18 Signs That You Might Need to Study More for Your Sermons

I’m afraid in my short lifetime I’ve witnessed some of these . . .

1. You consider studying for sermons something that lib’rals do instead of soul winning.
2. You prepare your sermons on the way to church, which explains why you recently preached against tan lines, energy drinks, and men wearing pink shirts.
3. You actually make fun of preachers who use Greek and Hebrew in their sermons.
4. You consider volume a fine substitute for substance.
5. To you, “exegete the Greek” is a funny rhyme.
6. You decide on what sins to preach against based on who’s in the congregation.
7. You consider a pulpit more of a punching bag rather than a place to rest your Bible.
8. You have 35 sermon outlines prepared and ready to preach – as soon as you find verses for them.
9. In a 117 minute sermon, you spent 53 minutes telling stories from your childhood, 47 minutes telling stories from your early ministerial days, 15 minutes denigrating men who wear pleated pants, and 2 minutes explaining your text verse.
10. You have actually spent an entire sermon preaching against the evils of Barney the purple dinosaur.
11. Your favorite illustrations are Darwin’s deathbed conversion, the “microphone in hell” bit, and Spurgeon giving up his cigars. (all untrue by the way if you’re still wondering!)
12. You quote John Gill as supporting your position against Calvinism.
13. You think people who know what “supralapsarianism” means need to get saved.
14. You think its okay to preach a verse out of context, as long as you tell your people that you’re doing it on purpose.
15. You love to apply Messianic prophecies to yourself.
16. When you preach, you can’t help but say “evangelical” effeminately.
17. You think “expositional” is someone who doesn’t take a position on anything.
18. You’re not sure what TULIP stands for, but you know you’re against it.

-adapted from the Big Orange Truck

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A Good Example of What Baptism is All About

The Layers and Stovers in Poland, college friends of ours, and high school friends of my wife, give us a taste of what baptism means when it is done publicly rather than in the safe fortress mentality of the inner walls of the church. Scripture seems to indicate baptism is a public demonstration of submission to Christ. By public, I mean not just to the people in the church, but to friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and the gawking onlookers. It was normally done in a public place, such as a river, and drew curious spectators as well as criticism and hostility. It demonstrated the sincerity of the believer to forsake all and follow Christ, even if it meant being marked for ostracization as a Jesus follower. Read the article at the link above to get a glimpse of the cost of discipleship in the area of baptism.

Not Everybody’s Perfect ;-)

On one occasion Spurgeon was standing outside his church, The Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, happily smoking.

“Sir”, a concerned passer-by remarked, “don’t you know that’s the devil’s weed?’

“Sir”, replied Spurgeon, “don’t you know that’s why I’m burning it?”

Why Haven’t You Grown?

“A man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations on the person of Christ.” -Puritan John Owen

So my sanctification is directly related to the effort I put in the exaltation of the wisdom of Christ.

What is Jehovah Really Searching for Among His People?

A quick thought here. Upon reading, observing, and meditating on Deuteronomy 8, I really see the single message of it to its readers as this, the sovereign leading, disciplining, and providing hand of God is to drive His people to dependence on Him. Over and over the Israelites were exhorted to remember His works, works of guidance, discipline, and provision. This idea of remembrance of God’s works is clearly linked to another idea repeated frequently in the chapter, humility.

Contrast this with the other side of the coin in this passage, forgetting. The Hebrews were told that to forget God would result in their curse. The idea of forgetting is also linked to another clear idea in the passage, pride.

What is the synthesis of these 2 principles? Remembering God’s works (guiding, discipline, & provision) will drive His children to greater dependence on Him in humility in a purer understanding of His grace and mercy in our undeserving lives. Forgetting His works will feed the monster of human prideful independence and self-sufficiency and eliminate the awe of grace and mercy.

On this upcoming Independence Day, celebrate your true dependence in your ALL IN ALL!

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