Friday, November 25, 2011

The Preacher’s Central Message

“Here is my fountain, and here is my cup: find fault if you please, but do drink of the water of life. I only care for this. I had rather bless the soul of the poorest crossing sweeper or rag gatherer, than please a prince of the blood and fail to convert him to God.” ~C.H. Spurgeon, All of Grace (Emphasis in original.)

Two factors persist in the preacher’s sermon: the first is the fountain—the very Water of Life. The second is the cup with which is drawn inspiration upon revelation. It is the cup that is delivered us, you and me, from which we drink; let us not forget where the water came from.

Whilst many preachers do impress, many likewise do not. They draw from the fountain, and though they may lack no revelation, they lack the inspiration of a C.H. Spurgeon to deliver a message ‘worthy’ of saving lives for Jesus (so some might say).

Yet, no message about Jesus is, therefore, insufficient; only to the judging ear and the careful eye—lost to toothpicks of truth and enigmas of eloquence.

Seeing the Forest Replete with Trees Made of Wood

If we have a cup, which is the preacher’s offering, and the fountain from which they are to draw, both in combination abounding with God’s blessing, will we now drink?

Will we see the droplets of salvation, the liquid of peace, an elixir of love, in that precious drink? Or will we find one mouthful quite tasteless in the presence of an otherwise satisfying cup?

Will we analyse that preacher’s motive, to gain insight toward the brackish?

Will we miss the vitality in the gospel message, the precious juice from the fountain, to note the smallest semblance of uninspired delivery?

Surely wood, in the context of the forest, is an indicator of the trees there present. Moreover, the preacher’s message is not, no not ever, devoid of the Spirit’s power.

Blessing the Cup That Draws from the Fountain

We can rest in this gospel truth: the Lord not only supplies the fountain, but the cup also. That message that passes into our ears and through our brains, hopefully to reside in our hearts, is anointed. This is so by what it contains. The cup is not empty, but is to be emptied; for us—the power of the Holy Spirit made known.

God blesses the cup that is the preacher’s hand; their eye for truth; their ear for empathy; their heart for love; their mind for wisdom. No one grows more than the preacher; the Spirit divides their bone and marrow with conquest for learning.

Let us be careful not to blaspheme the Lord by disparaging the preacher.

One who willingly comes, cup in hand, drawing from God’s fountain to be a procurer of salvation, is doing a most important work. Let us not look critically at the cup, but wondrously at the fountain from which it has drawn.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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