What I Hope For When I Preach 2…
For part 1, please click HERE.
Love this quote:
Preaching is not “merely a cerebral handling of the Word of God, this is not a dry intellectualism, this is not merely an academic exercise in knowing certain Biblical data;
neither is it merely some emotional screech from the pulpit where you are just trying to carry people along by the force of your own human eloquence or try to batter them by a series of passionate declarations into some kind of emotional submission.
[Preaching]…is God’s Truth, delivered by a man thoroughly persuaded that it is God’s Truth, and needs to be communicated and received as God’s Truth by all who are under the sound of that news, that Gospel, that Truth” (Jeremy Walker).
What a powerful passage in Ezekiel 37—
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
That is my goal & prayer each Sunday—to humbly and faithfully proclaim this Book under submission to the power of the Holy Spirit and for Him to breathe life into all of us—not by my stage presence or charisma or personality or entertainment or effective communication techniques or any of the other ways we try to manufacture a church “experience.”
No, simply by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God—that Christ would make us ALIVE in Him, we who are just dry bones and skeletons and hopeless apart from Jesus Christ…knowing Him, worshiping Him, surrendering to Him, receiving Him, obeying Him, enjoying Him and following Him forever…and that when it happens,
- you would be amazed at the LORD, not at me,
- you would be amazed at God’s Word, not my words,
- you would be amazed at Yahweh’s Presence, not my “stage-presence” or spiritual gifts (presents),
- you would be inspired by God to pursue Him during the week in His Word (not just Sunday morning),
- you would attend the worship service next Sunday in eager anticipation, not for what I will say/do but for what the LORD will say/do through His Word,
- you would have that same eager anticipation regardless of who is preaching the next Sunday,
- you would know that GOD has done it and NOT one of His simple little microphones—me…
If I had one main Bible passage that sums up my hopes for when I preach,
it would easily be 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
“And so it was with me [Paul], brothers and sisters.
When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom
as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
For thoughts on preparing sermons, please click HERE…