The weekend has arrived!
I wanted to remind you again that I will be sharing my life story this Sunday night at our church. It will start at 6:00 P.M. PST, so if you can come and join us in person, please do. And if you come, let me know that you are one of my “blogging buddies!”
This service will also feature a clip from a documentary film about my life, called Lost Boy. It will all be webcast as well and archived for later viewing.
I will also be speaking Sunday morning from our new series in Acts that we are calling The Upside Down Life. The title of my message this Sunday morning is “Secrets of the Early Church, Part 2.” Among other things, I really want to focus on the place of worship in the early Church and how important it is for us today.
Also, don’t forget to check out my weekend article at worldnetdaily.com.
Hey, some more thoughts on preaching, if you please.
God can be known.
Jesus says, “In the volume of the Book I have come!” There are many ways God could have come to us.
He could have dropped down visual images like photographs or paintings to describe what He wanted people to Know. And certainly God speak to us, to some degree, through the testimony of NATURE. After all, Psalm 19:1 tells us, ” The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.”
But God has chosen to primarily make Himself known to us through preaching. As I quoted in my last entry, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the Message Preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21)
And again, Paul’s words to Timothy were, “PREACH THE WORD . . . ”
When Paul was on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, He could have used DRAMA to make his points. After all, drama started there in Greece. He could have had someone present the gospel in “three acts,” or have it put to music.
No, He PREACHED to them, “Men of Athens!”
Music, drama, and the arts all have their place, but they are nowhere near the importance of the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
I mentioned worship earlier, and the early Church certainly placed a premium on that. But we must be careful to not “worship” worship!
The reason I say this is because a couple of years ago, I saw one of those TV infomercials for a collection of worship songs (which I think is great). But what disturbed me about this particular commercial was that they had what seemed to be “testimonies” of people who talked about how “worship music” had gotten them through hard times in their lives, and “worship music” had done this or that for them.
Now, I know God can and will work through worship, but it is GOD who works in our lives. Perhaps that is why Martin Luther called MUSIC the “handmaiden of theology.”
Yes, worship has its place, but preaching still needs to be the priority of the Church today. I know this is true, not only because the Bible says it is, but also from personal experience.
I have had the privilege of teaching for 35 years in many places, ranging from great stadiums and arenas to small home Bible studies. I can tell you that it is God’s Word preached that touches lives.
Trust me when I say the last thing I ever wanted to become was A PREACHER. I was a cartoonist, a graphic designer. This was all I ever wanted to do. I was never a speaker in school; in fact, I dreaded speaking publicly.
But the first time I did it, I saw the power of God at work. My life was touched by the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, and I still am. Like I said before, I am a preaching junkie, and I listen to it all the time to it.
The arts have their place. Thank God for Christian musicians, designers, tech people, and all the rest. I love the arts and people who are gifted in this way. I count myself as one of them.
But one thing will never change: “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Here is an example of that from an e-mail I recently received:
Dear Pastor Greg, Once again I just want to let you know how thankful I am for your program A New Beginning. I considered myself a lost sinner. I lived my life with regards to no one. Till one day in a prison cell in Chowchilla CA, I heard your message on A New Beginning and I prayed with you at the end of your message and for the next 3 years that I spent there I listen to you everyday. From that day on, even know I was inside a gigantic prison wall I felt free and I felt secure and protected by the LORD especially on those extremely hard days that I went through. Accepting the LORD was the best thing I ever did in my life. Thank you Pastor Greg for all of your support and prayers. May the GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST be with you and your listeners.
Thank you. Sincerely, Juliana.
That, folks, is why I do what I do.