God together. Wahoo. In order to help get us ready, here is the great Puritan Richard Sibbes, from his excellent book, "The Bruised
Reed." . . .
"Preachers should take heed likewise that they hide not their meaning in dark speeches, speaking in the clouds. Truth fears nothing so much as concealment, and desires nothing so much as clearly to be laid open to the view of all. When it is most unadorned, it is most lovely and powerful. Our blessed Saviour, as He took our nature upon Him, so He took upon Him our familiar manner of speech, which was part of His voluntary abasement. Paul was a profound man, yet he became as a nurse to the weaker sort (1 Thess. 2:7).
"That spirit of mercy that was in Christ should move His servants to be content to abase themselves for the good of the meanest [lowest]. What made the kingdom of heaven 'suffer violence' (Matt. 11:12) after John the Baptist's time, but that comfortable truths were laid open with such plainness and evidence that the people were so affected with them as to offer a holy violence to obtain them?
"Christ chose those to preach mercy who had felt most mercy, as Peter and Paul, that they might be examples of what they taught. Paul be-
came all things to all men (1 Cor. 9:22), stooping unto them for their good. Christ came down from heaven and emptied Himself of majesty in tender love to souls. Shall we not come down from our high con-
ceits to do any poor soul good? Shall man be proud after God has been humble? We see the ministers of Satan turn themselves into all shapes to 'make one proselyte' (Matt. 23:15). We see ambitious men study ac-
commodation of themselves to the humours of those by whom they hope to be raised; and shall not we study application of ourselves to Christ, by whom we hope to be advanced, nay, are already sitting with Him in heavenly places? After we are gained to Christ ourselves, we should labour to gain others to Christ. Holy ambition and covetous-
ness will move us to put upon ourselves the disposition of Christ. But we must put off ourselves first."