Last week while looking through books at a thrift store, I came across a book set called, "The treasury of David." The books are a series that were remarketed 1984 by "The Old Time Gospel Hour Edition." The books were on sale for $1.00, and so, of course, I bought them.
When I got home I opened up the first book to see what it was all about and was surprised to see that it was signed by Jerry Falwell.
I thought that was pretty cool. However, the best thing that I found within the first few pages of the book was the preface.
A portion of the Prefix:
"The hints to Preacher are very simple, and an apology is due to my ministerial readers for inserting them, but I humbly hope they may render assistance to those for whom alone they are designed, viz.. lay preachers whose time is much occupied, and whose attainments are slender."
"Should this first volume meet with the approbation of the judicious, I shall hope by God's grace to continue the work as rapidly as I can consistently with the research demanded and my incessant pastoral duties."
"Another volume will follow in all probability in twelve months time, if life be spared and strength be given."
"It may be added, that although the comments were the work of my health, the rest of the volume is the product of my sickness. When protracted illness and weakness laid me aside from daily preaching, I resorted to my pen as an available means of doing good. I would have preached had I been able, but as my Master denied me the privilege of thus serving him, I gladly availed myself of the other method of bearing testimony for His name. O that he may give me fruit in this field aslo, and His shall be all the praise."
I personally do not know a lot about Charles Spurgeon. I'd seen an older movie about the his life several years ago and was impressed by his work and dedication to God. That along with the prefix of this book tells me much about him.
He lived to minister the word of God, and even in sickness he did not step away from it, but rather, he put all of his efforts into compiling this study on the book of Psalms. He demonstrated that even in sickness one can serve God in powerful ways, as God strengthens us in our weaknesses. Even when a person feels that he or she is unusable, God says, "I can use you." As the Apostle Paul said, "When I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Cor 12:10)
That was his drive in life, and one more noble than anything else I can think of, for he lived his life to serve God and minister the gospel to anyone who would hear.
What impressed me most is that he wanted to share in his scriptural revelations and also encouraged others to read and study God's word, because Spurgeon knew the wealth of understanding that would come only from personal study and seeking the Lord with all our hearts mind and strength. He even wrote a book titled, "How to Study the Bible."
When the members of a church each seek God through prayerful study, how can the entire body not be edified?
This is a clear early church principle where Paul spoke about the different parts of the body edifying one another, and growing up together into the "measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."Ephesians 4:11-16
The long and dedicated study that Spurgeon partook in of the book of Psalms, demonstrates how one can be a powerful minister. The key is a prayerful and full-heart dedication to seeking God, His will, and His truth, and the desire that God places on each person's heart who seeks Him, to share the gospel with others. Each of us has the ability to prayerfully study God's word while drawing near to God for the understanding that comes only from Him.