“When Preaching is not Enough”
1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
1:30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once.
1:31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
1:32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.
1:33 And the whole city was gathered around the door.
1:34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
1:35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
Last week I must confess I was shocked and puzzled when service concluded; I was stopped by Mother Margaret Nedab. Mother Nedab asked me where all the food we collected at Christmas time was. I was somewhat bewildered, because it caught me by surprise. I must acknowledge I am not used to anyone asking me where something as precious as food was so that it could be given away to others. I said Mother “blame me, because I told them (deacons) to take the food to the folks that needed it at Christmas time.” I felt somewhat helpless at that moment, because in that moment a wave of conviction swept over me and let me know that no matter how much I preach that it is still not enough. Not enough in the terms of there is always work to do. I have been preaching here at Herbert for almost three years. That is a long time to hear anyone person preach.
I have preached when I felt like it and when I have not felt like it. I have preached when I have been my happiest, when all was going well in life and I have been preaching for the lat eight months when each and everyday I can feel a piece of my world crumbling in because of 2006 having both extremes of sorrow and joy. I have preached because I love it and hated at the same time. This experience of preaching allows us to "be changed" from the inside out. Just by working and applying these Biblical principles that come forth in preaching, we begin to grow spiritually. We become free from our addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors. This freedom that follows creates peace, serenity, joy and most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others.
Preaching is the proclamation of the word of God while under assignment from God. It is He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. the five fold ministry’s portion that by the Pastor who proclaims the word that the body can be the ordained means for the transmission of the word of God to a congregation and to a lost world, and sometimes simultaneously; whereby it serves as the primary means communication of God to the Church.
Preaching is truth through the personality of the preacher; didactic, lead to faith, and to motivate, Preaching is the means and mode of transportation of the fire of the spirit to the heart of the individual persons.
Through the word we are fed, exhorted, rebuked, encouraged, dared to dream, pushed to have faith, made to climb mountains, suffer tortuous lives, bear one another’s burdens, die daily, hold the plow and smile through the process of persecution. Preaching is a bad thang.
Preaching is essential, a sine qua non for the church An essential element or condition, as in without preaching there sometimes really ain’t church. Without it the people of God will languish. Where true biblical, didactic, synthesized preaching is present the church will thrive. Preaching as an Evangelistic Method, by Rev. James Murdoch says “Preaching can be considered as a fine meal lovingly, yet at some cost prepared by a good chef - well prepared, carefully cooked, interestingly presented, bringing nourishment to the diners. Because just as food is essential to our well-being so too do we need God's Word - Matt.4:4 - food which is often to be delivered to our hungry souls; or our non-discerning spiritually unwell palates; given at times as "milk" for young babes; in bite sizes for growing appetites; as "strong meat" for protein hungry adults.”
The passage is a continuation of last week's gospel lesson. It takes place on the same Sabbath, in (Simon) Peter and Andrew's home, immediately after Jesus' visit to the synagogue. Apparently, (Simon) Peter and Andrew were part of a large extended family household. This was common for the times. Excavations of Peter's home reveal that it was larger than many in Capernaum. He is invited or taken there by Peter and Andrew, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. She must have been down on the bed when Jesus arrived.
The words used in Mark and the other synoptic gospels to describe this fever indicated that this was a serious illness. We can use this text to highlight several things, the miracle of Jesus healing her, her service to Jesus and the disciples even when she had recovered from a fever, how this event was the catalyst for others who were sick and demon possessed to receive deliverance. But today Herbert I want to use this scripture to tell you after all the preaching is said and done in the temple; we must do something else, because Preaching is not Enough. Our challenge today must be what do we do once the preaching moment is over? Our challenge is to discover how useless preaching is without the works that follow, and finally how do we keep from being hearers only and not doers.
With the question stated Why ain’t preaching enough?
1. When the people don’t respond Peter’s mother-in-law represents response. She represents the individuals who hear the word and don’t respond. There are many who come into the church and are not fazed or moved by what goes on. They notice that the preaching ain’t authentic, the notice the singing ain’t for real, they notice that the smiles are phony; they notice what ever you do, because they don’t expect church folk to do some things. In order for folk to respond to the Gospel there have to be some things in place and when there is they respond. People will respond, if the preaching matches the desires of the people. When there is desire on the part of the people then you have positive outcomes, or desirable outcomes.
Here the outcome was that the lady immediately rose from her sick bed. She was indeed sick, she suffered from a fever, and a fever is not necessarily all bad. You know what a fever is, at one point you may have been talked about and it would be said that I was talking over your head, but a fever is something that everyone can relate to. Your temperature rises, and you just don’t feel good. The reason you get a fever is because your core temperature begins to rise. The temp rises because there has been an invasion on the body. Some type of pathogen is inside of the body and the way that the body stops, pathogens from multiplying is to apply some heat. Even infection is not bad, because when you see pus and feel heat that means that infection fighting cells are on location and when the cells finish fighting there is pus.
Well Peter’s mother-in-law responded when Jesus took her by the hand, Jesus had left the synagogue which we studied last week and took her by the hand. That implies that preaching is not always enough, something else has to be done, thank you Mother Nedab, for letting me know, so that I can let you know that it is not just enough to hear good preaching, but actions must follow. James put it so eloquently when he said, that you show me works without faith and I will show you something dead.
2. If people don’t come: that brings us to point two. That without works, faith is dead. You got to do something to get something. After Jesus heals this woman, folk come from everywhere. The proof is in the pudding, the healing makes all of the difference, the people responded because of the work of Jesus. He preached in the synagogue, but his work is why they responded. People respond, when you take the time, to serve them, when you take time to feed them, when you take time to clothe them, when you take time to visit them in prison, when you visit them in hospital, folk will respond to your kindness, this work is about who can be kinder, the greater folk serve. You have got to get up and move toward folk that are suffering, and are on the outer edges, and margins of society. You who have something share it with someone who has nothing.
Don’t be afraid to walk out of the door on Sunday mornings with some food in a box or bag for someone else, don’t be afraid to visit the members of Herbert who have not come here in a long time, I wish I could, but at times I don’t even have the seventeen dollars to come, but during the week, I do my part, I help kids, I help seniors, I help somebody, so that my living won’t be in vain. If I can help somebody, with a word or a song, a prayer or a smile, then I know my living shall not be in vain, Jesus helped her and folk came.
Herbert if you help somebody folk will come, If you give ten percent of the total offerings to mission, then your living will not be in vain. The whole city gathered around the door, when Jesus begins to operate, folk come. It adds validity to preaching, it makes me feel as though I’ve done something, it lets your neighbors know you do more than talk and chew gum. Lets them know you do more than spit and walk, its lets them know you’re a servant of the most high.
3. If you don’t pray then preaching is not enough. Jesus sets the tone for the workers of the work; he lets you know how important a moment early in the day is with God. He goes out early and converses with his father to pray, before the sun came up. You know how dark it can get just before dawn, when you can’t see you hand in front of your face. Jesus not only does the work, but rests himself in the presence of prayer.
Prayer makes all the difference, after you have worked a while its time to pray. Prayer can change a few things, it changes hearts, it changes minds, it changes attitudes, it changes goals and directives, and it changes management and leadership. If you don’t like the way things are going, in your home, on your job, in your church, I dare you to pray, if you prayer stuff gets turned upside down, on purpose. God does a new thing; he breaks the bonds of the wicked. Try prayer, you find the answer, try prayer, with faith to guide you along the way, try prayer, the sun is shining, try prayer, on me each day, try prayer, I found the answer, I’ve, learned to pray. I’ll pray in the morning, I’ll pray at noon, I’ll pray as the sun goes down, every time I feel something, I drop my head and pray, you can pray anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Every time I feel the spirit moving in my heart I will pray.