Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
In some areas of the world, Christians still risk their lives and/or possessions for their faith. They fear angry mobs who will burn their churches, vigilantes who will punish them for believing and authorities who will either aid the locals or persecute the Christians themselves.
For these Christians, church is not a social function. Church is a risk to life and livelihood. For the preacher, he risks not just his own life but he also endangers those who come to listen. For this preacher, every sermon must be worth prison, every sermon must be worth provoking the wrath of this world. He must ask himself every time, "Is this worth my life? Is this worth my congregation's life?"
Why should our sermons be any different? I fear no angry mob, does it mean my sermons can be cheap? I fear no persecution, so does that mean I can spend my time giving anecdotes instead of the word of God? Just being called to be heralds of the king should sober and embolden us on its own. But recognizing the price our brothers and sisters pay for the word of God spurs us on. Let us cherish the proclamation we make.
Lord help us. Help us so that we, in addition to honoring our savior, would also honor the sacrifices and risks our brothers and sisters must make every time they choose eternal blessing over the crucible of this world.
Monday, August 15, 2011
O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great redeemer's praise... So the song goes, but I can hardly keep up with that. It's more like I need a thousand hearts to gather the emotion and love your praise deserves. Give me a heart that longs to shout the great things you have done. A tongue made loose to speak of your wonders. A mind harnessed to explore the great depths of your goodness. May gospel overflow my heart and surge unstoppably through my thoughts, words and life.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Our Father, merciful one, give me grace to pray. I am like your people throughout all time, prone-eager even-to squander all the good things you give me. You offer me wisdom that I do not receive, you offer me comfort that I will not embrace and boundless privilege that I regularly ignore.
Thank you for your Son, my redeemer. The one who gives me access to you. Thank you for the Spirit, the one who transforms my careless prayers into divine intercession. Thank you for hearing a sinner's prayers.