Sunday, January 23, 2011


Part of life in ministry is preaching, and ever since I was 14 years old and sitting in a room full of high school students listening to this guy, I have been enthralled with and captivated by the incredible responsibility and task of proclaiming God's Word. This is a subject that is much on my mind, and I've had the privilege of learning of the art and call of preaching under some amazing people - two of the most significant to me recently which are dead! The first is Charles Spurgeon, whose book Lectures to My Students has been an amazing guide for my spiritual life in ministry. The other is D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, whose book called Preaching and Preachers I have been reading through over the past two months. As I have been reading, this quote jumped out at me:
“I would say that a ‘dull preacher’ is a contradiction in terms; if he is dull he is not a preacher. He may stand in a pulpit and talk, but he is certainly not a preacher. With the grand theme and message of the Bible dullness is impossible. This is the most interesting, the most thrilling, the most absorbing subject in the universe; and the idea that this can be presented in a dull manner makes me seriously doubt whether the men who are guilty of this dullness have ever really understood the doctrine they claim to believe, and which they advocate. We often betray ourselves by our manner.”
Man - how many times that I have been guilty of preaching that isn't really preaching at all! What a disservice we do when we take what is the "most absorbing subject in the universe" and make it something that many people, if they were being honest, often just suffer long enough to be polite and then bolt. In contrast to this, Lloyd-Jones offers this definition of true preaching:
“Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has not right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.”
When we encounter the Truth, we cannot help but be set ablaze with passion and purpose, with urgency and compassion, to convey the message which we feel God has for our hearers. Lord, search me and know my heart - may I be set afire by the most absorbing subject in the universe, and betray my subject by my manner. Don't let me be an oxymoron! See you soon.

"For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:16)

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