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I Love to Preach

Of all the things in the ministry, weddings, funerals, counseling, visiting, board meetings, potlucks, picnics, etc. The most satisfying job is preaching. I love to preach! I always felt I was just so-so in all of my efforts in as a pastor, but the one place I excelled (in my humble opinion) was in the pulpit.

As a young Christian I read a sermon a day for my devotions. I loved to read T. DeWitt Talmadge, Charles Spurgeon, Clovis Chapell, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, et al. I had a whole series of books by Hershel Ford, called "Simple Sermons," My friend Ron Hayden used to call the books, "Simple Sermons for Simple Preachers."

I love to preach! I have a hard time in the present day with sitting on a stool and "sharing" a message (Now don't get me wrong, this is not a criticism of those who do this, but just my own personal preference). Much of today's "preaching" deals with superficial hurts, meeting "felt" needs. Listen to Jeremiah, “For from the least of them to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. And they have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, 'Peace, peace, but there is no peace'” (Jeremiah 6:13,14).

Leonard Ravenhill wrote, "Preacher brethren, this is the time to blush that we have no shame, this is the time to weep for our lack of tears, the time to bend low that we have lost the humble touch of servants, the time to groan that we have no burden, the time to be angry with ourselves that we have no anger over the devil's monopoly in this end-time hour, the time to chastise ourselves that the world can get along so easily with us and not attempt to chastise us."

Preaching is the demonstration of the power of God. In 1 Corinthians 2:4: Paul declares, “My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” So there is more to preaching than just speaking. We may have prepared the greatest sermon that has ever been prepared in the history of the church, but it can be as a killing frost if delivered without the power of God's Spirit. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes: "The man should prepare his sermons and put all his ability and knowledge into them; but he should realize that unless the Spirit comes upon them, they will be of no avail." The Spirit uses man's best preparation but it is not just preparation, but preparation plus the anointing of God.

While a student in Bible college, I heard Dr. Robert Ketchum, founder and past president of the G.A.R.B.C. He said this about preaching, "Start low and go slow, then rise higher and catch fire and burn them up." Is there a difference between teaching and preaching? I call preaching, "teaching with tear in it's eye." In my opinion, preaching is not just the dispensing of knowledge, it is persuasive, preaching calls for a decision. The Greek word, "kerysso," "proclaim" is used 32 times in the Gospels, with it's complimentary term, "evangelizomai," “evangelize." "To proclaim good tidings." "To exhort, sermonize." "To make known by announcing." "To herald." Like the town crier, who stood at the edge of town or in the town square and shouted out his announcements. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:1-3: “I charge you, therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ…Preach the word…Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.”

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