Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sitting Stunned

It's been 2 hours since I preached an 18-minute sermon in the Chapel and I am still sitting stunned by the strong hand of the Lord. I spoke from 1 John 5,14-15, James 5,17-18 and 1 Kings 17,1, 18,1, 41, 45-47 about Elijah's prayer for rain. That was my fourth sermon in 5 days, barely a week after I felt strong enough. This is besides the 3 classes a week I teach plus one extra class last week to make up for time lost. Humanly I dread that by next weekend I will begin another round of itinerant preaching that will last until the end of April. A couple of weeks ago a good friend expressed to me how impressed he was with one local Seminary professor who had published books and booklets on several Biblical topics at the rate of one book a year. I am equally impressed and praise God for this author whom I know well. But as much as I wish I could write and publish I think at this time my primary gift is still preaching to different audiences, students, church leaders and churches. Many have said to me if I write and publish it will be for posterity and one book can bless thousands and possibly millions who will read it. One sermon only touches the audience right there and then without much promise whether things learned can be retained for good.
As much as there is truism in these, preaching is still the singular gift from God to bless His people. Through it, His people hear His voice and are fed in their souls. Through preaching the voice of God is heard through the words of a man, as if God's tongue and instrument.  And preaching is still one unique gift in fact I think it is the prince of all gifts for how can one know God's will unless proclaimed by those chosen by Him? We may think we have the Bible and we hear God's word when we read it. That's true but preaching brings the words of God alive and contemporary and when done well answers the deepest needs of men and women which is to know God's heart so that we may truly obey him and his will right here and now, even as we hear God's words preached.

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