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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Pastor to Pastor

Our Own Worst Enemy

We have found the enemy, and it is us.

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4.16

The Christian Ministry: Part I, chapter IV
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“But, after all, the greatest difficulties [in ministry] derive their origin and power from ourselves…It is not easy to overcome our natural love of ease, our indisposition to self-denying devotedness, and our false tenderness in flinching from the declaration of unpalatable truths. Were we angels by nature as well as by office, the difficulty would be of little account. But, while we bear the marks of our apostacy, we cannot advance, without a constant and sometimes painful, effort.”

Do you identify with any of those tendencies? That “natural love of ease”? Being indisposed to self-denial? Flinching at preaching the whole truth and counsel of God? Or have we become so accustomed to these that they no longer bother us? Paul called on Timothy to maintain a constant self-watch, for he knew, as did Bridges, that the greatest hindrances to our ministry come from ourselves. We are our own worst enemies if we fail to heed this charge. We must check every inclination to sin, every unloving attitude, every fleshly lust at the very moment of its appearing; and we must give equal diligence in searching the Scriptures and waiting on the Lord for the content and power our ministries require. If you do not practice a self-watch, there’s no time like the present to begin.
How do you exercise this calling to the self-watch? Is anyone watching over your soul with you?

The Time of Your Life

An effective self-watch will help you make the most of the time God gives you each day. Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, The Preciousness of Time, reminds us of how important this gift is, and shows us how to “improve” our time for the Kingdom and glory of God. Our worksheet, The Time of Your Life, provides an exercise in monitoring and evaluating your time according to the priorities of the Kingdom. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you both Edwards’ sermon and our The Time of Your Life worksheet.

Fan into Flame
As shepherds of the Lord’s flocks, we need to make sure we’re actually doing the work God has appointed to us. Only then will our self-watch yield the benefits Paul outlined to Timothy. Our handbook, Fan into Flame, provides a concise overview of the work of a shepherd – context, tools, and outcomes – and includes helpful self-evaluation tools. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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