Take Heed To Yourselves…

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Richard Baxter {1615-1691} offers much needed words to pastors, from his excellent book The Reformed Pastor:

“Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach; and lest, while you proclaim to the world the neccesity of a Saviour, your own hearts should neglect him…

Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine…

Take heed to yourselves, lest you cry down sin, and yet do not overcome it; lest while you seek to bring it down in others, you bow to it, and become its slaves yourselves… Oh brethren! It is easier to chide at sin, than to overcome it…

O, therefore, brethren, lose no time! Study, and pray, and confer, and practice; for in these four ways your abilities must be increased. Take heed to yourselves, lest you are weak through your own negligence, and lest you mar the work of God by your weakness…

Take heed to yourselves, for you have a heaven to win or lose, and souls that must be happy or miserable for ever; and therefore it concerneth you to begin at home, and to take heed to yourselves as well as to others…

Take heed to yourselves, for you have a depraved nature, and sinful inclinations, as well as others…sin dwelleth in us, when we have preached ever so much against it…

Take heed yourselves, because the tempter will more ply you with his temptations than other men. If you will be the leaders against the prince of darkness, he will spare you no further than God restraineth him…

Take heed, therefore, brethren, for the enemy hath a special eye upon you. You shall have his most subtle insinuations, and incessant solicitations, and violent assaults. As wise and learned as you are, take heed to yourselves, lest he outwit you…

Take heed to yourselves, because there are many eyes upon you, and there will be many to observe your falls…

Take heed to yourselves, for your sins have more heinous aggravations than other men’s…

Take heed to yourselves, because such great works as ours require greater grace than other men’s…

Take heed to yourselves, for the honour of your Lord and Master, and of his holy truth and ways, doth lie more on you than on other men…

O take heed, brethren, of every word you speak, and of every step you tread, for you bear the ark of the Lord,-you are entrusted with his honour!”

Baxter’s words are much needed today. If you would like to see how he defends and explains each proposition, I urge you to take heed yourself, and read his book! Your life, family and church will not be the same!

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