Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee but the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
—2 Timothy 1:6-7
It is doubtful whether we can be Christian in anything unless we are Christian in everything. To obey Christ in one or two or ten instances and then in fear of consequences to back away and refuse to obey in another is to cloud our life with the suspicion that we are only fair-weather followers and not true believers at all. To obey when it costs us nothing and refuse when the results are costly is to convict ourselves of moral trifling and gross insincerity….
Again, the pastor when facing his congregation on Sunday morning, dare not think of the effect his sermon may have on his job, his salary or his future relation to the church. Let him but worry about tomorrow and he becomes a hireling and no true shepherd of the sheep. No man is a good preacher who is not willing to lay his future on the line every time he expounds the Word. He must let his job and his reputation ride on each and every sermon or he has no right to think that he stands in the prophetic tradition. SIZ146-147
Give me grace to follow, Lord—especially when it really does cost me something. Amen.