NEW NORMAL: PREACHING
In the installment focused on fellowship, we started by saying “As a church, one of our greatest joys is our meeting together. It is such a special blessing to gather in the same place and to share so much of our lives with each other.”
Many things happen when the local church gathers. We fellowship together. We build community with each other. We give of our time, talents, and resources for the work of the ministry. We care for one another. We learn from God’s Word and how to apply it to our lives.
All of those things support a singular purpose: to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ (the Gospel). The preaching of God’s Word is rooted in the Gospel message.
TAKING A WRONG VIEW
Listening to someone preach isn’t just for you to get a nugget of wisdom or a catchy phrase or an anecdote to share. Preaching is for you to receive the Gospel message, for direct application to your life, and to equip you to proclaim it as well.
Mark 3:14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.
It has nothing to do with ability. God uses each and every effort. We can rest in the joyous truth that He supplies every need.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
Especially in this time of imposed isolation, resist the temptation to let the Word stop with you.
A TIME FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY
With that perspective, let’s view this extraordinary time as exactly that: a time for the extraordinary.
Use this season wisely. So many avenues to receive preaching, as a means of equipping. Plus, so many opportunities to proclaim among our circles of contact and influence.
1 Thessalonians 2:14 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
Receive God’s Word through preaching (as well as reading and meditation), apply it to your life, and let it change you so radically that your everyday life preaches His Gospel to all around you.
We have an awesome opportunity to be PARTNERS in PREACHING.
Regarding the proclamation of God’s Word through preaching, commit yourself to this prevailing pattern:
Pray for your pastor and his message
Prepare your heart to receive the preaching
Ponder how to apply the preaching to your life
Put into Practice the preached Word
Pass it on to people you know and are connected with
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing
Take hold of the preached Word firmly with both hands - then hand it to others. Pass it on. Share freely and joyously.
At least for now, this is the New Normal. This is an extraordinary time with extraordinary opportunities. Let’s meet these challenges together with enthusiasm and eagerly look to Him at all times.