Thursday, May 14, 2009

Piper and Preaching: Worth a View & Listen

The following is straight from Desiring God website.

Some of you may have little or no experience with what I mean by preaching. I think it will help you listen to my messages if I say a word about it.

What I mean by preaching is expository exultation.

Preaching Is Expository

Expository means that preaching aims to exposit, or explain and apply, the meaning of the Bible. The reason for this is that the Bible is God’s word, inspired, infallible, profitable—all 66 books of it.

The preacher’s job is to minimize his own opinions and deliver the truth of God. Every sermon should explain the Bible and then apply it to people's lives.

The preacher should do that in a way that enables you to see that the points he is making actually come from the Bible. If you can’t see that they come from the Bible, your faith will end up resting on a man and not on God's word.

The aim of this exposition is to help you eat and digest biblical truth that will

* make your spiritual bones more like steel,
* double the capacity of your spiritual lungs,
* make the eyes of your heart dazzled with the brightness of the glory of God,
* and awaken the capacity of your soul for kinds of spiritual enjoyment you didn’t even know existed.

Preaching Is Exultation

Preaching is also exultation. This means that the preacher does not just explain what’s in the Bible, and the people do not simply try understand what he explains. Rather, the preacher and the people exult over what is in the Bible as it is being explained and applied.

Preaching does not come after worship in the order of the service. Preaching is worship. The preacher worships—exults—over the word, trying his best to draw you into a worshipful response by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My job is not simply to see truth and show it to you. (The devil could do that for his own devious reasons.) My job is to see the glory of the truth and to savor it and exult over it as I explain it to you and apply it for you. That’s one of the differences between a sermon and a lecture.
Preaching Isn't Church, but It Serves the Church

Preaching is not the totality of the church. And if all you have is preaching, you don’t have the church. A church is a body of people who minister to each other.

One of the purposes of preaching is to equip us for that and inspire us to love each other better.

But God has created the church so that she flourishes through preaching. That’s why Paul gave young pastor Timothy one of the most serious, exalted charges in all the Bible in 2 Timothy 4:1-2:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word.

What to Expect from My Preaching and Why

If you're used to a twenty-minute, immediately practical, relaxed talk, you won't find that from what I've just described.

* I preach twice that long;
* I do not aim to be immediately practical but eternally helpful;
* and I am not relaxed.

I standing vigilantly on the precipice of eternity speaking to people who this week could go over the edge whether they are ready to or not. I will be called to account for what I said there.

That's what I mean by preaching.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Praying the Lord's Prayer

The Model Prayer can be taken as intended or become a rote recited ritual that lacks vitality; yet, when taken to heart, and grappled with under the ministry God the Holy Spirit, great awe, humility, growth and encouragement issue from the instructive example of Christ as He instructs his disciples.

What follows is and excerpt from "Praying the Lord's Prayer" by J.I. Packer. It's small in size but very much worth the read. and, if read with contemplation and the time reflecting in the Scriptures, not a quick read at all. In a recent interview, it became clear that Dr Packer defines , at least in part, his role as a catechist to the Church. And for this, we can be grateful.

Excerpt from " Praying the Lord's Prayer"

"As analysis of light requires reference to the seven colors of the spectrum that make it up, so analysis of the Lord’s Prayer requires reference to a spectrum of seven distinct activities: approaching God in adoration and trust; acknowledging his work and his worth, in praise and worship; admitting sin, and seeking pardon; asking that needs be met, for ourselves and others; arguing with God for blessing, as wrestling Jacob did in Genesis 32 (God loves to be argued with); accepting from God one’s own situation as he has shaped it; and adhering to God in faithfulness through thick and thin. These seven activities together constitute biblical prayer, and the Lord’s Prayer embodies them all."

Grace and Peace,

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

An Encouraging Perspective

I met Penn Jillette about two years back. A simple nice to meet you near the elevator at the Rio. Too many people and not much time to say much else as folks began to approach with paper and pen in hand to ask for his autograph.

I was struck by his willingness to stay put and meet the folks that drew near when it seemed clear he'd probably like a little space and a chance to enjoy a coffee in peace. Who knows, maybe he doesn't even drink coffee but he struck me one who requires time for contemplation.

This morning, in my own time of contemplation, I came across this video. It's a snippet from Penn Says. I'm struck by his honesty and take heart in his exhortation and what he took away from a conversation with a gracious follower of Christ. Penn was touched by the encounter. The manner and gracious heart of the one that spoke of Jesus is instructive.

Thank you Penn for sharing. I would that many who name the name of Christ would take notice. May we speak in a way "seasoned with grace". May we not acts as jerks when kindness should issue from the heart of those who know the gospel. One who has been "forgiven much" will be gracious with others for she knows what it means to be forgiven without the means to repay.

Take time to watch and listen to the link below. It's worth it.

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