Time For God: May 22

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 4:1-2a
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!

Reflect:
The great 20th century preacher, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), spoke in a soft and lilting Welsh accent. His points were nonetheless focused and hard-hitting.

A Welsh Protestant minister, preacher, and medical doctor Lloyd-Jones became a major influence in the Reformed sector of British evangelicalism. Every Sunday for almost 30 years, he preached morning and evening from the Westminster Chapel pulpit in London. His magnetic Friday Bible studies drew many in to hear his in-depth teaching sessions.

After medical training at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, he started work as assistant to Sir Thomas Horder, the Royal Physician. Through a process of discernment, he gave up his promising career to become a preacher of the Gospel—and a meticulous Bible teacher.

As a preacher, Lloyd-Jones would sometimes select an apt analogy from his medical bag to illustrate a biblical point. One time, described our rebellious human nature. Leaning over the pulpit, he became very quiet. His sombre eyes pierced his audience. The human condition, he slowly explained, has received a dire diagnosis—it is diseased with sin. The prognosis, he shook his head to inform us, is awful. The condition afflicting each of us is fatal. There is no human cure. He paused to let his point sink deep. Then he softly smiled. God himself has provided sin’s perfect antidote. However—he shook his head once more. It is available to merely a few—only those who by faith accept Christ’s remedy. The cure is God’s gracious gift of His Son. On Calvary’s cursed cross Christ died for me, a rebel.

Lloyd-Jones had a gift; he would herald, proclaim, and announce the Gospel message publicly and with conviction. God’s authoritative—binding—Word brings eternal accountability to all who hear it. As a kerux—an official spokesperson or herald of a king—Lloyd-Jones modeled a way of being for a new generation of preachers who succeeded him. Rainer Mittelstaedt observes, …teachers, counselors, and consultants from time to time move beyond their primary activities and become mentors to the people they engage. Even beyond their lifetime heralds declare the Word of God.

Consider:
As a witness to all God is doing in your life, how can you authoritatively declare it to others? What gifts has God given you to use as you proclaim the Gospel message? Where is God inviting you to be a kerux—spokesperson—of the King?

Pray:  God to enfold me/God to surround me/God in my speaking/God in my thinking/God in my sleeping/God in my waking/God in my watching/God in my hoping/God in my life/God in my lips/God in my soul/God in my heart/God in my sufficing/God in my slumber/God in mine ever-living soul/God in mine eternity.
— From a book of 18th century Celtic prayers: Carmina Gadelica (III, 52-3)
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