To all the preachers out there, the fearless proclaimers of God’s wonderful news:
“When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.” ~Psalm 138:3
The Word we preach is mind-blowing, earth-altering, history-changing Truth. We proclaim the unmerited love and favor of the Creator of the Universe, a right relationship with him through the sacrifice of his Holy Son, and unsurpassed power and authority extravagantly given by his Spirit. It is the greatest news this world has ever heard. It impacts all who hear. It transforms all who respond. And preaching it week after week comes with a price.
Hang in there.
“I will praise your name for your love and faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your Word.” ~Psalm 138:2
If we are truly passionate about the texts and the Lord of the texts when we preach, it will cost us. We are painting a vision of the Kingdom of God in opposition to the reign in this world of other powers, so it is a spiritual battle we are fighting, which will also physically exhaust us. We have to allow ourselves plenty of time to recover, a Sabbath of rest. We might also have to fight the darkness of doubts, the fiends of seeming failure in society’s terms, the monsters of personal hang-ups, the demons of misunderstanding on the part of those who hear or refuse to hear. (from Marva Dawn’s A Royal Waste of Time)
For all those times when our words don’t come close to matching what’s in our hearts, when our sermons don’t live up to the power of the Truth, when our best efforts fall woefully short of the splendor of our King and the beauty of his love and the majesty of his reign…
…hang in there.
God’s doing something wonderful with you.
To Jason R., Jim G., Grady K., Scott M., Charlie J., Kyle B., Jim M., David H., Jim H., Jimmy M., Chris V., Greg N., Rick A., Terry R., Robert W., Stan R., and every gospel preacher out there who labors in the Word, wrestles with the text, listens to our Lord, and then speaks that Word of Truth and Grace week after week after week:
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of your hands.” ~Psalm 138:8