23
May
08

Preach the Word

A very dear friend of mine gave me the Bible from which I preach each week. If any of you have looked closely at this Bible you know just how much I cherish it. I cherish it so much I did not originally want to preach from it, knowing I will wear it out. Then again, what good is a Bible unless it is used and worn out?

In the front page of the Bible my friend inscribed the following words from Martin Luther:

Beyond all the might and power of the world and of all creatures, Christ proves His ability to draw the hearts of men to Himself through the Word alone.

Luther’s quote motivates me. The Reformer’s words also remind me. They remind me that the power is in God’s word and not in my own.

When I read that quote, and I read it almost every Sunday before I preach, I am reminded of some other quotes. Yet these quotes are different than the one from Luther. These quotes are inspired, Spirit-filled and infallible. These quotes come from the Word of God:

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:14-17

The call to preach is formidable. Only those who proclaim the truth of God’s Word know the constraints of following God’s summons. And, only those who preach know the pressure that comes with faithfully proclaiming the text. When a preacher tries to fulfill the call in his own strength, ingenuity or ability, he will certainly fail. It is only when the preacher of God’s Word relies on God to empower and enable him that God’s call is fulfilled.

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