Passion for God Before Passion for Preaching

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On the desiring God blog, there is a new post by Abraham Piper called Dear God, Keep Me Saved concerning a recent book project John Piper was involved in called, Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints.

Abraham’s comments, and the subject of the book, reminded me of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (ESV)

If this Scripture hits us as it should, it should evoke a healthy fear. There are indeed those that “after preaching to others” are “disqualified” themselves.

As we seek to care for, feed and protect the flock, let us not forget to guard our own souls… or rather, let us continually and purposefully entrust our souls to the master guardian and Shephard, Jesus Christ. One can so busy themselves with preaching to others, that they become in danger of losing their first love.

I was struck by a perpherial statement in C.J. Mahaney’s, Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing. In talking about the passion we should have for the gospel of God that saved us, he says:

And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others; I mean passionate in thinking about the gospel, reflecting up it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world and all of life.

Let us strive to cultivate this kind of passion for the gospel, in our lives. Not only a passion for preaching it to others, but a reveling in the beauty of it ourselves, lest we, after preaching to others, should be disqualified.

God saved me, a wicked, God hating, hell bound person. This is my meditation, this is my song, and I will sing it into eternity! May He keep us until that glorious day!

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2 Responses to “Passion for God Before Passion for Preaching”

  1. Dorian Says:

    Rightly understanding God’s initiative in whole of salvation is a powerful fuel in the heart and mind of preachers.

  2. Trevor Says:

    I believe one could also say that passion in thinking about the gospel and passionately applying the gospel’s message of freedom from sin and free access to God is not only a passion that should come before the passion for preaching, but it should also be above and feeding the passion for preaching, like waters from a spring flow downward to feed the stream.
    Moreover, the preacher should be quite worried if his preaching is not being fueled by his passion for God, for either one preaches for the praise of God, or he preaches for the praise of man. And as Rom 2:29 suggests, seeking praise from man is a sign of legalism and dead religion.
    Lastly all preachers should be aware of the tendency of their sinful hearts to wander in this area, and say with David “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” (Ps 119:10)
    (And also with this in mind how much should those benefiting from the pastor’s preaching be praying for him in this area)

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