As a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, faithful pastor, you know a great many things. “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14). “We know love” (3:16). “We know that we are of the truth” (3:19). “We know that He abides in us” (3:24).
But there is so much we do not know. Here is a partial list …
1) You do not know what people in your congregation are going through.
You know some of what several are experiencing. But even with those closest to you, so much of their personal lives is hidden from all but God.
2) You do not know what God is doing in each life.
It’s like the wind which blows, said our Lord to Nicodemus. “It blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8).
3) You do not know the plans the Lord has for each one.
“What about him?” said Peter to the Lord, pointing to John. “What is that to you?” said Jesus. “You follow me” (John 21:21-22).
4) You do not know exactly who is sitting in your congregation.
Recently, before I stood to preach, the pastor introduced me to each member of his congregation. Perhaps there were 30 present. I said, “When the church grows to 200, I want to see you do that!” He vowed that he would. But most cannot.
5) You do not know how God has brought them to this moment.
See the above reference to John 3:8 again.
6) You do not know what struggles each is enduring.
Not everyone tells you their problems, and not all wear their pain on public display.
7) You do not know how God is going to use you today.
We must approach every sermon as though this were life and death for some, for it may well be.
8) You do not know which word of yours God will use to prick their hearts, convict them of sin, strengthen their faith and bring them to Jesus.
9) You do not know how inadequate you are.
And that’s all right. I imagine if we knew, we would be so discouraged we would quit. “Not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). It’s all about Jesus.
10) You do not know what potential you have.