Thankful This Day and Every Day
I thank God for the privilege of hearing so many blessed sermons today, previous Lord’s Days, and throughout the past weeks, months, and years. Despite the darkness of our hour, God has retained unto Himself many a godly light. I make it a point to try to remember that these are just men, sinful and carnal by nature like the rest of us, and that undue adulation and praise is neither fitting nor becoming. Yet at the same time, the words that God has ordained to come forth from their mouths (each with their own style, personality, and manner) have been such a blessing to me that it is nigh impossible not to think upon them with such a high degree of honour, respect, and thankfulness.
Yes, they are but conduits and not the source of all that is edifying. Yes they are but under-shepherds to the Great Shepherd of God’s elect sheep. Yes, whatever they proclaim that is Good and True is of the Lord and, by no means, of their own natural person. Yes, God alone is worthy of all honour, glory, and praise; and yes, we are not to think more highly of men than we ought. However, doesn’t God Himself declare in 1 Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Those who labour to feed and guide the sheep should be received in the Lord with all gladness; and held in reputation (Philippians 2:29). If they have refreshed our spirits, then we should acknowledge them, giving honour to whom honour is due.
Yet knowing that they are but men, prone to the same weaknesses, temptations, distractions, internal vilenesses and pollutions, and bouts of spiritual coldness, lethargy, and darkness as every other saint of God — let us all the more thank them, love them, encourage them, pray for them, and provide for them as God enables us and puts it on our hearts to do. May it be that, to the degree it honours and exalts Him, He gives us all (all who are His by eternal love and grace) a greater liberality of heart and a greater living-sacrificial walk, causing us to deny ourselves, and to not seek our own good, but the good of others — especially those who have been called to point us to the Lord via the preaching of the Word and by the watching over of our souls, as they that must give account.