Another "Strengthener-Witherer" - Part Two
I want to first establish the principle that when a speaker speaks, you don't hear all he says. That's why it's worthwhile to preach the same sermon over in a different way. A preacher's job is somewhat like that of a writer of a musical comedy or a popular song. He has to say the same thing over in fifty thousand ways. Many of the popular songs follow this pattern: boy meets girl-I love you-there's trouble-now the trouble's over-you're back-we love each other. Just as they have to say this over in fifty thousand different popular songs, so we have to say the divine truths over and over again always showing with a different facet of the same diamond. But we have it a little easier than they do because divine love has so much more than human love.
You see, when people are talking, it's so easy to leave the room with your mind and not hear a part of what is being said. One Sunday morning after I had preached a sermon one of our members, a very thoughtful man, came to me and said, "I don't think you were logical. You said this and then you said this-and these two things just don't follow."
I said to him, "But in between I said this and this."
"No you didn't."
"I pulled out my notes and said, "Remember when I said that?"
"What about that?"
He said, "I didn't hear that." I said, "And this?'
He said, "I didn't hear that either."
I looked back up above to ask him what was the last thing he had heard. Then he interrupted me-"Oh, yes, I remember! When you said so and so, I began to think about it because it was a new thought to me."
I said, "While you were thinking about that point 2--I was going through points 3 and 4, and you shook your head and came back into the sermon at point 5."
Now this is possible and it is exactly what happened here in John 13:33. Jesus said, "I'm going to leave you," and the disciples' first reaction was terrified amazement! Then as Jesus talks and talks and talks, Peter comes back into the room and asks, "Lord, why can't we go where you are going? What are you going to do? What do you mean?"
I could give you an analogy. Some of you have little children. You all know what happens on those nights when you've got the babysitter coming and you are getting ready to go out for an evening. Mother puts eighteen-month-old junior to bed quickly tonight. "Now, junior," she says, "Be good ... stop crying ... eat your dinner ... get going. .." Then when mother suddenly comes around and warns, "Don't touch me--I'm all made up!" Junior begins to recognize that something is happening!
He sees Mother putting on her gloves and hat and hears her wishing out loud for that babysitter to arrive so they won't be late.
All of a sudden the doorbell rings and in comes Miss Baby Sitter. "Now junior," says Mother, "she's a lovely lady, and..."
"Waa! Waa!" Junior interrupts.
"But junior," says Mom, "she's nice. You should have as much confidence in her in ten seconds as you've learned to have in me for eighteen months!"
It doesn't work that way, does it?
Now this is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ was saying. "I am going to leave you and the Holy Spirit is coming as the divine babysitter.
"Waa! Waa!" cried the disciples. "We don't know anything about that!"
"Let not your heart be troubled," replied Jesus, 'Believe in God, believe also in me...."
With this in mind, we can go back to our text in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter." The Lord has just announced that He is going to leave. And He says, "While I am gone the love that I bring into your heart is to direct you."
What is to be the fuel on which our Christian life travels? What is to be the oil which keeps the motor lubricated? What is the source of everything that we have and do? It is the love of Christ constraining us.
- How does the command to not bear false witness teach us to be better listeners?
- What must the Christian do in order to hear the voice of Christ?
- Are the ideas of hearing God’s word and obedience similar? Explain your answer.
Being honest is hard discipline when it comes to reading scripture. This week while reading the word of God and listen for Christ’s voice.
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