I try Sunday after Sunday and sermon after sermon the task of delivering expositional sermons. This means I engage a biblical text in way that its original meaning is brought to bear on the lives of my contemporary congregation. As Dan Dumas suggested, I am called “to deliver from the pulpit what has already been delivered in the Scriptures.” (A Guide to Expository Ministry) This is my calling. This is my career.
As I approached four decades of living in God’s creation on April 6, I have recently spent time looking at life in reverse. I must admit (or confess) that while I have made good strives in the pulpit, I have not done so well as a person. WOW!!! I recently had a dialogue with a newly elected youthful pastor seeking advice. My advice was this: “the people will never become in pew what you are not outside the pulpit.”Here is the question the Holy Spirit has been asking that is keeping me on high alert: Has my preaching made me a better Christian? The honest answer is some days it has and other days it hasn’t.
There is so much in my life the past twenty-two years I wish that I could erase, eliminate or eradicate. I have had, like each of us, my share of struggles and sins. It does not matter whether I blame them on youthfulness or lack of accountability circles; they are there. There are people I have wronged and wounded. There are decisions I have made that I wish I could take back. But, you can’t. There is nothing any of us can do to change yesterday.
This morning my devotion is Romans 8:26-39. The point is clear and concise: Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! I want to encourage those of us who have been beat up and bitten by our own indiscretions, insecurities and issues to remember that simple point: Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! God loves us unconditionally.
Get up, get out, and get over yesterday! Make today the most meaningful day. Tomorrow is not promised. And, I will take heed to my own advice. I guess I will stop looking at life in the reverse and put in on play.