Today's Word for Pastors...
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Today's Preaching Insight...
Superficial vs. Spiritual Wisdom
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
All this week, I've been wrestling with these words of 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.
Initially, what Paul is saying seems so illusive, so erudite, so remote from the practical problems with which we struggle that I was tempted to jump over this passage and move on to chapter 3. However, an expository preacher does not have the luxury of skipping over tough passages. Also, I sensed a still, small, inner voice urging me to keep on, saying, "Dig into that text, John. Don't rob its tremendous truth from your people, when I am so close to giving you an intellectual and spiritual breakthrough of understanding."
The breakthrough came for me when I backed off from these eleven verses, taking a look at them in the context of what had come before and what is to follow. It suddenly dawned on me that Paul is in the process of presenting a progressive argument that would touch the hearts and minds of fellow believers whose attitudes and lifestyles are not living up to the profession of faith which is theirs.
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A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.
The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. "Fetch the Bible," he commanded.
The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner.
"Now find Psalm 23," he commanded.
The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing marvelous dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw.
The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.
That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed.
One man asked, "Can he do regular dog tricks, too?"
"I haven't tried yet," the pastor replied.
He pointed his finger at the dog. "HEEL!" the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor's forehead and began to howl.
The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, "Good Lord! He's Pentecostal!"
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