Every week ministry is filled and enriched by God’s grace. No matter what kind of week it has been, grace has been sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) and overflowing (2 Corinthians 9:8). Here’s another peek into some of the grace coupons I clipped in recent days.
COUPON #1: COUPLES’ ADVANCE
Several years ago, I attended my first Men’s Prayer Advance, and I have never been the same since. The MPA is the highlight conference for me each year. Last week, my wife and I attended our first Couples Advance. The fact that is was held in Pigeon Forge, TN, made the event that much sweeter! How we love East Tennessee and the Smokies! More importantly, how wonderful to come apart for three days and intentionally work on our marriage by the grace of God. This past June we celebrated our 35th Anniversary, and we both love the gift of marriage and love being married! Seriously, sometimes I feel like we are still on our honeymoon. But, because we are two sinners saved by grace (Ephesians 2:1-9) and accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), we need the searchlight of God’s Word to show where we must grow and change to be more like Christ (Ephesians 5:18-33). Of course, the Word works (Hebrews 4:12)! What a blessing to get honest with God and each other. The marriage triangle says it all:
COUPON #2: PREACHING THROUGH REVELATION
He that can toy with his ministry and count it to be like a trade, or like any other profession, was never called of God. But he that has a charge pressing on his heart, and a woe ringing in his ear, and preaches as though he heard the cried of hell behind him, and saw his God looking down on him–oh, how that man entreats the Lord that his hearers may not hear in vain! – Charles Spurgeon
Preparing to preach from this awesome book every Sunday takes considerable time, prayer, and digging. To mine out the truths and deliver them without a sensational spin as well as be true to the text is a chore but a delightful one. I often think of a line from the movie, Sheffey, when he preaches his first sermon and runs out of the church in fear. Shed McCombs, in the face of Sheffey’s protests and not willing to let him quit, declares, “Tis a fearful thing to preach the Word of God!” Indeed it is, but I must say, how grateful to be grace-enabled to preach Revelation in these last days!