Nothing to Say Apart from the Bible

This quote is not from a book but from one of my favorite blogs. It is from a post reflecting on the DesiringGod conference on suffering describing the preaching of John Piper. The reason I cited this quote is because I want to come back to this before each message that I preach, each small group that I lead, each person I counsel, and even every thought that I think:

When Piper preaches he seems to do little more than bridge one Bible verse to the next, building to a deeply biblical conclusion. With some preachers you begin to feel that they could get along just fine without the Bible, but with Piper you feel that if he didn't have the Bible he'd have nothing to say.
Tim Challies
"Reflections on the DesiringGod Conference"
2005 DesiringGod Conference: Suffering and teh Sovereignty of God

The Call to Ministry

  “’There is no call to ministry that is not first a call to Christ. You dare not lift your hands to place God’s name in blessing on his people until you have first clasped them in penitent petition for his saving grace. Until you have done that the issue you face is not really your call to the ministry. It is your call to Christ.’ Your question of calling is not merely subsequent to the call to Christ. It is essentially tied to it…Does your sense of call orbit around your abilities, vision, or performance? The gospel call says more about the glory and grace of God than it does about us. When God calls a man to ministry, the man will do well to remember that both his salvation and his service come from God…[Our call] says little about us, but much about the Caller.”
Dave Harvey
Am I Called? Discerning the Summons to Ministry
pp. 6-7