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I Do Not Live For Preaching

That title may sound a bit odd, especially considering how much I truly love to preach and teach the Word of God. People who know me well also understand just how much this high calling means to me. However, it is not my life's aim. Preaching is not what gets me out of bed in the morning, nor is it the last thing on my mind at night. The truth of the matter is that the thing I genuinely live for is not a thing at all, but a person. But unlike the world may assume, this person is not my spouse, daughter, or any other family member or friend. You see, my life is lived for the sole purpose of glorifying my Savior, Jesus.

For the real believer this is not a foreign concept. Frankly, this is exactly what the Scriptures teach and anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ will have this chief ambition as well. I'm reminded of a powerful story in the later part of Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones' life. The faithful and powerful 20th century preacher who had dedicated so much of himself to Westminster Chapel in London was extremely poor in health and had to take a much needed leave from his preaching ministry. Toward the very end of his life he was approached by a lady who wanted to encourage Dr. Lloyd-Jones and compliment his ministry. As the conversation progressed she said to him, "You must be so discouraged not being able to preach." Lloyd-Jones replied, "No, not at all ma'am. I don't live for preaching."

This is the mindset of those who understand as born again believers in Christ our joy is not in the things we do for the Lord, but it's the Lord himself. Let us not be found guilty of loving the things of God more than the God who graciously gave us these gifts. We do not live for preaching. We do not live for singing. We do not live for church services. We do not live for fellowship. We do not live to minister in the nursery. We do not live for local and foreign missions. We live for the glory of God and God alone. Although these particular examples may be ways in which we show our affections for the Lord, we cannot love the blessings more than the Blesser.

Don't misunderstand me, I love to preach and I love the other gifts the Lord has granted me the opportunity to use for His great glory. However, what would we be treasure of the gifts if it weren't for the Giver? How could we even enjoy these good gifts if it wasn't for our Good Father who has showered us with more than we can even remember? Therefore, if I were not able to preach, if I had no ability to exercise the gifts the Lord has given and if I had no opportunity to use them to help others I would still have as much joy and fulfillment because I still have the Giver. He is our chief aim and our most satisfying experience. The Creator of heaven and earth is our greatest blessing. Our Savior is who and what we live for.

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