“Holy Envy”

I’m in the middle of preparing messages for this summer. I don’t know about most speakers but I always come to a task like this with a healthy fear and a little trepidation.
Am I meeting the needs of the people who will be in front of me?
Am I being sympathetic and empathetic?
Am I “rightly dividing the word”?
Of course, there are always the questions like “Is this going to be relevant, interesting, and am I going to hit it out of the park?”
While all of these concerns are valid, I’ve begun to realize that I will never get the right answers until I ask right questions.

“…out of the the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Luke 6:45

Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of many talented preachers and teachers. I found myself impressed by (and a little envious of) their style, their exegesis of Scripture, and the beautiful way that words flow from their lips “like butter”. But something became clear to me amidst some of these audiences. Our hearts were not being move. Our intellects were being stimulated and we were entertained but, there was no real inspiration. Why?
It,s because we need a little aspiration in the heart before there can be inspiration.
The messages that have always inspired me are those from speakers whose LIVES preach and their lips only “play catch up”. Because of their example, not just their words, I’m compelled by a little “holy envy”.  I want some of their lives to be reflected in me so I eagerly absorb as much from them as I can during that short period of time called “the message”. That kind of speaker must, within him, carry two ingredients: authenticity and passion. Without those two things we run the risk of accomplishing, not inspiration but, mere clever manipulation, which produces nothing in the life of a believer.
I want to be a man that is REAL with the people I’m entrusted to instruct and I want only to speak about the things that I strive to “flesh out” in my own life.
If I AM an inspiration then the rest is easy.

I’m praying that this will be a summer of inspiration for all of us.

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  • Mary Kelso May 24, 2012  

    I didn’t even know this was here. Glad you are writing down some of these thoughts. I like it.

    Great post!

  • Patti Miller May 25, 2012  

    You are an inspiration! Thank you! Miss you.

  • Tim Baker (@TimBaker3) May 25, 2012  

    1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    This passage has been keeping me up at night lately. I have some potential things on the horizon that requires a lot of me. I am getting more opportunities to teach and I love to do this. I am young, 32, and I have always had people quote verse 12 at me. It was just this past week that I noticed the Spirit revealing something from verse 15 &16 to me. The encouragement is to devotion to the teaching of the Scriptures, but the admonition is to the practice of the scriptures. The thing I lose sleep over is not just am I practicing what I preach, but is my life a better and clearer message than my words.

    I have always admired your style, gift, talent and clarity. I have always been envious of you. Even more so today knowing your transparency and careful watch over not just your awesome teaching but your life. It is great to know that I am not alone in wrestling with these thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Brent May 26, 2012  

      Tim, Thanks so much for the encouragement today….i needed it. I will pray the same admonition hols true in your life.

  • Kathleen Croley July 1, 2012  

    I much prefer a peanut butter jar to a fine goblet any day!