Saturday, June 04, 2011

Preach the Word!

I've just come back from a fantastic day spent in the historical city of Oxford. Scott and I both had the day off and decided to do something "different". Oxford is only an hour's drive away and somewhere I've visited once or twice (once in 2001 to hear John Piper speak at St Aldates and St Ebbes churches) but never to appreciate some of it's historical features.

One amazing place I was fascinated to visit was the famous Bodleian Library. It is the main research library in Oxford, one of the oldest libraries in Europe and second in size only to the British Library (some 11 million items!). I could have spent hours there. Why do libraries thrill me so? I think it is the historical marvel that words written down up to centuries ago can still be enjoyed, read and benefited from now.

Video tapes and audiotapes may erode and the spoken words of the sermon lost (one reason why I transcribe so much). But books manage to survive!

I've spent the last couple of days reading a novel I enjoy greatly - the series of books by Christopher Paolini about the character Eragon and his dragon Sapphira. At one point Eragon (the hero of the story) is severely hampered in his battle against evil because he doesn't have a sword. He tries out many inferior swords but ends up seeking the perfect sword made by elves which he calls "Fire". That always challenges me and reminds me of many Christians and Christian churches. Ephesians speaks of the "Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God". Spirit and Word are seen as an offensive weapon in our fight!

There is much to challenge our generation. I've just been absolutely thrilled to find hidden in the archives of the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recording Trust - two sessions that Dr Lloyd-Jones held after he had finished speaking his famous "Preaching and Preachers" lectures in the USA. No one knew that after these lectures he held two Question and Answer sessions with the students -and the recordings were SAVED! (I will of course be transcribing them).

But Dr Lloyd-Jones is in glory. Terry Virgo and Stanley Jebb are in their sixties and seventies. Rob Rufus and Greg Haslam are in their fifties. Ern Baxter is in glory. Where are the young men and women of OUR generation ready to rise up and obey the Great Commission set by the risen Lord Jesus;

"Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation!".

Will our generation put down the words God speaks through preaching that can be set down in books for generations and centuries to come (if Jesus Christ doesn't return)? I have got a few things that I feel God is challenging me with that I may share in time - exciting days!

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