J. B. Gambrell, Pastorate is Hard Service

I just came across this quote in a paper written by Tom Ascol. Gambrell was a leader among Southern Baptists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries serving as President of Mercer, professor at Southwestern and SBC President.

In his commencement address in 1913 at Southwestern he said:

My first word is that you are going into a hard service. There is a place where good preachers and good Christian workers will have a good, easy time – but it is not in this world. It lies beyond Jordan. There is not going to be any way for you to get out of a hard place. If you undertake to run out of it, you will run into it and all the harder because you run. It is a great thing for soldiers to know what they are going into.

The key word this morning is: Hold fast. I have less and less regard for the brilliant people who soar aloft and more and more regard for the plain man who sticks to his work and just keeps on, and keeps on, and keeps on. (Baptist Standard June 15, 1913)

This is a good word for today as well. Let us not seek ease but faithfulness. Let us not whine or complain as if we are the only ones to face difficulties but rather embrace the calling God has given recognizing it is only by His mercy that we have the privilege of serving His church. Let us persevere by His grace for His glory.

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