The concept of “preaching” goes well beyond the pulpit. When the persecuted Christians driven out of Jerusalem “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4), I doubt very many pulpits were involved! Since preaching necessarily includes learning, living, serving, and communicating, what a great privilege it is (not to mention a grave responsibility!) to be a student of the Bible, an example to the brethren, a minister to those in need, and a teacher among the spiritually hungry.
Preaching has encouraged me to be a better Christian. I realize that my greatest teaching tool is my example, which gives me extra incentive to pursue a life of faithfulness and godliness. Otherwise, my labors in God’s kingdom are in vain. I am far from perfect, so I am compelled to rely more heavily on the Lord to help me be the kind of person I ought to be.
Preaching has helped me to be a better student of God’s word. It has provided the opportunity to study, learn, and teach the Bible every day. The admonition in James 3:1 has been a strong motivator to examine the scriptures more carefully and deeply.
Preaching has helped me to be a better husband and father. I can’t conscientiously teach others the biblical principles of marriage and parenting if I am not practicing these myself. Moreover, as my wife and children observe my active involvement in the Lord’s work, spiritual leadership is not lacking in our home.
Preaching has blessed my life by enabling me to serve as an instrument in God’s hand, eternally impacting the lives of those with whom I work. There is nothing about me personally that makes any significant difference, but I get to witness the spiritual transformation of precious souls by simply communicating the divine message and pointing them to Christ.
Preaching is admittedly a challenging vocation, filled with stress, hardship, and disappointment. But these negative aspects pale into virtual insignificance when compared to the blessings afforded. It doesn’t take a spiritual giant to be a full-time preacher, but it is nearly impossible to remain spiritually dwarfed while doing it. God’s primary interest is not our comfort and convenience, but he is interested in blessing people through us and consequently blessing our lives in the process.
“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:10).
-- Kevin L. Moore
Appearing in Hope & Expectation (The Jenkins Institute) 13 February 2014, <http://thejenkinsinstitute.com/blog/2014/02/13/preaching-blessed-life-8/>.
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