Friday, May 22, 2009

Preacher's Confession: Reading Fast

It seems that every time I preach, I feel the need to confess something in the hours leading up to it. Here's my confession this week. I find that there are certain parts of the Bible that I read fast. Or that I just try not to understand because I'm fearful of the ramifications. But I've also discovered that those are the places that are most important for me to stop and explore. The hard sayings. The scary concepts. The places where God's actions and character don't seem to line up with the image of God that I have constructed in my head.

I've discovered that anything having to do with God's wrath or jealousy makes me want to speed up the reading. So I wasn't too thrilled when I felt that familiar Spirit nudge to preach on "Jealous" this week as part of our "God is..." series. In the movie Luther, a wise monk said, "we preach best that which we most need to learn." Whether that's true or not, I've leaned on it many times.

A couple things I'm wrestling with.

When I'm tempted to read fast or not even try to process something in Scripture, that's where I need to slow down and dig in.

When God's actions and character as revealed in Scripture don't seem to match with the image of God I've constructed in my head, then I'm not worshiping God but an idol of my own making. And that's why God is jealous-- He and only He is worthy of praise-- the appropriate praise-- and he will not share it with others. So, when I hit those places in Scripture, I need to slow down to make sure that my worship is not misplaced, and so I can come to a better understanding of who God is. Worship God. Not the god you think should be.


At 12:02 PM, Blogger Min said...

Pastor Heather! Thanks for this blog, I tend to read fast on passages I feel uncomfortable or just want to zip through but I think those are the times I really do need to slow down and digest it more. Can't wait to hear you preach. Praying that God will speak through and in you! Love, Min :)

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous shipwrecksoul said...

Inclusion or Exclusion

Some people have an Idea that God is inclusive for mans eternal destiny, that all religions and all people will be saved. That God will allow all of mankind to enter into heaven because everybody is good so God must be fair and include everyone! It is true God does love the whole world but God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior. To keep this simple man has a problem called sin in which man refuses to believe that there are eternal consequences for having sin, which is a one way ticket to hell. God is holy and he will not allow anyone with sin to enter into heaven. God is hurt and angry about our sin, we have broken his laws. But God is just and good and he knows our need so he provided a solution to our problem. His solution to our problem is to have our sins removed by having our sins placed on someone else, a sacrifice for us; paying for the penalty of the sin we have in our lives. So that someone else would get the penalty of Gods wrath and separation on him that was meant for us. So God sent his son Jesus on a mission from heaven to earth as our sacrifice to die on the cross on our behalf after this happened three days later Jesus came back from the dead, alive. But that’s not all remember I wrote that God is exclusive about mans eternal destiny without the Savior? The only way that Gods promise can be applied to your life is for you to turn from your way of thinking and know that your sin offends and hurts God and call on the Lord Jesus who’s alive to save you. Your sins are then transferred to Jesus for what he did at the cross, dying and being abandon by God because of your sins, for you and because Jesus arose from the dead he is alive you can now enter into a relationship with God. Will you call out to Jesus to save you? It’s your choice to enter in exclusively with God’s grace for you. Where will you want to spend eternity after hearing Gods promise for you?
If the answer was yes that you do want Jesus as your sin bearer, Savior, and you do believe God raised Jesus from the dead you can pray with your voice.

“Dear Lord Jesus save me.”

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Dave Peterson said...

Heather... You are a first-class preacher/teacher. My wife and I were in the 10:15 service this past Sunday following a month-long sabbatical. Your message on the "jealousy" of God was phenomenal. Keep on my friend!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Chris Sullivan said...

I'm going to have to pay attention to that. I'm not sure what topic I skip over quickly other than oh, the whole old testament.

Good word


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