Skip to main content

A lesson in preaching from history

John Chrysostom was around at the turn of the 5th century AD, he lived and died preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. His preaching led to his posthumously assigned surname, Chrysostom: "golden mouth." The same preaching also exiled him twice, the second exile being three years under armed guard which would lead to his death.   He became known as "John the golden-mouthed" because of his anointed preaching. It was said that Preaching improves me,” he once told his congregation. “When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. Thus neither sickness itself nor indeed any other obstacle is able to separate me from your love... for just as you are hungry to listen to me, so too I am hungry to preach to you.”

And people loved to hear him preach, historical records of his preaching say: "As he advanced from exposition to illustration, from Scripture to practical appeals, his delivery became gradually more rapid, his countenance more animated, his voice more vivid and intense. The people would hold their breath. They felt as if drawn forward toward the pulpit by a sort of magnetic influence. Some who were sitting rose from their seats. By the time the discourse came to an end, the great mass of that spellbound audience could only hold their heads and weep with tears."  

 As I argue in my recent podcast episode, we must preach and preach with urgency: we need more golden mouths today. 

Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Pool

I was on the cusp of buying a birthing pool.   They are inflatable and relatively cheap.  Unfortunately, they are intended for women of about 5'9" height.  I, however, required the birthing pool for a man.  The man in question was over 6' tall.  He was, of course, not going to give birth but, rather, he had been born again.  The pool was required for baptism.  So instead of the birthing pool I bought a paddling pool.  The pool was 12' in diameter but only 30" high.  I set it up in the garden and filled it with water.  On my getting into the pool to try it out the week before the baptism, there was a veritable tidal wave engulfing a large section of my lawn.  No good then.  Instead I borrowed a custom made baptistry from a nearby church.  The baptism went swimmingly.
A couple of days before the baptism, which took place in our regular Sunday morning service, there was a pool tournament in our church.  The guy who was about to be baptised in the baptismal pool won…

Have friends by being a friend!

The more sociable you are, the happier you are.  As you age, it gets more difficult to find friends and meet people on a regular basis than when we were children. Those who seek out friendships and rate this as important, also rate themselves as being happier. 

Individuals who isolate themselves fall more easily into depression and stress. Introverts need friends just as much as extroverts do, and friends can help take the edge off of loneliness and sadness. Even if you are not a natural extrovert, make a point of building friendships in order to contribute towards your mental health and happiness.

People who rely on others to lift themselves up tend to be less stressed and depressed. Having a close friend you can talk to about your problems can serve as an important aid in releasing negative feelings. Confiding in a friend tends to reverse feelings of loneliness, and most friends offer words of comfort which affects you in a positive way, knowing that someone cares. 

Being the one your …

How to Face Discouragement

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  (2 Kings 6:16) The King of Aram was determined to capture the nation of Israel. He set an ambush and waited for the king’s men. Israel’s troops showed up…but they weren’t surprised by the attack. They’d been prepared for it and they fought valiantly. This happened again and again. Finally the King of Aram demanded to know which one of his troops was a spy for Israel. One troop came forward to explain that the prophet, Elisha, was warning Israel about these planned ambushes. So, the King of Aram decides that he needs to kill Elisha and then his plans to ambush Israel will be successful. When he learns where Elisha is, he gathers his troops and surrounds the area. The next morning, Elisha’s servant looks out the window. He’s shocked to see so many troops and more than a little afraid. Elisha sees his servant’s discouragement and utters a bold prayer. And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord…