Saturday, January 31, 2009

Preaching for change

Why preach? Why witness? Why for that matter pray?

For change right?! Absolutely we should preach, witness, and pray with great expectation of miracles. We should cry out for God to do wonders before our eyes, to bring revival to our lives, churches, and country.

Let us never do anything JUST to do it, let us never be satisfied to give pretty messages and pretty prayers, let us expect GREAT things and to some degree we should be GRIEVED when nothing happens. Say what you will but this is the testimony of scripture, the testimony of history, never even did Jesus or the apostle Paul shrug coldly at the apathy around them. The weeping prophet (Jeremiah) is not REBUKED for his compassion, yet we should be for our lack of it.

Preacher beware preaching as though you are being graded, beware looking at a sermon as a good speech, beware being over concerned with technical things. Beware trying to be seen when you preach, desire for only Christ to be seen.

Let your sermons grip you, let there be an intense desire to see lives changed, to see God manifested in the life of the hearers. Don't settle for compliments or flattery for that matter, but seek after fruit. Preach as a dying man to dying men, preach as though it's your last. I bet your last won't be so neat, your last wouldn't be so calm, your last wouldn't be so short, but filled with FIRE, with GREAT warnings, with BURSTS of praise, with intense EXALTATIONS of Christ in other words with LIFE!!!!! Preach with reality!!! I am constantly stunned when i read Spurgeon or Edwards among others, how direct, how personal, how plain they preached, and that contrasted to what is common today among those who say they love them. Well THEN preach like them, stop holding back, stop doubting and cry out for passion, a contagious passion.

May i in light of this reference some interesting quotes i was thinking about: Let these stir you in your desire for change.

Spurgeon said "If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. let none go unwarned or unprayed for."

and this: At the same time, it was not all doctrine and no exhortation, for whenever Paul finished his message, he made a strenuous, pointed, and personal appeal to those who had listened to him. Let those preachers who are passionately fond of mere doctrine, but having little of the spirit of divine mercy or the milk of human kindness in their souls, those who do not care to have the Word pressed upon the consciences of men and women, stand rebuked by the example of the apostle Paul. Paul knew well that even truth itself will be powerless unless it is applied. Like the seed in the basket, it can produce no harvest until it is sown in the ground. We cannot expect that men and women will come and make an application of the truth to themselves. We must, having our heart glowing, and our souls on fire with love to them, seek to bring the truth to them, to impress it upon their hearts and consciences, as in the sight of God and to the glory of Christ.

A Story of Robert Mcheynne: A few years after his death, a young English minister visited St. Peter's to discover, as he explained, the secret of Mr. McCheyne's amazing influence. The sexton, who had served under Mr. McCheyne, took the youthful inquirer into the vestry, and pointed to some of McCheyne's books still lying on the table.`Sit down here,' said the canny old sexton, leading his visitor to the chair in which McCheyne used to sit.`Now put your elbows on the table!' The visitor obeyed. `Now put your face in your hands!' The visitor did so.`Now let the tears flow! That was the way Mr. McCheyne used to do!'The sexton led his guest to the pulpit; and gave him a fresh series of instructions.`Put your elbows down into the pulpit!' He put his elbows down.`Now put your face in your hands!' He did so.'Now let the tears flow! That was the way Mr. McCheyne used to do!'

Hudson Taylor said; Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.

It was John Owen (a scholar of scholars) who speaking of John Bunyan said "i would give up all my learning to be able to touch hearts like the tinker"

It was John Knox who prayed: Give me Scotland, lest i die

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said this: What is the chief end of preaching? . . . To give men and women a sense of God and His presence. . . . I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel. If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him. Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future.

LEt us then cry out to God, to change us and to use us to change others. Let us desire great things. Once we are sure of no intention to manipulate, but to preach weighty truth, yet truth that has moved us to be passionate, truth that moves us to intense appeals, moves us to cry, to speak with URGENCY! Let a person walk away thinking 'that guy is a fanatic' rather than 'i don't think that guy even believed what he said, i'm not buying'.


Ryan Kasza

Amen brother. I would rather that people see me as a fool than for me to cower away in my faith even as it is looked at in such little regard today. I appreciate the sober warning to pastors. Mat we all take heed! God bless you!

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