Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 9 September 2018
Page 13

My Ship of Life

Cliff Holmes

My ship sails over life’s darkening main.
Traversing lightning and thunder and rain.

Through threatening waves goes the strong prow.
As in deep prayer on bended knee I do bow.

My Bible, the rudder, a strong mighty force.
Guiding, correcting and righting my course.

With daily devotion from God’s Holy Word.
Urging me onward to serve my Dear Lord.

Christ at the helm of the ship strong and true.
He’s the Shipmaster, He captains the crew.

What Should We Preach?

D.J. Kessinger

When I first began preaching, one of the major challenges I had to overcome was choosing a topic. I found it intimidating to decide which topic was worth preaching. I thought if I chose the wrong topic, I might waste everybody’s time.

Since then, I’ve had a change in attitude towards picking my lessons. Of course, I still have no desire to waste time, but I am less likely to believe that I’m doing that. Whether it is teaching or preaching, I’ve found that I will not go wrong if I ask myself certain questions. Perhaps we all could benefit from asking these questions.

1. Does my lesson come from the Bible? One of the most important things for any Gospel preacher or teacher to keep in mind is that he is not the source of his message. As teachers of God’s Word, we should be plagiarists! All of our material should come from one source. Not ourselves. Not others. What we preach must come from the inspired Word of God. Several times the Bible warns us of the dangers of adding our own ideas to the words of the Bible or taking away from solid doctrine (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Revelation 22:18).

2. Have I neglected to preach the whole message? This question does not ask whether you have preached in a single sermon every lesson that the Bible contains. You could not preach the whole Bible in a lifetime. What you can do, however, is to be sure you have not neglected relevant information to your topic. Nor should you shy away from a topic because it may be uncomfortable to preach. This was an attitude that was exemplified by Paul when he proclaimed, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It is important for those who teach to be certain that those who learn truly understand what the message of God is and how it relates to them. Occasionally, this may mean preaching a message that you think everybody in the congregation already knows or teaching a lesson that you think everybody in the Bible class already knows. Even if they do know it, it is good that they hear it again so they don’t forget.

3. Am I speaking a relevant message? One final thing to keep in mind is that different audiences need different messages. This doesn’t mean we should avoid preaching certain topics. It means that certain topics may require more emphasis. For example, in Kenya there is a polygamy problem. Thus, it is necessary for a preacher to preach more on that issue. So, you may expect a Kenyan preacher to preach sermons from 1 Corinthians 7:2 more often than an American preacher would. Once again, it is wise to emulate Paul. “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

If we speak the truth regarding God’s Word, we are preachers. This should be every Christian. Let us do our best to be preachers who are pleasing to God.

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