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Spelling Out Preaching #6



So far in this series I have covered prayer, reading, experience, assessment and consideration.

Much of the fruit of preaching is produced through the unseen cultivation of our lives. But now I want to talk about engaging with the text.

Paul’s instruction to Timothy is critical here. “…Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth…” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Greek verb, ‘orthotomeo’, translated ‘handle’, literally means to ‘cut straight’.

It either refers to a ploughman cutting a straight furrow, or a road maker cutting a straight path. The theologian, John Stott, prefers the latter.

But both a ploughman and a road maker require self-motivation, steadfastness, single-mindedness, and skill. These are qualities we need to foster in order to study the Bible properly.

Cutting a straight path is often a long and arduous process but it has immense rewards. It brings clarity, gives direction, creates access for others - and ultimately leaves a legacy. That should be our mission.

Are we prepared to labour in the word?

Do we have the required skills, or take sufficient time, to prepare our messages?

Are we resolved to make a way to help others find the Way?


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