Wednesday, March 18, 2009

James MacDonald: Exalting Grace?

On sharing that preaching is not what we preach, but who we preach. MacDonald then openly confessed:

I have to acknowledge that this has been a point of growth for me. Early on in my own ministry, I thought, Well, it just needs to be Word centered. Aren't you glad this is a place where I am growing too? And several years ago, a lady who used to sit over in this section, wrote me a letter. It wasn't the nicest letter I've received, but I needed to hear what she said. I had just preached on a passage, I think it was in Titus, and I was talking about the roles of men and women. And I said, This is how a woman is to participate in the leadership of the home. This is the role that God has appointed for a man. I challenged people and called them to that and then closed in prayer. And she wrote me a letter and said, You know, James, I could have heard that same message in a mosque. I could have heard that same message in a synagogue. And I don't remember her exact words, but her point was this: All roads in preaching lead to the cross. And at the end of the day, whatever the passage that were studying, there is no capacity to put that into practice without the life of Christ in me. And we're not just some horizontal do-good society. We're people with God's Word. But listen, the fuel to do what it says is Jesus Christ, Himself! Romans chapter five says, "Having been enemies with God, we have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, and now, having been reconciled, we are being saved by His life." It's the life of Christ in us. And so I just committed myself at that point, that not a Sunday would ever go by, not a service would ever go by, when I wouldn't tell people about the God who loves them so much that He sent His Son. And if we would turn from our sin, and embrace Christ by faith, we could know God's forgiveness. God wants that message sended forth every time we open our mouths. And that is the focus of preaching.
I praise God for James humility to listen to this woman. It would have been easy for him to dismiss her as ignorant.

And I also praise God, that like James, Greenville Grace is a place where I am growing too!

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