Summary: How powerful is the Word and the words we use to explain it! We continue in our series as we examine the power of words in the life of our Sunday fellowship.
For the last few weeks we’ve been talking about how to breath life into the Sunday morning worship experience, so that it’s “not just another Sunday morning” that we feel like we just “have to” come to, but a place that we “want to” come attend. We’ve talked about prayer and its importance, but most importantly its simplicity - simple conversation with prayer that anyone can do. Last week we discussed what it means to present an offering and about how the offering isn’t just the “pass the plate and wait” task but is so much more: what we offer in our time, our praise, our purpose, and even our lives for Christ. And we’ve spoken about praise and worship and the need to know that God and a message must be present for us to truly have an authentic worship experience. Today we reach into that “message” we touched on 2 weeks ago as we explore the sermon, the message, the “word of God”. v1. Who we’re doing it for
4:1 I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule,
When I was in 12th grade, I had an honors english teacher who really straightened me up in terms of writing. But on of the greatest lessons she taught me was to NEVER make generalizations.
I’m going to break her law and make a generalization right now. Here goes: everything we say is “for” someone. Every word that comes out of our mouth is for the benefit, profit, sustaining, fulfillment of someone.
We utter kind words to someone for the person we are talking to. We say good morning to our co-workers for the benefit of cheering them up, or showing them - or us- that we care; or so that our bosses will make subtle check-marks in their mind about how nice we are.
An particular difficult or irate customer or client will say some pretty tough words to benefit their purchase, or service, or self while we will say nice, peaceful words to a difficult customer so that we can benefit from keeping our jobs, and businesses
Children answer their parents for the benefit of having peaceful life. Or they yell back because they want to benefit their own selves at feeling like they are in control - then they come back later and answer their parents for benefit of having a peaceful life.
The bottom line is that words are generally shared to benefit “someone” along the way.
We know we are talking about words and the message and the sermon today - put that on the backburner of your mind and let it simmer. Paul is communicating to Timothy, before I even get into the meat and potatoes of our conversation, before I even start talking about preaching and itching ears, before I lay dow the next few verses to you understand that God is looking over your shoulder and taking notes: who will you be speaking “for”, when you open your mouth who are you benefiting, who are you trying to please.
When we speak, when we give our sermons (I’ll be there in a minute); when we talk: who are we speaking “for”, when we open our mouths who are we trying to benefit; who are we trying to please? Is it ourselves - which isn’t necessarily wrong- ,but is it to purposely damage someone else, to hurt, to gain, in terms of benefitting us. Or is it to lift up Christ and to serve so that “our light will shine so that our works -and words - whatsoever we do will glorify God in heaven.”
v2a What we are doing
4:2a so proclaim the Message with intensity (Message)
4:2a Preach the word of God. (NIV, NLT)
Who preaches? Who are the kinds of people that preach?
I consulted the greatest resource of present day research and investigation to find out more about the word preach - wikipedia: “A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a biblical, theological, or religious topic, usually expounding on a type of belief or law (preaching).”
What’s sad to me is that I believe this definition is wrong - yes, it’s true that sermons involve biblical topics and expounding but I argue that it’s always by a prophet or member of clergy. I believe it’s something that everyone should do.
Will we all know everything and have every answer? No.
WIll we have explored every biblical concept theological topic and resource? No.
Will we have been to divinity school or seminary? No.
But we will have a story:
How did we find out about Christ?