Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 30 years. As the founding pastor of the Time For Truth Ministries, his desire is to see a true Biblical New Testament church in our modern days, founded on the love of the brethren, and has labored to that end through times of blessing and adversity.
Whom Do Men Say That I Am? part 10
Saturday August 18, 2018
INTERESTING FACTS : "With their doctrine they build, and with their lives they destroy." - Augustine
DAILY READING : Jeremiah 23-25
TEXT : Jeremiah 23:21-22 "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings."
Jeremiah 25:3-7 "From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt."
TRUTH FOR TODAY : True Preaching
Because of time constraints I'm going to have to keep today's devotion short, and it pains me because this is a subject I would love to spend some time on.
God, over and over throughout the Scriptures warns about and condemns false prophets. He holds us, as listeners, responsible for making sure that the preachers we're subjecting ourselves to are true preachers - that they stand up to the measure of the Word. There are a ton of different kinds of preachers out there.
There's the inspirational speaker/life coach/psychologist preacher, who pulls philosophy out of the Bible and talks about how you can improve yourself and be happier. They want you to fell good about yourself and to feel like you're on cloud 9 every day.
There's the faith and prosperity preachers who also want you to focus on the here and now and turn faith into something that's mystical and magical like fairy dust that can be sprinkled on any situation. It's about being wealthy and prosperous in this life and having everything we lay claim to.
Then there's the nominal preacher. He tells you a few good jokes on Sunday and a few good stories. He reads from the Bible and talks about heaven, but there's nothing behind it. On Monday through Saturday you can probably get him to speak with more interest, enthusiasm and conviction on any other subject (sports, hobbies, politics, etc) than he does eternal things on Sunday.
The list could go on but the fact of the matter is finding a good preacher can be hard. In the verses above we see that one of the signs of a good preacher is that they speak the truth about God - even if that truth is not pleasant. True preachers can see the fruit of repentance in those they preach to. Those listening aren't just sitting in the pew and trying to improve and better themselves in some cosmic self help kind of way. But they are made converts and as they grow in the Word of God are led again and again to repentance and a turning away of the things that grieve God, and towards holiness.
In an age where preachers are in abundance on the television, the radio and even in our neighborhoods, let be sure that the ones we give our attention to are students of the word, and not of worldly fads. Let's make sure the ones we're sitting under aren't trying to make us good, but make us godly.