Summary: What the preacher thinks about several important matters in life.
INTRO.- What the preacher thinks. I know. That’s a scary thought!
ILL.- One preacher said to another, "I think a preacher needs to study a lot for his Sunday morning sermon."
The second preacher said, "I disagree with you. Many times I have no idea what I am going to preach about until I go into the pulpit. I get up there and preach and think nothing of it."
The first preacher replied, "You are right in thinking nothing of it. YOUR DEACONS HAVE TOLD ME THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT YOUR PREACHING! They think nothing of it!"
Brethren, I realize that some sermons are good and some may stink! And I’ve probably preached a few stinkers in my time too. But I try hard not to do that.
I try very hard to do the best I can for two reasons: 1- The Lord 2- You. The Lord deserves the very best and you do too! I love you and I love the Lord. And I need to love you even more. Love is a growing thing. And I pray that ours will grow.
Have you ever wondered why I preach what I preach? Perhaps we can think of it in this way.
ILL.- In his sermon, the new preacher at a church in Tennessee preached against gambling at horseraces. One of the deacons pulled him aside and said, "Folks didn’t appreciate that sermon. You see, a lot of race horses are raised in this part of the country."
The next Sunday the new preacher preached about the evils of smoking. That same deacon came to him and said, "There are many people around here who grow tobacco. You can’t preach about that."
The third Sunday the new preacher preached about the evils of drinking booze only to be told that there was a large still less than a mile from the church house where some of the church members worked.
The new, frustrated preacher said, "Well, what in the world can I preach about?" The deacon replied, "PREACH AGAINST THEM HEATHEN WITCHDOCTORS. THERE AIN’T ONE OF THEM WITHIN A THOUSAND MILES OF US."
Brethren, I know that’s the way some people would like for their preacher to preach. In other words, don’t preach anything about our sins or anything negative or anything that might happen to hit home with somebody in the church. We wouldn’t want anybody to get offended.
I hope you realize that I would never purposely preach something just to step on toes. I don’t do that! Of course, I am reminded of the old saying, "If the shoe fits, then wear it."
I have had many people say to me, "You hit me every Sunday." Or "You sure stepped on my toes." Or "I think you’re preaching at me every Sunday."
I never single out anybody to preach to......er uh! Most of the time, I don’t!
ILL.- Old preacher Vance Havner once said, "Preaching...ought to get under the skin..." Meaning, it ought to be strong enough to get to people’s hearts!
Brother Havner said a lot of good things. Here are some of his quotes.
"I don’t stand on the outside of the church and knock it. I try to stand on the inside and exhort it." (or encourage it) That’s what we all should want to do.
Paul said, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction."
Basically, preaching is presenting what God says in His Word and it is also what the preacher thinks about things: about what God says and what is going on in the world.
PROP.- Today I want to tell you what I think about some things in life.
ILL.- A doctor said to the shoe repairman: Please look these shoes over and see if they are worth repairing.
The repairman: No, they’re not worth repairing.
Doctor: Thank you.
Repairman: That will be 2 bucks!
Doctor: For what? You haven’t done anything to my shoes.
Repairman: Neither did you last week when you examined me and charged me $75 after telling me you found nothing wrong with me.
Brethren, do we have any doctors in the house? Many people feel like they get gouged at the doctor’s office and probably even more so, when they get their bill from the hospital. They feel like they get an inflated bill.
And most of us feel like we are getting gouged every time we pull into the service station to get gas!
ILL.- I noticed that our prices in Mattoon went up nearly $.30 a gallon in two weeks time. I CALL THAT GOUGING! We have paid as high as $1.89 per gallon for regular unleaded gas. Of course, the people in Chicago have paid probably as high as $2.50. If we had to pay that much for gas we’d really be steaming!