Today's Word for Pastors...
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Leave the Popularity for Jesus
It is the biggest temptation every preacher deals with. Every preacher? Yes, every preacher; and if one ever tells you he or she has never experienced its power, do not buy a used computer from that preacher. What is it? Popularity!
Phillips Brooks, who gave the world his wonderful carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem," knew popularity's seductive powers. As a preacher, he experienced it firsthand and declared, "To set one's heart on being popular is fatal to the preacher's best growth. It is the worst and feeblest part of your congregation that makes itself heard in vociferous applause, and it applauds that in you which pleases it."
Truth is that the love of popularity does not just seduce preachers. Everybody likes to be liked. For preachers, however, it is an especially deadly enticement. More than one unusually gifted preacher has been caught up in its grips and weakened, even destroyed, by its deadly power.
These days Jesus is literally everywhere. He is in newspapers and on the covers of magazines. He is on TV and radio.
You can find Him on football fields and on the tailgates of SUVs. He gets a mention in the great debates of the day—from Iraq to gay marriage, from evolution to the environment.
He is a celebrity unequalled in human history, this Jesus you and I are called to preach. My granddaughters might tell you, "He's hot!" That's right, He sizzles! Of course, it will not last, will it? Jesus will go out of fashion as quickly as He came in once the media tires of Him, don't you agree? No? Me neither!
(To read the entire article, "Every Preacher's Fiercest Temptation!" by Robert Leslie Holmes at Preaching.com, click here)
According to the authors of the book Significa, the world's champion complainer was a man named Ralph Charrell. Charrel received over $100,000 as a result of his systematic complaining. His smallest refund was of $6.95 and his largest was $25,000. Charrel spent time every day making phone call and writing letters of complaint. He even wrote two books, How to Get the Upper Hand and How I Turn Ordinary Complaints into Thousands of Dollars. While we all have the right to stand up for ourselves, would you want to be known as the "World's Champion Complainer"? Wouldn't it be better to be the "World's Champion Encourager"?
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