Wednesday, February 23, 2011
From Shattered Dreams, by Larry Crabb:
“If I were a pastor, I would want to preach in the spirit of the New Covenant, inviting everyone in the congregation to see the heart of God revealed in the cross of Christ.
"I would encourage them to interpret all of life’s hardships not as problems to fix or struggles to relieve or pain to deaden, but as important elements in a larger story that all God’s children long to tell.
"I would urge them to accept wherever they are on the journey, whether happy or miserable, as the place where God will meet them, where He loves them, where He will continue to work in them.
"And I would offer my own life as a growing, struggling, sometimes painfully unattractive example of what doing that might mean.
"I would beg God to deliver me from Calvary-denying sermons, which leave people feeling scolded and pressured...I would ask God to never let me again preach an Eden-denying message where psychological insights replace biblical wisdom in a misguided effort to repair emotional damage when the real problem is a serpent-inspired determination to experience life without God."
(HT Tom Woods, GracedAgain.com)
Sunday, February 13, 2011
By Michele Rayburn
Romantic love is so much different from 1 Corinthians 13 Biblical love, isn’t it?
About 2 years after I was saved, I recall sitting down to read my Bible and study and pray. I remember opening up to 1 Corinthians 13 and debating about whether I should just skip over those verses about love for now, because “after all, everyone knows what love is, right?” I wanted to learn about the “weightier things of God”. And then it came to me that love was the one thing that I actually knew so little about. And that if I didn’t begin learning what Biblical love was, I really wouldn’t be able to understand the “weightier things of God” with the proper perspective.
I must say that since I began making my focus understanding Biblical love and how it is supposed to be practiced by believers, the Word of God really did become more meaningful and more powerful in my life. I quickly came to see that learning to put into practice Biblical love, and knowing the God Who is Love, *were* the “weightier things of God”. And that was what I needed to know first and foremost.
Without love, we are nothing...a clanging cymbal. When the Preacher preaches, or the teacher teaches, or the Christian witnesses to the unbeliever, if it is not done in love, though the message itself may be powerful, the messenger is “nothing”, according to 1 Corinthians 13.
Romantic love is a wonderful thing, but without Biblical love it may eventually leave the heart empty. This Valentine's Day, think about God's love for you. Whatever state you are in, may you find contentment resting in His love.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I am a big fan of expository preaching and teaching.
To preach the Word of God verse by verse and "give the meaning" is one of the highest forms of honor to God's Word, and the most fulfilling food to the sheep...
it is devoid of Christ and His Grace.
"The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17).
Jesus is the true Bread of Life.
Even the most accurate and well-delivered exposition will leave malnourished sheep hobbling along the path with their ribs sticking out, if that Bread is not a part of every meal.
Preachers and teachers, please don't let a sermon or lesson leave your lips, without our precious Savior and Lord, and His wonderful Grace, being an integral part of it.
Hear Mr. Spurgeon's little story:
A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, “What do you think of my sermon?”
“A very poor sermon indeed,” said he.
“A poor sermon?” said the young man, “it took me a long time to study it.”
“Ay, no doubt of it.”
“Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?”
“Oh, yes,” said the old preacher, “very good indeed.”
“Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn’t you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?”
“Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon.”
“Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?”
“Because,” said he, “there was no Christ in it.”
“Well,” said the young man, “Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.”
So the old man said, “Don’t you know young man that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?”
“Yes,” said the young man.
“Ah!” said the old divine “and so from every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business is when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now what is the road to Christ?’ and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ. And,” said he, “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”
(From "Christ Precious To Believers", preached March 13th, 1859)