It is not the intensity or clarity of our faith that saves us, but the object of our faith. Excerpt from the message How long O Lord Steadying Our Soul In the Midst of the Storm
So it comes to this. The preparation of sermons involves sweat and labour. It can be extremely difficult at times to get all this matter that you have found in the Scriptures into this particular form.
It is like a potter fashioning something out of the clay, or like a blacksmith making shoes for a horse; you have to keep on putting the material into the fire and on to the anvil and hit it again and again with the hammer.
Each time it is a bit better, but not quite right; so you put it back again and again until you are satisfied with it or can do no better. This is the most grueling part of the preparation of a sermon; but at the same time it is a most fascinating and a most glorious occupation.
It can be at times most difficult, most exhausting, most trying. But at the same time I can assure you that when you have finally succeeded you will experience one of the most glorious feeling that ever comes to a man on the face of this earth.
To borrow the title of a book by Arthur Koestler, you will be conscious of having performed an ‘Act of Creation’, and you will have some dim understanding of what the Scripture means which tells us that when God looked at the world He had created He saw that ‘it was good’.
Questions for Reflection
- How do you feel about your own sermon preparation?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 90.
If there is one person who can teach us to teach others, it’s Jesus. He is a master teacher. A teacher whose teaching impacted and connected with the 1000’s who followed Him.
His teaching connected because He knew how to relate to His listeners. His parables weren’t chosen at random. Rather, they were purposefully selected for their teaching and relatability.
We Should Relate to Others with Our Teaching
Likewise, we should use scenarios that relate well to those we are teaching. While that statement is easy for me to write, it’s not easy to do. More and more I find, in our mobile society, many of us come from different background, grow up in different parts of the country, and are influenced by differing world views. All of which make it difficult to relate to others.
Even though that is true, we shouldn’t give up. Instead, we must ratchet up our efforts in getting to know those we are teaching. We must work to understand their background, their cultural customs, and their worldview.
Parents and Grandparents are Teachers Too
While we primarily think of Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, and Bible Study Leaders as teachers, as those who need to heed this advice, I also have another group in mind – Parents and Grandparents. You guys are teachers too. You teach your kids and grandkids on a daily basis.
As you all know and have experienced, even though you live in the same house, it’s not easy to relate to one another. That, however, doesn’t mean we give up in frustration. God has commanded us to teach our children and grandchildren. So instead of giving up, we have to work to relate to them.
The best way to get to know others is to hangout with them, ask questions, and listen. If you do that, you’ll be in a better position to not only understand their struggles and temptations, but you will know how you might relate biblical truth in a way that will impact them.
Question for Reflection
- Other than the ones I listed above, what are ways for parents to learn how to relate to their children.
Sermon adapted from my sermon Those who Embrace Jesus Produce Fruit