On Preaching and Ministry presented by The Jenkins Institute
The world is lost and in desperate need of a Savior. The Good News must be proclaimed to the masses. The Church needs to be edified, equipped, and encouraged. Our wise Father in Heaven has chosen preaching as His method for getting His Message to the world. For each one of these reasons and many more, we need good preaching and good preachers. This month’s issue of ON Preaching & Ministry is our annual Freed Hardeman Lectureship week edition of ON… It is filled with articles written by good preachers. You will read articles dealing with how the Church can be encouraged through good preaching, the need for good preaching to confront sin, how good preaching will lead to restoration, the importance of good preaching to help our families remain strong, and the thought that we must have good preaching because we will not always be around. Our prayer is that this issue will bless your life as much as it has blessed ours. Further, we pray that these articles will cause all of us who proclaim the Word of God to understand why we need good preaching and good preachers. May God continue to bless you as you preach His Good Word. If this is your first encounter with TJI or ON and you’d like a free subscription send your email address to TJI@TheJenkinsInstitute.com - from The Editors, Jeff & Dale TheJenkinsInstitute@gmail.com
A Welcome to the Lectureships from Doug Burleson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Freed-Hardeman University has a godly heritage that goes back to 1869. At FHU undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students can train for a variety of trades and professions that will ultimately honor God and bless others, but FHU also trains preachers. While God-honoring work can be carried out by Christians in a variety of fields there is something special about the work of a preacher. FHU strives to equip students with a thorough knowledge of the Bible, while also instilling in them a desire to lovingly serve others. A balance of truth and love leads to serving others at cost to oneself. After all of these years this is what undergraduate and graduate studies in Bible are still all about. Let us thank the Lord for those who desire to preach and do all we can to equip them with the knowledge and zeal to do just that. Doug Burleson, FHU Lectureship Director
Why We Need Good Preaching & Preachers by Doug Burleson, email@example.com
Until the Lord returns there will be a need for good preaching and good preachers. But how would one define “good” in this regard? “Good” cannot always be measured by popularity. “Good” is not tied to the amount of likes or retweets one gets, the number of invitations to participate in varying programs, or even the size of one’s congregation. “Good” is measured by the content of the message. Is one preaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)? Is one willing to preach the truth in love even when the world (or one’s own brethren at times) would rather not hear it? Is one willing to serve others even when their own needs must then be on the back-burner for a while longer? Is one willing to put the time into studying the text of Scripture that goes beyond what a quick Google search may provide? Is one willing to busy his hands in service to others and in turn get involved in their lives in a sincere effort to love people, including the lost? While God can use the messages presented by those who are not “good” in this regard, “good” preaching reflects the words and works of God both in what the preacher says and in how he serves. May God give us even more good preaching and preachers.
Why we need good preaching & good preachers by Jacob Hawk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Does preaching really matter? Can’t worship just consist of singing, prayer, and fellowship? Do we really need a man to teach us God’s word? Selfishly, I sure hope so, because if we didn’t, I would be out of a job! Realistically, preaching is important because God has always wanted His people to hear from His leaders —it was His idea. Since Noah with the flood and Moses with the plagues, God has used mouthpieces—prophets—proclaimers—heralds— preachers—to vocalize His will. We’re blessed with His will in written form with Scripture, yet God has still ordered, desired, and gifted His will to be vocally pronounced in each dispensation of time. So why do we need good preaching and preachers? For me, it boils down to two main reasons: #1: God has a beautiful message to send. With the best of intentions, preachers fall into the trap of preaching man’s issues more than God’s heart—biblical positions more than Jesus’ prominence as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Savior of the world. Preachers can’t ignore “issues” of their day. They must rightly divide (2 Timothy 2:15) the text so the church can answer tough secular questions from biblical perspectives. Nevertheless, we must not forget God’s main message is “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) It’s such a beautiful message that never gets old. It promises hope. It promises freedom from sin. It promises unity with God. It changes lives. It speaks to God’s faithful love of desperately wanting to draw the world back to Him. Paul ably asked in Romans 10:14 “…how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” They can’t. At least not the way God intended for them to hear. God needs good
preachers and good preaching so this priceless message will be heard, believed, and cherished. #2: God wants pure voices to send it. Many claim to preach “Jesus and Him crucified”, but the same voice that lifts up the cross of Christ can distort the teachings of Christ. Preaching Calvary doesn’t do much good if we don’t preach biblically. Paul warned the young preachers Timothy and Titus of those who would want to lead the church astray with words that would “tickle” ears. Things haven’t changed. Sadly, they’ve only become worse. When false doctrine is taught and believed, heaven mourns and the Holy Spirit grieves. We need good, faithful preachers, so truth will be seen through the fog and heard through the noise of our times. What a serious, yet sanctified privilege to be that spokesman! “For who is equal to such a task?” (2 Corinthians 2:16). A church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "After all," he said, "I've gone for 30 years and have heard probably 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and preachers are wasting theirs preaching to me." Well, this started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the paper. With the interest this one letter stirred up, the letters flew back and forth for weeks, much to the delight of the Editor. Then one day, someone wrote the clincher letter. He said: "I've been married for 30 years. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this...they gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not heard those sermons, I would be spiritually dead today." Preacher, keep preaching. You’re keeping someone’s soul alive. Even if they don’t always realize it—and even if you forget it—one day, they will thank you. And if they don’t—God will.
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We Need Good Preaching & Good Preachers . . . Because Someday Today’s Preachers Will Be Gone by Kirk Brothers, email@example.com
Moses mentored Joshua. Jesus mentored the apostles. Barnabas mentored Paul. Paul mentored Timothy. I have been mentored in preaching by some amazing men: Joe Brothers (my father), W.K. “Pete” Johnson, Tom Holland, Billy Smith, Marlon Connelly, Dennis Loyd, William Woodson and others. Two of these men have passed on to their reward and the others are retirement age or older. Today’s great Gospel proclaimers will eventually join the heroes of faith who preceded them into the presence of God. In light of this, two questions come to mind.
Who Will Step Up? We are familiar with Joshua’s famous charge to the people of Israel once they arrived in the promised land: “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15). Because of our focus on this important challenge, we may overlook an equally important statement later in that same chapter: “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the Lord which He had done for Israel” (Josh. 24:31). When Michael Jordan stepped off the stage, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, and others stepped up to be the face of the NBA. As Kobe faded, LeBron James stepped forward. Now Kevin Durant and Steph Curry prepare to take the NBA into the future. I recently heard a sports show discussion in which the commentators focused on the struggle to find a player to become the face of professional golf after the demise of Tiger Woods. Different individuals stepped up for a time but then faded back into the landscape. The point is that for entities and organizations to continue, people need to keep stepping up. Israel served God (for the most part) during the days of Joshua and the elders who lead with him. The problem is that they did not continue to follow the Lord after these leaders were gone. The next generation did not step up. If the church is going to continue to be a beacon of light in a dark world, we must step up. Who Will Help the Next Generations to Step Up? If you have been around me very long, you have heard me talk about my Coca Cola crate and my British coin. I purchased the wooden crate for $10 at a flea market. I did so because I preached one of my first sermons (if not my first) standing on an old Coke crate so I could reach the podium. The coin on my desk is a British two-pound coin. It is there because it has the words, “Standing on the Shoulders of
Giantsâ€? etched around the edge. These two items remind me that we are only able to do what we do and have what we have because we had help. With that realization comes the responsibility to help others. We must pass on what has been passed on to us. This not only applies to faith, it applies to preaching and leadership in the Lordâ€™s Church. Jesus spent much of his time, not with the masses, but with the few. The bulk of his time seemed to have focused on the twelve. He understood that it was critical to the salvation of humanity for the world to learn of his life, death, and resurrection. If there is a cure for cancer, but no one knows about it, it cannot save anyone. If there is a Savior who died for our sins, but no one knows about, he cannot save anyone. Thus, Jesus invested in the men who would be his witnesses and carry the message of salvation to the world. Each preacher and each leader in the Lordâ€™s Church needs to devote time to mentoring those who will replace him. We must help the next generation to step up. Conclusion Who will we be? Will we be like Joshua who stepped up to the awesome responsibility of replacing a man that was so important in human history that Hollywood is still making movies about his life 3,400 years after his death? Will we be like the generation that followed Joshua and failed to step up to the task of leading the nation in faithfulness to the Lord? The choice we make is a matter of life and death. I pray we make the right one.
WITH THE FAITH
M U LT I G E N E R AT I O N A L M I S S I O N IN TIMOTHY & TITUS
82ND ANNUAL BIBLE LECTURESHIP • FEBRUARY 4-8, 2018 Whether strengthening bonds among generations, helping battle addictions or serving God and others through a small congregation, you make a difference every day. We’ve planned the 2018 lectureship to encourage and feed you. Eighth-grader Carter Welch looks through his Pop’s Bible. His Pop, beloved FHU family member the late Dr. J. Walker Whittle, preached from this Bible for 50 years. For a complete schedule and registration, visit www.fhu.edu/lectureship.
You + God’s Word > Satan by Chris McCurley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bible could be thought of as a “How To” book. The Bible shows us how to get right with God. The Bible shows us how to live a good life. The Bible shows us how to serve others. The Bible shows us how to overcome sin. The Bible also shows us how to defeat Satan. Jesus believed in the power of God’s Word. It wasn’t enough to simply believe. Jesus was also able to handle Scripture accurately. He knew it. He memorized it. He quoted it. He obeyed it. He used it. Scripture should control and dominate every aspect of our daily existence. God calls us to be carefully trained in His Word and to use it skillfully. How was David able to defeat Goliath? Many answers come to mind. One reason David was victorious over the Philistine giant was has familiarity with his weapon. As intimidating as Goliath must have been, he is small and weak when compared with our adversary. Paul reminds us in Ephesians that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” How can we be victorious in this battle? How can we overcome the “spiritual forces of wickedness”? How can we defeat Satan? There are some battles we are helpless to win on our own. We have no chance of defeating Satan using our own strength and power. We are easy prey for our enemy when standing alone. With God, we can be victorious. God’s presence always changes the equation. God provides us everything we need to overcome sin. He gives us everything we need to defeat Satan. God has given us the weapon we need to make Satan run from us. In Matthew 4 and Luke 4, Jesus uses this weapon to defeat Satan. In Ephesians 6, Paul describes this weapon as our only offensive assault against the Devil. Both of these Scriptures powerfully illustrate that the only weapon you need to defeat Satan is God’s Word. In response to Satan’s temptations, Jesus responded to the Devil by quoting Scripture. Jesus didn’t perform a miracle to overcome. He didn’t call down angels from heaven to
overcome. He simply used the very weapon we have access to in our lives…the Word of God. Paul’s letter to Ephesus lays out many weapons of defense against Satan. When Paul turns to the offensive side, the only weapon mentioned is “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Take a moment to contemplate the following expressions listed below. These expressions summarize our spiritual battle against Satan. 1. You + God’s Word > Satan 2. You – God’s Word < Satan What do you learn from these two expressions? Let me share with you two personal thoughts. The reading of God’s Word matters. Jesus was able to use God’s Word because He knew God’s Word. In the heat of the battle in the wilderness there was no time for Jesus to travel back to Jerusalem and look up a verse. There was no time to run into the temple and read a section from the book of Isaiah. There was no time to go home to Nazareth and refresh Himself on Moses’s words to the Israelites in Deuteronomy. We must know Scripture to be able to use Scripture. Temptation never waits until we’re ready. Satan attacks us in the daily, hectic routine of our lives….while driving a car, while sitting at our desk, while watching television, while on a date. If we are to defend ourselves against this onslaught, God’s Word must be hidden in our hearts. The Bible was ever on the tip of Jesus’ tongue. It was always His ready answer. His speech and conversation were ever seasoned with the Word of God. It is not surprising to see Jesus quoting Scripture when tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Are you able to follow His example? The difference between victory and defeat in our spiritual warfare is God’s Word. Satan knows this. Satan is good at what he does. He understands when you rely on God’s Word he doesn’t have a chance. He also knows that when you abandon God’s Word you don’t have a chance. Knowing this, what do you expect Satan to try to do? Isn’t it obvious? Our adversary will do anything and everything he can to keep us away from God’s Word. If he can remove you from God’s Word, he wins. The only thing separating
you from victory or defeat against Satan is the Word of God! Jesus knew God’s Word…He memorized God’s Word…He quoted God’s Word…He used God’s Word. Can we do the same? The preaching of God’s Word matters. Paul devoted his life to this mission. You can tell what’s important to someone by examining how they spend their time, their energy and their money. What mattered most to Paul? Paul’s life was about Jesus. His life centered on the preaching of God’s Word. God’s plan is a preaching plan. God’s only begotten Son was a preacher. Many are concerned about the condition of our world today. Many are concerned about the condition of the church today. We are quick to point out problem after problem after problem. What is the solution to all of these problems plaguing our world? What is the solution to all of the issues facing the church? The solution is the Word of God. God’s Word will always do what God has commissioned it to do. The greatest need of all people today is salvation. There is nothing more important than salvation. There is only one book that addresses this great, unchanging need….God’s Word. We need godly preaching. We need godly preachers. Satan is real. Sin is real. Remember also that God is real, and He has given us everything we need to overcome sin and Satan…You + God’s Word > Satan.
Preaching That Brings Restoration By James Hayes, email@example.com
It is interesting to study how God has chosen to communicate His will to man throughout the millennia. In the beginning, God spoke directly to the patriarchs. Then He revealed His will through the law. At times, He used prophets to proclaim His message. Finally, He has spoken to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2), and that message was transmitted to man by the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, God’s word is profitable for all matters of faith (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Today, God has chosen preaching as the primary method to communicate His will to man (1 Corinthians 1:21). Man should not preach his own will. He should not mix worldly wisdom with divine truth. The man of God should use Scripture the way God intended for it to be used (1 Timothy 2:14-16). But preaching is not a modern invention. Noah was a preacher. Moses was a preacher. Biblical prophets, priests, and kings were preachers. Since the primary purpose of preaching was (is) to point people to God’s will, every generation since Adam has needed sound preaching. Great preaching—whether in a building, campground, or coliseum—is focused on restoring the broken hearts and minds of the listeners. Someone once said, “Man doesn’t need to be taught as much as he needs to be reminded.” After a man preaches God’s word once, he will spend the rest of his life
reminding people of God’s word. Any time a preacher says, “Repent!” he is preaching soul restoration. Any time he says, “Remember!” he is preaching mind restoration. Any time he declares, “Return!” he is preaching heart restoration. Restoration preaching saturates Scripture. From Moses preaching to the generation of Israelites who would see the Promised Land to Ezra reading the law to the returned captives. From John the Baptist preaching repentance in the wilderness to Peter teaching to the persecuted Christians that God will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” them one day (I Peter 5:10). Faithful preachers are not afraid to say, “Stop!” to a crowd who is drifting away from God. It is God’s will that they do so. One of the most profound examples of restorative preaching came in II Samuel after David had committed sins with Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet approached David with a parable. He told David a story about a poor man who had a ewe lamb that was like a family member. A wealthy man nearby had many flocks and herds. When a stranger came to town, the rich man took the poor man’s lamb and fed it to the stranger. David became enraged by this story and wanted to kill the rich man. Nathan then said that David was the rich man—he had taken Uriah’s wife. That simple parable—told at the right time, to the right person, with the right motivation—changed David’s life. He confessed his sins (v. 13). Then David penned Psalm 51. He wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit” (v. 10-12). Faithful preaching restores souls! As Christians, we have the responsibility to restore those who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). As a preacher, you are responsible to “reprove, rebuke” and “exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). If you are committed to fulfilling that responsibility, you might be a Nathan in someone’s life. And you will be blessed.
GREAT PREACHING STRENGTHENS FAMILIES by Paul Shero, firstname.lastname@example.org
Before there was a government or a school; before there was a business or even a church, God created the home. When God presented Eve to Adam, He created the home. God has a lot to say about the home. The home is God’s foundation block for all of man’s endeavors. When the home is strong, the church and the community are strong. But when the home is broken, the community is weak. Why should good preachers preach on families? Great preaching always majors on great doctrines and big ideas. Doctrines on how families must be are major. You cannot preach the whole counsel of God and ignore His instructions on family.
Great preaching must be also practical. It must apply to the hearer’s life. No subject is more practical than ‘how can my family be better? How can I live with my mate? How can I raise my children? How can I honor my parents? These subjects are not only Biblical, they are also the very thing most listeners struggle with almost daily. When the family fails, those in the family fail. Satan knows where to shoot his arrows. Children who are in broken or dysfunctional families are often taken out of service to God before they are ever in service. Sort of a preemptive strike by Satan. Many people with great abilities are sidelined because their family is broken. Even when a person is not disqualified, he may be discouraged and not as effective as he could be. There is also a need for great preaching on the home for the lost people we meet. This practical application of God’s Word is obvious. It shows a person who does not know God very well that his word is of great value. So, great preaching on family should reveal new truths from the Bible to those who do not know it. As we uncover these truths, God’s Word opens eyes, hearts and minds. These people who have never known God, meet God and learn He knows what they need in their life. Great preaching should also remind believers of known truths. Much of what we preach is already known but we need to be reminded. Great preaching keeps bringing God back into our life and current situation. Great preaching helps families return to God’s way. Some are stumbling or off the path. When truth is presented, some are rescued; some aren’t far from the way and some are almost gone. Great preaching is rescue preaching. Great preaching on families is preaching that shows the way to restoration. It points to forgiveness; it lifts up grace; it reminds us that even the prodigal could come home. This kind of preaching is Gospel Preaching. It reminds people that even dry bones can live if God is involved. So, great preaching on families is revealing, reminding, returning and restoring. And as our families get stronger, the church gets stronger.
The Church is Starving for the Word of God by Jeff A. Jenkins, email@example.com
Think of all the different ways people in our world react to the Word of God. We could begin with how people reacted in Biblical times. When Paul preached on Mars Hill the Sacred text tells us that some of the people present mocked him. There were others present that day who wanted to delay their decisions. They said, we will hear you again concerning this. Basically, they were saying, “we don’t want to be bothered with this right now, we are too busy. You just go on your way, and we might listen another time.” Thankfully, there were some who responded in a positive way. They believed the Word Paul spoke and they became a part of the Church. Reaction in our day, isn’t a whole lot different. However, there is, among some, a growing disdain for the Word of God. Unfortunately, there are people who literally despise the Bible. Their sheer hatred for God’s Word is evidenced by the way they abuse Scripture. Many people today don’t despise the Bible, but they seem to want to dissect it. They have read the Word, they know something about it, and they can even make “theological” arguments. They are much like those of whom Paul mentioned who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Even among those who claim to be Christians there are some who simply disregard the Word of God. They say they believe the Bible but they spend far more time on the Internet, watching television, or reading secular works than they do studying the Word of God.
Each of these various groups of people are starving for the Word of God. Some of them don’t even realize they are starving. They know there is something missing in their lives, and they seek to find fulfillment in all of the wrong places. It is good to hunger for the Word. Our Master said that His people should “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). However, our hunger must lead us to the right place where we can be satisfied. Only the Word of God can bring fullness to our empty souls. God spoke through His man, Isaiah a long time ago and said, “"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David” (Isaiah 55:2-3). God’s Plan This is where those of us who are preachers come into the picture. Our God has a chosen method for getting His Word to the masses. Notice the words of our brother, Paul from 1 Corinthians 2:21, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” Some translations will say that God chose through the “foolishness of preaching to save those that believed.” As you well know, Scripture is not talking here about the task of preaching. The meaning is that God chose to save the world through the thing that is preached, or through the message that is taught. What matters most, is not the messenger, but the message. This doesn’t imply that the messenger should not do his best or be his best as the Word is being taught. But it does mean that God can see that His work is accomplished through any man who will humble himself before the Lord! One does not have to use superior speech or wisdom, as Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 1:1. He must however preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified (verse 2). The wisdom we speak is not the wisdom of this age, it is to be sure, not any of man’s wisdom. Those who preach the Word must speak God’s wisdom (verses 6-7).
This is the message that will satisfy the hunger of men. God’s wisdom will save men’s souls, it will thrill the hearts of everyone who hears it. It will comfort those who are hurting. God’s Word will sustain those who are attempting to be strong. It will bring salvation to those who are lost. No wonder Paul said of this Word, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him!” (1 Corinthians 2:9) May God help all of us who endeavor to preach the Word of God be sure we are speaking His wisdom rather than ours. Then and only then will we see the hunger in the hearts of those around us satisfied.
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Great Preaching Encourages the Church by Justin Guin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Is preaching still effective and encouraging in a secular world? Despite the claims otherwise, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” God expects his church to preach the gospel no matter the obstacle. The first-century church faced intense persecution, and this did not deter them from spreading the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:4). We face various issues relating to our culture, but we cannot allow this to discourage us from carrying out God’s mission. Great preaching is effective and encouraging. It aids us in spiritual growth transforming us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 12:2). There is a reason thousands flock to events such as the Freed-Hardeman University lectures and Polishing the Pulpit. Our souls are renewed and recharged through a week of great preaching. Gospel meetings and weekly preaching in our local churches keep the church fed and strengthened. If you see an anemic church, chances are the pulpit is weak and does not preach the gospel with conviction. Preaching the whole counsel of God builds up the kingdom. Note three reasons why great preaching is encouraging. First, great preaching is rooted in the Scriptures. Recently in a preacher’s meeting, a local minister encouraged us to mark all Scripture references in our sermons with a red pen. Then he said, “If your sermon doesn’t ‘bleed’ then it’s not worth preaching.” Great preaching does not rely on charisma, rhetorical strategy, or catchy illustrations. Great preaching is dependent on the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17). God’s word makes us wise for salvation and thoroughly furnishes the church for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15,17). Thus, when our pulpits resound with God’s word then the church is strengthened and encouraged. Second, great preaching instills hope in the promises of God. In Romans 15:4, Paul stated, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” In our common vernacular, hope carries the idea of wishful thinking or desire. Not so in the New Testament. Hope refers to a confident expectation that produces joy and assurance. The gospel promises eternal life (John 3:16), an
inheritance which is indestructible (1 Pet. 1:4-5), and an opportunity to dwell in the direct presence of God (Rev. 21:3). Our world needs this message to ring out from our pulpits. Eternal hope strengthens the body of Christ as it provides a focal point for the good times and when we’re in the throes of life. Great preaching imparts eternal hope in our lives. Third, great preaching is encouraging because of the nature of the task. Throughout Acts, the words commonly rendered “to preach” refer to spreading good news. Is there anything more encouraging and exciting than good news? I can remember when my wife told me we were expecting our children. Those brief moments of my life stand out because I was given great news. As good as this experience was it pales in comparison to hearing the gospel. I remember the first time I realized Jesus died for me and would return. It was during a gospel meeting at the Guin church of Christ. That moment and message changed the trajectory of my life. Many of you have enjoyed the same experience. You heard the gospel preached and it produced joy and happiness. Great preaching encourages the church because it produces joy. We need more great preaching in the church. It builds up the body of Christ because it is rooted in the Scriptures. We don’t preach our opinion as such would be a vain task. It produces hope to a world in dire straits. This message of hope is good news which much be proclaimed. What a privilege to preach such a message! It is encouraging just to think about the prospect of the task of preaching. God bless each of you as you endeavor to build up the church through preaching.
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I am Just A Preacher by Dale Jenkins, email@example.com
Ever now and then something happens that makes me think I’m more. Sometimes it’s an interview where the local media asks for my opinion and I begin to believe I’m a celebrity - but I’m just a preacher. Sometimes it’s an invitation to speak somewhere important and I’m tempted to think I’m showtime - but I’m just a preacher. Sometimes I hold a meeting, toss my seven best lessons in a satchel and go on the road and people are kind with their comments and I might think I’m really good - but I’m just a preacher. Sometimes I get an award, some recognition and I begin to be filled with self-importance - but I’m just a preacher. I write something and a few folks say it helps them and I think I’m a writer - but, no, I’m just a preacher that writes. I’m just a preacher and I praise God that I get to be that.
I’m just a preacher, but God needs preachers.
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