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Old 05-03-2007, 04:49 AM
deacon blues deacon blues is offline
Pride of the Neighborhood


 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,165
Worshipping Preaching

I love good Bible preaching! Nothing can inspire like good Bible preaching! Nothing can convict like good Bible preaching! God has ordered by the foolishness of preaching that souls would be saved. I don't know where I would be had it not been for anointed men and women of God throughout my life allowing Him to use them as His mouthpiece and speaking "thus saith the Lord".

Is it possible to worship preaching? Can we be guilty of worshipping the means by which we are saved instead of the One who saves us? Can we get so enamored with the whole art of preaching, the craft and the style of delivering the Word that we get more excited about and put more energy into preaching, preaching conferences, going to hear our favorite preacher, campmeetings, new sermon thoughts and ideas, etc. than we do about the Lord Himself and personal devotion, studying to get closer to God, developing a consistent prayer life and dedicated walk with the Lord?

I've been in services where it seemed the reaction was more about the style and the talent of the orator than it was about the truth that was being told. I've been in meetings where the speaker was a master wordsmith who made you sit on the edge of your seat and literally captivated your attention and people were like putty in their hands. Yet, when the show was over and the performance was done, souls left the service unchanged and unaltered.

I've also sat in services where a simple man with limited oratory ability preached the simple truths of the Bible and poured out his heart in a genuine and sincere manner and watched as people nearly ran to the altar in repentance and brokenness, myself included.

Now I dare not say that a man who has developed an ability to communicate is somehow carnal or less than sincere. Nor do I mean to infer that only the uneducated, simple speaker is used of God. But we have to admit that there are times when we can approach preaching in a way that borders on idolatry or very well crosses the line.

I talked to an evangelist the other day who said "I love to preach, I live to preach". I understand what he means. If I were to no longer have the privilege to preach to God's people or to sinners I would miss the chance to minister and help people through the spoken word. However, I don't ever find myself chomping at the bit to grab the microphone and start "throwin' it down." From the first day I started preaching until today I still get a measure of nervous anticipation and fear to step behind the pulpit.

First, because it is an awesome responsibility to stand in such an office and deliver what thus saith the Lord, I can't afford to be off, I can't afford to be wrong, I can't afford to miss the mark, I can't afford to be in the flesh.

Second, I will have to give an account for every word I speak as a man of God and that means that I have to live up to every word that is spoken (i.e. practice what I preach). Some of the things we preach are pretty challenging and convicting and set the bar high. I cannot preach what I cannot apply to my own life, and I know that there is a higher expectation from God for me to live up to that standard.

Third, I respect men of God so much I tremble at the prospects of being numbered with them. I feel very small before such great company.

I can't say I love to preach. I love to be used of God to help people find salvation, healing and hope. I love to say something that encourages and inspires. I love to make myself available to the Lord and have Him respond to my willingness and oblige His children with words of comfort and instruction. I fear preaching more than I love it. I love Jesus and I love to do whatever pleases Him.

Paul said that he could preach to others and he himself become a castaway. The Greek word for castaway literally means "not standing the test" or "unproved". I shudder to think that even Paul himself could be one of the greatest preachers the church has ever known and yet he admits that he could become of no use to God in the end. If it was possible for Paul it certainly is possible for me.

The serpent on the pole was used by God to bring healing in the wilderness under Moses. By the time we find it in Gideon's day Israel was worshipping the tool God used to bring the miracle. May we ever be careful to not take the device that God uses to channel His power to bring about the Divine into the world and make it an object of desire and devotion.

Love God. Fear Him. Obey your call to preach the Word. Preach to save and to help. Preach to convict and comfort. But don't fall in love with preaching. Respect it and most of all live it. By doing so you will not only help save others but you will save yourself as well.
__________________

‎When a newspaper posed the question, "What's Wrong with the World?" G. K. Chesterton reputedly wrote a brief letter in response: "Dear Sirs: I am. Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton." That is the attitude of someone who has grasped the message of Jesus.
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