Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are You Bored with Good Preaching?

A family came to GFC a few months ago and could not stop talking about how glad they were to "hear the Word again." I warned them, as I warn others in their situation, that they must guard their hearts from an over-zealous enthusiasm. Although it is great that they are being fed, even bland food feels like a feast to a malnutritioned man. What will they do when they have regained spiritual sustenance and find that the preaching is Biblical, yet quite average? If they train their senses to feel something is "good" only when they receive some kind of spiritual high, they could very well end up running from place to place looking for that high, not the Word.

There are still others that are so used to being well fed that when summer comes, or relatives visit or some other fancy strikes, they feel quite free to skip church to play.

Both these folks would do good to heed the careful wisdom of John Newton:



A Famine of the Word
Gladness was spread through Israel’s host
When first they Manna viewed;
They labored who should gather most,
And thought it pleasant food.
But when they had it long enjoyed
From day to day, the same;
Their hearts were by the plenty cloyed,
Although from heav’n it came.

Thus gospel bread at first is prized,
And makes a people glad;
But afterwards too much despised,
When easy to be had.
But should the Lord, displeased, withhold
The bread his mercy sends;
To have our houses filled with gold
Would make but poor amends.

How tedious would the week appear,
How dull the Sabbath prove?
Could we no longer meet to bear
The precious truths we love!
How would believing parents bear
To leave their heedless youth,
Exposed to every fatal snare,
Without the light of truth?

The gospel, and a praying few
Our bulwark long have proved;
But Olney sure the day will rue
When these shall be removed.
Then sin, in this once favored town,
Will triumph unrestrained;
And wrath and vengeance hasten down,
No more by prayer detained.

Preserve us from this judgment, Lord
For JESUS’ sake we plead;
A famine of the gospel word
Would be a stroke indeed!

Hymn 49 in Olney Hymns
John Newton