Who Schooled Whom?

How was your worship this weekend? How did God challenge you, transform you, encourage you?

In my little corner of the world, we had a great Sunday. Some of the exciting events were about various families celebrating. We celebrated the birth a new child (and I got the name right, a double blessing if you know my history). We had our drummer back … wohoo. He brings passion, skills, and greatly encourages his brother who plays the lead guitar. The songs where all praising of our Lord … Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord, What a Beautiful Name, and King of Kings. Powerful praise. I love the way the much of the church family has caught on to the new hymn King of Kings.

But the sermon this week left me befuddled. Sometimes the text unrolls on my pages with all clarity and authority. But other times, it seems I have so much to say, so much theology and history with which the text deals, and so much excitement on digging into the Word … that the message gets messy.

Now it’s not the Word that got messy … though there are some tough texts to work through. It was my message.

As always, I asked my most loving critic her thoughts. She often is too soft on me … concerned for my fragile ego. So I take that twist into the equation. But when she said, “I feel I was back in school,” I realized I got too much into exposition and too little into application. Ouch. I got schooled by my wife (not the first time).

I have learned that all teaching, all preaching, all instruction should have a goal to change lives. It is a powerful opportunity to inspire, instructs and permanently impact lives for the Kingdom. So when my wonderful reviewer thought it got heady, or textbooky, I paid attention.

She schooled me, sent me back to the basics, and reminded me the hermeneutic cycle is incomplete without application.

In life … we do this in common stuff too. Teach math without showing how important it is. Lecture our kids, without clarity on why we do what we do. Criticize people without giving positive encouragement for lasting change. Speak the truth, but doing it from arrogance and not from love.

All teaching, all preaching, all instruction should have a goal to change lives. It is a powerful opportunity to inspire, instructs and permanently impact lives for the Kingdom.

Parents … pay attention to not only what you say but how you are teaching your kids to live.

Friends … it’s okay to correct and help a friend, but if all your doing is pointing out negative without building up, your missing the point of friendship.

Don’t miss the opportunity to help and edify.

And when using the Word … realize it has the power to change lives. It changes mine.

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