What is the Chief End of Preaching?

lloyd-jones-in-studyHere is what Dr. David Martyn Lloyd Jones said about preaching – all of the quotes below are from “the Doctor’s” book entitled, Preaching & Preachers.

“What is the chief end of preaching?”  I like to think it is this.  It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence (p. 97).

For a period of about four months, “the Doctor” while ill was unable to preach at the Westminster Chapel.  In the providence of God, this afforded him “the opportunity, and the privilege, of listening to others” instead of preaching himself.  This is what he wrote as he reflected on that experience:   Continue reading

A Pastor’s Confession

ConfessionPastor_194227947O God, I know that I often do Thy work without Thy power,
And sin by my dead, heartless, blind service,
My lack of inward light, love, delight,
My mind, heart, tongue moving without Thy help.

I see sin in my heart in seeking the approbation of others;

This is my vileness, to make men’s opinion my rule,
Whereas I should see what good I have done,
And give Thee glory,
Consider what sin I have committed
And more for that.
It is my deceit to preach, and pray,
And to stir up others’ spiritual affections 
In order to beget commendations,
Whereas my rule should be daily to consider myself
More vile than any man in my own eyes.  

Continue reading

To Preach, to Really Preach…

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Preaching is the most public of ministries and therefore, the most conspicuous in its failure and the most subjective to the temptation of hypocrisy. It is imperative only that those who undertake it are appropriately gifted by the Holy Spirit. Such ‘gifting’ includes prophecy, evangelism, the consciousness of an unavoidable call, providential endowments, and outward confirmation as evidenced by the Holy Spirit’s making the preaching effort into a new Bethlehem.

There is no special honor in being so gifted–there is only special pain. The pulpit calls them to it as the sea calls its sailors, and, like the sea, it batters and bruises and does not rest, but always there is the lure of its ‘better and incomparable’ society.

To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time you do it that you must do it again. Only one certainty sustains the preacher:  That God never denies a man peace except to give him glory.

Bruce Thielemann

I Flopped Preaching on the Holy Spirit

imageI recently attempted preaching on the Holy Spirit and did a terrible job of it. I fumbled my way through what seemed like an eternity. I however managed to dribble to a conclusion of sorts in utter helplessness. I felt so weak and powerless. I frankly don’t remember all that I said really – which is dreadful in itself. I was all over the map. But I do remember that towards the end of the sermon, I read the words of a well-known hymn written by Robert Jackson (1888), on the Holy Spirit – and that is the prayer of my heart even as I write this. Here it is:   Continue reading

THE PASTORAL MINISTRY OF SHAKING HEARTS

I am writing to respond to a blog post entitled, The Pastoral Ministry of Shaking Hands, written by Pastor H. B. Charles Jr. which was recently shared on Tim Challies blog.  I reluctantly read it with caution because it touches on a topic that I have been wrestling with issue for a number of years.  Reading the blog post confirmed my deep seated convictions on what Pastor Charles Jr. calls “The pastoral ministry of shaking hands.” I simply do not agree with his rationale for this mainly because I believe that the practice that he is advocating is mainly cultural not biblical.  This “pastoral ministry of shaking hands” is mainly a creation of the American culture than it is of the Apostles in the New Testament church.  The practice is very foreign among many Christians outside of North America (although some are now copying it simply because it’s coming from America and thus it must be right).  For this reason (mainly), I do not think that it should be expected of every pastor.  In all fairness, the Bible does not necessarily condemn the practice (although I believe good biblical grounds may be found against it).  But it is also fair to say that the Bible does not sanction or prescribe it for pastors and congregations for that matter and we shouldn’t either. Continue reading

“As Thy Days So Shall Thy Strength Be”

What a wonderful day this has been!  I praise the LORD God for sustaining me through it all.  Was a bit unsure how things would go today with all the preaching that I had to do, but I praise Him for giving me His grace and strength to sustain me through it all!  Many thanks to everyone who was praying for/with me over the weekend as I was preparing to preach the Word of God today.  May the LORD richly bless you!  Tomorrow (Monday, September 9, 2013), I will be teaching my first Perspectives class, part of a 15-week course which our congregation is hosting for the first time.  Will be giving a 2 hour lecture  entitled, “The Living God is a Missionary God.”  Looking forward to it – but I would like to ask for your prayers once again in these three specific ways:

1.  Pray that the LORD will be glorified in all that happens in tomorrow’s class and throughout the next 15 weeks as we run this course.

2.  Pray for the LORD’s blessing and anointing on all the lectures who will be teaching this course over these 15 weeks.

3.  Pray for the LORD’s blessing and anointing on all the students who will be taking the class (don’t have the precise # yet) – but pray with me that this will prove to be a life transforming course.

Above all, please join me in giving thanks to the LORD God for giving our small congregation the opportunity to host this course – and for allowing me the opportunity to teach the first class!  It’s truly all of grace and totally undeserved!  Will give you an update on this tomorrow, Lord willing!  To God be the glory!!

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