Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First and First

I’ve done it, mission accomplished! From Genesis through Revelation, read by me over 18 months. My first time, completed just yesterday. Yet it is not my glory but God’s, for I did not accomplish this alone but with his help and those he sent to encourage me along the way. I had tried so many times before but I think God saw that I was ready now to receive all of his word.

As I write to tell you of this triumph, God is speaking to me. He’s revealing to me what the real battle was and what is in the victory of having completed the reading of his word. I am overwhelmed with awe this very moment as I write these words. I’d like to share with you what he’s told me but at a later date. I need some time to soak it all in.

Reading through the Bible is one first; the second is that last night I gave my first sermon. Our BS leader is taking us through a preaching class and so we are to prepare sermons and present them in front of each other. It’s very interesting stuff. Seven people heard my first sermon! I have a lot to work on but it’s fun.

Reading through the Bible for the first time and giving a sermon brings a few things together for me. I’m sensing that they were completed in the same day for a reason.

Having read the Bible, I have a different confidence in it and in my relationship with God. I sense that I am different person than I was the day before. I think I might have just reached a new level of maturity in my faith. 2008 was about learning to trust God through constant prayer. Perhaps my plan of finishing the read-through by the end of 2008 would have been taking on too much for me. God knew I needed to learn to trust him first and take more time with the Word.

And the confidence I gained from reading his Word helped me in my confidence to give a sermon. I felt God telling me, “Go ahead, you know what it says. I’ll show you my words that you will need.” One of the criteria for a good sermon is biblical accuracy. I was most concerned about the accuracy. It is the perfect word of God. Who am I? I was amazed that I scored on the upper end for accuracy, but why should I be amazed when I had the help of God. God is faithful not only to his word that is written, but his word that he speaks to us today.

Another thing: I did not give the sermon I wanted to give. I have had several subjects on my mind for months now. I thought I would talk about one of those but God put something else on my mind for last night. I gave the sermon that God gave me.

I’d like to give another sermon! However, I shall wait to see what God has for me.

Mahalo for reading!