A sermon, in many churches, is just a word of encouragement relative to the daily struggles in life. It is the opinion of some that since people struggle with various things throughout the week, the last thing one wants to hear is an exhortation to shaping one’s life in accordance with godly standards. This sounds too hard, and enough negativity has already occurred for the saints, that another negative is not desired, much less will it be heard. This, I suggest, was why Israel departed from the Lord’s way many years ago. Consider Deuteronomy 28. There are 68 verses in the chapter, and only 14 can be considered positive, or encouraging. Why did the Lord put this kind of “out of balance” on His exhortations? It was a warning, but it was also a prophecy (31:29). Godly sermons are to focus on godly exhortations that have both a positive and negative quality to them. When the Lord said something about marriage and divorce, the saints are to hear what the Lord said and be warned. When the Lord said something about the promise of heaven, the saints are to hear and be encouraged. Let us preach and insist on only biblical sermons.
My favorite non-biblical quote is from William Wordsworth’s, “The World Is Too Much With Us”: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15878 – especially the first four lines:
“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”
As the poem suggests, many human beings are too preoccupied with the material (“The world…getting and spending”) and have lost touch with the spiritual and with nature. What a sad commentary on our society today.
Here’s a commentary on the poem: http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/wordsworth/section4.rhtml
We are embarking on something I’ve never been a part of before. On December 11-12, David Pharr will be speaking in a seminar on Elders and Deacons. We are in the process of trying to reach the goal of having proper leadership. It is exciting.
However, I know that congregations have been torn apart as a result of the process. Please pray for the Church of Christ at Allenhurst, that we may act like sanctified people as we seek to do God’s will.
The following article lists some biblical principles we can use as guidelines for separating ourselves from the world’s ungodly influences:
The biblical place I’d like to see is the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and His disciples slept (Matthew 26:36-40).
Am listening to Bro. Mike Bonner’s presentation of how to prepare and have godly homes. It’s one of the best presentations I’ve heard in a long time, and heartily recommend you listen to it, if you haven’t already done so.
Favorite spiritual or biblical website besides TFR? Christian Courier, with Forthright Magazine and Apologetics Press, closely following.