Friday, May 7, 2010

Whyte on praising partners in gospel ministry

The Apostle Paul doesn't hesitate when confronting controversy and sin in the churches he wrote to. Nevertheless, he is also careful to praise the faithful ministry of his various deputies like Timothy, Epaphroditus, Silas, and Barnabas to name a few.

In his letter to the Philippians he says some nice things about his son in the Faith, Timothy-

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me,and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.- Philippians 2:19-24

Commenting on this practice of Paul to praise His various assistants in gospel ministry, Alexander Whyte wrote eloquently-

"The size and the substance and the spirit of a man's soul is at once seen by the spontaneity and the generosity and the exuberance and the warmth of his praises. Just as the smallness and the stinginess and the sullenness and the mulishness of another man's soul is all disclosed to us by his despicable ingratitude to all his benefactors. Almighty God himself inhabits the praises of Israel. And to praise, and with your whole heart, all those men and women and children who deserve praise at your hands; that, already, is a certain contribution toward your praise of God."


Woody Woodward said...

Never heard of the dude named Whyte, but no doubt he is powerful in exercising his motive gift of exhortation!
I love to be around Exhorters, their passion is contagious, their zeal is real and it can heal! Here are my own thoughts on this powerful, always motivating and pushing others forward gift:
Exhortation or Encourager--One who is continually successful in coming alongside of, stimulating or encouraging believers in their own, personal walk with the Lord. The divine ability to reach out, reassure, comfort, advise, strengthen, affirm, always urging others into positive, Christ-like actions. Carefully and prayerfully listens to those discouraged or those who may be faltering in their own journey with Jesus. Simply stated, this is the “Gift of quiet, yet embolden strengthening.” If correcting a brother or sister in Christ is needed, this person guards their thoughts with careful words, always spoken in love. As a solemn pledge of abiding trust, they keep a promise and hold a confidence. The exhorter helps believers discover the secret of the abundant life in Christ by gently pushing them forward, in God’s direction, at all times. Every religious experience becomes an exhorter’s testimony that must be shared! It should be noted, for these “gifters,” when sharing a story or a personal experience, it is very difficult to be brief. They have the creative ability to expound on a colorful account in such a way, that listeners are eager to participate and desirous to get involved. Their love and enthusiasm for Christ, and their passion to help carry the load or burden is contagious! As with several other Motive Gifts, an Exhorter can be extremely effective in exercising this gift without vast Biblical wisdom or far-reaching spiritual knowledge. Their witness, both verbal and nonverbal, is easily and freely proclaimed. The Love of Jesus is written onto his or her smile and this kind of Christ-like love covers many spiritual shortcomings. (I Peter 4:8) God’s exhorters are by no means, critical or jealous of other believer’s gifts. They never seek self-glory or vain recognition. Always discovering new and creative ways to encourage, in any and every situation, these “gifters” freely offer continual thanksgiving and praise! It should also be noted that Exhorters, striving to build secure relationships, care enough to confront. Almost without exception, he or she who exercises this important gift will freely and openly manifest the complimenting Motive Gift, Mercy. These “gifters” are also, many times effective in exercising the Motive Gift of Leading/Ruling or Administration/Organization.
Life-style attributes of one with the Motive Gift of Exhortation or Encouragement: Positive; Confident; Motivating; Challenging; Affirming; Supportive; Trustworthy; Optimistic and Contagious Enthusiasm; Confronters

Rick Calohan said...

So is this your Sabatical sendoff to Redeemer praising Nathan and & Brian?