On Saturday Jaime and I were at the theater waiting for our performance to begin as we overheard the women next to us talking. Normally we don’t try and eavesdrop on other people’s conversations, but one of the women was quite boisterous and very animated in expressing her thoughts. Apparently she was upset with her pastor, especially his preaching. The problem? He preached his messages from the Bible.
It was very obvious to everyone within earshot of this woman that she believed this to be the poorest kind of preaching. According to her if he were a good preacher his sermons would be under 30 minutes, filled with inspirational quips and light on Scripture. This would eliminate just about every solid preacher I can think of! To quote her exactly, “If I wanted to hear Scripture, I’d go to Sunday School.” I’m not sure what her friends thought. They didn’t seem to have much to say.
Fast forward to Sunday night. Jaime was scrolling through her Facebook feed when she came across a statement from her friend Hagan York in Lexington, KY. Hagan wrote, “How do I know that my pastors love and care for me? They spent time in the Word this week, prayed over it, got up today and passionately proclaimed it.” The contrast between Hagan and the woman at the theater couldn’t be clearer. One of them loves God and his Word and the other doesn’t.
I’m very grateful that God has given me the opportunity to serve a people who love the preaching of the Word. One of the values of Calvary Community Church is “sound, biblical teaching.” It is my goal to embody this value every time I stand in the pulpit, teach in a classroom or have a one on one conversation. I work hard to prayerfully understand, organize, apply and then communicate God’s Word to you. In any given week I may only be able to spend time with a handful of you outside of Sunday morning, but the best way to love and care for this spiritual family is to passionately and faithfully proclaim the Word of God to you week in and week out.
But all of this raises a very important question. To whom of the two people in the above scenarios can you better relate: the woman at the theater or Jaime’s friend Hagan? Hopefully you will all say “Hagan.” However, if you find yourself in sympathy with the woman at the theater you need to understand why you feel this way. The Apostle Paul made it very clear to his young protégé Timothy:
I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Whether she knew it or not, God had already spoken about this woman and others like her over 1900 years ago! Ironically she would only know this from the Scripture.
Beginning this Sunday we are entering a season of 21 days of prayer and fasting. One of the petitions I want us to bring before the Lord is for an increased passion for Jesus Christ, the Word of God and worship. When we are passionate about Jesus and his Word we will read it, study it, meditate upon it, memorize it and love to hear it proclaimed. We will demand that our pastors “preach the Word!” For those who love Jesus nothing else will do.
– Scott Eaton, Senior Pastor