Mar
30

Grace to Preach Again — Devotional

By

(Written by Eddie Lawrence)

Preachers preach!
Preachers preach to people.
There are all sorts of preachers and all sorts of people.
Preachers are people too.
Maybe people are preachers too?

The simple statements above say a lot more than you might suspect on a cursory view. Preachers do preach, but what does a preacher do when he is in a season when he is not preaching. Let us ask the preacher a question. Why are you not preaching? There can be a lot of reasons, let's ask some preachers who are not preaching why they are not preaching:

The first preacher replies, I am not preaching because no church has called me to be their preacher?
I see, but you do not preach because a church calls you. You preach because God calls you. The waiting world is your audience from the riverbanks to the street corners or maybe your message can be shared through your passionate heart to a stranger over a cup of coffee.
Is it the volume of your voice that determines whether or not you are preaching?
Is it the setting alone that makes it preaching?
Does there have to be pews and rows of people sitting quietly while you wax away?
Or is preaching more about the fire in your heart for others to hear the life changing message?
Is it preaching because of style? Elocution? Homiletic savvy?
If you do not announce and read a text, is it still preaching?
How many people have to hear what you say for it to be preaching?
I am not so sure that it is the people listening, or the place it occurs, or the style of delivery employed that make it preaching. You do not have to be a pastor to be a preacher. You simply have to have a message. God spoke to Baalim through a mule. Hmmmm!

Another says, I am sick and unable to preach during this time.
Rest my friend, heal, allow God to restore your body and it once again will be able to release the beautiful words of the Good News about Jesus' love for us all. Don't feel guilty that you are silent. Allow the season of silence to do its work. God knows your heart and your desire. That is what truly counts before Him.

Yet Another says, I am in prison for three more years.
Yes Dear Brother. Your cell is then your pulpit. The prison bars that keep you in also keep other inmates in. You and them are in together. Share your heart and love with them. Allow God to transform you inside out so that when you get out you will still desire to bring others in—in to the light! Many a preacher has been formed inside prison houses. Let God do His work and do the work God has given you at hand.Paul was imprisoned and yet we still are receiving ministry from his preaching. He preached through a quill (pen). We are still reading what he preached. Preach on prisoner! For those who tell you that you can't preach because of your past, remember your past is not different than theirs in God's sight. We are all sinners in need of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. If you repent, he will cleanse. When He cleanses, you are forgiven. When you are forgiven, you are released from the tormentors of your past. Don't worry about those who do not want to receive. the fruit of your ministry will be from those who will receive from you.

The third preacher speaks up, I am not preaching because I chose to sin and now I am discredited.
Ah, dear brother. You have one of two decisions. Continue in sin or stop and turn around. This is called repentance. I highly recommend that you do what the Bible says. Repent, submit yourself to those who are spiritual so they can lead you to restoration. Once restored, you can release your voice again. God will be faithful, He will connect you with those who have a heart to see you restored. They will need to be strong and secure because they will be judged for even associating with you. Remember the pressure placed on Peter by the fire. He denied Christ rather than admit he even knew him. While you are being restored, go ahead and preach. But you should only preach to one person–the man in the mirror. Your season of restoration is a season of healing. Of allowing God to strengthen your areas of weakness. It is a time to be healed and made whole of old wounds and ways of doing things. Once those whom God has led to oversee your restoration give you their blessing, then you can preach again always remembering the grace you have been given.

The last preacher speaks up, I am not sure I am called to preach.
Now here is something to consider. Whom did Jesus command to preach the Good News? Whom did Jesus command to get a credential, attend a seminary, and earn a degree and then preach? I'm not against those things. I have a wall full of them. Maybe we have missed it by separating preachers from the rest of the group. Preachers are people too. As a matter of fact, preachers are just people. Furthermore, maybe, just maybe, every person is a preacher. It may not be to a crowed building whose pews are packed with people. It may not be to a filled stadium. It may not be to a classroom of eager listeners. It may just be at a table at the coffee shop sharing with a hurting soul. But if your lips release the message of the Good News of Jesus great love, then you have preached. We all are releasing one message or the other. What are you preaching?

If you are not preaching, you are either waiting for your body to be restored, your soul to be restored, or you are waiting for no good reason.

I have been one of those whose soul has been being restored. I am the third preacher. Those who are overseeing the process of my  restoration have said, you can now begin to preach again. I admit I am a little nervous. I know I will have to wade through criticism and judgment. I will have to battle my own thoughts of what others may be thinking. Yet, deep down in my bones, there is an ember burning, it is the flickering growing message of the great goodness and grace of God that saved a wretch like me. This is the message I must share and it is very, very, very goooooooood news!

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Comments

  1. Lucy Hayter says:

    Thanks for your devotional on preachers.
    I have been retired for over a year now but my reason for retiring was not from age but from sheep bites. right now I am totally frustrated with people and church. I’m hoping God’s grace will seee me through this and release me to preach again.

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