When a man goes to the pulpit to bring a lesson that he spent many hours preparing, what goes through his mind? When he begins to speak and his eyes contact the audience and he notices their attention, what goes through his mind? When his words that are taken from the Bible are heard, what goes through his mind? When the lesson is finished and the invitation is given, what goes through his mind? When he is finished and no one responds, what goes through his mind?
A lesson, a message, preparation is the key. You must prepare with the intentions to teach in way that would be understood. You must study to prepare. (II Timothy 2:15)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The speaker must prepare to speak in love. (Ephesians 4:15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. The message must be the truth. It must be in love according to God's will. The power of the gospel must be realized by the speaker (Romans 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
As he speaks the eyes begin to watch and learn the audience. He starts to preach with personal contact at this point. His lesson is becoming much more important. His is now happy that his lesson was prepared simply that all might understand. (II Corinthians 3:12) Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. He now begins to realize the great gift that he has been given to stand and preach. He realizes the importance of what he does. The great treasure he has been trusted with. (II Corinthians 4:6-7) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
He now realizes that his study and efforts were not in vain as he watches the hearts of others open to what he has studied, prepared, and is presenting. (II Timothy 4:17)
Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
The invitation is given as his thoughts and prayers have peaked to this point and he wonders if any will respond. Has the word of God worked its wonderful powers on the lost in Christ Jesus? Will any heed to the will of the Father? The feeling that he has is that of great concern for the souls of others. That is why is his doing what he is doing. (Romans 12:15) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
When the final words were spoken and the point has come for the man to sit, no one had responded to the invitation. In his mind he rejoices that all are right in the eyes of the Lord. Yet the wondering mind still regrets not presenting the lesson in a better way. The mind wonders to such verses as (I Timothy 1:5, and John 14:23) and he remembers that his concern is not of regret but rather love. The reason he is speaking is because he loves God, his fellow Christians, and the lost. His goal is to save souls. Thanks to God I had the opportunity to speak his words this day!
Copyright 1999 by Brian Yeager
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