Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
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Man of the Word

Man of the Word

June/Training for Mission

29 June 2010

The teacher wove the word. By his wisdom he made glosses clear. He fixed the Psalms, he made known the books of the Law...the books of Solomon, he followed them...he read mysteries and distributed the Scriptures among the schools...

- Dallan Forgaill, Amra Cholumb Chille (Irish, 6th century)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

- 2 Timothy 2.15

I've had occasion recently to peek in on a few of our television preachers, just to see the latest message which is being fed to the people of God. Of course, if you're on television, it's assumed you're a successful preacher, and the many admiring congregants in attendance would seem to support that view.

But the word I've heard preached from these men is not the Word of God, but some word designed to uplift, encourage, affirm, or otherwise make hearers feel good about believing in God. In many cases the Gospel itself is not even presented; in some, the name of Jesus comes at the end, as a kind of add on ("Have you prayed to receive Jesus? You can, you know, right now!")

You would not have heard such preaching from Columcille, nor from those he sent out into the fields of Europe to proclaim the Kingdom of God. But then, he wasn't trying to raise funds with his preaching, and those who sat under his teaching did not expect to attract adoring audiences to lap up their every word. Most likely they expected some kind of martyrdom for their pains. Many were not disappointed.

To preach the Word one must know the Word, love and live the Word, and have a passion for the Word that sets the priorities and will of God above everything else, even that which people might like to hear. Columcille preached this way, as did the other great saints of the Celtic revival. They endured hardship, want, and opposition as they preached, but they brought the light of Truth back to a dying continent. Today's celebrity preachers strike me as having a different agenda, and a much lower regard for the Word of God.

And what about us? Do we know and love the Word well enough to know when we're being misled?

Today in ReVision: Why They Hate Us

This Week's Download: Faithfulness in Ministry

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T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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