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So, I preached for the third time ever yesterday…

I chose for my text Matthew 11:27-30.  Jesus says,

27″All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My preparation time was fantastic.  Unpacking and learning the comforting, encouraging and convicting truths in this section of Scripture was exhilarating, to say the least.  Somehow though, it seemed as if I was not able to adequately communicate, teach and urge these words on our people in a way that, at least I thought, was satisfactory.  Perhaps this is the experience of most preachers?  I wonder.  Regardless, the body was gracious to provide encouraging feedback.  I know anything we do in ministry is not ultimately for the praise of men.  For we serve an “audience of one”, as my wife reminds me.

I found this snippet from the life of great Puritan preacher and author John Bunyan to describe perfectly the struggle I have with feedback after a sermon –

Once, when told he had preached a grand sermon, John Bunyan replied, “Oh, you have no need to tell me that, for the devil whispered it to me before I was well out of the pulpit.”

Lord, please bury your precious and powerful word deep into the hearts of your people.  May it not return void, as you’ve promised.  And may you crush any thoughts of pride from those who deliver your Word to your people.  Both for your glory.  Amen.