In this week’s PODCAST, I am going to take a great big risk and tell you a personal story. A story that I have on rare occasions shared with individuals. But this will be the first time I’ve ever told this story in a public setting.
I tell this story for a number of reasons.
First, of course, because it goes right to the heart of this podcast’s passage. It illustrates precisely the issue to which Jesus was referring here in Matthew 5:33-37, a subject of monumental importance as far as Jesus’ teaching was concerned.
Second, because it gives to you a bit of personal context, a piece of the portrait of my life within which my teaching takes place.
Third, because if the old adage is true — Like pastor, like people — or as the OT puts it, “Like people, like priest” (Hosea 4:9), then this explains why there has evolved a pandemic of phoniness in our churches.
Fourth, because this became a defining moment in my life and ministry. It cemented for me an approach to ministry, an approach to life, for which, over the years, I have paid a hefty personal price. And for which I continue to pay a hefty price.
Fifth, because this was one of the most disillusioning experiences of my life, and sent me reeling in terms of my faith. I would not be overstating the case to suggest that it prompted a crisis of faith, not to mention cemented for me what was becoming my perception of the Christian life and church life as a “game people play.”
Sixth: This story perfectly frames Jesus’ concerns as He addressed them here in His Sermon on the Mount.
We have much to learn together in this PODCAST.
Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.
HAPPY LISTENING, and PLEASE share the link to this message with others.