Prepare to Preach

by: John Bair

The Kingdom of God is going to be established on this earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6) and Jesus, after returning, will be King of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14).

According to Revelation 5 verse 10, we, the saints, are to be kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth with Jesus Christ. Now we all know that kings rule and priests teach. Since this is our future part in the Kingdom of God it would behoove us to become more effective teachers.

Now Iíd like to point out how to be a more believable and therefore a more effective teacher.

This is where it gets more personal for each of us to be able to see a good purpose in our trials.

Seeing A Good Purpose in Our Trials

The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1 verses 3 through 7, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation."

In this passage Paul uses the word "comfort" 10 times (#3874 & 3875). This comes from the same Greek word as is used in John 14:16 for "the comforter" (#3870). That Greek word is "para kletos" and is defined as "one who stands beside" or "advocate" such as a lawyer who goes to trial with you to defend you.

In this verse we can now see a good purpose for our trials, to teach us to empathize with others. You become more believable when you share the lesson youíve learned from your own personal trials and mistakes. And, in fact, thatís the reason we go through them.

According to 1 Peter 4:12-13, Peter says, "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christís sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

Notice that this Scripture tells us to rejoice which, of course, would also go along with Romans 8 verse 28, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

In Philippians 4 verse 11, Paul tells us, "He learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. "

Why? Because people are watching and actions speak louder than words.

After all itís not how much we know, but what we do with what we do know.

This point is brought out in Acts 16 and verse 25 through verse 28. In this account Paul and Silas had just been beaten and thrown into prison for casting a demon out of a slave girl! At midnight they were praying and singing hymns. The other prisoners were listening, then a great earthquake opened all the prison doors, yet no one ran off! Just imagine what the other prisoners thought!

Bob Harris Posts

The following is a post by a man named Bob Harris on a Parkinsonís Blog. He has had Parkinsonís for around 13 years. Itís considered a terminal illness with an average life expectancy of around 15 years.

The following are some excerpts form posts on Bob Harrisí Parkinsonís Blog.

I am not My Body

The apostle Paul says in, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4, "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life."

Peter says in 2 Peter 1:13-15, "Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease."

What is interesting to note is the Ďtentí comparison with the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast is the only one that actually has a reason listed.

Notice in Leviticus 23 verse 43, "That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.í"

Note the symbolism. Where were they? In the wilderness (this world), 40 years (Number of trial). What were the "booths"? Temporary dwellings like a tent! The land of Canaan then would be the Kingdom of God. They werenít there yet!

So realizing that you are in a temporary body (tent) helps us to long for the Kingdom of God when we will no longer be subject to corruption.

Feeling Frustrated Doesnít Make Anything Better

Notice what Jesus says in Matthew 6 verses 25-27, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"

But getting upset over any thing doesnít make a difference so why bother to get upset.

Donít Take Anything for Granted

"Everything you can still do is a blessing. In fact, I see every good thing as a distinct blessing, not an entitlement."

Have More Compassion for the Handicapped

"We canít fully understand what others are going through unless we ourselves have been through the same situation." This is what makes us believable teachers.

Thereís No "Why Me?" Here

When something bad happens most people say "why me?" When the real question is "why not?" Because youíre special?

The apostle Paul declares in his epistle, 2 Corinthians 10 verse 12, "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

We Canít Predict the Future

"Only God can see the future and of the hundred things we might worry about, only one or two may ever happen, but all hundred will hurt you through the stress."

Notice what Jesus said about the future in Matthew 6 verse 34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Iím More Aware of My Own Mortality

Being aware of your limited time frame is a good thing! I have the opportunity to do some planning, thinking and communing with my Maker!

Letís notice what the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 9 verse 27, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."

Letís notice how the apostle Paul tells us that we are to redeem our time in Ephesians 5 verse 16, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

I Still Have Hope

"Life itself is a terminal disease but we have hope in God who made us, owns us and can unplug us whenever he wants."

Let see what Paul has to say about this in 1 Corinthians 15 verse 17, "If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! {18} Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. {19} If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. {20} But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

My Experience

Iím going to relate my own experience of others having empathy for me, and how much that meant to me.

My wife Helen & I had just finished shopping at a Wal-Mart and were walking out when a man came up to me and said, "I noticed you appear to have Parkinsonís, I just wanted to let you know: I will be praying for you." I had noticed He also seemed to have a tremor. And as He turned around and left I was very touched that someone would notice the difficulties I was going through and say a word of encouragement. I was going to say that I was "speechless", but I know you guys that know me wouldnít believe that. But that should be our response when we see others going through something we have also endured, to encourage them to trust God, to remain faithful and to wait for Godís Kingdom.

My Lesson of the Lawnmower

Last year was a difficult Feast of Tabernacles for me personally and I thought Iíd relate what I learned from the accident I had just prior to the feast. I refer to it as "My Lesson of the Lawnmower". As I found myself underneath an overturned, heavy riding lawnmower, with billows of gas fumes coming off the hot engine block, I thought "If thereís a spark, I am toast". That must have added some extra adrenalin as I was able to squeeze out from under the lawnmower with a fractured L1 vertebra and pelvis. As I pondered on why it happened I realized it was my own impatience that led to that accident. I had driven around the steep backside of my cellar house, and was in some gravel by the edge of the road. As the mower started to sling gravel I quickly pushed in the clutch and put it in reverse. But when I let the clutch out it just sat there, slinging gravel. I thought, "Well of all the nerve!" So I quickly pushed in the clutch slapped the speed lever all the way and popped the clutch. This time it reacted so fast I couldnít react fast enough to avoid a rollover.

But what would I have learned if I had died. In that, I saw how much God loves me because that was a lesson I needed to learn.

Summed up as: "John be patient or you may be a patient."

In Conclusion: The Feast of Tabernacles pictures a time when we, who are in training now, will use the lessons weíve learned to teach Godís way of righteousness to a traumatized world.

The prophet Isaiah records the following in Isaiah 30 verses 20 and 21, "And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left."

In this we can see how very important our training is at this time: to make us more empathetic and thereby we become a more believable and effective teacher.

Written by John Bair