We’ll soon be reaching a milestone in hosting our 20th annual Basics Conference for pastors and church leaders. It’s been a particular joy and privilege to have been joined by faithful friends in the Gospel who’ve taught at Basics. Sitting side by side with fellow teachers of God’s Word, we’ve shared the ups and downs of pastoral ministry and have encouraged one another to keep on keeping on.
Each year has served as a reminder of just how dependent we are on God to sustain our efforts. For all of us, the commitment to ministry is lifelong. Mercifully, our ability to persevere does not come from within but is grounded in the free and unchangeable love of God, who alone makes things grow.
It is all grace from beginning to end!
Spending time in the company of fellow foot soldiers who, with consistent faithfulness, have led their churches for decades without notoriety or commendation is humbling. For each of us, prolonged endurance is a testimony of God’s willingness to put His treasure in old clay pots. We may be certain that when the record books in heaven are opened, it will be the steadfast servants who pressed on Sunday after Sunday, year after year, often without evidence of blessings, who shine “like the stars of the morning, His bright crown adorning” (William O. Cushing, “Jewels,” 1856).
The commitment to leading our families is a similar undertaking. As parents, we’re pastoring a small flock. The responsibility of Christian parenting is also lifelong, characterized by challenges and disappointments, and wholly dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit to retain our sanity and maintain our equilibrium! Since God’s pattern for families is under such attack in our culture, we find ourselves increasingly living as strangers and aliens. We can be encouraged to press on, however, assured that in Christ we have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for us (1 Peter 1:4).
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
P.S. Because our strength comes only from the Lord, please pray for all of us attending Basics 2019 on May 6–8. And if you’re not attending and would like to participate virtually, you can watch all of the main sessions live at basicsconference.org beginning May 6 at 3:00 p.m. (EST).
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg