It seems to me that one might well single out freshness of spiritual experience as the first indispensable quality of the effective preacher. No amount of homiletical technique can compensate for the absence of a close personal walk with God. Unless he puts a new song in our mouth, even the most polished sermons will lack the sparkle of authenticity
There is no greater need for the preacher than that he should know God.
I care not about his lack of eloquence and artistry, about his ill-constructed discourse or his poorly-enunciated message, if only it is evident that God is a reality to him and that he has learned to abide in Christ.
The preparation of the heart is of far greater importance than the preparation of the sermon.
The preacher's words, however clear and forceful, will not ring true unless he speaks from conviction born of experience.
I have been alarmed this year by how much Halloween is being ‘celebrated’
Houses, shops, and other public places decorated with displays of all kinds of material to mark this evil occasion.
How as believers in the Lord Jesus we need this timely reminder from the late John Stott that 'Jesus is Lord'
The two-word affirmation *Kyrios Iesous* [Jesus is Lord] sounded pretty harmless at first hearing. But it has far- reaching ramifications. Not only does it express our conviction that he is God and Saviour, but it also indicates our radical commitment to him.
The dimensions of this commitment are intellectual (bringing our minds under Christ's yoke), moral (accepting his standards and obeying his commands), vocational (spending our lives in his liberating service), social (seeking to penetrate society with his values), political(refusing to idolize any human institution) and global (being jealous for the honour and glory of his name).
We are sure that you would wish to be among the first to know that today 27 July 2011 at 3.15pm ( UK time), John Stott went to be with the Lord.
Close family and friends were with him during the morning, and they listened together with him to selections from Handel’s Messiah, including “I know that my Redeemer liveth”, and read through 2 Timothy. He died very peacefully during the afternoon. He had become very weak and weary in recent months and we thank God for a merciful and peaceful ending to his earthly pilgrimage. John Stott reached the great age of 90 in April this year. During his lifetime, he became known worldwide for the clarity, faithfulness and relevance of his writing and preaching, combined with extraordinary integrity and humility. A man of remarkable global vision and strategic insight, he was instrumental in the establishment of many thriving Christian agencies. Countless people around the world can testify to the personal encouragement they have received from ‘Uncle John’. His ministry took him to every corner of the globe, whilst all the time remaining pastor and eventually Rector Emeritus of just one church – All Souls, Langham Place , London . As the Founder and Honorary President of the Langham Partnership International, he will be remembered as a tireless advocate and friend of the churches in the majority world, demonstrating his concern for their well-being through the provision of literature, the support of younger leaders, faculty development of evangelical seminaries, and the training of pastors and preachers. In honour of his memory, a memorial web site has been set up in thankful recognition of all that John Stott did to serve the church and to further the cause of God’s Kingdom. The site contains many biographical details of John Stott’s life, ministry and writing, photographs, a remembrance book, and ways in which you can respond to the event. This website will also publish, in due course, details of memorial services in different parts of the world. We are sure you will appreciate visiting this site, www.johnstottmemorial.org. Please join us in praying that the Lord, who has now called his good and faithful servant John home to his rest and reward, may continue to bless with increasing fruitfulness all the ministries that have sprung from his vision and leadership.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people
God loving ... God giving
Justification is a gift of God's sheer grace, not a reward for any merit or works of ours. For God's 'grace' is his spontaneous generosity, his free and unmerited favour, his gracious kindness to the undeserving. Grace is God loving, God stooping, God coming, God giving.
--From 'The Messenger and God: Studies in Romans 1-5', in "Believing and Obeying Jesus Christ", ed. J. W. Alexander (Downers Grove: IVP, 1980), p. 69.
---------------------------------------------------- --Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 170, by permission of InterVarsity Press.