You Had to Be There

The authority and power of God’s Word is such that sometimes hearing it second-hand—either a recording, or someone quoting part of a sermon—does not have the same effect as hearing it personally.  What I am sharing from this past Lord’s Day may not mean anything to you, but I am writing about it as a witness of this authority and power in my own hearing.

Pastor Truelove did not use his microphone because he thought the batteries were dead. (Someone else had turned it off.) As we are ending the study of the Gospel of Mark, he was bringing us to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It was not a sermon preached with great oratory, but in spirit and truth.  His desire is always to convey the Word of God and not his own opinions and personality; and so he relies heavily on the authority of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver it.  It needs nothing added from man.

 What we hear depends on the preparation of the heart.  When I am in the presence of a man that God has appointed and anointed as a messenger of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ I fear that I might miss something that He has for me, so I prepare with prayer and reading during the week for this special time on the Lord’s Day.

Just a few weeks ago our pastor took us to the Garden of Gethsemane to the scene of Jesus’ arrest.  There were no special effects that were used for that sermon either, but I think I will never forget the words of Christ (simply spoken by our pastor) as He responded to those who were looking for Him. Just as His words “I AM HE,” when spoken to the soldiers knocked them backward, so I heard them as if He had spoken them directly to me.  There was a similar effect of fear, but not in the same sense as theirs.  His words were affirmation for my heart, strong words for my own soul, confirming Who was being arrested, how He was arrested, and the purpose to accomplish His ministry and   fulfill prophecy of the scriptures. He and His disciples were always, “going up to Jerusalem” for this event.  He was ready now to “finish” the work He had come to do.

In the sermon on Christ’s resurrection this past Lord’s Day the same thing happened.  When the two Mary’s came looking for Jesus, it was not our Lord who spoke, but His messenger.  The man in white said, “HE IS RISEN,” and again my heart leaped after Him—not the angel, but Jesus, my Lord.  Here was another confirmation of the truth of God’s Word working awe, wonder, and faith in this old heart of mine.

With this authority and power I can stand, sit, and walk daily in the knowledge and reality of Who He Is.  There is a testimony of God, through His written Word, in me and through me.  His Spirit fills this temple, using His Word to cleanse, purify, separate, and sanctify me for Himself, and to proclaim Who He Is.

You have to be there.  The message is for those who come to Him, hungering and thirsting for Him, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness.  Hearing a recording or watching on television is not the same as gathering as one people  “all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee (the messenger) of God.”   Acts 10:33

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things?”
Romans 10:14

Gracious Father, today, speak to us through your Word.  We pray for the authority of your Word to be commanded in us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Prepare our hearts to come together with your people to hear, believe, and live in the light of your truth.  In Jesus name we pray, praise you and thank you.  Amen.       

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