Let us never forget that religious earnestness alone is no proof that a man is a sound Christian. Not all zeal is right–it may be a zeal without knowledge. No one is so mischievous as a blundering, ignorant zealot. Not all earnestness is trustworthy–without the leading of God’s Spirit, it may lead a man so far astray, that, like Saul, he will persecute Christ himself. Some bigots imagine they are doing God service, when they are actually fighting against His truth, and trampling on His people. Let us pray that we may have light as well as zeal.
~ J.C. Ryle
Have you ever stopped and questioned yourself… am I right? Do I have this thing understood correctly? Did what I just passionately communicate to…. (fill in the blank), have a solid foundation? Am I passing on opinions of man or am I holding forth the Word of Life?
I’m sure you’ve had the same experience as I… sitting in a church and the preacher bounds up into the pulpit and begins!!…. the passion seems to be there and thus a sure conviction? … and… thus… a “sure foundation”???
I am not a preacher. But, next sunday I am scheduled to preach. My second pulpit sermon. The first time was a few years back… okay… many years back. I was maybe 15-17 yrs old and the youth group had the sunday evening service… and somehow I was the guy who was assigned the task of preaching. AARGGHHH. (it’s an old ‘forgotten’ memory.. but I remember it like yesterday.) Here I was….am, a shy reticent kid being prompted by my youth leaders to ‘go ahead’… “do it.” I know they prayed for me. I know they wanted to see me break out of a shyness that was my world of comfort.
So what angelic, warm fuzzy topic did I choose to preach on?…. Satan. The doctrine of Satan and his demons. Don’t even bother asking why… but it just happened to be what I was learning about at the time. (yeah, I know… go figure! )
Today, many years later… I am faced with preaching from the pulpit again. Thankfully, I care less today than before about how “well” I do. But, I do care about how well I do with respect to the truth. I am passionate… but am I passionate about my stuff… or am I passionate about the Holiness… the Glory of God?
And so I conclude this blog with a request for any brother or sister who might read… please pray to our Father, that His glory will show forth… that His holiness will be seen… and that death might be given Life, and that I and any other listening ear or seeing eye might be changed from one degree of glory to another.
Lord, please… guard me, guide me, keep me… change me. I love You.