Some lessons come even from his time before being called to his first pastorate as a young man in his early 20s:
- He had a desire for fellowship with God. This was not simply a case of stoking himself up in the morning for the rest of the day. Manna was not intended to last. Rather he wanted to meet God and fellowship with him throughout the day.
- He studied Scripture. And this was not simply in order that he had plenty to pass on to others. This was for his own soul. He did not want to pass on anything to others from the pulpit if it had not first affected his soul. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt 12:34)
- He prayed. His he believed his ministry depended on prayer. He would seek solitude in order to pray.
- He was conscious of his sin. He used a journal to track the progress of his soul and he regularly expressed his concern about hidden sin. Of particular interest to me was his often mentioned secret desire to be acclaimed for his preaching. What preacher is without this?
More to come, I hope.