Dear church family,
I cannot begin to tell you what a joy and source of comfort it is to me to have leaders in our dear congregation who are equipped, ready, and willing to preach on Sunday morning. Our church family is blessed to have Charles and Jim in the preaching “rotation” as it were. The benefits of a team approach are many. I will list just a few: 1) it allows pastor Dale an opportunity to sit under the word of God along with the entire church family; 2) it brings balance to the pulpit. We all have pet themes, particular styles of delivery, and theological emphases, and this approach serves as a corrective; 3) it demonstrates to a watching world that the best way to church growth and blessing is by each member using their gifts; 4) it protects the church family from participating in the prevalent “celebrity” culture; 5) shared teaching and preaching responsibilities are biblical! (See Acts 20:17-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)
This past Sunday, Jim preached on Psalm 1. Here are the first three verses of Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
A portion of his message was given to explaining the value of meditation. To meditate is to “mutter” to oneself the Scripture. Meditation is to God’s word as digestion is to food. We are to chew upon the word of God. Through meditation, the believer experiences a positive feedback loop. We meditate on the Scriptures and we experience delight. We delight ourselves in the law of the Lord and thus, we meditate. One of the lessons of the sermon for me personally was the insight that the “leaf does not wither” while the fruit appears “in its season.” What a wonderful word! God promises to sustain me by his word and I can expect that fruit will come periodically while I am being sustained continually. Have you ever felt that way? You know that God is caring for you and sustaining you, yet you long for more fruitfulness. Keep meditating on the law of the Lord and you will see a measure of blessing and spiritual prosperity!
Finally, I encourage you to meditate on the sermon itself. It was a common understanding of the Puritans that the sermon was not truly complete until the individual believer had deeply considered it and sought application to themselves. William Gurnall noted, “Meditation is to the sermon what the harrow is to the seed; it covers those truths which else might have been picked or washed away.” [William Gurnall, Christian in Complete Armor, 124] For those not familiar with the tools and techniques of farming, a harrow is “a farm implement used to pulverize the soil, break up crop residues, uproot weeds, and cover the seed.” [britannica.com] Let the preached word of God pulverize your heart and thoroughly cover over His seed. Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.
Privileged to serve,
Dear church family,