Today’s reflection comes from a distracted head, who is often sharp in discerning fraud activity and all things wrong. However, I found myself a victim of a duped service over the weekend. If you are expecting an invite to my pity party, I apologise, as I cancelled my Facebook invite after sharing the incident with my parents.
In ways, I’m glad it happened, as it’s fantastic material to use for multiple sermons and how Satan deceives us as a whole. All it takes is a seed to slip beneath the cracks of our foundation and focus on Jesus Christ. You may be thinking, “Oh, but it won’t happen to me!”
The problem is – we are constantly under threat, and we are likely to fall to Satan’s plans, but more disturbingly, I believe certain denominations have fallen ill to the clutches of bad theology and biblical doctrine. If a pastor is unable to preach from the Bible and actually focus the sermon on God’s Word without the whimsical journey of tangents and fluffy-eared stories to please the congregation, you know that you have a good pastor who is capable and is not afraid to preach the Word.
As I draw near to the end of term at Cornhill Scotland, I fully appreciate the reverend fear of preaching the Word. There is a literal trembling, and it’s nothing down to one’s trembling voice, as one preaches before a class of wannabe preachers of God’s Word, but a reverend fear of being led by the Holy Spirit to utter Words of Truth – words that pierce our physical hearts in a way that bring shame and discomfort to our complacent Christian lives.
I have yet to formally preach at a local church, but I have experienced this reverend fear of the LORD. It’s not a fear of backlash or the hypercritical nature of listeners, but it’s the responsibility to unpack God’s Word from the Holy Scriptures and preach it effectively. To preach with boldness, knowing that God is giving me the Words to preach His confidence and to shake the faith of listeners. A good sermon not only provokes the listeners, but it empowers them to see light to how we are to live that is not only pleasing to God, but to positively shape our identity in Christ as true disciples of Christ.
Overcoming a distracted mind should bring our focus and attention back to Christ the Risen LORD. Only He can save us from our own troubles and everyday cracks in our walk in faith.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7, ESV)