“…fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, …” Colossians 1:25b-28a
Nothing burns in the soul of man quite like holding onto a secret. The urge to splurge is relentless, and all consuming. Women usually get a bad rap as gossips, but anyone who has ever been around preachers knows they can sing like a canary, “I Love To Tell the Story,” with or without permission.
“I’ve Got A Secret” was a 1950’s family show, and I recall viewing it on our black and white TV set. The very title was provocative. There is something seductive about someone who is filled with a secret, and can’t wait to spill it. The mystery of The Gospel is not a secret to hold, but good news to share about Jesus.
Paul preached like a man on fire with the mystery of God’s love for the Gentiles. He never got over God’s amazing grace poured out on him in such a lavish fashion, and how God spilled out His grace onto The Gentiles.
Raised as a Pharisee, Paul likely woke up every morning thanking God he was born a man, a Jew, but not a woman. Gods’ grace had been held hostage for centuries. Prideful people chose not to share it with others.
After Paul encountered Jesus on the Road to Damascus, he graduated from the School of The Desert, and became a man enflamed and on mission. The redemption story began as a “Light unto the Gentiles.” Paul had seen The Light and he was a humbler man for it.
Paul considered himself to be the worst of sinners and the least of men. When a preacher begins to think of himself as the best of men and the least of sinners it limits the preaching of the secret. Making The Gospel difficult for people to understand or impossible to accept is not preaching the secret. It is hiding it.
Confused preaching calls people to “Stand Up for Jesus” but adds the disclaimer, “But not so fast.” There are enough enemy obstacles in the grace race without firing an unloaded gun at the starting line.
Preachers “fully carry out the preaching of the word of God” when they can say, “We proclaim Him.” Paul didn’t hold onto the secret, as if people were trying to steal something that wasn’t made for them. Paul shouted the message of Jesus in the streets. Jesus was not a secret to be hoarded with an elitist motto of, “Us Four and No More.” Paul’s message was, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Jesus still is.
Paul fully preached the word of God. He was so full of the word of God there was no room for anything else. When the enemy tried to jostle him or knock him down, the word of God spilled out of him. He was an educated man, and a saturated man, filled to the brim and overflowing with nothing else but God’s direction, and correction. He was not a man of many philosophies or personal opinions. He was full of God’s word.
"The word of God is the food by which prayer is nourished and made strong." E. M. Bounds
Note to self: Pray like Jesus. Preach like Paul. Get over yourself. This is not some steep mountain to climb. Getting over yourself begins with stepping on the molehill you have named in your honor. Preach Jesus!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the powerful 19th Century English pastor was honored as “The Prince of Preachers.” He was eloquent and effective at calling people to Jesus. He held preaching in great esteem, but he placed his highest evaluation on the call to pray.
“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” Charles Spurgeon
Prayer prepares a preacher to declare, announce, publish, proclaim Jesus as the best kept secret to people who need good news in the worst way. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!