Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Minister's Regrets

I was introduced to Geoff Thomas some years back at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary Conference that I attend each August. Thomas is a Welsh pastor who has served the congregation of Alfred Place Baptist Church for over fifty years.

The other day a friend shared with me a post that Thomas wrote in 2011 for Banner of Truth. In it, he drew from his considerable experience and shared what his greatest regrets have been in his half-century as a minister. He listed eight in all, and they were all convicting for this minister.

That said, the last one stood out above the rest. What a passionate, familiar, heart-felt expression of both regret and glorious gospel truth there is in these words:
I am sorry that my love for Jesus Christ is cool and shallow. ‘Weak is the effort of my heart and cold my warmest thought.’ It was true for Newton and it is true for us today. Sometimes I think, ‘Do I love him at all?’ Where is the affection, the glow, the delight and anticipation of meeting with him? M’Cheyne wrote in his diary, ‘Rose early to meet him whom my soul loves. Who would not rise early to meet such company?’ I wish that that reflected my own heart’s longing for the Saviour. I wish I could give myself to him anew each Sunday, thinking, ‘I am going to go where the Lord Jesus is.’ When I have nothing else to think about I wish my mind naturally gravitated to him. Here is someone who laid down his life for me. This is the one who delivered me from hell. Behold my Saviour who is taking me to glory for ever. Here is my beloved and here is my friend who is working all things together for my good. This dear Lord of mine is going to do an eternal makeover on my whole life. The Lord Jesus is my personal teacher and personal trainer and personal counsellor and personal bodyguard. He can protect me from the biggest devil in hell. Christ is so fascinating a personality, wise, caring, fresh, creative, stimulating, patient and so kind to me. It is my chief complaint, that my love is weak and faint. I who encourage others to love him am amazed that I can love him so little, but what is more amazing is the fact that I love him at all.

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