Saturday, December 05, 2009

Luke #67 – The World Was His Pulpit

Luke #67 – The World Was His Pulpit
“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship (Luke 5:1-3 – King James Version).

Recently my wife and I were talking to an old friend, Bob McLaughlin, at our neighborhood swimming hole. I met Care at the pool after going to the grocery store, a chore that Care particularly hates. The baby went with me and Katie Ruth went with her mom to the pool. Bob said, “Care, stop being so rough on your husband.” My extremely good-natured wife was puzzled, saying, “Bob, what are you talking about?” “Well,” Bob continued, “you get to go to the pool while Tim takes the baby to the grocery store. I already know he does all the cooking in the house. Give the boy a break!” I was laughing my head off by this point. Care, without missing a beat, said, “Bob, all that may be true, but I have to listen to Tim preach everyday!” Knowing my penchant for a soapbox and a sermon, Bob said, “Yep, didn’t think of that…that does change everything…Tim should do more since you have to listen to him all the time!”

The night before this incident I went fishing with my brother and nephew, David and Travis. We were on a pontoon in the middle of the night, in the middle of McGhee’s Mill; we had played several games such as naming songs with certain words in the title (always a good thing to do while waiting for catfish to bite!). We began playing another game; we started telling Bible stories. The rules were simple: tell the story from memory and in our own words. Things like this sharpen our ability to share BIG truths from the word of God in ways that are easily grasped. I was with a group of teenagers once, doing the same thing, at a bunch of picnic tables. Afterwards, one young lady said, “I didn’t know I knew so much about the Bible!” Most of us would be surprised by how much of the Word is implanted over the years; we might not even begin to understand how much is there until we begin letting it out. Sharing sharpens.

I think it is totally amazing that Jesus was always ready to teach people; lead them in understanding God’s word. The entire world was His pulpit! Jesus did not need just the right circumstance, the right time, or the right place. Everywhere He went He was ready to preach and teach. He taught in the local worship halls, on hillsides, in the street, or beside (and IN) a lake. We would do well to emulate Christ in this!

Sometimes I do my greatest preaching in Wal-Mart. Being a local boy, I see tons of people I know when I shop, or at the swimming pool, as I fish, when I go to ball games, or wherever I am in and around town. How will people know about the love and plan of God unless someone tells them (Romans 10:13-15)? I want to be ready in season and out; ready at all times to share God’s word with people, that as I go along, folks may be helped and changed (2 Timothy 4:2; Galatians 6:9). I notice too that Jesus didn’t need to get into or out of priestly robes to share God’s word. One moment He was teaching and preaching and the next He was fishing (verses 3 and 4). Nothing interrupted Him; He went about His day and every moment was an opportunity to share God’s messages of salvation and judgment. He was always ready! Can we say that we are following His lead in this?

I don’t just hope it will happen, that I get to share; I pray it happens! I prepare; I constantly read and study Scripture. I often preach to the empty walls of my house so that I will be ready to preach to people. I tell Care all the time that I am going to make a pulpit with wheels so I can roll it all over the house practicing my preaching. Care hears more sermons than anyone, but she is helping me prepare and we are growing together. Sharing sharpens.

Friend, the devotional thought for today is simple: don’t wait for the right place, time, or circumstance to share God’s word. Don’t think that you’ve got to do it at church only. Don’t think that you can’t share in Wal-Mart while wearing shorts and flip-flops or at your work place wearing a polo shirt or work boots. The thing we need to do is be prepared. Study and share; both sharpen. The world was Jesus’ pulpit…everywhere He was and went…can we say the same?

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