Sometimes you read an entire book for a single illustration or paragraph. Such was the case for me recently in reading Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp.
The paragraph below is worth the entire book. I urge you to read it slowly:
It is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry. It is only worship of Christ that has the power to protect him from all the seductive idols of ministry that will whisper in his ear. It is only the glory of the risen Christ that will guard him against the self-glory that is a temptation to all who are in ministry and that destroys the ministry of so many. Only Christ can turn an arrogant, “bring on the world” seminary graduate into a patient, humble giver of grace. Only deep gratitude for a suffering Savior can make a man willing to suffer in ministry. It is only a heart that is satisfied in Christ that can be spiritually content in the hardships of ministry. It is only in your brokenness in the face of your sin that you can give grace to the fellow rebels to whom God has called you to minister. It is only when your identity is firmly rooted in Christ that you are free from seeking to get your identity out of your ministry.
Humbling, isn’t it? You may even want to go back and read it again, this time pausing after each sentence to evaluate your own heart.
Do you love Christ? Worship Him? Glory in Him? Thank Him? Find your satisfaction in Him?
Christ is everything.