The Hardest Day of the Week

from Jan 18, 2009 Category: Articles

[New] life begins to grow within, and just as in the case of pregnancy there is a period when a woman is not even aware that she is pregnant, so there can be the same thing spiritually. The life is there, but the person does not yet know what has happened. However, things are starting to change. The person is beginning to have an interest in spiritual things. He finds himself hungering for the Word of God. He reads it. He begins to feed upon it. Then, as the months go by (sometimes longer and sometimes shorter), there is the point in a service when someone may say, “If you want to receive Jesus as your Savior, put up your hand,” and so he puts up his hand and comes forward and the counselor says, “Well, now you’re born again.” That is indeed how it may seem, but actually he was alive when the Word did its work. It is just that now the birth has taken place. This is what makes preaching so exciting! The hardest day of the week for me is Sunday. It is also the best day of the week. The thing that makes it the best is that I never know what is going to happen. I come to church. I do not know who is going to be there. I preach. I do not know all the problems of the people I am preaching to. I know some of them, and I try to be as sensitive as I can, but one generally does not know the deep things in the heart. People sit and listen, each with his or her own problems, all at their own particular points along a line of spiritual pilgrimage. God takes the Word that is preached and speaks it to the heart, and afterward somebody will come up and say: “I don’t know how you knew it, but what you said was exactly the thing I needed to hear. How did you know it? Did somebody tell you about me? Somebody must have.” I also have had people get angry and say, “So-and-so told you about me and you were preaching at me.” I did not even know who they were, but the Holy Spirit has a way of applying the Word forcefully. That is the way He brings about conversions.

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Quoted in Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching. 2nd edition, 2008 by Reformation Trust Publishing, an imprint of Ligonier Ministries. Available here.