This week I’ve been pondering the grains that run through all biblical literature. Recurring themes in the poetic books, traceable motifs in narrative books and unifying melodies in the discourse sections. Some of these are limited to a section, others to a particular writer, and in a broader sense they can be traced across the canon as a whole.
So here’s the point for today. How do we get to know these themes, motifs and melodies? Some commentaries and books will prove helpful. Seminary notes might be worth looking at again. But the bottom line is kind of simple – we need to be reading the Bible.
That seems like too obvious a thought to be worthy of a post, doesn’t it? Well, sadly I suspect there are many preachers who may study slices to preach them, but don’t have an appetite for the Word as a whole. Everyone is impoverished as a result.
Personal spirituality becomes ritualistic or moralistic, study becomes burdensome, ministry becomes draining, sermons become shallow and often anthropocentric (person focused – what to do, how to live, instructions, commands, guilt…)
Our preaching should come from the overflow of a personal delight in the God who reveals Himself in His Word. It may be a bit simplistic, but I’ll stand by the statement – unless we get into the Word the church will be gasping for “divines,” people who know God and speak out of the overflow of a heart filled. A church wanting for true spirituality will ultimately be shrivelled to the core, no matter how many programs, no matter how practical the teaching may be.
Let me invite you back into God’s Word.