“And do we not often feel weak in the sense of utter unfitness for being ministers at all by reason of our own sinfulness?  Paul said of his calling to the ministry, ‘Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!’  We can say that too; yet sometimes we feel as if we would speak no more for Christ, and we should sink into silence were it not that His Word is as a fire in our bones, and we cannot refrain.  Then we think we will go away into the far west, and in some log cabin teach a few children the way of salvation, for we do not feel fit for anything higher.  Our shortcomings and our failures stare us out of countenance, and then are we painfully weak.  But this also is the highway to strength: ‘When I am weak, then am I strong.’”

C. H. Spurgeon, An All Round Ministry (Edinburgh, 1978), page 216.

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3 thoughts on “The highway to strength”

  1. Mike Francis says:

    Thanks, Ray.

  2. Tim says:

    I have been thinking about disqualification much recently. I believe I have been called but have not been established by the Lord yet. I often think about disqualification because to me it seems I sin far too much to serve in such a sacred duty.

    I feel disqualified at least once a month it seems like. Yet I feel Gospel-fire in my bones…

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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