Monthly Archives: August 2008

called to preach?

I recently had a friend lovingly say to me that “it must be hard to be called to preach.”  She was recounting a sermon I had preached a year ago, and the more she spoke, the more I realized that she had actually absorbed and hung on and believed the words declared from the text.  Humbly, I had to ask: What text was that from?  She recollected the particulars of Genesis 27 and how gospel application had come to bear on her life.  Then she said it – “it must be hard to be called to preach.” 

No, not really, it is just hard to believe what you preach.

That is where I am at.  Looking back over old sermons and recalling the power of God present at the exposition of his Word.  What times… seeing God engage and enrapture his people by nothing more than the apropos relevancy of his Word.  He is exalted as he exposes us whenever we expose his Word.  What a God.  It really is not hard to preach when the Word is so riveting and clear, but to believe what is in the text…  to believe it with as much passion as one speaks it!  O God, who can submit to such a spiritual task?!

I am excited that, beginning mid-September, I will be preaching through the book of Ecclesiastes again.  Due to West Valley PCA being in our early chaotic days of church planting, it seems wise to preach through a book I have already engaged from the pulpit.  I preached through Ecclesiastes at Harmony PCA in Tennessee 3 years ago.  What joy to do it again… for there is nothing but vanity if the gospel of God (revealed in his Word) is not clear for people who are as prone to emptiness as am I.

O God will I actually believe it as I re-engage it.  Could it be that the imprint of your relevant and authoritative truth will be slow to fade?  I pray so… sitting with your Word, being exposed by your Word… right now these are my hopes ABOVE standing to declare your word and exposing it for your people.  May I only expose the truth which has exposed me and the power of your gospel for the salvation of sinners and the transformation of all things!

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yes he did

I have a good friend who is a pca licentiate.  He filled the pulpit this weekend at Cornerstone pca, the mother church of West Valley pca… the church for which I am on staff for another 27 days and counting.  Yes he did… yes, he preached from the book of Numbers.  (quite a narrative book but rarely exposited)  What a text, what a sermon – and why did he have to preach such an obvious God-ordained text for my needs and fears and rebellion?!!

Numbers 14 is a narrative about God’s people on the edge of the promiseland, griping about why God should have just left them enslaved in Egypt.  Then Caleb and Joshua stand among them and declare a simple message:  “Do not rebel.  Do not fear.  The Lord is with us.”   The people didn’t want to hear the message of reminder, so they sought to stone them.  “But the glory of the Lord appeared.”  As my friend John preached: the fortunate thing for us is that whenever we are in the place of rebellion, the glory of God does not diminish.  The nature of the KING is unchanged. 

More than once in his sermon, John paralleled the promiseland to the “West Valley” – the target area of our church plant.  The application was startlingly simple and offensive – we have scouted the land.  We have done our demographic research.  We have sought the Lord for a vision of his kingdom through his local church…  BUT I feel like I am now standing on the edge saying, “Wouldn’t it just have been easier to not sought God for such a big vision.”  “Wouldn’t it be better just to fold up and not try – this churchplanting thing might crush us.”  “Wouldn’t it be easier to just stay at Cornerstone and not venture out on this faith risk.  Have you seen it out there?  There are giants in the land!!!” 

Then the message comes through.  The Lord is with us.  Do not fear.  Do not rebel, but step out in faith – for God has given us his glory such that he is ahead of us, behind us, over us and in us.  He has been faithful in the past – so move out in faith anticipating his faithfulness in the present!

Thankyou God for your Word.  Thank you for your Word preached.  Thank you for calling us to the edge to take us by faith into the unknown.  The time is now.  May I not rebel in fear.  May we not rebel in fear.  Show us your glory.

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