It’s my second semester in seminary (at TEDS), and I’m taking a very interesting class designed to prepare us to preach God’s Word. It’s both a methodology and a theology class, so it focuses both on skills / technique and the reasons behind it — what to do, why to do it, how, etc. But most of all, we’re focused on humbling ourselves before God, and yielding to His authority. His ministry, His calling in our lives, His Word, His approach, His results, His transforming power in the lives of the one who preaches and the one who hears.
To that end, our professor is walking us through a number of “bottlenecks” to (what would get in the way of) effective preaching, which I see as really being bottlenecks to effective ministry … in many cases, to Christian living in general. I don’t know how many of these will be “shareable” or interesting in this context, per se, but what impacts me and seems appropriate, I will share.
The first bottleneck is “little faith”. It is the idea that, if we do not really trust the Lord or His Word, then it will be very difficult to proclaim it powerfully and effectively to others. As an exercise during this section, we were asked to search the Scriptures for truths about God and His Word, and to build a list of “convictions” from them. The following is what I came up with. It is in no way exhaustive — a list like this of what’s true about God and His redemptive work in our lives could fill every scroll we could find — but it is representative and meaningful (at least to me), so I thought I’d share.
I debated writing a mini-commentary on each of these, but I thought instead that if you’re reading this and interested, click through some of the links and read what God Himself said about these things. May reading these Scriptures and meditating on these truths be to you as much of a blessing as it was for me in creating the list. And very importantly, where you feel you cannot confidently say any of these statements about yourself, ask God to show you why. Perhaps He is desiring a deeper relationship with you than you are with Him. Perhaps something is in the way (which by definition would be on your end). And if you want to chat, comment below. I’d love to hear that this list of truths was provocative in someone else’s life as well.
- God loves me (John 3:16; Rom 5:8, 8:35-39; 1 John 4:10)
- God has chosen me (2 Tim 1:9; Col 3:12a; 1 Pet 2:4-10)
- God has forgiven me, redeemed me (Eph 1:7, 2:8; Isa 44:22; Ps 49:15)
- God has given me a new life in Christ (1 Pet 2:4-5; 2 Cor 5:17)
- God is faithful to me (1 Cor 1:9; Deut 7:9; Lam 3:22-23; 2 Tim 2:13)
- God is enough for me (2 Cor 12:9; Ps 62:7, 73:26)
- God empowers me to do the good works He ordained for me, and both commands and empowers me to faithfully discharge them (Eph 2:10; 1 Tim 6:12; 1 Pet 5:10; Luke 9:23; John 15:5; Isa 41:8-16; 1 Cor 4:2, 10:13)
- God relies on His own capabilities, not mine, to perform His work and purpose (2 Cor 4:7; Isa 41:8-16)
- God’s Word is alive and powerful, and will accomplish everything it sets out to do (Heb 4:12; Isa 55:10-11)
- God gives me everything I need for the life He’s called me to (2 Pet 1:3-4)