Our duty and privilege

Echoing the thoughts of the privilege of ministry and service from last Sunday are two comments from pastors from other centuries:

If anyone, therefore, appears before you who is in need of your kind services, you have no reason to refuse him your help.

Suppose he is a stranger; yet the Lord has pressed his own stamp on him and made him as one of your family, and he forbids you to despise your own flesh and blood.

Suppose he is despicable and worthless; yet the Lord has deigned him worthy to be adorned with his own image.

Suppose that you have no obligation toward him for services; yet the Lord has made him as it were his substitute, so that you have obligation for numerous and unforgettable benefits.

Suppose that he is unworthy of your least exertion; but the image of God which recommends him to you deserves that you surrender yourself and all your possessions to him.

If he has deserved no kindness, but just the opposite, because he has maddened you with his injuries and insults, even this is no reason why you should not surround him with our affection and show him all sorts of favors.

You may say that he has deserved a very different treatment, but what does the Lord command but to forgive all men their offenses and to charge them against himself? [John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life.]

Charles Spurgeon said something very similar to his students, albeit in fewer words:

It is our duty and privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus.  We are not to be living specimens of men in fine preservation, but living sacrifices, whose lot is to be consumed; we are to spend and to be spent, not to lay ourselves up in lavender, and nurse our flesh. [Lectures to My Students.]

And again, this is the admonition for every believer in Christ, not a “special servant” who has given his life in some unusual act of service for God.  This is the joyous privilege of every believer.  As many have noted, being weary and exhausted may not be a sign that we are doing something wrong, but if we are active in serving Christ and His people, it may be that we are doing something right!

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