Dear ITEM Partner,
Today reminded me of Mr Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. We exhorted and admonished those in attendance yesterday to bring others and TO BE ON TIME since we had 6 lectures to complete, plus give time to questions plus lunch plus breaks. Neither things happened. There were no more in attendance today than yesterday and they were still late.
Nathan and I did the lecturing today and we crammed in 6 lectures, a 30 minute lunch, 5 short breaks, and two pretty good Q&A sessions…..all between 10:45 and 4pm.
The lectures were familiar: Lessons for Leaders from Acts 20:28-35. The Pastor’s Preaching Ministry. Purpose of the Church. Spiritual Warfare, Eph 6:10-17. Church Discipline, Matt 18:15-20. The Kingdom: Major Theme of the Old Testament.
QUOTE AND STORY OF THE DAY
During one of Nathan’s lectures he mentioned a couple of things worth repeating. He said that he heard about an African pastor who needed an interpreter. When the interpreter looked down, he saw that the pastor was actually preaching an “internet sermon” that he was on his tablet while connected to the internet while he was preaching.
Nathan also asked the question, “What are the three greatest temptations African pastors face?” Ans: Money, power, sex.
Q: Yesterday we heard that the pastor should have others he’s accountable to as he preaches, following him to see if he is preaching God’s message or his own. What if I spend time in prayer and believe God has given me a message and I preach it and a church member challenges me?
ANS: Nathan suggested that he remain humble. Listen to the comment. Thank the person for their input. Then take it to the Lord.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: I feared that this person was looking for permission to say whatever he wanted to say in a sermon and say “The Lord told me to say this.”
Q: (Same questioner) Yesterday you said “revelation: was complete (the Scriptures). And there is no new revelation from God.” So what if I believe God has given me a “revelation” (a message from Him) that I am to give to the church?
ANS: (This is always a tricky question. How do you separate “God is leading me to do xyz.” And “God told me to tell you.”?) You and I are sinful. It is easy for us to think we hear God say something but it is coming from our own desires and maybe our own lusts. If we had a red light in the top of our heads that came on when we were hearing “the voice of God” it would be easier. But we don’t.
NATHAN added. If you or I have a thought we believe came directly from God, are we saying, “God told me something that He left out of the Bible.”? Nathan’s input was this. Define your terms. If God is leading, first is in not technically “revelation” and second, it is not infallible like it was in the early church when there was no Bible.
1 Cor 4:6 I added this verse which says “do not go beyond what is written.”
There were other questions but I am stopping here. I have been dealing with a stomach ache most of the day and it lingers. I am praying it passes over night. I’ll post this and prepare for bed. PLEASE PRAY.
By His grace,
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