Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God's Indescribable Gift - Part 3

God's Indescribable Gift - Part 3

(Another meditation on 2 Corinthians 9:15. Thanks once again to Rev. Andy Spriensma for the seed thought of the series of these meditations.)

I would like to add that there is a great encouragement in this passage. There is great comfort in what Paul is saying that God’s gift, Jesus Christ, is indescribable, because it makes us think that Paul could identify with us – whether we are a lay person, a Bible teacher, a pastor or preacher.

If you are a Bible teacher or preacher and, for example, in the middle of the week you are working on a certain passage trying to understand its message and the Spirit illumines the text on your desk in front of you and the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ begins to shine brilliantly, so you end your study with a prayer of thanksgiving.

But then the next part comes, when you have to write your lecture or sermon and you have to do so in such a way that the gospel shines just as beautifully as it did earlier to you, if not more. And you have to do it in such a way that it lasts no more than 30-40 minutes. Otherwise people would get bored and will start asking themselves, “When is he going to stop?”

I tell you, it's not easy to be a pastor or preacher because week after week, preachers have to see to it that God's people know Jesus Christ better than the last sermon or Bible study. Week after week, preachers would labor in their sermon preparation to know Christ better and to describe Him to the congregation who is indescribable, to express Him who is inexpressible, and to speak of Him who is the unspeakable gift of God.

Constantly preachers must think of new ways of saying and new ways of proclaiming and illustrating the same old, glorious truth, the gospel of our salvation, so that God's children would fall in love with Him more and more and give their everything and do everything they can do for His honor and glory.

Author John Piper, speaking about imagination, said this, “Preachers don’t make God’s beauty more beautiful. They make it more visible. They cut through the dull fog of our finite, fallible, sin-distorted perception, and help us see God’s beauty for what it really is.”

So please pray for your pastor every week that by the Spirit of God he would be able to describe to you more visibly the unspeakable gift of God, who is our Lord Jesus Christ. Pastors and teachers of the Bible, let this be our goal every week. May our sermons or lessons be beautiful.

But not because of fancy technique or impressive knowledge or powerful delivery. May they be beautiful because they portray Christ, in ALL His glory. May they be beautiful because they present the gospel in all its wonder. And to do this, use every technique you learned, every skill you acquired, and every God-given gift that is in you.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if you come at some point in your Christian life to a notion that there is boredom and monotony in reading or meditating on the Bible, remember, you have not yet fully grasped the gift of salvation. Fellow preachers and teachers, if you come at some point in your ministry or teaching the Bible that there is drudgery, remember, you have not yet fully described God's gift of salvation.

Twenty-four years in my Christian life and ten years of ministry, including 3 years in seminary, still I have not yet fully grasped nor described God's gift of salvation. That is the encouragement. There’s still room to know Christ better and deeper.

Every Bible passage we read or teach presents Christ as our Lord, Redeemer and Mediator. May we know Him all the more as we seek Him daily and weekly in the Holy Scripture. And as we know Him more and more, may we learn to grow also in giving more of ourselves to others, in keeping ourselves humble and in encouraging ourselves to persevere in our Christian life and service, whether as a layman or as an ordained minister in the church of Jesus Christ.

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