For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we arethe aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2.15, 16
The Christian Ministry: Part I, chapter I
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“‘Who is sufficient for these things?’ Who, whether man or angel, ‘is sufficient’ to open ‘the wisdom of God in a mystery’ – to speak what in its full extent is ‘unspeakable’ – to make known that which ‘passeth knowledge’ – to bear the fearful weight of the care of souls? Who hath skill and strength proportionate? Who has a mind and temper to direct and sustain so vast a work? If our Great Master had not Himself answered these appalling questions by His promise – ‘My grace is sufficient for thee;’ and if the experience of faith did not demonstrably prove, that ‘our sufficiency is of God;’ who, with an enlightened apprehension, could ever enter upon such an awful service; or, if entered, continue in it?”
The minister’s sufficiency is only and always from God and Christ. But these days, when churches are all trying to copy the “successful” churches – megachurches – they’re all beginning to look alike. Same kind of worship. Same programs. When we rely on our own cleverness, wiles, or charm, or the “proven methods” and “successful programs” we’ve learned from others, or have run in the past, we will soon find the sufficiency of the Lord – His presence, promise, and power – being withdrawn. God has tasked ministers with an awesome responsibility and charge, and He intends for them to draw all their wisdom, strength, vision, and direction from Him in the prosecution of His calling.
What does it mean for you to draw your “sufficiency” from the Lord? How is this obvious to others?
The Sufficiency of the Lord
Prayer is the context in which we find and grow from the sufficiency of the Lord. Our book The Poetry of Prayer provides readings and exercises for reviewing and improving your prayer life, following George Herbert’s poem, “Prayer (1).” Order your copy by clicking here.
Where do you stand?
What’s the state of your Christian worldview? Is your vision for ministry clear and compelling? Are you practicing all the best disciplines? What fruit is in evidence in your walk with and work for the Lord? Use our Personal Discipleship Ministry to assess the state of your Christian worldview. Watch this brief video, then download the worksheet to discover areas where you need to grow in the Lord’s sufficiency.
Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.