Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 3, 1969
NUMBER 47, PAGE 7b-8a

"Fire In His Bones"

Donald R. Givens

"And if I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain," so said that great preacher Jeremiah in Jer. 20:9.

The work of a gospel preacher is a serious, rewarding, and very important work. Nevertheless, occasionally one is heard to express the disrespectful idea that "a preacher doesn't work for a living." Brethren, we had better stop and think twice before we make such a serious accusation. The apostle Paul, that hard-working preacher of the gospel, commanded Timothy, the young evangelist, to "suffer hardship, do the WORK of an evangelist." (II Tim. 4:5) Yes, it is work; very hard and very rewarding work.

Preaching the gospel; pleading with sinners to repent; exhorting the wicked to turn to God; rebuking evil continually; reproving the wicked to turn to God; rebuking evil continually; reproving false teachers; begging the brethren to be faithful; listening to the troubles of many; sharing the burdens of all; sacrificing time, possessions, and more adequate incomes; helping the fallen to rise again; comforting the broken-heated; consoling the bereaved; receiving criticisms and slander from a few; teaching night and day about the blessed salvation in Christ; laboring for the Master at all times and places; giving up time with family and loved ones in order to go exhort some filthy sinner to leave his sinning; warning people about the eternal fires of hell and telling people of the everlasting joys of heaven; continually fighting against indifference and complacency; bearing the load of hatred from heretics; waging an eternal warfare against the ministers of Satan; standing unafraid of sectarian devices; enduring the evil reports of false brethren; being patient while hypocritical men lie about him and slander his good name; suffering under the false conception that he must be a "pasteurizing pastor," "proselyting preacher," a "socializing secretary," and the only personal worker....But experiencing great joy at people obeying the gospel; loving to teach and preach the glad tidings of eternal salvation; willing to do without things of this material life in order to continue preaching; anxious to do things for others; loving to exercise genuine hospitality to all; thankful to be a servant of Jesus the Christ; glad to work with his brethren in the Kingdom of God; happy that he is a preacher and would not be anything else for all the gold and silver in the world; choosing the life of a gospel preacher ABOVE all other works; ready to be spent in the Master's vineyard; meet for the Master's use; quick to answer "here am I Lord, send me," BECAUSE HE HAS LOVE IN HIS HEART and FIRE IN HIS BONES!...This is the WORK of a genuine gospel preacher.

It is a hard and many times unappreciated and meagerly-supported work, but we thank the Lord that there are arising more and more fair-minded brethren who have read and are applying such scriptures as I Cor. 9:7-16. But the faithful, hardworking preacher does not preach merely for the thanks and support he should receive from men. Rather, as Paul stated: "For necessity is laid upon me; FOR WOE IS UNTO ME, IF I PREACH NOT THE GOSPEL!"

The preacher has a great and grand work to do, and as a servant of God he is working WITH you. Pray for him, support him, and work with him in the greatest work God gave humanity.

— 4349 Vassar, Port Arthur, Texas 77640