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why I love preaching, part three

In Proverbs 29:18, the King James Version of the Bible reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish …”

Everybody needs to have a living, breathing vision inside of them.  Your kids need your help to see their own potential.  Students need a teacher to birth a vision within them of what can be.  Adults can navigate tremendous obstacles when compelled by a compelling vision.

Helping people see God’s vision for their lives is another reason I love preaching.

As humans, we are confronted with the realities of living in a fallen world.  It’s not just “them” that need help; it’s me.  Long after he had penned the words to “Amazing Grace,” John Newton reflected: “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”

While it’s true that biblical preaching shines a light on our sinfulness, it also reminds people that it is not God’s intent that we stay in the darkness.  Biblical preaching brings together the present picture of brokenness with the vision of what is possible when a life is yielded to God.

Many of us have sat through sermons that reminded us we are great sinners without ever getting to the part about Jesus being a great Savior.  On the other hand, it is an injustice to grace to preach only of God’s goodness while bypassing our own sinfulness (Titus 2:11-12).

What a gospel-centered message offers is a “come as you are” invitation combined with the immeasurable power of God to change a life.  It is an amazing thing to stand before an audience of broken people and hold out hope for a better way.

I love preaching because I love seeing God’s vision birthed inside of people and churches.  Ordinary men and women — as well as ordinary churches — are capable of doing extraordinary things when God’s vision for their life gets into their heart.