Well hello blogosphere… It has been quite a while since I last blogged. I have been in somewhat of a rut (or sabbatical – that makes it sound cooler…) with blogging. I was really just having trouble with thinking of ideas worthy of blogging on… and then actually having the motivation to write about them in a succinct and clear way.
Until… this past week… when something got on my nerves and caused me to want to rant… so I chose to post something about it on my Facebook. What I was really doing was just thinking out loud (which is never a good idea…). I then realized two things.
1 – This is probably not a good idea to put on Facebook. Too little of an explanation might cause lots of annoying comments that are arguing over something that was not intended nor implied.
2 – I could blog this! I could actually take some time to clarify it… and less people would see it and comment! Ha. Not the normal intention of blogging now is it? Try to get less people to read it… oh well… now that you have the back story, let’s get to it, especially since if I go on any longer, you will quit reading this… gotta keep it short, right? But this being a semi-rant, I might be able to hold your attention for a little longer.
So… now to the rant…
I remember this past year when I went down with a student ministry to a “youth camp” in Florida. It was sweet. But there was one thing that stuck out to me (well… “one thing” is really one of many things) and that was when I was talking to a group of middle school students. I was trying to explain how the power was in the Word of God alone because they had been just writing out journal type entries during their “quiet-times” – not delving into the power source of His Word! So I began to explain to them that “the power is in the Word of God”… and not two seconds went by before I was interrupted by one of them saying “no… the power is in the electrical box!” I was stumped for the time being. But the point remains the same. The power is NOT in the electrical box. It is in the all-sufficient Gospel Word that God has given us!
So, how then is it that we who preach and teach, knowing that our only authority and power to preach is in the Word of God… so often use the Word of God as just some sub-point to our own agenda or some psychology study…
When our only authority and power are there…
When men and women have DIED to give us the Bible…
And most importantly when Jesus DIED and ROSE again…
Speaking of Jesus… what did he do when he rose from the dead? Do sweet miracles to give everyone the heads up? nah… he talked about the Bible! He interpreted it and explained it! (Luke 24:27; 32; 44-47)
The power is not in some electrical box, some illustration, or some cool study, but in the Word of God.
Honestly. I would rather preach a bone dry, boring sermon that was with the Bible over a cool application oriented sermon with awesome reasons why I can be a better me yet is missing the Bible any day of the week.
Is this an over-statement? I don’t think so. Who gives the life change anyway? My cool illustration? My cool reason why the Bible is relevant to our lives (other than the fact that God has given his son for our desperate situation)? No! The Holy Spirit does through his Word!
You want to grow God’s Kingdom? Well… you technically cant… but that is another post… so you want to grow it? Spread the Word of God! Read Acts. What happened EVERY time the Kingdom grew? The WORD OF GOD continued to INCREASE! (See Acts 6:7 as an example)
Yes. I hear your rebuttals. I agree. Contextualize! Study the culture we live in! Make the Word understandable and accessible to those who don’t know Christ or who are new to him! I couldn’t agree MORE!
And what about the Bible being boring and the whole Andy Stanley ideology of making sure your presentation is awesome? Tim Chester and Steve Timmis in their book “Total Church” say, “Bible study and theology that do not lead to love for God and a desire to do his will – to worship, tears, laughter, excitement, or sorrow – have gone terribly wrong.” AGREED.
Make it interesting. Be funny. Be intriguing. I even used a cool illustration to open this post!
But at the end of the day, my speech is useless. It does not change lives. As Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary once told me, “We have nothing to say…”. He then went on to explain how we must simply explain the Bible alone! Explain, illustrate, apply. Let the Bible’s main points be our main points!
The power rests solely in the Word of our gracious and glorious God. Give him his due credit and actually preach about him… not yourself.
Now the question is, do you agree or disagree?