The past several months, I've studied Homiletics which is the science and art of preparing sermons and preaching it. Some people think that this study only benefits those who are called to be preachers. While it is essential for preachers, I find the course very useful for anyone who shares the Word of God. Every believer whom Jesus entrusted with the Great Commission, that is to preach the Gospel (death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ), will find this course beneficial. I would like to highlight what Gotquestions.org shared regarding Homiletics. It says, "The term homiletics comes from the word homily, which basically means “a sermon.” Those who study homiletics seek to improve their skill at communicating the gospel and other biblical topics. The discipline of homiletics falls under the umbrella of pastoral or practical theology. Preaching and, therefore, homiletics have always been associated with the pastor of a church. A pastor is sometimes referred to as the “preaching elder,” based on 1 Timothy 5:17. However, a study of homiletics can be beneficial to anyone who teaches the Word of God. Historically, homiletics has integrated biblical teaching and rhetoric (the art of speaking persuasively or for effect). However, theologian Karl Barth insisted that preaching has a different purpose from rhetoric; preaching does not rely on stylistic devices or tools of persuasion, so homiletic and rhetorical studies must be separate. Paul described his preaching as “not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Many take this to be Paul’s preference for plain, non-rhetorical discourse. However, there is no command against rhetoric in preaching. Paul himself waxed eloquent when it seemed the best way to communicate the truth, especially when he spoke at the Areopagus, the center of intellectual discussion in Athens, Greece (Acts 17). And Paul used rhetorical questions, asking, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14). Apollos was known for his excellence in speaking and persuasive words (Acts 18:24, 28). Applying the tools of rhetoric and a deep knowledge of the Bible are helpful to biblical preaching. Someone called to preach would do well “to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6), and homiletics is useful in that pursuit. It is a worthy study, but, at the same time, we must not forget that God can work through anyone, with or without formal training, to communicate Christ in everyday situations.
I am so grateful for the opportunity God gave me to go deeper in the study and communication of His Word. Gone were the days when I would pick passage/s in the Bible and share them without checking out the context of that passage/s. It makes a lot of sense when we receive a letter or a document that we read the content of the letter in its entirety. Reading just parts of it would cause us to miss vital information that could be beneficial to us. Say for example, we received an invitation to a friend's Birthday party. Apart from knowing whose birthday and when it's going to be, we also need to know where it would take place plus crucial information (mentioned in the invitation) that would prepare us for the event. So, why would it be any different when it comes to telling people about the things of God? Many people perish (spiritually) because they don't bother to study and prove the "so-called truths" that were handed to them. Countless times I heard people saying, "I'll die for what I believe in." The question is: "Are you absolutely sure about the truth you claim to believe?" It's sad but many of these people could not even explain why they believe what they believe. You see, we heard of the many believers who were martyred for the sake of the Gospel. All the apostles of Jesus Christ except for John (died of old age in Patmos) and Judas Iscariot (committed suicide) died violent deaths for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ. And today, Christian persecution happens all over the world. If we are to give our lives to the Truth we hold so dearly, we owe it to ourselves to be absolutely knowledgeable and sure about that Truth.
What makes me sad nowadays are the Christians who have long been attending Church and heard of many wonderful teachings from sound teachers of the Word yet are acting like those of the world. They may appear perfect in conduct yet they tackle personal and outside circumstances/issues at face value (how they appear) with lack of discernment/understanding on the spiritual origin, objective and goal of the enemy (Satan) hidden and in disguise in the many issues of life. We need to remember that everything that happens in this world have a spiritual significance. The Holy Scripture reveals to us God's plan and purpose (past present and future) for His creation. As members of the Body of Christ (Born-again, John 3:3), we are to operate in accordance to the prophetic time line of God which He revealed to us in His Word. Goes does not work things randomly! He is always working in accordance to His plan. How are we going to know His plan if we don't intentionally seek His Word? When are we going to mature spiritually? For we were once babies in the faith. But babies grow and turn into adults. From milk, we are now capable of chewing solids---the meat of the Word of God. God provides us His full armor and has equipped us with His power through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to destroy all the works of the enemy. So my plea to all of my brothers and sisters in the faith, study the Word of God intentionally. Never ever take any preacher's teaching (no matter how famous they are) without examining their teachings through the infallible Word of God. With great understanding, we can effectively share the Gospel as the Salt and Light of the world that God intended us to be. I would like to encourage you with the following passages:
"Indeed, all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in the things you have learned and firmly believed, since you know from whom you learned them. From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:12-17)
For this Card, I used an image from Art Impressions Stamp from Golden Oldies Collection called "Bikers." I watercolored the image using my Stabilo 68 markers. The base is Kraft CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card. The DP's are from Recollections, the white nail head gems from Imaginisce and the Washi tape from Recollections. I also did some fancy and regular stitching in most of the panels in this card. This is the second time I made a Double Slider card and though I find it really tricky remembering how I did it the first time, I'm always happy with the result. Here's the VIDEO tutorial that inspired me.
GO TOGETHER DOUBLE SLIDER CARD
GO TOGETHER DOUBLE SLIDER CARD LAYERS
GO TOGETHER DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WHEN TAB IS PULLED
GO TOGETHER DOUBLE SLIDER CARD INSIDE
GO TOGETHER DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Art Impressions---Door Openings
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Country View---The Written Word
Create with TLC---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
There you have it, folks! Don't miss the fun by joining our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create. Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to highlight this week. Realize that when you hunger and thirst for God, He will always fill you up with great understanding that you can effectively communicate with others.