Sunday, November 22, 2015

Overload & Underprepared

I preached on consecutive services that were not planned as I travelled for a major meet at another District, some 2 hours away from Ranau. When I got back to Ranau at 4pm yesterday I was already exhausted from the early rising, preaching and driving for 4 hours plus. Last night I would have gone through my preparation for this morning but my mind was tired so instead I attended the worship rehearsal at night just for relaxation and recharging in the midst of my ministry team. Thank God that they are the godly ones in the land and my delight is in them, says the Lord. This morning I rose at 5am sharp but was awakened way before that and meditated on the goodness of the Lord. I only had one message truly prepared for the first service and I went to church at 7.10am seeking inspiration for the second message in the second service. Soon members came in and by the time we started we had 150 people in the small hall though most students had returned to the villages for their end of the year school vacation. I preached on the ten commandments as our Scripture reading on Exodus has reached chapter 20 and I thought I must speak on this pivotal chapter especially how the ten commandments are still applied in the New Testament and the age of grace.

Obviously the question of sabbath took more time to expound with several NT references on how Jesus had transformed the sabbath but yet kept the sabbath principle intact that is to rest physically, mentally especially for preachers and spiritual refreshings from the Lord and also to do good on Sabbath. The second sermon during the second service was underdone, undercooked and underprepared. Perhaps I should have repeated my first sermon. But one elder came up to me after the second service and said how he was moved by the preaching. I think he was being polite and I could have made several points that spoke to him but overall I was not happy how the whole sermon on the final passage of the Sermon on the Mount had gone. A learning experience. Last week I was told both an elder and a pastor could not take up the Sunday slots and I had to step in despite ministering elsewhere on Saturday. But a couple of lines touched my congregation during the first service. I expounded on the verse honouring your father and mother and I testified how if not for the calling of God I would have felt guilty for not doing enough for my parents. My wife stayed behind in KK to help cook for my parents so I said to my church, "I told my wife this, you look after my family but I look after the family of God" as I gestured towards my church members. Some of them were visibly moved. Praise be to God who has called me into His family and I have been blessed 100 fold.

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