Here is a thought to hold in mind as we listen to God’s Word tonight – we come back to it later.. “What is the difference between a love song and the preaching of the Word of God?”
We are well into a new year and there is much ahead of us..
- Months of classes and lessons for students
- Endless hours of toil for parents in work place & home, cleaning cooking, transporting children
- AND…… many sermons we will hear till the last sermon of the last Sunday of the year
Ponder this question….. What do we expect from the preaching of God’s Word AND what we will do with it afterwards?
Do we expect sermons on any and every subject or are there some issue off limits from pulpit? Expectations on hearing sermons -feel good being always emotionally and spiritually caressed?
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4, NIV)
The task of the bearer of God’s Word can be quite intimidating “O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:7-9, NIV)
How open are our hearts really to the Word of the Lord? How do we receive His messengers and what do with do with what we have heard? Is it a big deal as to what we do with what is preached?
- AN UNACCEPTABLE SOCIAL RULE APPLIED TO THE PULPIT
- THE ALL ENCOMPASSING WORD OF GOD
- ‘SUBMISSION’ THE KEY ATTITUDE
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Ezekiel 33:1–9, 30-33 (NIV84)
1The word of the Lord came to me:
2“Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,
3and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people,
4then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.
5Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself.
6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’
7“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
8When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.
9But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.
30“As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’
31My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.
32Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
33“When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
Acts 20:17–31 (NIV84)
17From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
18When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
19I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
20You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
21I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
25“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
26Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.