Monday, November 8, 2010

The Greatness of God and the Frailty of Earthen Vessels

I recently began perusing an excellent new book entitled Well-Driven Nails: The Power of Finding Your Own Voice. The author, Pastor Byron Yawn, was an associate pastor at my parents’ church for several years and so I had an added incentive to purchase it.

Yawn is writing primarily to preachers, but there are some principles contained within its pages that I believe are helpful to all.

For example, as I scanned the table of contents, one of the chapters caught my eye. It was entitled, “John MacArthur: The Most Extraordinary Average Brain Expositor I Know.” Here’s what Yawn writes:

[MacArthurs] views his “average intelligence” as a primary reason he’s been able to connect with so many people. As he put it, “…It helps to not be too intelligent. I need a simple understanding of everything. I battle with the Scripture until I can understand it.”
MacArthur, writes Yawn, takes it as a compliment that his commentaries are viewed as tools for the untrained layman:

I’ve spent my entire life talking to the untrained layman. I’m not talking to dead Germans, liberals or scholars in a PhD program. I’m talking to the untrained layman. More than anything, I’m talking to myself. I need a simple understanding of Scripture. I have to have it broken down into simple concept. As it turns out, so does most everyone else.
Pride is a terrible foe. Even as we seek to glorify God in our ministry, pride trips us up. Some of us think too highly of our ministry abilities and stumble as we seek to exalt ourselves. Others of us take a more accurate assessment of our abilities, but then our terrible foe pride causes us to resent that our ability to minister is not greater!

MacArthur here reveals an encouraging truth that should result in greater humility. God uses whatever instruments He deems fit to use in whatever ways He deems fit to use them. In the hands of a Sovereign God, each of us becomes not an extraordinary tool but rather an ordinary tool that does an extraordinary thing—encourages others to worship a holy God.

May God give you grace to humbly engage in ministry for His glory.

1 comment:

Mom B said...

I didn't know Boo wrote a book! I'll have to look for it for the library! He was here at Countryside recently, but I didn't get to hear him. Love you!