Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
I was at a small, midweek church service recently, when the minister asked if anyone could remember what he had preached on, exactly one year before! He gave us a clue. It was the same day every year in the Church’s calendar, set aside to remember our Lord Jesus and his relationship to Old Testament Law.
One elderly lady, sitting near the front, called out, “Yes, I remember. It was all about the dots”. She was right. Check it out in Matthew 5:17-18.
The minister then went on to note how few people could remember by Friday, what the sermon was about five days earlier, on Sunday. However, he stressed this was no reason to stop preaching! He illustrated why.
From the pulpit he asked us, “How many of you can remember what you ate for dinner two weeks ago last Thursday?” There was embarrassed muttering as people discussed, but nobody could be sure. The minister continued, “You don’t know what you ate, yet you are what you are today, because you ate it”!
He was clearly emphasising that preaching had an on going value in spiritually building up God’s people. Preaching is God’s chosen way to develop strong Christians. We must give proper attention to the Bible, God’s word, as it is explained and applied through Holy Spirit inspired preaching in our churches.
Those who preach must prepare prayerfully, studying diligently, listening to God so they can put Scripture alongside daily life for people to apply it to themselves. We who listen must listen carefully, hearing what God is saying as well as the human preacher. We must respond to His challenges, accept His correction and be confident in His promises.
You will not remember every sermon you hear, (as I don't remember all I have preached!), but by developing the good habit of regularly listening to God’s word being preached, soon believers around you will recognise that God is making you into the person He wants you to be.
Meditate on these passages:
1 Timothy 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-2;
1 Corinthians 1:18-25.