Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grace in Preaching and Grace in Listening

“Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.” - Psalm 119:73

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”
- Proverbs 16:16

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:15

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” – 1 Timothy 4:13

“Woe then to the slothfulness of those who do not peruse the oracles of the Holy Spirit by day and night, in order to learn from them how to discharge their office.” - John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Timothy, p. 114

“But even today the careful selection, and clear and interpretive reading of Holy Writ is ‘the most important part of public worship.’” - William Hendrickson, Commentary on 1 Timothy, p. 159

“The Christian preacher has a boundary set for him. When he enters the pulpit, he is not an entirely free man. There is a very real sense in which it may be said of him that the Almighty has set him his bounds that he shall not pass. He is not at liberty to invent or choose his message: it has been committed to him, and it is for him to declare, expound, and commend it to his hearers…It is a great thing to come under the magnificent tyranny of the Gospel.”
- Donald Coggan, quoted by John Stott in, Between Two Worlds, pp. 126,127

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Friends and Family,

I have the distinct privilege of serving my all-time favorite church. God has brought folks to COR that are deeply committed to the Savior and that have a hunger for the Word of God. Each week they have a desire to have God speak to them through the Word as it is preached. This is nothing short of amazing. In the glorious Spirit-infused interchange between the printed word and Word of God expounded the congregation eagerly and gladly listens. There is evident grace to be commended when God’s Word is warmly received. All glory goes to Him. Consider this - how is it that God gives us an appetite and then He graciously commences filling us full? What a glorious God!

Every week it is my joy to spend time in God’s Word and then to bring that word to you. It is a stewardship and a sacred charge and something I do not take lightly. Each week as I prepare the message I’m thinking of you and praying for you. My desire is to submit myself to the ‘magnificent tyranny of the Gospel’ and then to get out of the way and allow God’s gospel to speak to God’s people. Thank you for trusting me with this charge. Thank you for humbly listening to God’s word. Thank you for hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Thank you for listening with joy.

Treasuring the glorious gospel of the Savior with you.


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