Amazed...and Gratified

It happens almost every Sunday. Someone comes by in the foyer after service and comments, "Pastor, I've never heard a message on that before." I'm always amazed because I preach expository messages from a particular book. Currently we just finished 2nd Corinthians in the morning services and are a little over half way through Mark in the evening services. It makes me wonder if they really haven't heard such a message, or if the message they heard didn't stick in their memory. I often tell people that I purposely read a lot of scripture during service because God has promised to bless HIS WORD, not mine. In addition to being amazed that many people have not heard messages on particular scriptures, I'm gratified that God led me to preach/teach on that passage. It isn't always comfortable or even exciting, but I find that God always blesses when I don't skip difficult passages. I'm just simple enough to believe that God intended every word of His love letter to us to be read, studied and taught. Another interesting dynamic that I experience from time to time is that when I think I have done a poor job expositing a particular scripture, God uses it in the life of someone who is present. It just reinforces for me that the proof is not in my preaching expertise, but in the faithful scrutiny of His Word. I have a note on the little credenza above my computer screen which reminds me..."Remember, it's what I do with the Word between your lips and their hearts that matters." A little message from God to me that helps keep me grounded as I prepare sermons.

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