July 28, 2012
As I continue to try and provide edifying content for preachers of the Word I wanted to share this quote with you from Charles Spurgeon. This quote comes from the first chapter of his wonderful book Lectures to My Students titled “The Minister’s Self-watch”:
We are in a certain sense, our own tools, and therefore must keep ourselves in order. If I want to preach the gospel, I can only use my own voice; therefore I must train my vocal powers. I can only think with my own brains, and feel with my own heart, and therefore I must educate my intellectual and emotional faculties. I can only weep and agonise for souls in my renewed nature, therefore must I watchfully maintain the tenderness which was in Christ Jesus. It will be in vain for me to stock my library, or organise societies, or project schemes, if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling; my own spirit, soul, and body, are my nearest machinery for sacred service; my spiritual faculties, and my inner life, are my battle axe and weapons of war.
Let’s watch and pray that we would not neglect our inner lives as we preach the Word. Have a great Sunday!
July 21, 2012
2 Timothy 4:2 is majestic in its simplicity. Paul commands young Timothy to “preach the Word”. This simple imperative motivates preachers and gives direction to their work. I like the the words of William Hendriksen related to this verse in his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles:
The herald brings God’s message. Today in the work of “heralding” or “preaching” careful exposition of the text is certainly included. But genuine heralding or preaching is lively, not dry; timely, not stale. It is the earnest proclamation of news initiated by God. It is not the abstract speculation on views excogitated by man.
This Sunday remember that you are proclaiming news initiated by God. There is nothing more important.
July 18, 2012
Solomon was a great king. In 2 Chronicles 9:22 we are told that his wisdom and wealth exceeded all the kings of the earth. Notice the reaction of the queen of Sheba to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9:1-4:
1 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind.
2 And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her.
3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
4 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her.
Notice in verse 4 that as she saw Solomon’s incomparable wisdom and incredible wealth she literally lost her breath. She was amazed and astonished at the majesty of the king.
Now, consider the words of Jesus from Matthew 12:42:
The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
If the splendor of King Solomon took the queen’s breath away, shouldn’t the greater splendor of Jesus, the King of Kings take our breath away? If we are not amazed and astonished by Jesus, there’s a reason. We need to spend more time focusing on the glory of Christ. We need to fix our eyes upon Jesus. We need to be reminded of His infinite wisdom and majesty. When our focus is right, we can become like the queen of Sheba. Maybe Jesus will begin to take our breath away.
July 7, 2012
I want to share a great quote from Warren Wiersbe concerning the critical balance between doctrinal truth and relevant application:
A sermon that explains Bible truth but makes no personal and practical application is only a theological lecture. At the same time, a sermon that exhorts and encourages Christian duty, without basing that duty on doctrine, could well be only a piece of religious propaganda. Likewise, a “devotional sermon” that aims only to “warm the heart” will do no lasting good if it has no doctrinal foundation or practical application. The preacher aims at the heart (devotion), the mind (doctrine), and the will (duty).
Let’s ask the Lord to help us maintain balance in our preaching as we seek to inform minds, enflame hearts, and move people’s wills with the truth of the Word of God!
July 3, 2012
This past Sunday we continued our Summer Sermon Series in John 17. It’s been a great blessing to our faith family to mine the depths of this chapter as we listen in on a prayer from God the Son to God the Father. In this chapter we are offered a glimpse into the inner workings of the Trinity and it is amazing. On Sunday we explored the second request that Jesus made for His disciples (the 11 who were with Him and all followers of Christ through the ages, see v.20). He asked the Father to sanctify them in the truth of the Word of God in v. 17. In v.18 Jesus declares that as He was sent into the world, He was sending His disciples into the world. In these two verses we find the essence of the Christian life: Get into the Word to be changed and go into the world with the Gospel.
If your life is not centered around the Word of God you are not maturing in your faith. You are stagnant and dry and lifeless. Get into the Word so the Word can get into you. Take the Bible seriously. Start a Bible reading plan today or restart your Bible reading plan if you have stalled. God is the only One who can transform our hearts and God uses means. The instrument He uses to change us is the Bible.
Go into the world. Know the Gospel and weave the truths of the Gospel into your conversations. Pray for the lost in your circle of influence and pray for unreached people groups. Give sacrificially for the advancement of the Gospel. Go on short term mission trips and invite people to a worship service or to your Connect Group. Be on mission. If you are not actively involved in making disciples you are missing the purpose God has for you. There’s a reason you’re not in heaven right now!
Get into the Word. Go into the world. Glorify Christ with your life. That’s what life is all about.
I’m looking forward to studying the next passage in John 17 with you this Sunday!