Of Mountain Springs and Thinness

“Your paths drip with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11)

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” _Bilbo Baggins

*****

Following is a video to the ministers I serve in Montana and North & South Dakota. While addressed to ministers specifically, I believe anyone would find it helpful. (See notes to my talk below.)

Devotional Notes:

Introduction: Recently I realized I had grown thin in my soul. 

Psalm 65:11 (NKJV) You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.

Psalm 78:15 (NKJV) He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink in abundance like the depths.

Word Picture: My dad’s illustration of the spring of mountain water and how it got clogged up and was reduced to a trickle.  You’d have to climb up the hillside and go to the source and clear out the debris.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…

Weight = good things | the work of the church, family, personal

Sin that ensnares us = like picking blackberries

There is nothing more horrifying that stepping into the pulpit so weighed down with other stuff or ensnared by sin that the flow from heaven is barely trickling in.

Word Picture: A malnourished mother trying to breast feed her child.  There is just not nourishment to produce milk – there’s nothing there. 

King Hezekiah reached such a crisis that he said: “the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.” (Isaiah 37:3)

Thesis: At the end of the day, we as ministers are called to live holy lives. 

Holy = to separate

Acts 13:2 (NKJV) As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Holy = to separate unto…

Acts 13:2 (NKJV) As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Romans 1:1 (NKJV) Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.

2 Corinthians 5:14 (NKJV) For the love of Christ compels us…

Mission: To stir up a passion in my ministers to be intentional about making time most days for personal spiritual renewal and growth and from that wellspring of spiritual renewal let their ministry and service flow. 

Vision: I win if the following happens…

FIRST: Spend extended time in studying the bible

Your level of love for studying your bible is a key indicator of your health as a Christian and minister.  And I am talking about chapters a day.

SECOND: Spend time in reading and listening to sermons

Jesus was a preacher (we read his sermons in the N.T.)

The Apostles were preachers

Question: Why do we preach so much and listen so little?

RE: John Piper, https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/bible-reading-has-been-my-life

THIRD: Spend time in reading great Christian literature 

Potential Reading List:

  1. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, Os Guinness
  2. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  3. The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer
  4. When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, John Piper
  5. Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, J.P. Morland
  6. Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers, John Eldredge
  7. The Cross of Christ, John R.W. Stott
  8. Sermons of R.A. Torrey, R.A. Torrey
  9. Spirit-Led Preaching, Greg Heisler

My lunch with Dr. Raymond Culpepper – looking out the window with a bible in my lap

7 thoughts on “Of Mountain Springs and Thinness

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