6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching isn’t mine but is from the one who sent me.’”
John 7:16 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
As I read John 7:16, I can’t help but see the most immediate application to pastors.
When a pastor stands before his congregation, he had better take them to God’s Word. He had better read God’s Word, explain God’s Word, elaborate on God’s Word, and apply God’s Word. If the members of his congregation don’t understand the passage of Scripture and its implications by the end of the sermon, then the pastor has failed in his duty.
I’ve sat under plenty of preaching that has failed to do this. Sure, a passage of Scripture is read but then the pastor spends the rest of his time giving his own opinions and ideas. He may yell a little bit and sound like he’s “preaching,” but he is a miserable failure at what God has called him to do.
Listen as the early church pastors explained what their most essential task was…
Acts 6:4 (CSB): “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (emphasis mine)
Their job wasn’t to give their opinions or their ideas. They were called to speak to God’s people on His behalf, speaking His Words to them.
That is also what Jesus said was a guiding principle when He taught.
John 7:16 (CSB): “Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching isn’t mine but is from the one who sent me.’”
Jesus, even though He was God in the flesh, had submitted Himself to the Father. That meant, among other things, that He didn’t give His own opinions or ideas. When He taught, He was simply explaining, elaborating, and applying the Words that God had already said.
So, friend, if you are a pastor, “preach the Word!” (2 Timothy 4:2). Make sure you speak in such a way that your listeners open their Bibles, and keep them open, during the entirety of your sermon.
If you are simply a member of a church, expect your pastor to be a Bible teacher. Expect him to love God’s Word so much that every sermon of his clearly comes directly from God’s Word. If your pastor doesn’t honor the Lord and the Bible this way, find another church!
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Lord Jesus, You demonstrated in Your life (spoken of in the Gospels) that You loved the Bible. You read it, studied it, memorized it, explained it, and applied it. Now, You have called Bible teachers and preachers to do the same thing. If I am a Bible teacher or preacher, help me to honor You and Your Word by speaking directly from it. If I’m not a pastor or teacher, help me to expect those in teachings positions in my church to honor Your Word in this way. Your people need to hear from You, not simply the ideas and opinions of a mortal man. So, help us to honor Your Word. Amen.