This Sunday many of us will be preaching in a country that has just celebrated Independence Day. Yet, this July 4th weekend is different than any we have ever experienced.
Many in our country celebrate what has occurred in our nation in recent weeks as a new kind of freedom. Many in our country are decrying what has occurred as the end of our nation and the end of freedom.
Many who will enter our buildings will be hurting, dejected, depressed, and defeated. They are longing for comfort and they want to be filled.
What’s a preacher to do? How do we approach this Independence Day? What can we say to the people who will gather to worship God? What can we offer those who come to remember Jesus?
We need to remember that God is still on His Throne. “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19) “The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! “ (Psalm 146:10) “Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. “ (1 Timothy 6:16) “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)
We need to remember that things will not always be as they are now. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21) “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
We need to remember the real enemy. Our enemy is not someone who has political power. Our enemy is not found in the highest courtroom in the land. Our enemy is not the people who choose to live wrong. Our enemy is the one who walks around on the earth attempting to destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8) Our enemy is the one who constantly accuses the people of God. (Revelation 12:9-11)
We need to provide God’s Family with a Word from God. We’ve all heard enough from the new reporters, the talking heads, and the commentators. What our people need is a Word from God, the Word of God, from a man of God. (1 Timothy 4:1-3) They need to hear it from man who knows he isn’t perfect, a man who understands his weaknesses and his limitations, a man who doesn’t believe that what he has to say is more important than what God has to say. They need to hear it from a man who has been on his knees before God, who has begged God for wisdom, and who has soaked his head, his heart, and his mind in the Word.
We need to offer God’s gathered Family a word of Hope. We need to remember that our hope is in Him. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
He is the source of real hope when our world has lost its way. He is the source of lasting hope when our own hope has gone dry. We desperately need to remember to call the Church to remember the hope that endures.
So preachers, let’s do what God has commissioned us to do. Let’s proclaim His unsearchable riches, let’s preach the Word in love. Let’s provide comfort, encouragement, and hope!
Dear Father in Heaven, as we gather with Your Family this weekend please help us to remember who You are and help us to remember who we are. Father, help those of us who attempt to preach Your Word to offer comfort, encouragement, and hope. In the Name of the One who is our hope we pray, Amen.