It is not the preacher’s job to “make the text relevant”, but to underline, to emphasize how it is relevant to the particular listeners before us.
We should look at the text and learn what it says and means and consider how it is stirring us to love God and live for God in this world.
Are we setting a good example of observing the passage closely, interpreting accurately, and applying appropriately?
Is your Bible old and static, or dynamic and relationally connecting?
It does not mean much to acknowledge that Satan is real and active if we then immediately deny that he could be at work in almost every layer of human authority and influence.
Perhaps the greatest challenge is humanity’s counterfeit god-complex by which we act as if we are gods.
Perhaps the resolution we need for 2024 is more foundational than healthy habits and more straightforward than spiritual practices.
It is too easy to march on to the drum beat of urgency and not take time to give thanks to God, who has made every breath possible this year.
As we preach Christmas, lets think about tapping into the reality of that first Christmas, and to look toward Jesus and all that He means.
Joseph and Mary face the stigma of sin because the child was Jesus, the One who would save His people from their sin, Immanuel, God with us.
The Bible is ultimately about God, it presents itself with characters on the page, and it was written to real people in real situations.
It is critical that we keep clear the ultimate purpose of Scripture, to reveal the living God, his heart, his plan, his Son.
It is not possible to rightly handle God’s word if the love dimension is missing.
While some are stronger on the “back then” nature of the text, others are too quick to rush to a “for today” impact. Good Bible handling requires both mindset.
In a world of people trying to find themselves, make themselves, and often, fake themselves, we have a God who is not holding back on speaking his blessing over us.
We would do well to let go a little of a metaphysical conversation, and ponder more the biblical revelation of a God in eternal communion.
Last minute preparation is not ideal, but it is possible and it is still better to prepare as much as you can, rather than not prepare at all.
The Bible is true and it is effective, for the God who inspired it is a God of truth, and a God of great communication.
Whatever evil is evident in your context or working away behind the scenes, seek refuge next to our good God’s throne.
Preaching is more than sharing the fruit of exegetical work out loud, but it cannot be less.
Boring people through preaching is too dangerous to let it happen even once more.
When we preach the Bible, let’s not settle for a tips-for-life kind of relevance.
We must be careful not to offer guarantees that the text does not yield.
The nature of the body of Christ indicates that you need to receive from the gifting of others, for they are gifted to build you up.
Your words can urge, convict, enthuse, or offer clarification of application. But let’s make sure our words build up, giving grace to those who hear.