Enjoying the Journey
Over the last few days I have been in numerous meetings where someone was preaching the Bible. The messages were delivered by different men with varied styles, but in each sermon I heard the Voice of One far greater than the preacher. When someone is preaching the Word of God it is the Spirit of truth that is speaking. And there is nothing like hearing His voice.
I was reminded of this recently when I arrived in another city to preach. I was scheduled to speak second after a man who I did not know well. Because of travel I came in a few minutes after the meeting had begun and took my seat in the auditorium. My mind immediately began to drift toward the message that I planned to bring.
Then I heard it. It was that Voice! As the first preacher began to give his message the Lord arrested my attention. The Scripture was exactly what I needed. The truth ministered to my heart and met a definite need in my own life. Is it possible that the Lord directed my way to a distant city not to give a message, but to get one?
There is power in one sermon. In fact, it is often one word in a sermon that the Lord uses to change everything. Fascinating, isn’t it? Hundreds of people can gather in an auditorium. A man with limited knowledge of the needs can speak God’s Word and suddenly the Holy Spirit is at work. He can take one sermon and meet hundreds of needs simultaneously!
I marvel that one message can bring both comfort and conviction at the same time, but that is just how perfectly sufficient God’s Word is. Solomon, in a very famous sermon, wrote, “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:11).
Goads and nails. Both are pointed things but their purposes are very different.
Goads are used to prod, to prompt the sheep forward. Sometimes the Word of God does just that. There is always another step to take and in the words of Hudson Taylor, “God is always advancing.”
Nails fasten things down. They keep us from moving when we should not. Nails bring strength and stability. Yes, the Word of God does this too.
You see, God always gets to the point. It may be a goad to move us forward on the journey. It may be a nail to keep our hearts and minds from drifting. We need both, and He alone knows just what we need.
I love the thought that both are “given from one shepherd.” The under shepherd that delivers the sermon is just the messenger for the Shepherd. My Good Shepherd always knows what I need to hear and when. He loves me and is able to take one statement in a sermon to send His message to my heart.
Have you ever been listening to a sermon and “out of nowhere” felt that the preacher was talking directly to you? That’s not the preacher. That’s the Preacher.
Psalm 107:20 says of God’s message to one group of people, “He sent his word, and healed them...” He’s good at that. Like an arrow from Heaven God sends His Word – the very Word you need – at just the right moment. His Word can wound when we need wounding, and it heals when we need healing.
The next time you hear a Bible message (which I hope is soon!), listen for that still, small Voice. He still speaks.
Visit here for Bible preaching.