our whole work must be carried on under a deep sense of our own insufficiency, and of our entire dependence on Christ. We must go for light, and life, and strength to him who sends us on the work. And when we feel our own faith weak, and our hearts dull, and unsuitable to so great a work as we have to do, we must have recourse to him, and say, ‘Lord, wilt thou send me with such an unbelieving heart to persuade others to believe? Must I daily plead with sinners about everlasting life and everlasting death, and have no more belief or feeling of these weighty things myself? O, send me not naked and unprovided to the work; but, as thou commandest me to do it, furnish me with a spirit suitable thereto.’ Prayer must carry on our work as well as preaching: he preacheth not heartily to his people, that prayeth not earnestly for them. If we prevail not with God to give them faith and repentance, we shall never prevail with them to believe and repent. When our own hearts are so far out of order, and theirs so far out of order, if we prevail not with God to mend and help them, we are like to make but unsuccessful work.
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, (Banner of Truth, 1981; originally published 1656), Chapter 2, Section 2, paragraph 14. Available on the web.
[Do we really believe, "Apart from me, you can do nothing"? Do we really believe "No one comes to me unless the Father draws him"? How earnestly have we prayed this week, seeking help for our unbelief and asking God to open the ears, minds, and hearts of our people? – Coty]
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