10 March 2009
Text: 2 Tim 4:1-5
Title: Don’t Waste Your Pulpit
Just imagine this scenario: If chapel is made optional this morning, I wonder whether all of you would still be here. And if you have a choice, and if you know that I am preaching, will you still come and listen to me? Even though you are here with me physically this morning, I wonder whether your heart is here and you are listening to me. Perhaps some of us are saying: “It’s the boring Lim Kar Yong again,” and you have already shut your mind from listening to me. Perhaps some of us are now thinking about our assignments, thesis and all the tasks that we need to accomplish before the end of the week. Perhaps some of us are memorizing our Hebrew and Greek vocabulary now. Perhaps some of us are now opening the book that we bring along to chapel, and we are now sliding the book in between our bible and we have already started reading it.
My point here is not how you react to sermon. My point here is what causes you to react to sermons. There are many reasons. And one of it could be me as a preacher. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reflecting on what it means for me to preach from the pulpit. I know I have complained about bad sermons. I know I have preached bad sermons. I know that if chapel is made optional, and if I find all of you are not here this morning, I really have to search my heart. As such, over the last couple of weeks, I have been asking many hard questions about my preaching both in the church and in
That’s why I am once again reminded about Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in the text we read this morning: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction (2 Timothy 4:2). All of us here are called to be preachers of God’s word – and some of you are already preaching regularly. And to help us in our reflection of what it means to be called a preacher, I invite all of us to watch this short video clip by Dr John Piper. Piper, I think, essentially captures the real essence of preaching, and it is wise of us to take heed of his advice.
Listen again to what Piper says about preaching: “I think the reason pastors don’t preach from the Bible is because they themselves do not live off the bible day by day.” Is there any truth in what Piper is saying about our attitude towards preaching? Is there any truth in what Piper is saying about out attitude towards the Bible? Do we live off the bible day by day? Have we wasted the pulpit that God has given us? Remember Paul’s exhortation this morning: Preach the Word.