Passionate for God or Addicted to Mediocrity?
The majesty of God calls for our response of love and excellence.
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We represent a great God who is over all and whose majesty is beyond all comparison. The greatest tragedy on earth is that people do not honor this great God. Our great goal in life is to bring honor to God. And we preachers have the opportunity of doing that when we preach. When people come to any meeting under the name of God, they should leave with the sense that God is great. Therefore our preaching, our worship-leading, our singing or whatever else we do in the name of God should always leave people with the impression that God is great.
I experienced this as a youth every Sunday as I sat under the ministry of the Rev. George Good. We participated in glorious services each Sunday, and Sunday became my favorite day of the week. I realized that the ministry was a glorious call and it thrilled me just to think that God may have called me, a shy youth who thought he would not amount to anything, to be a minister of the glorious gospel. I was fired by an ambition to do what I can to reflect the glory and majesty of God.
What if we preach an unprepared sermon that puts people to sleep or leaves them with no sense of the greatness of God? What if they leave a Christian meeting impressed by the lack of preparation and excellence in the program? I think that is, in ecclesiastical life, a crime akin to what murder is in social life. It has brought dishonor to God who is great and majestic—and that is the greatest tragedy that could happen on earth. It would be better for us to die than to be responsible for doing that!
And I think death is what we may be called to endure! If we are so busy as to find little time to prepare, then we may have to lose some sleep in order to prepare a good sermon that will feed the people and bring honor to God. Doing that continuously may cause us to die ten years earlier than would be normal for us. But it would be better for us to die early having brought honor to God by our ministries than to live to a ripe old age having brought dishonor to God. The great preachers Spurgeon, Moody and Whitefield died before they were 60 years old possibly because of their strenuous ministries. But no one blames them when they realize the amazing good they did, during their lifetime.
If course, there are few things as refreshing in life than preparing for public ministry, especially when that ministry involves time spent in the Word (out of which all ministry springs). During those times with the Word, God feeds us and gives us the thrill of discovering eternal truths and their applications to daily life. As with all forms of dying in Christianity, when we "die" in order to prepare for public ministry, we end up finding new and exciting experiences of life.
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