One of the greatest gifts that my church provides for me are the time and funds to pursue continued intellectual and spiritual growth. That commitment allowed Susan and I to spend the last few days in Florida at The Gospel Coalition National Conference, taking in excellent teaching about Jesus and his mission as displayed in the Gospel according to Luke. After a very full season of ministry - which means a great amount of pouring out - it was good (and necessary) to have a brief time away to allow someone else to pour into us. That happened through some time with friends we rarely see, and rich, deep, Jesus-entranced teaching at the conference.
But now we are back. And I am excited to say, Sunday is coming. It will once again be my privilege to enter the pulpit at Calvary and proclaim the excellencies of my Savior and King, Jesus Christ. Here is how Martyn Lloyd-Jones described the preaching moment:
Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in vital and radical manner. (HT: GirlTalk)
I believe the only way preaching makes "such a difference" that the person listening "is never the same again" is if that preaching exalts in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is what I try to do, and who I try to point to every Sunday. I'll take us to him again this Sunday in the story of Simon and a sinful woman.
It was good to be away, and experience personally the transformative power of seeing Jesus in Luke's story.
But it is so good to be home, to help our people see him, freshly, again.