From time to time, I hope to share some thoughts about preaching from some of the great ones. Here’s the first:
If God is not supreme in our preaching, where in this world will the people hear about the supremacy of God? If we do not spread a banquet of God’s beauty on Sunday morning, will not our people seek in vain to satisfy their inconsolable longing with the cotton candy pleasures of pastimes and religious hype? If the fountain of living water does not flow from the mountain of God’s sovereign grace on Sunday morning, will not the people hew for themselves cisterns on Monday, broken cisterns that can hold no water . . .?
John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching
I had a very sad conversation today with an older lady. Someone that many people in her church would consider to be a rock.
The topic was evangelism. She told me that she felt like she couldn’t be involved in that with any integrity. She just couldn’t talk to other people about Jesus.
When she was younger, she had given herself to God and the church with lots of enthusiasm. In her own words, she had been very committed.
Now, she felt different. She no longer believed that the bible was God’s word. She had decided a while ago that she would ‘follow God very slowly, and from a distance.’
What had happened to change her mind? When she was younger, she ‘expected more from this whole Christian thing.’ What more? ‘Gifts of the Spirit that were more obvious; or a major ministry, or…. ‘
I was floored, and deeply saddened. I wondered what had given her those expectations at the start. Maybe a case of expecting to walk by sight, rather than by faith.
She will be in my prayers.
So, I’ve set out on the big bad internet sea in my little blog ship. Who knows where the journey will take me? I’ve resisted the urge to sail for so long, fearing the time and tide would carry me far away from where I needed to be…. but I’ve succumbed.
‘In Anticipation’ – because God is good, and continues to surprise me with his goodness, throughout all circumstances and stories. I’m learning to live all of life like this – responsibly waiting for the appearing of the Risen Lord Jesus. One eye here, another to the glorious future.
Maybe this little boat will help me get or keep some sort of perspective in the process. Then again, maybe it won’t – who’s to say? But you always start a journey ‘In Anticipation’.