I received a huge compliment this week from a guest at our church. Essentially, they said “We noticed your sermon wasn’t YOUR message. You didn’t load several Scriptures to create a sermon or force your message on the text. Instead, you let the text speak for itself.”
Today we rightfully complain about news media who miss or muddle the story because their politics push an agenda and narrative. Gone is the day when reporters and journalists simply shared the news and let people and society judge for themselves. To be frank, “the scoop” becomes slop and sewage and is entirely unhelpful to the general public.
It’s not just media but individual communication. Friends, what message are you living and telling? Are you promoting and posting ideas that complement or confuse the message of the gospel and Christianity? Does our conversation create interest to learn more and invite persuasion, or are we merely attempting to please our echo chambers of bias? Be warned, the latter repels and creates more division than drawing people to your side.
Pastors, if there’s one lesson from 2020, it’s #BringTheBook (cf Nehemiah 8). When we stand before God’s people and/or people in our community, we are merely stewards of God’s word not mouthpieces for our own agenda or earthly kingdoms. Further, being servants of the word means we are not free to piecemeal Scriptures together to fit a subconscious message to get the church to think or act a certain way. We are ministers not manipulators. Instead, we are to be faithful expositors who share book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse.
Let us renew our commitment to communicate the whole counsel of God’s word. Let us spend time studying Scripture that when we speak, His word lingers when our voice ends. Pray that the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14)! And we join with the apostle Paul who said, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Corinthians 2:2). This was his story and he was sticking to it for the end of his life. I hope to do the same.
Everyone has a sermon and story to share. What’s yours?