Today, I have been a pastor for exactly 30 years.
I have a profound sense of joy. Joy at the privilege of being a preacher of the Gospel and God’s Word. Joy at how I have seen the Lord hold fast on to me, when dangers, toils, and snares were within me and all around me. Joy to see God at work and to see glimpses of His glory. Joy to witness people place their faith in Christ alone for eternal life. Joy for the way God’s people have allowed me to share in their lives. Joy for the way that God’s people have been the vehicle of God’s supply to my material needs. Joy for the opportunities to encourage God’s people in His Word in distant lands. Joy for a wife who has built up a sometimes broken husband with remarkable grace and fullness of the Spirit. Joy for children who love the Lord Jesus AND love His church too.
Here are some verses that I have thought about today, as I thank the Lord for the privilege of being a pastor:
Luke 17:10--So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
When I first became a pastor, I looked too young for the job. Today, I look too old for it. However, there does come a freedom with that. As Charles Spurgeon once remarked, “My good looks are gone, and none can damage me much now.”
For all whom I serve or have served as your pastor, I thank the Lord. Onward to the next 30 years, as the Lord wills. :)