John MacArthur is a treasure trove of insight. I’m reading the book Pastoral Ministry, have only gotten through the introduction and the first chapter so far, and about a third of it is highlighted. Zoiks.
One thing stood out in particular (and it’s sure hard to choose only one thing in this book), at the very end of chapter one. He writes, “As Jesus engaged in His Father’s work, so must we. An anonymous writer vividly captured the essence of pastoral stewardship before the Lord with his exhortation to do God’s work God’s way according to God’s Word:
“Stick with your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let critics malign, let enemies accuse, let the devil do h is worst; but see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.
He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed. He has never bidden you defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself) which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle, or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.
Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”