Skip to main content

Preaching that goes beyond what I've imagined

Glen Scrivener quotes Henry Ford saying “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” in a brief post that he tags on the subject of "preaching". It's a brilliant connection to make.

When the preacher begins to speak I know what I want, I want instruction, I want inspiration, I want to have the passage taught, I want to be reminded of Christ....

What I should find is that I'm shown the beauty of Christ in a way that my heart never imagined was possible.

And that's what the Holy Spirit delights to do through a preacher, to cast new light upon Christ from his word. To enable me to see with eyes of faith that Christ is more beautiful than I could have imagined.... such preaching would be jaw-dropping, would be eye-widening, would be heart-enflaming. Such preaching does the important task of persuasively showing what the text says and then continue to doing what the text does.

Such preaching says: believe in Jesus, and shows me Jesus that I might behold and believe in him with my heart...  as J.I. Packer found under the preaching of Lloyd-Jones that came to him “with the force of electric shock, bringing . . . more of a sense of God" As I prepare to preach I want to be asking the Holy Spirit to do that, not for my sake, but for the church. Longing that the Spirit would reveal Christ and impress Christ upon the hearts of his people, though my weak words. And I hope I pray that as I sit under preaching my prayer is the same - for the preacher and for the church. Such preaching goes beyond what I could ever imagine, to what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reveal, chiefly themselves.


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…