“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
“Except pastors retain this end in view, it can by no means be that they will in good earnest proceed in the course of their calling, but will, on the contrary, become faint; for there are innumerable hindrances which are sufficient to discourage the most prudent. They have often to do with ungrateful men, from whom they receive an unworthy reward; long and great labors are often in vain; Satan sometimes prevails in his wicked devices. Lest, then, the faithful servant of Christ should be broken down, there is for him one and only one remedy – to turn his eyes to the coming of Christ. Thus it will be, that he, who seems to derive no encouragement from men, will assiduously go on in his labors, knowing that a great reward is prepared for him by the Lord. And, further, lest a protracted expectation should produce languor, he at the same time sets forth the greatness of the reward, which is sufficient to compensate for all delay: an unfading crown of glory, He says, awaits you.”
“Wisemen Still Seek Him”
Introduction: If the wisemen in Matthew 2:1-12 could still speak – what would they say to us today? Let me share with you what I think they would say – I think they would say:
The Lord calls men to shepherd His flock. But nowhere in Scripture does God call His people a herd. They are a flock, and the leaders are called shepherds. There is one distinctive thing about sheep: they cannot be driven. You can drive a herd of cattle….but you cannot drive sheep. They must be led!
Andrew Murray (1828-1917), going through a very painful experience in his life, penned these words for himself. Maybe they can encourage you today:
“First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again-how and when He knows. Let me say I am here….by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time!”
God goes deeper than our deepest valley, is larger than our largest trial, brings light to our darkest hours, and is always at His best when we are at our lowest. Stay in the Word, search and guard your heart, and trust in the days ahead as you have in days past. God may be up to something that you would have never thought. John 15:7 Psalm 57:1