Today's Expositor's Quote is from John Piper:
I have talked about the mission of preaching - awakening in the people a heartfelt satisfaction in all that God is for us in Christ: the matter of preaching - proclaiming the all-satisfying glories of God: and the manner of preaching - exhibiting that very satisfaction in God by exulting over what we preach. But I could go on and speak also about the means of preaching -- how do you become that kind of preacher and sustain a heartfelt exultation in the great things of God? . . .
1. You must be born again. . . . There are preachers who have no life in the pulpit because there is no life in the soul. The natural person cannot receive, let alone exult in the things of the Spirit. If you do not delight in the things of God, search your heart to see if you are born of God.
2. Turn off the television. It is not necessary for relevance. And it is a deadly place to rest the mind. Its pervasive banality, sexual innuendo, and God-ignoring values have no ennobling effects on the preacher's soul. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. . . . I have taught and preached for twenty years now and never owned a television. It is unnecessary for most of you, and it is spiritually deadly for all of you.
3. Meditate on the Word of God day and night. Paul said, "Do not get drunk with wine . . . but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18). How do you get filled with the Spirit? The same way you get drunk with wine: you drink a lot of it. . . . We drink the Spirit . . . by welcoming the things of the Spirit. And . . . the "things of the Spirit" refers mainly to the words taught by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:13). This means simply that if you want to be filled with the Spirit of passion and exultation over the great things of God, you must fill your mind day and night with the Word of God. Pour over it. Memorize it. Chew it. Put it like a lozenge under the tongue of your soul and let if flavor your affections day and night.
4. Plead with God unceasingly for passions that match his reality. When you meditate on a passage of Scripture ask yourself this question: Am I experiencing affections in my heart that accord with the reality revealed in the text? Is my exposition creating in my own heart a corresponding exultation? And if not, then repent for your hardheartedness and plead with God for your heart to be stirred with emotions as terrible as hell and as wonderful as heaven. . . .
5. Linger in the presence of God-besotted saints. . . . It is a biblical value to have God-besotted heroes. I fear that many contemporary pastors read more Barna and Shaller and Drucker than they do Owen and Edwards and Spurgeon (to name my own heroes). Judge for yourselves: what writers are so saturated with God that you come away with your mind rich and your heart exulting? Find your God-besotted heroes and live with them.
6. Finally, leave your study, go to a hard place, take a risk for the kingdom, and prove to your own soul that you treasure the promises of God more than the pleasures of this world.
John Piper, "Preaching as Worship: Meditations on Expository Exultation," Trinity Journal 16:1 (Spring 1995), 44-45.
[The fundamental question is: What kind of preacher do you want to be? Do you want to scratch the itches of your people, or do you want to proclaim the whole counsel of God with passion and power? The way to do the latter is clear; are you willing? - Coty]
[I commend John Piper to you as a contemporary "God-besotted hero." Follow this link for a review of one of his best books: http://www.expository.org/godwardlife.htm ]
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