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Much of Scripture is meant to be enjoyed, not applied.
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Thank you, thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak this truth through you. This is confirmation for me of what God has been showing me. Jesus is beautiful and attractive. The Holy Spirit will convict. Our job is to reveal the beauty of the truth and grace of Jesus and let the Holy Spirit work.
The passages you mention that question the ability to apply to our lives are easily applied. Are you going to find yourself in the belly of a large fish? Probably not, but it also shows us how we need to listen to God and if He has something for us to do that He wants us to do, He will find a way for us to do it. I know that's just one example, but I do believe the Bible is meant to both inspire us and guide us in our daily living. Perhaps a particular passage is just meant to inspire or lift up the reader, but perhaps there are those that are meant for application, too? Either way, I don't see throwing the baby out with the bath water to be the answer. Just my opinion, though.
I agree because I struggle with that too. However, how do you prevent the message from being lost among the congregation? I think the methodologies & formulas are to help the congregation let the sermon stick, rather than having them walk away thinking that it's "just another good talk". Do you have ways to mitigate that?
Quite insightful and revolutionary!
Stanley J. Groothof
Great article with great insights. I've discovered something very similar in recent years. Instead of trying to find applications in the text, I look for implications. Before I do anything, I want to perceive what *God* is doing and then participate in that with Him. Someone who helped me articulate this is Darrell W. Johnson in his book _The Glory of Preaching_ (IVP Academic, 2009), notably chap. 7, titled "Walking the Sermon into Everyday Life." I heartily recommend that chapter and indeed the entire book.
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