Thursday, September 29, 2022

My pastoral prayer 

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, Missouri)

O Mighty God, Make me a man of of holiness.  Make me a man of... 
1. Proclamation 
O Truthful God, make me a man who proclaims the Word — your Word — with greater power, passion, force, authority, and fidelity. I long to be used of the Lord as a faithful spokesman for His Word. I want to be a man full of the Word, endowed with the Spirit, and enflamed with holy love as I herald forth the Word of God, the whole counsel of God.  
2. Power
O God of might and power, make me a man of indomitable power. Enable me to do what I cannot do on my own. Take me to places and put me in situations where I am weak and impotent in myself and yet I find your all-enabling grace and divine power more than sufficient for my needs. Make me a man of power as I study, pray, preach, counsel, shepherd, visit, evangelize, and disciple. Make the ministry a powerful, unstoppable, effective, faithful ministry. 
3. Prayer
O Holy Lord who is seated above the Cherubim, You who incline your ear toward me, such a weak creature of yours, and you invite me to come boldly to Your throne of grace! Show me the necessity of prayer, early prayer, urgent prayer, prioritized prayer. Make me to see and feel the urgency of prayer. Allow me to see even more demonstrations of answered prayer, your providential workings through prayer, and increased fruitfulness through prayer. Wake me earlier in the morning to commune with you in prayer. Show me the uncompromising importance of meeting with you before I meet with men. O God, make me more of a man of desperate, persistent, shameless, importunate, believing, powerful prayer. 
4. Piety
O God of unrivaled holiness and supremacy, you are unique and glorious. You are infinitely holy and impeccably perfect. I long to live more fully and more wholly in the Christian practice of my heavenly call! Sanctify me more. Use whatever is needed to make me more into a man of Christlikeness. Let me be holier each day. Make me as holy as a justified sinner can be this side of heaven! Chisel away the dross that still remains. Smooth out the rough, ungodly, self-impassioned lusts and desires. May I emulate Christ and His holy love. 
5. Patience 
O God of perfect patience and unspeakable long-suffering, You call me to imitate you and to walk in love. I so often walk in impatience and in selfishness. How often I want what I want and I desire my comforts and my agenda and my passions and my schedule. And when it doesn’t happen my way, I so often get angry and impatient. O Lord, grant patience in my life and in my ministry. Help me to shepherd with patience, to counsel with patience, to pray with patience, to disciple with patience, and to evangelize the lost with Christlike patience. As Paul tells pastors: Be patient with all men. Help me in this.
6. Purity
O God of faithful purity and love, grant that I would be pure in doctrine, pure in morality, pure in sexual love toward my wife, pure as an example for my children and the church that I’m called to shepherd. May I be above-reproach and always walking with a clean conscience. Let me not give into sin even a little bit. Make my conscience so sensitive so that I would see my sin, acknowledge it, confess it, hate it, forsake it, and replace it quickly! Let me not tolerate sin, or laugh at it, or minimize it, or re-label it, or compare myself with others when I see my sin. O Lord, make me a pure man who walks in your Word. Keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Four Reminders of My Pastoral Ministry. 

Geoffrey R. Kirkland,  Christ Fellowship Bible Church 

1. The motive - know Christ & preach Him
The motive of my heart consists in knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul said: I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This passion consumed Paul. His heart throbbed with the glory of God and the knowledge of Christ. He pursued the Lord intimately and lived for God fully. The driving force and the compelling purpose of the life of a shepherd must be to know Christ and make Him known to others. Nothing less will keep a man going strong. The ultimate motive must continually consist in a relentless, unshakeable, and deepening knowledge and love for Jesus Christ. 

2. The mission  - to preach the WORD (full counsel)
My mission, given by God and clarified by Scripture, demands that I preach the Word of God. I am called to herald forth God’s Truth. To herald means that I cry out passionately, clearly, urgently and precisely what the King has ordered me to declare. What I preach must be nothing other than the written Word of God, the Scriptures. I must preach the Bible. Paul declared the whole counsel of God to believers and the Bible calls all shepherds to preach the Word — all the Scriptures that make us wise unto salvation. All the doctrines must be preached. All the texts must be expounded. All the truths must be affirmed. The exegetical nuances and theological points must be known and proclaimed faithfully. My duty compels me to study intensely, to pray desperately, to craft the message carefully, to ascend the pulpit soberly, to exposit passionately, and then to trust God for results. 

3. The mechanics  to my ministry - to hold on to these 4 non-negotiables

  1. preach - my foremost duty is to preach and expound the Word of God to feed the people of God with divine Truth. 
  2. pray - that which makes my ministry, my preaching, my shepherding, my counseling effective is the almighty power of the Holy Spirit. So I must pray for power, intercede for the flock, care for the sick and weak and plead for lost souls to be converted. 
  3. pastor - I love the calling to ’shepherd the flock of God’. I must love God’s people as a faithful under shepherd pointing them to Christ and emulating Christ before the people of God. 
  4. stay - When ministry becomes so difficult and hardships arise and the temptation is to leave and move to another place of ministry, I must, by God’s grace and with biblical wisdom, seek to be faithful to serve and care for God’s people in this local assembly for the long haul. I do this because I love the people with genuine affection to see them know Christ, persevere with Christ, run the course, and finish well. 

4. The majesty - the high calling: ambassador, herald.
Awesome is the privilege to serve as a herald of Heaven’s Sovereign. Nothing can compare. The King of heaven has summoned me to partake of ministry together with Him to serve Him so that He makes his appeal to sinners through my lips. As Paul said: we are working together with God — and so we urge sinners to not receive the grace of God in vain. No greater calling ever existed than to serve the Lord as a spokesman, a prophet, a declarer, a herald, a messenger for the Lord. The calling is quite simple, really. I must take His message and deliver it the way He intended it to be communicated with the same force, sobriety, emphasis, balance, and authority to the hearers. When the word has been spoken, the work of the preacher is done. He leaves the results to God. So my high calling has seized my soul and has captured me with sovereign arms of love and driven me to prayer, to desperation, to humiliation, and to praise for such a calling to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022



Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

When the church welcomes in new members, we have another opportunity to express biblical love toward the saints. How can we practically and actively show loving care toward our fellow members in the local church?  What are some practical pieces of advice by way of implementation?  I’ll present five pieces of counsel.

Print it & pray thru it. — When you receive the email with the updated membership directory listing all the names of the current members, you have a wonderful opportunity.  I would encourage you to print off multiple copies of the names of the members. When you print the list, you can put one copy in your Bible or by your desk for your morning Bible reading & prayer time. Perhaps you could put the other copy by your desk at work or in your car as you commute. God calls us to pray for the saints, all the saints. We are to show genuine love toward each other by thanking God for one another and interceding for all the saints. Perhaps you take 3-5 names each day and bring each before the Throne of Grace. Maybe you devote a particular day or two each week in your morning prayer time and pray through a larger number of members. But the point remains the same: intentionally pray for the fellow members in the church body. Consider having deliberate times of prayer in your family worship time where each member in your family prays through people in the Church. This is a great way to teach the children to pray for the church family.

Hospitality with intentionality.  — Another idea might include hospitality toward God’s people. Perhaps you could prayerfully consider opening your home periodically to a family, or perhaps even a couple of families prayerfully joined together for this time. When you invite them over, share a meal, have family worship, a time of prayer, and seek to get to know each other in a deeper way. When the folks leave, make it your aim to know them better and have one specific way you can pray for them (and then follow up!).

Write letters to edify.  — Something nearly lost in our media-driven age is the art and blessing of hand-written letters. There is something so encouraging and comforting to receive a hand-written letter in the mail and know that your fellow members are praying for you. You hear what’s on their heart. You are exhorted to greater love for Christ and driven to greater holiness through their stimulating reminders. Consider writing two letters a week to folks. See how this will encourage you and encourage them in the pursuit of Christlikeness. Be thoughtful in what you say, in Scriptures you include, in affirmations and reminders of Christ’s great love, and in carefully-crafted exhortations toward greater holiness.  See how this will encourage the people of God! Young children can do this as well as the oldest and most seasoned saints. The sick and home-bound can do this. Try it and see how the Lord adds His blessing to this endeavor.

Pray for kids’ salvation.  — You may also want to print out the listing of the childrens’ names so that you can commit to praying for them — regularly, specifically, individually and proactively. We know that our children are under the Word of God corporately when we meet and also domestically when the fathers and mothers teach the kids divine Truth, but we also understand that unless God supernaturally regenerates their hearts, they cannot hear nor understand nor apply these things. We need to beg God to save the children of our church. Let’s be like the Prophet Samuel when he said: Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. Pray earnestly! Pray specifically! Pray believingly! Pray that God would save our kids and use them powerfully for the advance of the gospel locally and globally.

Seek to greet all the saints.  — When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he said: greet all the brethren. Likewise, the author of Hebrews said: Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. To greet the saints includes a genuine, heartfelt welcome of Christian love when we see each other for the meetings of the Church.  Obviously, you cannot get to every single person every Sunday to greet them. So make it your aim to greet a few people specifically, genuinely and intentionally each Sunday. And then the next time you gather with the church, seek to find a few new folks. The following meeting, you can reach out to a handful of different folks. But the goal is to speak a word of edification, of encouragement, a warm handshake, a genuine expression of Christian care and stimulation to love and good deeds!

As you seek to consider these practical pieces of advice, may the Lord encourage you as you creatively and intentionally love one another in the Church family.  

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