Wednesday, May 31, 2006
A. W. Tozer
Each morning I receive a classic devotional from a great preacher from the past, Dr. A. W. Tozer. They always challenge me. Here is today's:
Preaching: All In One Sermon
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. - 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Because we are the kind of persons we are and because we live in a world such as we do, the shepherd of souls is often forced to work at what would appear to be cross purposes with himself.
For instance, he must encourage the timid and warn the self-confident; and these may at any given time be present in his congregation in almost equal numbers.
Another problem he faces is the presence in the normal Christian assembly of believers in every stage of development, from the newly converted who knows almost nothing about the Christian life to the wise and experienced Christian who seems to know almost everything.
Again, the Christian minister must have a word from God for the teen-aged, the middle-aged and the very aged. He must speak to the scholar as well as to the ignorant; he must bring the living Word to the cultured man and woman and to the vulgarian who reads nothing but the sports page and the comic strip. He must speak to the sad and to the happy, to the tender-minded and to the tough-minded, to those eager to live and to some who secretly wish they could die. And he must do this all in one sermon and in a period of time not exceeding 45 minutes.
Surely this requires a Daniel, and Daniels are as scarce in the United States (and Canada) today as in Babylon in 600 B.C.
from The Set of the Sail, pgs.82-83.
"That's an impossible task, Lord! I again confess myself totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. Enable, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen."
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NOTE: Yesterday, on my way to the ballpark in Toronto, I passed the historic sanctuary, Avenue Road Church, that Dr. Tozer pastored during his time in Toronto. It is now the headquarters of the Hare Krishna cult in that city. I wonder if Tozer's prophetic words ever bounce from the rafters these days. It's so tragic to see what was once a bastion of truth being used to propagate such error. - David