While on retreat for a couple of days, I made it halfway through a book that I’ve long wanted to read, On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg. How I made it these thirty-two years without someone recommending this book to me I do not know! Though I’ve not yet finished it, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite modern works on the character and calling of a pastor.
One section early on addressed the pastor’s responsibility to feed the flock of God and how neglect of this solemn duty works against the growth and joy of God’s people. On the flip side, faithful exposition of the Word produces a holy joy, which drives the saints to pursue Christ all the more.
This section stood out to me yesterday.
“When Christians are joyful in Christ, they want to serve Him, and they do with the gladness that befits His service. When Christians are joyful in Christ, they face their sufferings with peace and preserving faith. When Christians are joyful in Christ, they are in a position to help others. If Christians do not rejoice, it is not because they are not Christians, but because they are not Christians enough. Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ. Our goal to feed Christ’s flock has this greater goal beyond it of the Christian’s joy in Christ being complete (John 15:11).”