As I was thinking about you and praying for our church this morning, God renewed my conviction to be resolute in demanding that our men (and specifically our Elders and Deacons) understand and embody the life-giving power of the Gospel in their daily lives. The best way to tell how well the Gospel is gaining traction in a local church is the kind of men it produces. So here are some questions I asked myself this morning before God and I'm asking you to do the same:
Do you rejoice in position, power, accomplishments, entitlement, control, degrees, knowledge, status, authority, numbers, and rank? Or do you rejoice in service, mercy, sacrifice, pastoral care, love, prayer, prudence, grace, relationships, and repentance? Are you proud or humble? Do you put others before yourself? Do you find your daily security and significance in your own accomplishments or in Christ's accomplishment for you? Do you seek first place or last place? Do you boast on yourself or on Christ? Do you talk about yourself a lot? Are you prone to envy and do you get defensive easily? Do you weep with those who weep? Do you love people and look for opportunities to serve and shepherd them? Do you revel in self-confidence or self-sacrifice? Do you have people in your life that you confess specific instances of sin? Do the people in your life find it easy to correct you?
I know these are tough questions to ask yourself but honest answers to these questions will tell you how well you grasp the Gospel and how qualified you are to lead this church. The Bible demands that we be Gospel-men. And since his security and significance is in Christ, a real Gospel-man is not afraid of questions like this.
Furthermore, we all have blind spots, so I charge you to ask your wives and your children to answer these questions about you. If that charge makes you feel uncomfortable than it's a sure sign that you know you need to grow in your grasp of the gospel-like I do! As I said yesterday to the whole church: your spiritual health is my greatest goal and responsibility.
Please know that I love you all, am learning and growing with you, and am grateful to serve with you.
In Christ Alone,
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