Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In Praise of Preaching

I have been a “full-time” preacher for over 18 years. Yet I never cease to be amazed by the power of proclamation. I suppose that there have been pundits in nearly every generation who have predicted the decline of preaching, claiming that it would fall out of vogue. The naysayers pass on, but preaching continues to not only live, but thrive! How? Because it is the plan of God. “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Every herald of the Good News knows the look on the face of the hearer who finally “gets it.” It is an “aha” moment, a holy event, as the Spirit of God uses His double-edged sword to penetrate the heart and soul of person, whether he be a saint or sinner.

And God has a sense of humor. The times when I think that I really “knocked it out of the park”, the congregation has a lukewarm response. But when I think that I have preached the worst sermon ever, someone walks by with tears in her eyes and says, “That was just the Word from the Lord that I needed.” Huh?!

I have been reminded recently that people are hungry for solid preaching from the Bible. And the “harder” I preach, the more they seem to embrace it. The words of the old evangelist are true, “Preacher, if you set yourself on fire, people will come to watch you burn.”

Minister Brother, be encouraged. God still takes our feeble sermons and uses them to transforms lives. What an awesome God we serve. So in the words of one of my early mentors, “This is no time for pusillanimous pussyfooting. It’s time to get some sand in our craws and cement in our backbones and stand up on our hind legs and preach the Gospel – heaven-high, hell-deep, world-wide, and shotgun-barrel straight!”

No comments: