Friday, January 29, 2010

"We Would See Jesus"

It's a small brass plaque, sort of like this one, that's followed me from Juliette GA to Valparaiso, FL. Given to me at the beginning of my ministry as a pastor, it has been placed in front of me on every pulpit I've preached behind. The idea behind it is sobering - to remind the preacher that no one should be coming to hear his words. People should be drawn to Jesus.

"We would see Jesus" John 12:21 (KJV) Is what's written on it.

We don't use the pulpit here at New Hope anymore, preferring to try to give the congregation an unencumbered shot at the preacher. :) Actually, since I don't use notes very often, and space is at a premium, we chose to remove it. I was walking by it yesterday and removed the plaque. But I'll never remove the instruction from my mind and heart.

When I stand up in front of the congregation, I do so believing that the Holy Spirit has breathed words into my mind that He will use to exalt Jesus and draw people to Him. As much as possible, I prepare by studying the texts, looking at the contexts, searching for the most illuminating commentaries and illustrations in order to file in my mind the material that could persuade sinners like me to step out of the status quo and into the life giving flow of the Spirit.

The best preparation I do though, is pursuing Jesus - personally and searching for more of Him just as "those certain Greeks" did. I want to see Jesus, too.

Pray for all of us who are given the honor of preaching the Word this weekend. Ask that our Father might be glorified as the Son is lifted up and people are drawn into the Kingdom of God.

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