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Mysterious Message

September 20, 2011

Sunday I learned a lesson.

I struggle with constant self-evaluations of my preaching.  I want to be an excellent communicator of the gospel.  If I am honest, I must tell you that I want it mostly for the fame of Jesus but also partially for my own self-esteem. 

We have two services at HWC.  At some point on Sunday afternoon I compare my preaching in each service.  It’s the same sermon in both but I am very conscious of the quality of my delivery.  I usually determine that one was better than the other.  I’m not proud of that, but it’s true.  Strangely enough, sometimes it is the first one and sometimes it is the second one. 

This past Sunday my mind was as sharp as it has ever been during preaching in our first service.  My thoughts flowed and my heart engaged each firing neuron.  I believed strongly in the message, and seamlessly delivered it.  In the second one I became fatigued.  My mind seemed fuzzy.  I wrestled with the wording of every thought.  The concepts of the sermons were the same, but the delivery was not. 

Something else was different about these two services.  The response.  The first service had a good response in the invitation but the second service was flooded with those responding.  We had to call extra leaders to handle the response in the second service.  I am fully aware the response to any sermon is greater than the public reactions of the people, but I think God was reminding me of some important truths in this instance. 

There is a mysterious element outside of our effort to preaching and this is easy to forget.  There is a mysterious message being spoken behind every public message.  God is at work and sometimes He works in ways to remind us of our role and to remind us of His role.  Jesus is certainly supreme.  I will continue to strive for excellence.  God deserves it and certainly the sacrifice of Jesus deserves it.  But neither are dependant upon it. 

Thank you Lord for the mysterious way in which you work.  Thank you for using my life even when I am not at my best.  Your mysterious message gives me confidence and courage.

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