In Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students the famous Victorian Era preacher he has a chapter on “Earnestness: Its Marring and Maintenance.” I appreciated how Spurgeon talked about how the preacher could have his zeal or earnestness marred through various predicaments. Among them is the lack of studying.
I’ll let Spurgeon speak for himself as he said it better than I could:
Earnestness may be, and too often is, diminished by neglect of study. If we have not exercised ourselves in the word of God, we shall not preach with the fervour and grace of the man who has fed upon the truth be delivers, and is therefore strong and ardent. An Englishman’s earnestness in battle depends, according to some authorities, upon his being well fed: he has no stomach for the fight if be is starved. If we are well nourished by sound gospel food we shall be vigorous and fervent. An old blunt commander at Cadiz is described by Selden as thus addressing his soldiers: “What a shame will it be, you Englishmen, who feed upon good beef and beer, to let these rascally Spaniards beat you that eat nothing but oranges and lemons!” His philosophy and mine agree: he expected courage and valour from those who were well nourished. Brethren, never neglect your spiritual meals, or you will lack stamina and your spirits will sink. Live on the substantial doctrines of grace, and you will outlive and out-work those who delight in the pastry and syllabubs of “modern thought.”
I especially liked how that paragraph ended: “Brethren, never neglect your spiritual meals, or you will lack stamina and your spirits will sink. Live on the substantial doctrines of grace, and you will outlive and out-work those who delight in the pastry and syllabubs of “modern thought.”” Wow.
So fellow preachers, how are your studies?
Are you studying just for academic head knowledge, or to love the Lord more?
Are you studying for the sake of your own edification? And therefore also from that, it flows into the edification of others?
For myself I have to always ask if studying has led me to love and be at awe with God more.
Now I know some of us reading this might say you’re not a preacher. There’s application here for all of us to study God’s Word and God’s truth to fuel our zeal for the Lord. Also the additional application for those who are not preachers and pastors is that we should pray for those who are in your local church, that they do study not to dampen their earnest zeal for God, but that they study in a way that God approves and would fuel their zeal.
Can I get an Amen?