I suspect you have some anchor points of truth and encouragement that stick in your soul.
When I was in the eighth grade, the vice principal of the school told me that the most revered teacher on the campus called me “a guy who takes care of his business” in a private conversation they’d had.
Forty years later, I still draw strength from that comment. Such is the power of personal affirmation.
I’ve heard and read other things that were powerful in a similar way. Several years ago I read John R. W. Stotts’s preaching book, Between Two Worlds. I highly recommend it.
In the book, Stott included this paragraph from the colonial preacher Cotton Mather. It hit me so hard that I copied it and taped it into the flyleaf of my preaching bible. Over the last ten years, I’ve given copies of it to multiple pastors.
I urge you to read it slowly several times out loud between now and Sunday.
Ask the Spirit of God to speak to you through it.
I hope it empowers you for this coming Sunday and beyond.
The office of Christian ministry, rightly understood, is the most honourable, and important, that any man in the whole world can ever sustain; and it will be one of the wonders and employments of eternity to consider the reasons why the wisdom and goodness of God assigned this office to imperfect and guilty man! . . . The great design and intention of the office of a Christian preacher are to restore the throne and dominion of God in the souls of men; to display in the most lively colour, and proclaim in the clearest language, the wonderful perfections, offices and grace of the Son of God; and to attract the souls of men into a state of everlasting friendship with him. . . . It is a work which an angel might wish for, as an honour to his character; yes, an office which every angel in heaven might covet to be employed in for a thousand years to come. It is such an honourable, important and useful office, that if a man be put into it by God, and made faithful and successful through life, he may look down with disdain upon a crown, and shed a tear of pity on the brightest monarch on earth.
—Cotton Mather, Student and Preacher
You matter, a lot, to the kingdom of God and the redeeming work he is doing in the world and in your congregation and church today.“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task” (1 Timothy 3:1 NIV)