Monday, January 19, 2009

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (Eat Your Veggies, Avoid the Junk Food... Spiritually Speaking)

“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” –1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

There is a crisis in the pulpits of the Church today. Where have all the good preachers gone? Not the popular ones, not the ones with big churches, not the ones having an impact on culture. Good ones are out there, of course. They are just hard to find sometimes because churches crave junk preaching like we all crave junk food. We want sermons that make us feel good; that tell us how good we are and how we can have better (read happier) lives.

Paul gives a couple instructions for believers concerning preaching. First of all… rejecting the true word of God affects God’s presence in our lives. We don’t simply go to church to worship God; the message we are there to hear is vitally important. God’s word, while good for us, often does not taste very good. When we encounter God’s word, we see the areas in our lives that need changing, and change hurts.

Secondly, we are to be active listeners. Not only to hear what is said and apply it, but to examine what is said every week. When was the last time you examined the sermon you heard on Sunday against the Scripture to see if it was good teaching or not?

In this passage, when Paul exhorts believers to cling to good and abstain from evil, he is referring to the preaching we hear—not our behavior. Hold on to the good sermons, throw out the fluff. Sounds like it is time for everyone to go buy a notebook and start taking notes on Sunday… class is in session.

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