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Motivation To Preach

November 1, 2007

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Street Preaching In Ghana, West Africa 1970

The marching orders of the Lord, or the “Great Commission” as we termed it, was given much more of a priority when I was growing up. I can remember when missionaries came to town they were given opportunities to speak and tell of their work. As a young boy I looked up to these servants of the Lord, and their challenges took hold of my heart at an early age. This coupled with the encouragement of the minister in my home congregation led me to the decision to become a minister. After preaching locally in Tennessee for a couple years I felt that I had to preach in a mission field. So at the ripe old age of 24 Barb and I began our first full time work in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, a northeast mission field.

 

Among the numerous reasons for the church’s lack of growth today I would list the lack of encouragement and exposure to the importance of preaching, and the urgency of the “Great Commission”. Seldom today do you have the opportunity to hear a missionary speak of their work. Young men today are encourage to make many career choices, but seldom are they encourage to devote their lives to preaching the Gospel of Christ.

 

I realize that part of the reason for this is the way preachers have been treated through the years. The horror stories are many. Another reason is that our tribe has no central control or headquarters, that provide a retirement program for their ministers. At the same time most ministers are not paid enough to provide their own. There is not much financial security in ministry with our tribe.

I guess all this says that there has to be a greater motivation to preach than financial security, and recognition in this life. And maybe that is the way it should be. As I look back on the lives that have been transformed by the message of Jesus that was preached and the lives that are now being touched by those who were transformed; that is wealth you can’t see in a bank account or spend at the Mall, but it is so very valuable.

One day in glory we will see the true value of the investments we have made during our life time. Only those that transcend time will really matter then. So if you are a minister of the Gospel…preach on brother! And while you are at it, allow a missionary to speak, take a young man aside and let him know that you believe in him and his abilities. Tell a young lady, as I did a number of years ago, you are going to grow up and become a missionary. LaJuana along with her husband Eddison have raised four beautiful children and have served as missionaries in Belo Horizonte, Brazil for over 20 years. She often reminds me of what I told her.

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I have always loved Isa. 6:1-8. Isaiah describes the throne room of God. His first reaction was to exclaimed, “I am doomed”. His sin so prevalent in contrast to the presence of God would surely cause Him to be destroyed. But the Angel comes and touches his lips with a hot coal and pronounces that his sins are forgiven. Then comes the question from the throne, “Whom shall I send”. Isaiah now cleansed and filled with gratitude says, “Here am I, send me.” May our gratitude send us into our mission field as well.

 

November 2, 2007 Let me encouage you to read the following article at the Christian Chronicle

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2 comments

  1. Lee, What a good article. As they say, God only had one Son and he was a minister so it can’t be all bad. It is rewarding when we look back over the years and see what God was able to do through us. (Just like the note you sent about Jenny Becker.) Eric, our son, is a third year Bible major. Trying to anticipate the future, it was a little tempting to encourage him to choose some other course of study. But looking back at what has been accomplihed I know he will be a blessing to many. Love, Dennis


  2. Thanks Dennis for your thoughts. I know of many lives that have been toughed for the cause of Christ because you and Fredia were willing to be used by the Father. I will be for ever grateful for the years we worked together in Michigan. I know Eric will do much for the Kingdom as well, and that the Lord will show him the way.



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