Wednesday, June 29, 2022
“And all bare him [the Lord Jesus Christ] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22 KJV).
Saints, may we preach with conviction!
Many years back, a man approached the pastor after church service and expressed the following observation: “You delivered your message with such conviction that you sounded like you actually believed what you said, like there was no alternate view.” The preacher replied, “If I thought and believed it was some other way, I would have taught it that other way!”
It is rather unfortunate, but that man had grown so accustomed to hearing ministers use the Bible flippantly or lightheartedly. For example, he was in the habit of hearing words to the effect of, “Some believe this verse means this, but others teach it means that, so you can pick and choose what you believe.” (To wit, the preacher is just as unskilled in the Word as his congregation!) Therefore, when the man heard a Spirit-filled preacher use the Scriptures solemnly and deliver an authoritative or well-founded sermon that actually made sense, he was rather shocked. (Likewise, so were the synagogue attendees when the Lord addressed them in today’s Scripture!)
Dear brethren, the preacher’s response encapsulates what should constitute our ministry. Lost people may be spiritually blind, but, sad to say, they are more willing to spot a religious hypocrite from a much farther distance than the average professing Christian. Just as we would not care to hear some boring speaker talk about a topic they have no real passion to teach, individuals know when someone is faking or guessing in the pulpit and they will thus turn away with increasing cynicism. By the tone of our voice, by the depth of our material, and by the authority with which we preach, our audience will know if we are sincere and actually trust what we exhort them to hear from us. If they can sense we doubt what we are telling them, they will fail to appreciate—yea, actually detest—the Scriptures and will see no reason to believe them either. Let us not be hypocrites in the church building… particularly in the pulpit!