My friend, Chad Nuss, with a good reminder for preachers, teachers and hearers of God’s Word:
In this classic scene, Buzz is convinced his role is to save the galaxy. However, Woody knows who Buzz really is and is trying his best to get through to him. This is what preaching is all about. Preaching is not primarily about what we are supposed to do or not do. Preaching is about reminding us of our identity. We are like Buzz, convinced we are good, spiritual people. The preacher comes to us like Woody, yelling at us to get us to see we are really sinners separated from God without Christ. But once we become followers of Christ, the preacher continues to come to us like Woody, yelling at us to remember who we are in Christ. Christianity is not about a list of do’s and don’ts. Christianity is about identity. We cannot change what we do until we change who we are. Preaching reminds us of who we were without Christ and who we are in Christ. Preaching reminds us that we can’t save the galaxy because we can’t even save ourselves. Only Christ can do that.
If you’re a member of LBC, I just found some links to a few sermons by our friend and former student pastor, Lisle Drury! Take a listen and send him a word of encouragement! He’s doing a great job serving as Pastor of Sojourn’s J-Town Campus.
The best preachers and teachers take profound, meaty truths and break them up into little, understandable bites so their listeners can “get it” and do something with it. I love what John Stott says in his well-known book, Between Two Worlds:
To preach instead over people’s heads, is to forget who they are. As Spurgeon once commented, ‘Christ said, “Feed my sheep … Feed my lambs.” Some preachers, however, put the food so high that neither lambs nor sheep can reach it. They seem to have read the text, “Feed my giraffes” ‘ (p. 147).
Watchman Nee first divided the book of Ephesians into 3 basic sections in his book, Sit, Walk, Stand. It’s a simple and profound reminder that our entire life is meant to be lived out from the finished work of Christ on our behalf.
Sit – Our position in Christ (Eph. 1:20, 2:6)
Walk – Our life in this world (Eph. 4:1, 17, 5:2, 8b)
Sometimes we separate preaching and counseling as two distinct parts of pastoral ministry. But good, gospel-centered preaching is a means of soul care to believers as Lloyd Jones makes clear in this quote below:
The preaching of the Gospel from the pulpit, applied by the Holy Spirit to individuals who are listening, has been the means of dealing with personal problems of which I as the preacher knew nothing… D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
My pastor, Tony Rose, models this well. You can listen to his radio broadcast on 94.7 FM/900 AM at 6:00 PM. or go here for past broadcasts.
Daniel Montgomery, Pastor of Sojourn Church in Louisville, Kentucky, shares 5 different “images of a small god” that we create in our minds. Each one is a startling contrast to Jesus Christ, as described in Colossians 1:14-23. The Jesus we often settle for is not the Jesus of scripture. He’s a small Jesus, who acts like: (click on each one for more)