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Anticipating The Yawns And Fists (via Darryl Dash)

Darryl Dash writes the two questions that have to be answered in sermon preparation: What’s the central idea? and What are the sticking points?
The first question identifies what the Scripture is saying to the congregation.
The second anticipates how different congregations may have varied reactions to that message.
The preacher has to have a relationship with, and knowledge of, his congregation so that sermons will have breadth and depth over an extended season.
From the article:

Once we discover biblical truth, we need to analyze it from the perspective of the audience that will hear it and ask a couple of questions:

  • What will make them fall asleep?
  • What will make them object?

We’re looking for both yawns and fists. We need to understand how to make the truth compelling, and we also need to anticipate objections and to respond to them. Sometimes we discover that our big idea is a platitude that needs revisiting. Other times we need to show why the truth is important. Other times we need to answer objections or just acknowledge that it’s a hard truth to swallow.
We don’t change the truth to be palatable, but we must understand how to communicate the truth to an audience that will have a hard time hearing it.

Read the whole post here.

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A Sword That Must Be Fallen Upon Before It Can Be Wielded (via Trevin Wax)

Trevin Wax picks up the biblical analogy of the Bible as a sword, and reflects on one difference between the Word of God and a weapon: Pastors must first have the sword of God’s word impact their own souls before they use it to help others.

He finishes with a three-part challenge for pastors:

1. Do not let your sword sit sheathed on the shelf. You need the sword if you are to do battle against the evil one. Take up the sword before you pick up your phone in the morning. Praise God with psalms before you post online. Read Proverbs before you scroll through Twitter. Hear from Jesus before all the other voices clamoring for your attention.
2. Do not ever wield this sword against someone until you have let it pierce your heart and soul first. We have no business preaching the Word that judges the hearts and minds of others if we do not first sit under the judgment of the Word.
3. Do not treat this sword in a way that brings attention to yourself or your talents. This is a sword for battle, not for show. And if it were a show, Jesus would be the star, not us!

Read the whole post here.

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It’s Gone 

The abandoned car over the road was gone when I got home today.
That’s about as exciting as it gets around here.

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Jesus Is Better – Sunday Songs

We sang along to this version of Jesus Is Better at MGPC tonight.

The lyrics:
There is no other, so sure and steady
My hope is held in Your hand
When castles crumble, and breath is fleeting
Upon this rock I will stand, upon this rock I will stand
Glory, glory, we have no other king
But Jesus Lord of all
We raise the anthem our loudest praises ring
We crown Him Lord of all
Your kindly rule has shattered and broke
The curse of sin’s tyranny
My life is hidden ‘neath Heaven’s shadow
Your crimson flood covers me
Your crimson flood covers me
In all my sorrows
Jesus is better, make my heart believe
In every vict’ry
Jesus is better, make my heart believe
Than any comfort
Jesus is better, make my heart believe
More than all riches
Jesus is better, make my heart believe
Our souls declaring:
Jesus is better, make my heart believe
Our song eternal:
Jesus is better, make my heart believe

Words & Music: Aaron Ivey, Brett Land
© 2013 Austin Stone Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 21

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 21

Chapter 13 – Of Sanctification
I. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened, in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
II. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet imperfect in this life: there abides still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part does overcome: and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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Deviled Eggs

I’m uncertain about the spelling: is it ‘devilled’ or ‘deviled’?
The internet is divided.
Spellchecker likes a single ‘l’.

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Building Project (preparing for worship at MGPC 21/5/17)

Song: All You Peoples, Bless Our God (Psalm 66)
Call to Worship
Song: My Lighthouse
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Blessed Assurance
Affirming our Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
Song: Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 – In chapters 8 and 9 generous giving on behalf of the poor Christians in Jerusalem is urged.
Bible Memorisation: Proverbs 3: 7 and 8
Song: Glorious Things Of You Are Spoken
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 5
Sermon: Building Project (Mark Lewis)
Song: Your Love So High
Pastoral Prayer:
Tithes & free will offerings
Closing Blessing
Song: 10,000 Reasons