Psalm 119:161b NKJV - …My heart stands in awe of Your word.
AWE: An overwhelming feeling of reverential respect or admiration mixed with fear or wonder.
1 Corinthians 1:21-24 NIV - For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Do you find it interesting that God chose the “foolishness” of preaching His message to persuade and save people from the coming judgment? How often do people in our society consider Christian preaching to be an obstacle or foolish? As opposed to simply doing “lifestyle evangelism”, we are called by God to respect and expect preaching to be a chief delivery system for His saving truth. If this is the case, how important is accurate Bible preaching in the lives and hearts of men?
1 Corinthians 14:25 NLT - As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
Spiritually-gifted communication in church gatherings goes beyond mere skill. There is nothing wrong with being a skilled public speaker, but there should be a supernatural element beyond skill alone that should leave us in awe of the preached word of God. When this prophetic gift is active in preaching, guests often have their secret thoughts exposed from the pulpit - but not in a humiliating way. Instead, there is a holy awe that is provoked because they know that the speaker had absolutely no idea what was occurring in their lives and minds. Most of us who have experienced this prophetic preaching can recall the sense of deep awe we felt over the fact that God was truly among us, revealing our lives in a way that left us wanting more. More of that awe. More of that assurance that God singled us our for care and concern, often without the preacher realizing what had been communicated. It’s also why participation in a church gathering should never be substituted by simply listening to or watching preaching online, on the radio, or on TV. Those may be fine supplements that contain valuable insights and prophetic grace, but nothing replaces being physically present and emotionally engaged in a gathering where the word of God is being preached. God designed humanity in general and His church in particular for connection and community, especially when the word unites a local assembly.
Do you recall times in which the preaching of the word of God exposed your secret thoughts and left you in awe of God? Do you recall times when your own words of witnessing or encouragement for others exposed their secret thoughts and left them in awe of God? What happens to your level of awe in God the more often you proclaim Jesus and your God-story to others?
2 Timothy 4:2-5 NIV - Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.