The People & The Preacher

“And all the people gathered as one man…And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard…And he read from it…from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose…And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also… the Levites helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
From the people to the preacher,
           We want to hear from you the Word of God. Movies are more entertaining than you. Comedians are funnier. Let us hear from you God’s Word. Before you step behind the pulpit soak yourself in that Word. Make sure God has taught you before you presume to teach us. Jealously guard your time for study. If need be set aside other things, even important things, so that you may devote yourself to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Know thoroughly your text and your subject matter. Craft your words in such a way as to give understanding. Stand before us with love for our souls. Give us a glimpse of the beauty of heaven. Terrify us with the horror of hell. And show us how to live here on earth. Prepare us for that appointment with death which all men shall keep. Show us the way home.
From the preacher to the people,
           As you sit in the pew in the hearing of the Bible being preached, give it your greatest respect. For when the Bible is read, God speaks. This is not to put undue importance on the man behind the pulpit. But it is to give proper reverence to the reading and teaching of the Word of God. The apostle Paul told Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). He reminded Timothy, “If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed… Command and teach these things… Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers,” (1 Timothy 4:6,11,16). If the preacher isn’t doing this, talk to him and help him change. If you can’t change him, get a different one. But if he is doing this, spur him on and charge him “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
Brad Fry

Published on August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

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