Sometimes a preacher needs to remind himself of the promises of God. He promises to bless our efforts in His name and to reward faithful service. While he does not guarantee we will always see the results we would like to see, He does promise to empower us and to be with us as we obey his commission. So here are a few thoughts along those lines that God has impressed upon my heart recently.
1. I should expect God to convict and draw sinners to obey the gospel; therefore I should preach it authoritatively with the expectation that repentant sinners ought to respond.
2. I should expect those who are sincerely saved to be willing to go public with their faith; therefore I should preach baptism, church membership, and enlist converts in becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ.
3. I should expect followers of Christ to want to grow in their faith and to learn the principles of discipleship, namely, worship, fellowship with other believers, and service; therefore I should preach such truths and work to provide an atmosphere where this can be promoted.
4. I should expect that success may not always be visible and the success which appears to be visible may even be deceiving; therefore I should do my best and rest in the sovereignty of God to build His church as He promised He would.
5. I should expect Christ followers to give of their wealth and of their time to serve Christ; therefore I should teach and preach what the scriptures say about giving and service.
6. I should expect that all the things we strive to do for Christ will receive opposition from Satan; therefore I should be dependent upon the Holy Spirit for power, guidance, and comfort as I experience any hardships and disappointments that opposition may bring.
7. I should expect that the clearer and more central these expectations are, the better my life of service will be and the better the people I shepherd will be.