The following account comes from Marco Brucato, Italian church planter and dear friend. The above photo was taken in Florence beside Girolamo Savonarola’s memorial this past summer.
As part of our ministry training and preparation I attended Focus 2010 (Oct. 12-15). This conference is organized by Aurora Mission, which runs a Bible school in southern Italy. The conference theme was Solus Christus – Christ Alone – and was the fourth in a series on the central doctrinal pillars of the Reformation (Sola scriptura – by scripture alone; Sola fide – by faith alone; Sola gratia – by grace alone).
Among the conference speakers was Pastor Alister Begg who taught through the second and third Epistle of John. I had the opportunity to talk with Pastor Begg and ask for words of exhortation that he may have for a young man beginning in ministry. Here is his reply:
“What our people need most from us is our godliness. Surround yourself by godly men and aim at Isaiah 66:2 ‘This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.’”
This verse is powerful both for its simplicity and its grandeur; it defines both internal character and external focus of a man of God. The person who is honored by God is characterized by genuine humility and hunger for the word. I deeply long for this to be true of me.
You can pray along with me as you think of this verse. Pray also that Italy will again see days where a hunger for God’s word is pervasive throughout the land; where people will humbly and joyfully worship Christ, and Christ alone.