We can mine information today that in earlier times took me months to find in libraries at home and abroad. Google is a gold mine of information for any theological thought or question you may have. We are about to communicate more knowledge than our forebears ever dreamed possible.
Those of us in the preaching/teaching ministries must constantly keep in mind the primary purpose of our calling, which is to reach people at their true point of need. Organized information plays a vital role in this endeavor. Often we get so stuck on our vast store of knowledge that we forget one special thing.
Notice what Paul wrote to his student Timothy about an over emphasis on knowledge alone:
2Timoth 3:7 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Paul experienced a wake-up call when he was witnessing to Festus. This moment catches the crux of preaching/teaching for all time. No one questions the genius of Paul, nor of his ability to communicate the Gospel truth. Note what Festus said to him:
Acts 26:24 “Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”’
As Paul presented the grand truth, one things seems to be missing. Festus, a lost man, could not begin to grasp the truth of the finer aspects of Christ. It occurred to me that the people we are attempting to reach, to convince, or to restore do not have the capacity to lay hold of the higher truths of Christ. Not that we should give up preaching the entire gospel, but that we can learn to present this wonder of wonders in a more understandable manner to our groups. Do not throw out learning, for we are told to study to show approval. Perhaps we can learn a wee bit from this idea from a truly learned man:
“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
It is amazing to read how Jesus taught the great doctrines while wrapping the teaching in words of encouragement. His, “It is I, be not afraid,” spoken to men going the storms of life is downright amazing.
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
Topflight IT. Oral Deckard