Pastoral Exhortations

(Francis Grimke, 1850-1937)

No cowardly minister who is afraid to declare the whole Word of God lest he give offense, or interfere with his popularity—has any right in any Christian pulpit. He is simply a disgrace to it, and a stench in the nostrils of Jehovah!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

My constant prayer to God is that he would help me to preach . . .
  not great sermons, but helpful sermons;
  sermons that will appeal, not mainly to the intellect, but to the heart;
  sermons that will tend to strengthen and develop holiness within us, and inspire us with devout desires.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

No man's ministry is a failure, however meager the results, if he has been faithfully and earnestly preaching the gospel of the grace of God—holding up to dying, sinful men God's message of redeeming love. Such a ministry is not, could not be, a failure.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The minister must be a man of prayer, and he must be a careful student of the Word of God. Without these two things, he may be able to preach interesting and eloquent sermons, but they will carry no saving weight with them. It is only as he lives in close vital communion with God, that he can hope to speak with convicting and converting power.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

One of the things we should be on our guard against, is the desire for praise—the wish to be complimented for our pulpit ministrations.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Unless we are striving to be what we preach, we had better not preach at all.