A faithful minister
(Thomas Brooks, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ")
"Let the elders who rule well be accounted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17
The which is here rendered labor, signifies not simply to labor—but to labor with much travail and toil, to labor even to exhaustion, as he does who chops wood, or who fights in a battle.
Oh what an honor is it to a faithful minister, when he has . . .
found the people dark and blind—but left them enlightened;
found them dead—but left them alive;
found them a proud people—but left them humble;
found them a profane people—but left them holy;
found them a carnal people—but left them spiritual;
found them a worldly people—but left them heavenly;
found them a wavering people—but left them settled and rooted.
Oh, it is an honor to faithful ministers, when their people are like them . . .
"Watch your life and doctrine closely." 1 Timothy 4:16
A preacher's life should be a commentary of his doctrine.
His practice should be a counterpart of his sermons.
Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life!
"Be an example to all believers . . .
in what you teach,
in the way you live,
in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
"We preach to people who must live forever . . .
in Heaven—or Hell;
with God—or devils;
in an eternity of joy—or of torment!" Thomas Doolittle