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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Am I Too Heavy?

Physically: Yes. (There, I answered it. You don't have to.)

In my preaching: I don't know.

When I look at my preaching lately, I don't know that there is an element of celebration and joy. Not every message needs to be laughs and giggles, but the object of preaching is a great and glorious God, isn't it?

And here is the tension. When preaching, we should seek to present God in His glory...that should be a weighty topic. The glory of God revealed in the face of Christ (the gospel) is weighty. So how do I preach God's Word, with redemption as the primary thread, with weight? In my finitude, it seems weight often makes it hard do so with joy and celebration. But God is wonderful, and the weight of His glory should also be celebrated!

It's quite humbling. I remember preaching as a youth intern, with very little prep and very little focus. I didn't find it necessary to present the gospel within my hermanuetic, nor to present God gloriously. Yet, I finished every sermon thinking I did a great job.

Now, after years of training and practice, I don't think I've recently preached a message that I thought went well. I finish with an overwhelming feeling that I have not done God's glory, the text, or even its application proper justice.

Please pray for me. As I officially moved into the Teaching Pastor position this month, I have been reminded more and more of my inadequacy. I truly feel it is a task I am not capable of, yet I am confident it is a calling I have received. Therefore, I must depend on Him to provide me the grace to accomplish that which He has called me to do. Pray I stay out of His way so that He can do it.

6 Comments:

  • At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Brad said…

    Is there really a tension between weight and joy? Shouldn't our joy in God be as weighty as our fear of God?

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Anonymous fisher said…

    Check out Nehemiah 1:11 & Isaiah 11:3 - amazing complementary (not contradictory) statements that could go as far to say that fear and joy are not co-existent and separate, but co-existent and co-dependant. And unless I'm wrong, Isaiah is even speaking of Christ. Why should we choose between the two? Grace demands both. Grace experienced and understood enables both.

     
  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    you guys are both dead on.

    and here is the pain i feel as the wretched man that i am.

    i know it is possible to preach the weight and joy of God's glory together, for they should not be exclusionary...

    and yet in my weakness, often feel i am failing at that.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger RevPharoah said…

    Perhaps what is missing is spirit..., and Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness, are marks of the Spirit and spiritual preaching. Prophetic types frequently struggle to exhibit these qualities. And yet the spirit of the prophet is under the control of the prophet.

    Exhortation is one type of preaching. Comfort, encouragement and hope are also worthy outcomes.

    Prayer is as necessary in sermon preparation as study. Study time at the expense of prayer time will only add knowledge at the expense of love. Knowledge puffs up. Love edifies.

    Review EM Bounds "Power thru Prayer." It sounds like your preaching may lack "anointing." No amount of human effort can compensate for a lack of the Spirit's presence.

     
  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i've heard you say this a number of times now steve, and i'm not sure it translates to preaching:

    should a sermon on hell be full of joy?

    should a sermon against rebellion be full of gentleness?

    should a sermon on mission be full of patience?

     
  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Just for kicks, Danny....

    Your rhetorical questions actually have answers...

    Q: Should a sermon on hell be full of joy?

    A: Only if we are aware of news that will rescue us from hell.

    Q: Should a sermon against rebellion be full of gentleness?

    A: Only if a soft answer turns away wrath.

    Q: Should a sermon on mission be full of patience?

    A: Only if God patiently relents from impending judgment allows us to accomplish his mission. Or, God's patience with us who are slow to go after his mission, still inviting, calling us to join up...

    I do believe every sermon should evidence (both in delivery and content) fruit of the Spirit. Why wouldn't it?

     

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