Tuesday, 30 November 2010

"If the word do not dwell with power in us..."

A preacher cannot faithfully preach to others who has not first preached to himself. If we who are preachers are not feeding ourselves on the glorious truths of Scripture, then we shall be in no place to feed others. This is a conviction that John Owen held deeply, and which shaped his life and ministry. We would do well to listen to what he says:
A man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul. And he that doth not feed on and thrive in the digestion of the food which he provides for others will scarce make it savoury unto them; yea, he knows not but the food he hath provided may be poison, unless he have really tasted of it himself. If the word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us. (Works, XVI, p. 76.)
May we, who have the immense privelege and responsibility for feeding others through the preaching and teaching of God's word, not dare teach others before we have taught ourselves. May we be pressing home and applying the words of Scripture deeply to our own hearts before we do the same for others.